Winning on Instagram: How to hit 10K followers as a badminton creator

Winning on Instagram: How to hit 10K followers as a badminton creator
Instagram: @safinbadminton

I'm writing this with a feeling of disbelief, as I could've easily been the one looking for this kind of post a few years back. As you might have assumed, there certainly wasn't anything to find, even the subject seems far-fetched. After several fun days of planning, producing, and editing, I one day woke up with a number of 10,000. Although this looks like just a number, you can view it in a more fun way, like that it's four times the capacity of Sydney Opera House. I had some reluctance to write something like this, like who am I, 20-year-old badminton player to give my opinions. But after 1,5 years of posting, and reaching millions of viewers, I'm confident in giving my two cents. So here it is, five tips to step up your content strategy as a badminton creator in 2023!

  1. Finding your style and sticking to it

In the beginning, I felt a high desire to simply copy other creators, as I thought they had come up with the secret recipe to success. After experimenting with videos for some time, I realized I also have my own "touch" on my posts. We all have different experiences, styles, and preferences when it comes to posting, and that's what makes us unique. Let's imagine some of your favorite Youtubers. You aren't following them because of what they do, but because of how they do it. Showing your personality is everything, and even though it's still not that easy for me, it's much easier than at the beginning. Always remember, that you are not the only one interested in what you want to share with the world - there will always be other people who are just as interested, if not more, in what you are saying.

  1. Overcoming "the curse of knowledge"

We humans tend to have difficulties putting ourselves in other people's positions. Oftentimes, we avoid sharing ideas and views with others, just because we think "Oh well, everyone else already knows this stuff". This cognitive bias further limits our willingness to share anything, and it's particularly harmful to us aspiring creators. We are all unique individuals, which means we all have something to teach others. I still find it sometimes hard to post some trick shots, as they look boring to me. But this is due to the fact, that they might be rather easy for me and other "more experienced" players. That's when I remind myself of the globality of badminton. Even if I may find some things as "boring", there are still millions of potential viewers. Badminton is still the 2nd most-played sport worldwide with 220 million active players, which is a huge opportunity to keep producing even more entertaining content.

  1. Finding your niche - wrong advice at the beginning

I can't remember how many times I've heard this saying "Find your niche". For me, this was a difficult concept to apply especially at the beginning, so let me explain. When you are just starting, the only thing you should focus on is to keep experimenting with different kinds of ideas. There is no certain niche that will work for everyone. I have come across a handful of successful badminton influencers on the platform, and often their content slightly differs from each other. You could reach 10K followers with trick shots, vlog-style content, tutorials, sketches, and daily vlogs - there are many ways. But the best way to find YOUR way is through trial and error. I also made several small "mistakes" when trying some ideas, but these are inevitable, and they only make you more experienced in the long run. When you have found out what works and what doesn't, it's time to double down on the things that work, but even when you have reached a high number of followers, trying something different can sometimes open even new doors.

  1. Creating a sense of community

In the end, a creator is nothing without his followers (I like to call them friends:). For me, it's important to remember, that a real human is being behind the screen, and that's why I most of the time try to answer the messages and comments. Creating a so-called family on social media is not easy, and it's still something I haven't put much effort into. At its best, having a vibrant online community will open up several networking opportunities, as well as make you meaningful friendships, and just general support to help you go through the tough times.

  1. Keeping it fun & forgetting the numbers:)

If a creator reaches millions of people, posting might start feeling like a job. But if your ultimate goal was to reach 10K followers, and you happen to succeed, even this might drain you out. There may be signs of emptiness and uncertainty about what's coming. That's why your motivation should preferably be intrinsic (posting/editing/networking itself brings you joy) rather than extrinsic (you are posting because of money, fame, and number of followers). Having purely intrinsic motives may be imaginary, but it should still be the foundation of why you are doing it in the first place.

-Safin Emran