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The "Challenges" of Being a Content Creator

Firstly, before this may be taken out of context, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and the people I’ve gotten to meet because of sports cards, and the content I create. I’ve been asked a handful of times by people who consume my content, “We see the glamorous stuff, what are the difficult/hard parts of being a content creator?” I’m simply here to answer that question. 

In no way am I trying to complain or rant about the “hardship”, because simply I love it, and it all comes with the task. Hopefully this article can be informative, and maybe create some healthy conversation. Content creation plays a very important role in the hobby ecosystem, and I applaud all of the individuals who share their story or anyone else’s in the sports card space, because we all have the opportunity to impact people, and can dream that we are helping to build lifelong collectors!


Having community comes with having integrity

One of the coolest parts is getting to hear stories of how someone resonates with a piece of content you shared! That feeling truly never gets old. The impact I’ve gotten to have on just a handful of younger girls, makes this entire journey of mine worth it. Building a community and a “following”, also means more eyes are on you. There’s two sides to this coin.

There are the supporters who come back, show love and support, and spend their time watching/reposting/liking the art you share. These are the people you don’t want to let down. You never want to offend any of these people that have been there from day one. These people mean as much to us, as we mean to them. Without them, the content wouldn't have an impact, and for me, that’s the point of my content. So this “role” as a content creator you have to be aware of each move you make, what you say, and what you create! For me, this looks like constantly reflecting on why I started this; being the person younger Kayla wished she had. So, hyper awareness of the platform you build, comes from a place of gratitude, and wanting to live up to the expectations you put on yourself.

On the other side of this coin, as a content creator, there is always going to be negative people that follow around. The hobby has had a lot of negativity over recent years, and while I truthfully stay away from that side of the hobby as much as possible, I do have to acknowledge its presence. The bigger the platform and reach you have, the more people can’t wait to see you fall. These people want to see mistakes, and add you to the “cancel culture”. These people “force” you to hold yourself to a higher standard and keep your integrity. Honestly, I’d thank them. It’s just a push for greater character and anyone who doesn’t want a “friend” in their corner, who brings harsh truths or holds them to a higher standard, aren’t my kind of people.


The Small Tasks

This feels silly to write about, but the people want to know. One of the simplest yet “hardest” things about content creation, is staying consistent! The different social media algorithms love consistency, meaning the more you post, the more the platform will share it. It’s a symbiotic relationship, because the more you put in, the more you get out. The consistency train is not for the faint of heart though. It takes grit, the want to keep furthering your impact, and the willingness to make sacrifices. It can all become very time consuming in the beginning, from the planning stage, the actual filming, and then the editing afterwards. The frustration can build when you put your time into something you're passionate about, and you aren’t seeing results. 

Over the past year, I’ve been way more diligent and consistent about posting, but if you scroll back in my feed, there were times earlier on where I would go months without posting. Truthfully over the past three years of really diving into the hobby and sharing the stories it offers, there has been massive growth for me. It’s taken hard work, spending less time on other activities, and the reality of having to bet on yourself. It can be a heavy weight to bear, and there’s a real possibility it won’t lead to anything.


Staying Present

As a content creator and storyteller, you are constantly looking for the next place to put your energy into. Whether that be the next show, or the next card, you have to keep yourself being seen. This can create a difficult balance of knowing when to film and how much. “Putting the camera down”, can make you feel that there are going to be moments missed. Stories that should have been told. Collectors that should've been shown a spotlight. Something I’m learning though, is that there is always another thing out there. 

Something I’ve heard from other creators is that the ability to stay present can be hard at times. I’ve struggled with this in the past. I’ve gotten to be a part of some really cool projects and moments, and sometimes my urge to put forward professionalism and the best content possible, has taken away from the moment. 


Finding Your Voice

In the beginning of your content journey, it’s really hard to stand out. There is a trial process of where you are trying things out, and finding your niche within the space. You have to be original, and offer a different “flavor” than other creators, when sharing relatively similar messages. People have been conditioned to like transactional content, so if you aren’t spending money or doing transactions, you have to find alternate ways to reach/speak to the audience.

I have learned after a handful of years, that content just isn’t for me. It wouldn’t be authentic. Have there been thoughts of “If I spent x amount of money at a card show, and posted it, would it get more clicks?” or “If I bought what everyone else was buying, would I grow faster?” Absolutely! That’s just not the road I travel. I think there are enough people in the space doing that, and there are many different people to choose from, and that is great for growing the collector base. Each person should see themself represented.

Doing something unique and out of the box, doesn’t come without growing pains. When collectors are used to and like one kind of content, it doesn’t automatically allow for growth. You have to win them over. Ultimately being your authentic self on camera, and posting the kind of content you like, will mean something! It will just take longer to have the impact.


Conclusion

There are definitely parts of being a content creator that are glamorous! Interacting with athletes, getting to meet some cool people, and building a community of people who support you, are all some fun perks. These are the sides you get to see. Now, I hope you look at both sides of the coin. The “challenges” of being a content creator come with the task, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are some difficult times and growing pains behind creating the product you see, but it’s all for greater purpose and greater impact. 


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