5 Lessons I Learned as a Neurodivergent Social Media Content Creator

girl creating social media content on laptop

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March 27th, 2024 01:22 pm

What do some life-changing earbuds, a singing traffic cone, and a Japanese metal band all have in common? They are all things that helped me become a full-time content creator. And, there’s one word that glues them all together.

So, to find out what that word is, keep reading as we look at 5 learning curves I discovered as a neurodivergent social media content creator.

1. Never Sit Still

Those of us with ADHD will understand that trying to sit still can be a huge challenge. And we move about, or stim as it’s known, to get that dopamine to our brains. For content creators, this metaphor translates very well indeed.

When I started as a freelancer writing for an Inc5000 agency it was to gain some experience and pay the bills. But I learned almost straight away that, I couldn’t write articles 30hrs a day for the rest of my life. There had to be something else to do in the world of freelancing.

 I didn’t know what that was until I tried. Which leads me onto point 2.

2. Know Your Limits

Early in 2021 I began to realise that my desire to keep moving and try new things was taking its toll on my personal life.

I found myself stressed over having to pay the bills while looking after two young kids. Trying to set up my own not-for-profit marketing agency six months in during a pandemic wasn’t a good idea. Especially as someone with so little experience of working in marketing.

Knowing your limits translates into negotiating with clients and brands too. Beauty influencer Shanell Grant makes a great point. Success comes from knowing when to say no to working with brands that aren’t the right fit for the business.

It’s easy at the start to say yes to everything at the start. But it can end up in bad working relationships and in some cases damage your own reputation.

3. Switch Off Once in a While

 It’s so easy as a content creator, whether neurodivergent or not, to have your phone in your hand at all times. The urge to respond to every single comment or video reply that comes your way is painful. And that’s okay sometimes, say, when you’re on a bus somewhere.

But whether winding down before going to bed, or dedicating one day a week to switching your tech off. Please stop and think about the world around you once in a while.  

In my case, I lost my marriage as I couldn’t switch off from work. I lost touch with friends, and became distant from my family. Offline always comes first, and now, if someone needs me, I’m there for them.

4. All Mistakes are Learning Curves

This ties in a little with taking too much on, but it’s okay to make mistakes. Whether that’s a badly-judged reply to a commenter or a business venture that fails. Mistakes happen for a reason. As humans, we learn from our mistakes, and they teach us what to do (or not to do) next time.

And the same goes for constructive criticism. No feedback is negative feedback so long as you learn from it. And, you don’t even have to agree with it, acknowledge it’s no less valid than your opinion; we are all different.

In my own case I had the fortune to undertake a social media campaign for a global neurodiversity summit. And it was a disaster. By acknowledging my mistakes I was able to use my lack of professionalism to my advantage.

I took on constructive feedback. As a result, I put strategies in place that proved 10 times more successful for the next client.

5. Accountability is Everything

I did a survey on my followers on TikTok earlier in the year about work-life balance. The number one theme that kept reoccurring was the importance of feeling valued.

That mindset correlates to content creation too. After all, you’re putting your reputation on the line to inspire others and, dare I say it, influence the world.

If there’s anything I learned about myself on this journey, it’s that I’m not afraid of being wrong. Too many content creators dig a deeper hole by trying to justify their actions. Often they will backtrack on past comments and ruin their reputation. 

People will show you respect if you own up to your mistakes and move on. Don’t try to defend yourself out of a corner. It’s surprising how forgiving your followers are, as long as you treat them with respect.

No Opportunity is a Missed Opportunity

Remember what I said at the start about reading to the end? Well, the examples I gave were all opportunities I grabbed. Opportunities to create something different and unique, and it worked. 

I never set out to document those life events or integrate them into my content. Did I waste my time posting 1200 TikToks to only have a singing traffic cone go viral?

Or have I spent the last year learning all the tricks to finally start a successful YouTube channel. One that’s growing 10 times faster than average and will cover all my business expenses by the end of the year? No opportunity is a missed opportunity.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out our next article for more inspiring content!

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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