The spark as a content creator started soon after the death of my employer Lee Q O'denant; CEO of Worldstar Hiphop Worldstar - the biggest social media influencer in Hiphop with over 500,000 unique visitors a day on his website. @worldstar on Instagram that holds 17 million followers. My skills built from film and video production for over a decade landed me an opportunity to work for "Q" - creating online video content that he would executive produce from California, USA. Our work would be filmed and edited within a span of 2-3 weeks, making it high paced and highly creative at the same time. The creative video content would be released to viewers by our own social media platforms like youtube, instagram and the website. The massive response struck a cord with me and honestly... I got a little star-struck (stay humble). My experience of connecting to viewers on social media through my artistic talent was a direction I wanted to work towards. I started an Instagram platform in November of 2016 using an alter ego @director6.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Support from people closest to you is one of the biggest initial hurdles for any creative artist in my opinion. The time spent on the building process to development -- to initial release is massively consuming. Having a strong goal in mind and following that through thick and thin is something that is detrimental when approaching those hurdles. Other initial hurdles is really finding your style and constantly creating and posting content. Raising your standards is something I constantly strive for. Know your worth and it will reflect in your work.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Of course I did! lol, Doesn't everyone? Living in an age when digital technology was exploding onto the scene and consuming the world, it was hard for friends and family to understand that my belief was to build a skill and talent that no machine--or robot or cell phone - could ever take away from me (music please). Seeing the end of bubble burst in 1999 at 13 years old, I understood that technology was its own master and it was up to us to work with it to develop ourselves. My family and friends could not see the skill I was trying to master until a decade later when it was too late to affect. What I would do differently would be to play both artist and businessman at the same time from an early age. Building your skill is definitely all important, but it's crucial that you work on your relationship skills.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Find your opportunities and ride the wave when it comes. There is nothing like finding a strong business connection that just puts you on your game. My business success comes from taking risks not knowing what the outcomes maybe.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Work as hard as you do on your art as you do on your relationships with business people. I wish I knew that being the best at something doesn't always make you the person that everyone wants to call for their next creative project. Learning to find a balance between building your craft and building your business is something I wish I'd known at a very young age.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
This is a question I get asked a lot on social media. The process of becoming a creative director/content creator is a long haul with bumps and hills. It is important to know your business inside out. Learn the small things that help make the entire process work. It is important to keep persistent and understand--that when you see some of the wonderful work that I create- (Instagram plug: @director6) it did not happen overnight. When I create amazing material it could takes years for people to finally see that - The internet and cell phones have shifted our mentality on how we view, perceive and eventually buy material. My advice for someone local in North America- or even Europe is to build your brand on a step by step basis and always respect your audience. You have the opportunity to connect with hundreds of millions of people at the touch of your fingertips--use it! Internationally my advice for young creatives in the industry is to build your brand in the market that's closest to you, then slowly expand with that momentum. I get asked this question a lot from people from all parts of the world who look at my work and think It takes hundreds of people to create--but I always tell them...that's me! behind the camera - moving the light. People ask me frequently on Instagram for advice and training techniques so that they can create content like me, I reply 75% of the time --" get a camera--any camera if you don't have one then use the cell phone your messaging me from--get out there and start making content, then post it and push it to a niche audience that your content may draw attention too, repeat that process until your the best at it."'