The Creator Economy and How to Break Into It

21.07.2022 @ 8:28 pm

Everyone’s talking about the Creator Economy phenomenon. But what exactly is it, and why should you care?

Although the creator economy is a concept that dates back to 1997, it was only in the 2000s, when platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter were launched, that this class of work was popularised, giving creators the chance to be discovered and build a community of followers. But in the last decade or so, the creator economy has gone on to wield considerable influence over just about every aspect of our lives – from how we produce and consume culture to how we live and work.

The creator economy defined

While many may think of creators as the influencers we see selling their lifestyle, products, and tutorials; beyond that surface is an entire ecosystem made up of creators (independent writers, artists, social media influencers, videographers, gamers, podcasters, and more), the platforms they’re native to, brands collaborating with them, and the (multiple) solutions they’re optimising to turn creation into careers.

Around 50 million people (mainly Gen Z and Millennials) now consider themselves creators, nurturing a creator economy valued at more than $100 billion. It’s worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic fuelled the surge in these numbers. The global lockdown saw people turning to online content for connection and entertainment. For creators, it presented an opportunity to monetise their passions and creativity and cement their place in this flourishing industry.

Shifting definitions of work

It’s well known that the future economy is being shaped by the career aspirations of Gen Z, who are bringing a new perspective to ideas of wealth, well-being, and the workforce. Where traditional employment is often stressful and increasingly undesirable to them, the creator economy provides a welcomed alternative – the flexibility to live and work anywhere in the world with complete control of their daily lives. And with advances in consumer tech, the world’s adoption of remote working, and the democratising nature of the Internet, those ambitions are totally achievable. It’s a resurgence of self-employment, entrepreneurship, and work-life balance (and creativity).

Getting started in the creator economy

To be successful, creators need to leverage a combination of skills – from strategy and storytelling to business and community management. This may seem daunting to an aspiring creator, especially where new tech is concerned, but what’s crucial to remember is that starting small (many launched their creator careers as side-hustles alongside their 9 – 5s) has its advantages. It allows you to experiment and improve before too many eyeballs are on your content. It’s also a great way to hone those skills we mentioned above.

To help you get started on your creator journey, here are some critical steps:

● Find your niche: Determining what you’re an expert in, which topics related to your expertise can be covered, who’s interested in those topics, and how to best deliver them, is a great way to avoid producing generalised content that no one wants.
● Identify your primary platform: Decide on the primary platform you’ll use to share your expertise. This can be a website, blog, social media, or even a video-based platform like YouTube. But remember, being active on platforms other than your primary is essential in promoting your brand and content and staying top-of-mind.
● Engage your audience: Responding to comments and queries is helpful in interacting with your community and getting the feedback you need to rectify any mistakes and improve the quality of your content. This, in turn, will increase your following and, eventually, revenue. Leveraging features like live streams and giveaways is also a great way to build community and bump up your returns.