Create Substance, Not Content

The best way to market yourself is to create things of substance:

Beyond Content Marketing

In the past, the notion of “content marketing” was in vogue. The basic idea is this:

The best way to market yourself is to produce great content (information and knowledge) in order to have the content be shared, in order for people to discover who you are.

Technically this is how I succeeded, by producing 4,000+ blog posts, thousands of YouTube videos — I have become a famous photographer, through the content I have created.

Why I hate the notion of “content”

However, I hate the word and notion of “content”. Why? It is degrading to the artist who produces their works of art.

The word “content” is a catch-all phrase, which means that anything created is just “content”— from videos, films, photos, writing, poetry. And when we call people “content producers”, it sounds synonymous to “chicken McNugget factory”.

I desire a shift. I propose us to rebrand the notion of “content” into “substance”.

Why “substance”?

The notion of substance evokes the idea of “substantive”— with weight, worth, and value. Physical matter.

The Latin word for substance is ‘substantia‘– which means essence, material, and property. Furthermore, the word is derived from ‘substo’ (to exist).

Why create things with substance?

When you are creating things of ‘substance’, you are doing the following:

  1. Showing your own personal essence: Creating things which are authentic and a reflection of who YOU are.
  2. Creating physical (or metaphysical) things such as ideas and knowledge which have power, and can impact and influence others.
  3. You create things which will withstand the ruthless jaws of time: By seeking to make epic, strong, and substantial works– you can make things that last (hopefully more lasting than bronze, in the words of Horace).

Do it for yourself.

Furthermore, when you create things that you consider substantial, I think you gain more personal satisfaction and joy from the work!

Also when you are trying to create substantive things, it is more difficult and challenging. And the more difficult and challenging things you attempt, the more fun you will have! And the more fun you have, the more you will continue to produce and create. This is a positive feedback loop of motivation, inspiration, and productivity.

What is my ideal of substance marketing?

With substance marketing, this is what we are trying to do:

  1. Create things of substance, which will prove your knowledge, worth, and legitimacy. Create substantive photos, substantive videos, and substantive sources of knowledge, to promote yourself and you’re worth.
  2. Show others that you aren’t a hollow or shallow person. To show others that you have depth, substance, and that you carry weight, and have ideas with weight, power, and influence.

Remain prolific.

The notion of ‘quality’ is all subjective, and whenever someone calls something ‘high quality’ or ‘low quality’ — there is a hidden moralistic judgement somewhere.

How people criticize me.

For example, if someone says ERIC KIM produces lots of ‘low quality content’ information, what they are trying to say is:

ERIC KIM writes and publishes a lot, a lot more than I do. The only way he does this is by “cheating” and “cutting corners”. I do not cut corners. But how does he do it?

I think the adversary of me would then think:

Generally speaking, when someone puts out a lot of information or produces much, it must be ‘low quality’.

But this rationale doesn’t really make sense, as Apple puts out millions of iPhones at a high scale, yet they are all high-quality.

So essentially what I mean to say is this:

Disregard others’ judgements of you, your work. Whenever anyone criticizes or hates on you, it is because they are envious, jealous, or trying to be a ‘justice warrior’ by discrediting you, because they perceive that you are ‘cheating’.


red diptych tattoo

Moving forward, I will make the conscious choice of no longer calling what I create as ‘content’. I encourage you to do the same. To call our artwork ‘content’ is degrading and demeaning.

Instead, let us refer to our artwork as “substance”.

Make on.