3 ways to become your own editor

Today’s creator economy requires passion, commitment and trust to thrive in what has become a very unpleasant landscape of preconceptions, judgment and, unfortunately, cultural appropriation – which makes it difficult for creators to continue to present themselves in such a vulnerable way. .

Yet despite what the industry has taught us with platforms like TikTok and Instagram, you can still become your own content publisher without sacrificing your own principles and culture by focusing on a community mindset, rather than a money-driven strategy.

And that’s exactly what Army veterans and husband and wife team Geizel and Manuel Godoy have done with their company, Black Sands Entertainment, which publishes content aimed at Black families. Over the past five years, they’ve released over 100,000 comics and anime series, bringing the company hundreds of thousands of online subscribers, as well as closing a million dollar investment round. dollars in just six weeks.

Having achieved the recognition it wanted, Black Sands then focused on helping black creators reach a wider audience with the launch of The Black Sands Publishing App, an exclusive platform for black creators helping to bring together readers and creators from black and brown communities. . Since its launch in 2016, it has generated more than 100,000 downloads, maintaining Top 30 in iOS and Google Play stores for a consecutive month.

The Godoys offer three ways for creators to become their own publisher without sacrificing their principles or culture.

1. Put your community at the heart

The downfall of many “community-centric” ecosystems is that they really don’t put the community first, which contributes to its inevitable failure.

“We pride ourselves on Black Sands’ ability to put our customer at the center of what we produce,” says Godoy. “Rather than remaining neutral on current events, Black Sands systematically addresses issues of the black community, beginning by offering a strong focus on the history of the United States before slavery and the rich heritage that our African ancestors left us with. have left. We fight every day to counter the narrative based on the Hollywood agenda. This willingness to cover these sensitive topics has helped earn the respect of our community.

Business owners are already struggling to establish themselves, but it’s even harder as a black creator in today’s landscape.

“Often many of us have smaller followings online, which makes it harder to get something done compared to leaders like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey and Lisa Nichols. We encourage people who lead with causes , focus on your audience, and develop an organic marketing campaign based on the company’s mission, success is within reach.

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2. Showcase the beauty of stories and avoid clickbait

For Black Creators, you can always stay connected with your community by aligning yourself with the stories, accolades, and tribulations your community endures.

“Stay true to your values ​​and showcase the beauty of your stories without paying attention to the Hollywood narrative. We are extremely family oriented and when it comes to social media, we do what is best for our community, rather than taking shortcuts to simply garner additional likes and followers.

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3. Provide a platform

There are very few independent comic book companies that can achieve a level of popularity that makes a company highly visible in stores like Apple’s App Store and/or Google’s PlayStore. Creating an app for their community was imperative.

“The first thing you want to do is develop an attractive app icon,” says Godoy. “It’s important because your app icon is the first thing a user sees when browsing apps on the App Store, so making sure it’s attractive will make it stand out among others and invite someone to click on it.”

The Godoys also point out that creating a complete description of your app is one of the most important parts of app development, despite many publishers ignoring it. “Potential customers will almost always read the description before downloading the app, making sure it will actually meet their needs. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your description contains information that tells users exactly what you want them to know.

Whatever your industry, you can become your own publisher.

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