Ask Me Anything with Ginny Di


2020-10-23T07:00:00Z

About Ginny Di:

Ginny Di is a Denver-based professional cosplayer, YouTuber, and singer whose repertoire includes professionally finished costumes, comedy sketches, and music videos. She made a name for herself creating catchy pop music parodies themed around Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and more.

Ginny runs her own business creating detailed costumes and writing, producing, and starring in music videos and sketches about fandom and tabletop roleplaying games. She has been a Patreon creator since January 2016 and has 800 patrons, along with 159k Youtube subscribers, 97k Instagram followers, and 65k Twitter followers.

Ask Ginny anything about her favorite cosplays, how she manages such a large community, what advice she has for new Patreon creators, ect. in the thread below and she’ll reply to you on Friday, 10/23!

4 Likes

That sounds awesome. Can you give us some tips to develop my YouTube channel. I’m basically a podcaster. I do have YouTube channel too. It will be good if you give me some tips.

My channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW2cXVWGrrz-jjYKK_9xuSQ

My podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/0vW34kiAYgZi0eCO9B4k0L

Thanks Ginny di.

2 Likes

this is really cool! ginny, 2 questions for you
1 how often do post on social? do you have a schedule and a regular posting cadence? or just post when you feel like it?
2 do you have tips to grow your audience to that scale? I think I have pretty good engagement but I struggle with gaining followers

thanks ginny!

2 Likes

Hi Ginny, I have way more followers on Insta (115k) then on Youtube (32k). Do you have any tips for growing a following on other platforms? and do you use different styles of engagement for different types of social media. Thanks.

2 Likes

Ginny! I have a mish-mash of questions for you,

  • Do you ever get recognized out on the street?
  • Assuming the cons you had lined up this year have all been/are cancelled (:sob:), do you have any virtual appearances lined up?
  • Any cosplay outfits being made right now you can give us a clue or a sneak peak of?
  • What do you do with the outfits when you’re done with them?

Hi Ginny! Any tips on making connections with your fans/followers? What are things you do to create that bond? :slight_smile:

1 Like

@sundaresvar_P

That sounds awesome. Can you give us some tips to develop my YouTube channel. I’m basically a podcaster. I do have YouTube channel too. It will be good if you give me some tips.

My channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW2cXVWGrrz-jjYKK_9xuSQ

My podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/0vW34kiAYgZi0eCO9B4k0L

Thanks Ginny di.

Hey there! I have to admit, I’m not quite sure what to make of your YouTube channel — and I’m sure your viewers/listeners are feeling the same thing! Your podcast is motivational/inspirational, but your YouTube channel is dominated by Selena Gomez edits. One of the most important things on YouTube is drilling down into a focused topic, so you can target exactly the audience who wants your content. Right now, based on viewcounts, it looks like most of your viewers are on your channel for your celebrity edits, not for your podcast. I would recommend you have a separate channel for your podcast where you can really focus on your motivational topics!

@rc.castman

this is really cool! ginny, 2 questions for you
1 how often do post on social? do you have a schedule and a regular posting cadence? or just post when you feel like it?
2 do you have tips to grow your audience to that scale? I think I have pretty good engagement but I struggle with gaining followers

thanks ginny!

I have a different posting schedule for each platform! I usually post around 2-4 times a week on Instagram, once a week on YouTube, and multiple times a day on Twitter. Each platform has its own demands, both in terms of how difficult it is to post (making a video takes magnitudes longer than making a tweet, of course) and in terms of how the algorithm treats content.

For example, most tweets have a life of anywhere from minutes to hours. On a platform like that, it’s much more important to post frequently, and, if you’re trying to send a specific message, even repetitively. Whereas on a platform like YouTube, videos can have a life of years, so it’s more important to take the time to get everything right and produce a really good quality finished product. (There are some YouTubers who are massively successful posting one YouTube video a year!)

That said, I never prioritize a schedule over the quality of the content. I’d rather not post at all than post something that doesn’t reflect well on my work.

As far as growing an audience, I know this is deceptively oversimplified, but I try to think of it as a two-part process: Reaching people, and convincing those people to stick around. There are a million different ways to achieve each of those steps. “Reaching people” could mean hashtag strategy, it could mean buying ads, it could mean going viral, it could mean collaborating, etc. “Convincing those people to stick around” could mean having a great CTA (call to action), it could mean offering them something, it could even just mean having really good quality work. Everyone’s work will call for a different combination of tactics to achieve those two “simple” steps.

For me, I usually reach people on social media. My work exists in fandoms, so people who already like the thing I’m inspired by (a certain movie or show, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.) often do the legwork of spreading my work for me via shares, RTs, stuff like that. Sometimes growing my audience is as simple as getting my photos or videos in front of the people who like that kind of thing. On Patreon, I’ve had a ton of luck converting followers into Patrons with Special Offers, which are often the last little push that help a follower become a subscriber.

Unfortunately “how to grow your audience” is a HUGE question that we could talk about for days, and it depends a lot on your industry/genre! But if you have any more specific follow-up questions, feel free to hit me with 'em.

2 Likes

This is such a common experience for creators, especially with a platform like YouTube that just feels so divorced from other social media! For whatever reason, it’s VERY hard to bring traffic to YouTube from other platforms. It’s crucial to treat each platform separately, because each one demands different tactics and rewards different choices. While it’s certainly possible to highlight the same content across multiple platforms, I try to highlight them in different ways.

For example, I recently posted a YouTube video where I spend two days making a themed dress. This kind of content (long form, narrative, targeted to my audience, posted on a recurring weekly schedule, featuring an eye-catching costume) performs really well for me on YouTube. However, Instagram only allows for short video clips, and my audience in particular doesn’t respond well to work-in-progress or sewing and crafting posts there. So when I shared this costume to Instagram, I posted mostly still photos of the finished look, and at one point just the “highlight reel” video clip of the finished costume, pulled right from the YouTube video. On Twitter, which responds better to informal posts that feel less scripted, I posted… you know. Memes.

It takes some time and practice to figure out how your audience differs from platform to platform, and I also think it’s important to remember that targeting your work to different platforms doesn’t have to mean changing your work! It mostly just means changing how you present your work, so you can maximize your potential on each platform.

@reyna

Ginny! I have a mish-mash of questions for you,

  • Do you ever get recognized out on the street?
  • Assuming the cons you had lined up this year have all been/are cancelled (:sob:), do you have any virtual appearances lined up?
  • Any cosplay outfits being made right now you can give us a clue or a sneak peak of?
  • What do you do with the outfits when you’re done with them?

It’s very rare for me to get “recognized” in regular situations, like the grocery store or something, although it has happened a handful of times! :sweat_smile: I like to borrow Felicia Day’s phrase for herself: “Situationally recognizable.” In certain situations (for example, comic cons, or in tabletop gaming stores) I am extremely recognizable, but most of the time I am just an awkward girl with blue hair trying not to make eye contact with strangers while I buy bagels.

I managed to make it to ONE con this year before COVID-19 hit! I had… I think five or six other events lined up that were all cancelled. I’ve done a few online appearances, and I have one more coming up the first weekend of November (an anime convention normally held in Oregon, Kumoricon!)

Right now, I’m finishing up my 2021 calendar (every year I make a pin-up calendar, just a cute little vintage-y feeling collection of styled cosplay photos — here’s my Harry Potter calendar from 2018!), so I’ve been whipping out new costumes at a rate of two or three a week! (Nothing too complicated — mostly just a circle skirt, a few pieces from my closet, and one or two new garments or props.) The 2021 theme is tabletop games/D&D, so I’m doing a bunch of looks based on classic tabletop races and classes, like orcs and elves and barbarians and druids. As soon as I’m done answering these questions, I’m going to go finish decorating a big floppy wizard hat and then shoot the September photo!

I’ve created over a hundred costumes since I started cosplaying in 2011, and while I DO have a lot of costumes in my closet… I can’t possibly hang onto them all! I’ve sold a few, given a few away to friends, and honestly… a lot have ended up in the trash, especially my early work that wasn’t really worth of being passed on to someone else. These days, I make a lot fewer costumes and use them a lot more. In the past I would make a costume, shoot it once or twice, and then move on. Now I’m more likely to make a costume that I know can be used repeatedly.

@OdeChan

Hi Ginny! Any tips on making connections with your fans/followers? What are things you do to create that bond? :slight_smile:

This is such a great question, because I think those relationships are SO key not just to running a Patreon, but to building an audience that will stick with you over time.

On my public social platforms, I think two of the most straightforward ways to build relationships are 1) be vulnerable, and 2) engage. Regardless of the pressure we all put on ourselves to look “perfect” online, I’ve found that followers respond really strongly to vulnerability, because they can relate to it. When I’m having a rough week, I’ll say so in my posts. Even as my posts are pretty polished, I use other areas of social media to be more myself, like Instagram stories and Twitter, where I can post passing thoughts, pictures of my cats, selfies without makeup, etc. I think a lot of people think they need to be perfect and put-together on social media in order to succeed, and while professionalism can be important (depending on your field), I find that when it comes to art, people WANT their creators to be human. When they feel like they understand you more as a person, they become more connected to you personally, instead of just being a consumer of your work. It makes people kinder, more supportive, and they tend to stick around longer.

Which brings me back to that “engage” step. As much as it’s important that they see you as a human, it’s also important that THEY feel seen by you. A relationship is a two-way-street, and a creator/follower relationship is no different on that front. This can be as small as liking/responding to comments, or as big as doing livestreams or hanging out and chatting with your followers on Discord. I try not to overextend myself being infinitely available for followers (and setting boundaries is SO important in all of this), but when I DO go above and beyond to make a follower feel seen, it often ends up creating a die-hard fan.

For example, someone reached out to me nearly two years ago to ask if they could pay me to film a little shoutout video to their friend in costume. I don’t normally offer that kind of thing, but I was already planning on getting into that costume for an upcoming video, so I just filmed a quick little video for them for free. Now both the requester and the friend they requested the video for are long-time Patrons, vocal supporters, and both are moderators on my Discord. A relatively small choice like that one can deeply impact how someone feels about you and your work!

3 Likes

i’ve never thought about it like this but that makes so much sense!

did/do you do “outreach” to boost your engagement? something like like/follow/comment on other cosplayers content? I feel like my engagement always goes up when I engage with other pages, idk if that’s the algorithm or just wishful thinking.

‘how to grow your audience’ could be a whole college degree but thank you for sharing your experience :]

2 Likes

did/do you do “outreach” to boost your engagement? something like like/follow/comment on other cosplayers content? I feel like my engagement always goes up when I engage with other pages, idk if that’s the algorithm or just wishful thinking.

I definitely think it’s a good idea to engage with your community, for lots of reasons!! Partially because (as you mention) it boosts organic engagement, because not only are those people seeing it and interacting back with you, but their followers may also see it and start to recognize your name as a name that pops up in your community. But also because I think forging genuine connections in your field is just universally a good thing. Those people could become supporters, collaborators, advisors, contacts, and friends.

I don’t necessarily go out of my way to do “outreach” anymore these days, but the network I’ve built up by actively engaging with my community is infinitely valuable, both as a business tool and just personally, emotionally!

This might be the weirdest question however i need assistance. When I share my patreon link it shows a picture of a old thumbnail i used to use. I want to change it but I dont see anywhere to change it but i want it gone. How do I change it.

you forgot the link.