When starting content creation, I suggest you Explore then Exploit.
First, you Explore by making lots of tiny bets. Try different kinds of videos, or put out lots of different tweets. Try not to limit yourself when you’re still in this phase. Tiny bets like tweets or TikTok videos are better than creating a course or something too large.
Everything you make during this phase is a tuning fork.
If you’re not familiar, a tuning fork is a two-pronged piece of metal tuned to a specific frequency. They’re typically used to tune instruments and have one really cool property. If two forks are the same frequency, striking one will cause the other to vibrate, too. The two forks resonate.
You don’t get the effect if they’re a different pitch.
Does it resonate?
During this Explore phase, you’ll whack every tuning fork, and they will each vibrate at a certain frequency.
You’re looking for a “yes” from both of these questions:
- Does it resonate with you?
- Does it resonate with others?
It has to resonate with you to be sustainable. We’re looking long-term, and you won’t create lots of something you don’t genuinely enjoy. The audience can tell if you don’t burn out first.
It has to resonate with an audience to achieve whatever goals you’re trying to achieve. Whether that’s building a following, earning money, educating folks, or just improving your content creation skills: you need the audience.
Repeat what works
Once you find a fork that resonates with you and an audience, hit it again. Put out something similar that resonates in that same way. You’re now in the Exploit phase. Hit it again and again, iterating on that same note, refining the vibration to resonate a little more each time.
You see this technique with so many content creators, especially on platforms like TikTok.
Before he became the top account on TikTok, Khaby Lame had a pretty typical TikTok account. He began posting at the start of 2020, creating different kinds of videos every day. He didn’t find his best tuning fork until a year later
He’s now known for his signature joke, but he didn’t find that tuning fork until he had created well over 500 videos.
These days he rarely posts a video outside of that format. Not only is he sure that the format is successful, but the audience knows exactly what they’re in for. It allows him to build an incredibly strong brand because everyone knows what pitch his tuning fork creates.
For a dev example take a look at Fireship, which is currently sitting at 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
You might know the channel for its wildly popular “100 Seconds of…” videos. Did you know that they posted over 200 videos before the first “100 Seconds” video?
You probably won’t find your perfect tuning fork right away. That’s fine; keep exploring. When you do find it, whack that fork over and over.