Developing Your Online Persona

In order to stand out in a growing online community and attract followers to your profile on social media such as Instagram, you must do something different from the others while also doing what others are doing. This may seem confusing at first, but it means being unique while using the same methods that the popular social media influencers are doing to interact and grow their following. Look for others for inspiration in the same community that you’re trying to reach.

I’ve personally taken this approach and made 2 separate Instagram accounts, one personal and one for my cosplay page. This allows those that wish to see me as myself to follow me and not get bombarded with content they don’t really care about or find uninteresting or even repulsive. I noticed that quite a few cosplayers I’ve met in the community have done so, as it makes it feel more like a “cosplay community”, where one can retreat to whenever they want to see what others are up to, or sharing.

Another thing to keep in mind is what types of posts are shared in whatever community you’re trying to reach. For myself, this involves lots of “WIP” posts shared in Stories or on your page in a “multiple image” post. Of course, it also means sharing photos of your costume and other group photos with fellow cosplayers. It’s a way to connect with your followers, so they can see what you’re wearing and meet you in person to snap a pic and share it.

Speaking of sharing photos, one thing that’s important to note is: Always give photo credits! Even if you don’t know the name of the photographer, simply tagging them, or offering a description that states that the photo was not yours shows transparency and also gives recognition to the one that took the time to take the photo for you.

@keepinitrielle and @palemoonlightcosplays

Another thing that helps is to get professional photos or graphic designers to help you sell yourself or your brand. They can make your page look a lot more appealing with their skills and tools at their disposal. It also helps to work on your own skills for whatever it is that you’re trying to share with your community of followers, whether that be cosplay skills or your business skills, or even just improving the quality of your personal posts. I’ve noticed people I follow on my personal page that have grown their pages by following other fitness or inspirational speakers and using some inspiration from what they’re doing in their own posts.

For me, this has meant improving my costume and makeup skills. I now probably know more about makeup than most heterosexual males my age. I’ve had to watch tutorials on Youtube, ask female friends of mine for tips, and practice, practice, practice. I’ve also worked on crafting a bit, with making a bang gun and painting my cane to make it look and feel more professional, and constantly upgrading/adding to the costume.

@kierstmacdonaldphoto

There also seems to be a few different types of cosplayers within the community. Something that probably translates to different communities as well, depending on levels of commitment by those influencers. There’s the casual cosplays, the artisan cosplayers, one-hit wonders, store-bought cosplays, and closet cosplays.

Casual cosplays are those that cosplay for fun, but don’t buy their costumes or compete in “Masquerades”. Artisan cosplayers are the opposite side of the spectrum. They constantly are working on different cosplays from scratch, crafting them from base materials and competing in “Masquerades”, which are essentially craftsmanship competitions with a level of showmanship involved. I would classify myself right now as a one-hit wonder. Those that only do one cosplay, but do it very well. Store-bought cosplays would then be those that buy their costumes from stores, whether this be Halloween stores or online stores, specializing in specific costumes. Closet cosplays are essentially what they sound like: costumes made from things around the house or clothing already owned.

It’s important to know where you stand in your community of followers, and to learn from those in your community in order to grow. To quote a popular influencer:

“Started from the bottom, now we’re here”

Drake

It’s impossible to grow your social media presence without learning skills used by others in the market you’re trying to target. It’s also easy to become lost in the sea of others trying to stand out if you don’t remember to be yourself. But first, you must consider “What is the ‘me’ I want to be?” and “Is it genuine, or fake?” because people won’t be attracted to your message if they feel you’re insincere.

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? #letsputonahappyface #joker

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