The Struggles of Building and Maintaining Your Own Brand
A (Hopefully) Helpful Guide to Help You Grow
Sometimes starting your own brand can be daunting, especially if YOU are the basis of your brand.
I joined Instagram late 2013/early 2014, just for fun. It wasn't until 2016 that I realized I had become a part of a gaming community on Instagram. I had barely gained any followers in those two to three years (I had maybe 300), and had no idea the possibilities and opportunities that Instagram had to offer.
It was mid 2016 that I started to take note of what successful pages were doing and started creating my own content. The first year was rough, a lot of second guessing and self doubt. I didn't know what I was doing, no one was willing to help—but I had a dream and.. well, I had Google.
I researched everything from how to get clips of my PS4 and get them onto my phone, without a computer or jump drive. How to do basic editing in Share Factory on PS4, and further finishing touches on basic free editing apps on my phone. It was incredibly discouraging at first, I didn't feel like what I had to offer was good enough, and looking back I didn't even know what I was offering.
That's the first step, before even starting. Figure out who you are, what you represent and what you want your brand to represent. From basic morals, to things relatable to you or your product.
What can you offer, that others cannot?
That was my first step. I had the realization that, sure I may not have the best editing software, or even be very good at editing, but I have a personality and that's what I'm trying to build my brand on to sell in the future. So I started just being myself and posting things I enjoyed that I created just for the sole reason that I ENJOYED them. It didn't matter to me if anyone else did, I just wanted to practice and get better—and when I did that, that's when people took notice. I started gaining followers, more engagement, making friends with other creators in the community.
Then I had to find my niche, apart from my personality—what can I do to make unique content, that also will relate back to me and my brand? I am an artist by trade, so, I decided I'd make Destiny Dance videos (for the video game, Destiny 2).
Things still went by slowly but, steadily. By mid 2017, I had 2,000 followers. In no way is that expedient growth that some people experience, but for me—I was proud of it. I felt more confident in myself as a creator, that I had more of a place in the community. Because of this, it made it even easier for me to be more myself and express my personal opinions, which I hadn't been doing.
That's when "Weapon of the Weak" was born. I got tired of hearing so many members of the community complain about everything "wrong" with a weapon, so I made satirical videos complaining about the same things they would, to demonstrate how ridiculous it all sounded when actually voiced in a comedic manner—and things took off.
Fast forward to summer 2018, and after about a year of creating content based around me, my opinion and "Weapon of the Weak," I had hit 10k December, 11 and in January 2019 came 12k.
With that being said, not everything has gone smoothly. Instagram has algorithms and shadow banning in place that can be detrimental to your brand and career if you use Instagram to drive your business—but that's a story for another day.