What does it mean to be a successful online content creator these days? It’s hard to condense all the specifics and the qualifiers in order to come up with a succinct definition, but it’s worth singling out this secret which has proven to work for digital content creators like Erwan Heussaff: It’s having a heightened awareness of everything—the degree and minutiae of competition, the constant cascading of online trends, the kind of content that can resonate the most with people–and still being able to remain true to your core values.

“It’s really important for brands to focus on what their core offerings were and their core values because that’s what built their fanbase in the first place,” he says.

Existing in the internet—especially as a creator—presupposes that you have an awareness of the tradeoffs. In other words, if you’re an online creator, you know that the benefits of, say, creative liberty become lost amid fierce competition—that is, even if you may have full control over the kind of content you put out, there’s no guarantee that it will be seen by people, that it will stick out from the works of the ten million or so other creators who are all essentially trying to do the same thing, which is to create a vital presence online.

Heussaff is well aware of this. According to him, the best way to deal with competition and be able to build brand awareness online is to focus on what your brand is really about. “Online, you need to really wear your core values on your sleeve, be vulnerable, and a hundred percent transparent.”

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