This interview is a part of a sequence known as Creators Unlocked that delves into the world of content material creators to uncover the tales behind their social media posts.
From Twitter to TikTok, the articles purpose to supply insights and learnings for aspiring and established creators whereas additionally providing a glimpse into the lives of these behind the screens.
Right now, we’re unlocking Pleasure Ofodu’s creator journey discussing all the things from channeling all the sentiments from her breakup in 2020 into comedy content material to her targets for her platform.
We speak about navigating the content material creator world as a Black girl to what it appears to be like prefer to have a transparent imaginative and prescient on your content material from the beginning. Pleasure additionally takes us behind the scenes of what it takes to run a profitable creator enterprise, from the instruments to the those who make all of it occur. Let’s get into it.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
Q: What impressed you to start out creating content material on social media?
I had been a blogger, a photographer, and a member of on-line communities for years prior, however what made me a short-form video producer was a breakup in 2020 on the top of the pandemic.
I wished to construct and design my very own relationship life and my new love story, so to doc and bear in mind the expertise, I began creating and sharing short-form movies.
Q: Do you think about your self a full-time creator?
Sure, I am a full-time creator, in addition to the CEO of my enterprise, which I exploit to assist my creativity. It feels actually energizing to lastly be in a spot the place I am creating, performing, and producing content material full-time.
Q: I really like that you simply see your self as a CEO and creator. What sort of content material do you create, and who do you create it for?
Joy Ofodu is my firm title, and we’re an influential media firm I prefer to say that I ship laughter to international audiences, however my enterprise produces inclusive leisure and inventive companies.
I’ve labeled us as a media firm primarily based on how we have an effect on others. Once we communicate, seem, shine, or present up, persons are impressed to behave and make a change, proper, which is the definition of affect – influencing motion upon others.
Q: Do you additionally provide different companies to individuals underneath your organization?
Sure, underneath Pleasure Ofodu, we provide short-form video manufacturing companies. Corporations like Dove and Netflix usually ask us to supply brief, humorous movies to advertise services or products. We even have voiceover companies for animation, video video games, and audiobooks, and I’m presently the only real voice actor.
We provide imaginative IP (mental property) writing, which I do not actually promote. However the characters and storylines that you simply see in my very own comedy, a few of them have been prolonged to be their very own world. So I even have personal IP that I’ve not but launched, that I’ve constructed round sure characters and themes and concepts, and I’ve bought IP to purchasers as properly.
Q: So, on high of making content material constantly and fascinating your 200k+ viewers throughout totally different platforms, you’re actively operating a enterprise. How do you handle all that?
I’m nonetheless very closely concerned in my content material creation, so the present that I’m presently engaged on, Dating Unsettled, has been virtually 100% me, from recording to monitoring analytics as soon as it’s uploaded. However I do have a workforce that helps me behind the scenes.
My govt assistant helps me monitor my schedule, e-book occasions and voiceover work, and interface with purchasers. None of my partnerships can be potential at this scale with out her. Then on a few of my longer video tasks, I work with a marketing consultant Isaac, on launches. I bought mentions within the New York Times and Refinery29 that wouldn’t have occurred with out him.
Q: What recommendation would you give creators who’re getting into the identical season of increasing their content material creation? What ought to they be investing in?
You must all the time be seeking to enhance your technical setup as a creator. The extra you realize about lighting and audio and post-production modifying, the higher. That is one thing that you would be able to and may all the time put money into enhancing, whether or not it’s 100 individuals following you or 200,000.
I can not say that there’s one objectively good model of video – it’s all concerning the instruments you should obtain the standard you and your viewers have come to anticipate of you. A vlogger may want totally different instruments than I do. It actually simply is dependent upon your area, time, and monetary means.
Whenever you be part of an organization or program, they will often offer you a mission assertion and inform you their imaginative and prescient for the following 5 to 10 years. So with regards to investing in a workforce, ensure you have a transparent imaginative and prescient. Spend money on a model strategist that will help you articulate your imaginative and prescient if you need to, however don’t make the error of bringing somebody in so early that you simply don’t have one but. I felt extra comfy having a transparent imaginative and prescient as a creator and having a bit traction and viewers on social media.
However extra importantly than something, it was simply that I had duties that have been past my bodily functionality. That is actually it. I had duties that, if I continued shouldering all of them, I might burn out. The second I felt like I used to be dropping the ball, I knew I wanted to usher in somebody who might sort out them at 100%.
Q: Talking of instruments, what’s in your device stack for content material creation?
I exploit loads of in-app native modifying, particularly on Instagram, which shocks many individuals.
I really like Adobe Inventive Cloud, notably Photoshop and Lightroom, for all my skilled pictures. Different instruments that I exploit embrace CapCut and Pleased Scribe for closed captioning. Nevertheless, YouTube and all these platforms are beginning to bake in closed captioning natively,
Google Drive can be fairly nice, and my web site is constructed on WordPress. Then I’d add Canva and iMovie to my record, and for locating contractors and freelancers, Upwork.
Q: How do you become profitable as a creator, and what is the largest contributor income by way of all the things you provide in your online business now?
I become profitable because the creator by way of the ways in which I discussed: voiceovers, video manufacturing, and IP writing. I additionally do talking engagements the place somebody needs me to be the host or a panelist at a webinar or bodily at an occasion. These are different methods I receives a commission as a character. Then the ultimate can be creator or grant packages, so truly elevating non-equity-based funding for my enterprise.
Essentially the most vital income driver in the meanwhile that I can talk about is sponsored content material or model partnerships. These are those that you would be able to publicly see on my Instagram or my TikTok. I even have a few sponsored partnerships that I activated this yr on LinkedIn for the primary time. I can drive, for instance, $7,000 for a sponsored put up earlier than utilization rights.
Q: How do you determine who to work with with regards to sponsored content material? Is there ever any battle with creativity for you?
I like working with firms and organizations and individuals who consider in what I consider in. So we each maintain our audiences in the identical regard and we consider in empowering underrepresented individuals. I prefer to see these items in observe earlier than they attain out to me is vital – simply working with me does not imply that you simply assist black or women-owned companies.
Having a shared ethos, and dealing with manufacturers which are respected is vital to me, so I’ll positively work with a model if it meets all of that standards. When you attain a sure level as a creator, there’ll all the time be individuals who need to work with you, however you possibly can’t settle for all the things – in any other case, your model turns into too dilated.
For me, I exploit a rubric of: does it really feel proper? Is that this shopper or accomplice going to shine on my account? Do I’ve sufficient vitality and even actual property on my account to dedicate to this marketing campaign? Typically, I’ve to inform a model that I don’t have the capability in a single month to work with them, or the tasks that I’m doing on the time don’t align with what their marketing campaign is about.
I additionally don’t work with manufacturers in sure classes. I need to protect my skill to work in kids’s animation, so I persist with family-friendly, PG-13 campaigns. And politically, I’ve to bounce very rigorously. I am not afraid to point out public assist for laws or candidates that I would consider in. Nevertheless, I acknowledge the affect that I’ve and the way a lot analysis and due diligence I have to do with regards to voting and folks’s livelihood. I don’t do something that’s asking my viewers to spend or make investments their cash.
Q: It looks like you’ve all the time had a transparent concept of your imaginative and prescient on your model on social media. What recommendation would you give somebody seeking to construct their identification earlier than they begin hitting huge numbers?
Audit your self. I all the time advocate individuals start with an audit and be very considerate about the place they already seem on-line. Then think about the place you need to look.
Should you’re seeking to develop, go the place your very best viewers is. Don’t decide a platform as a result of it’s the most popular factor proper now – suppose viewers first. Contemplate your viewers’s media food regimen, what they’re thinking about, then think about your personal model identification, just like the visible model your viewers will come to affiliate with you.
Additionally, create content material pillars within your niche. And persist with them. This helps your viewers know what to anticipate after they see your content material.
Q: You have been a part of this nice interview about Black Historical past Month campaigns in 2023. what has been essentially the most difficult half about rising as a black feminine creator to this point?
I feel it is simply navigating the identical societal constraints I expertise offline. It is the identical misogynoir, the identical strain or expectation to suit right into a sure stereotypical leisure trope or mould as a black entertainer, proper? You are both sexualized, otherwise you’re a clown, otherwise you’re aggressive, otherwise you’re tremendous radical and in the event you don’t match into one in all these stereotypes, progress could be sluggish and irritating.
As I mentioned in that interview, pay fairness and algorithmic visibility will proceed to be two of the largest challenges as a Black creator. I’m hyper-aware that irrespective of how expertly I produce on social media platforms, there’s nonetheless a ceiling to my success.
Should you look throughout the board on the highest-earning creators, we don’t see ourselves represented. And it isn’t about our expertise or our technique or perhaps a lack of assist. Regardless of how a lot we assist one another, the system is not designed for us to in the end succeed on the highest ranges.
TL;DR? This is all the things lesson we will be taught from Pleasure’s journey to success as a creator:
- Turning private experiences into content material: Pleasure began creating short-form movies to doc and share her journey of constructing and designing her relationship life after a breakup in 2020. Her content material has since developed, and she or he now runs a profitable creator enterprise underneath her firm title, Pleasure Ofodu.
- Diversifying revenue streams: Pleasure generates revenue by way of varied avenues, together with voiceovers, video manufacturing, IP writing, talking engagements, and sponsored content material or model partnerships. She talked about that sponsored content material is presently her most important income driver, with some sponsored posts incomes her $7,000 earlier than utilization rights.
- Prioritizing model alignment: Pleasure is very selective with regards to selecting the businesses she works with for sponsored content material. She ensures that these manufacturers share her values, empowering underrepresented individuals, and are respected. Pleasure additionally avoids sure classes, comparable to politically charged campaigns or people who do not align together with her family-friendly model.
- Investing in progress: Pleasure believes that creators ought to all the time look to enhance their technical setup, together with lighting, audio, and post-production modifying. She additionally emphasizes the significance of getting a transparent imaginative and prescient earlier than increasing and investing in a workforce. For her, the choice to rent assist got here when she realized she might now not handle all duties by herself with out burning out.
- Navigating challenges as a Black feminine creator: Pleasure faces challenges comparable to pay fairness, algorithmic visibility, and societal constraints that restrict her progress and success. She is very conscious of the present ceiling to her success on social media platforms and is targeted on breaking by way of these limitations. She emphasizes the significance of supporting each other as creators and pushing for systemic change within the business to create equal alternatives for all.