In a world with millions of smartphones, it seems like everyone is a content creator, and the barrier to creating content has never been lower. A variety of content constantly surrounds us, whether it’s the latest Tik Tok trend, a photo of a night out with friends, or even an Instagram Reel showcasing someone’s daily routine. With this in mind, you may be thinking, “there are so many content creators, how will I be able to grow a following and make a living?”
The answer is quite simple, there are millions of other creators, but only one of you! Never be afraid to put yourself out there; create real-life content that improves your craft and captures the attention of your target audience.
1— Find Your Niche
At the beginning of your creator journey, you may not have narrowed down your area of focus, and that’s okay. It’s essential to choose a subject that you are passionate about and that others will find relatable. There is a common misconception that you need millions of followers to make money and be successful as a digital nomad, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Micro-influencers have found undeniable success because of their ability to reach their core audience, which typically ranges between 10k and 50k followers. This means they can reach a significant percentage of those people compared to those with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. Due to constant algorithm adjustments, it has become more challenging to notify followers of your latest content.
Think of it as being a big fish in a smaller pond; you will likely see more value and return on investment (ROI) than trying to swim in the lake with thousands of fish. If you are an expert on NFTs or drones, really anything, stick with that and focus your efforts there.
2— Equipping Yourself for Success
Choosing your equipment is important, but don’t get caught up in having the fanciest camera you see your favorite creators using; they have worked hard to buy expensive cameras, microphones, studio lights, and computers. The type of content you create also dictates what equipment you will need.
Use your phone to do short-form content like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Youtube Shorts. Many of the most prominent creators of these apps start with their phones. While camera quality on Apple and Android devices has increased immensely, they typically fall short in the audio department. So for long-form content like YouTube, purchasing an external mic can significantly improve the audio to enhance your content without the need for an expensive camera.
The key takeaway is to start simple and focus more on the quality of your content and the storyline instead of your equipment. There is a continued shift from the perfected refined content to more raw content, and nothing says unrefined like picking up your phone and pressing record.
3— Becoming a Master of Content
Have you ever watched the early videos of big content creators? Most of them will be awkward, unorganized, and sometimes just downright humorous. Fast forward to their newest content, and the difference in their delivery and confidence is a night and day.
Watching your favorite content creators and studying their craft is a great strategy to grow your brand. They have spent years perfecting it and creating a repeatable formula that pumps out engaging content that delivers. Take note of how they integrate call-to-actions (CTAs), popups, closeouts, etc.
A successful creator understands the balance between science and the creative. It’s crucial to create content that makes people feel. When people relate to you and your work, there is a good chance that they will return for more.
4— Change Your Mindset
Putting yourself out there on the internet can be tough because people fear what others think of them. The other challenge is trying to compare yourself to other creators. Seeing people traveling to exotic locations, flying on private jets, or driving nice cars is very easy to get caught up in, and think, “am I too boring for this?”
Focus on sharing your life in a way that connects with others. It’s not about the extravagant trips, having the most money, or an insane amount followers. In 2022 it’s about being authentic by sharing your struggles and making others understand your perspective.
So, how can you start creating now? Next time you’re cooking, hiking with friends, or even editing, get your phone out and record. There is no need to overthink it; the only requirement is to have fun with it! People are growing rapidly on Tik Tok for showing their daily routine or even how they make their coffee.
5— Stand Out From Everyone Else
It’s not enough to excel in one area; you must do so in every aspect of your business. Building assets and having the proper systems in place are the best way to achieve this. For example, creating email templates and media kits that convert.
A media kit tells potential clients everything they need to know about your business and how you can help them within a few short pages. They typically include a brief overview, social stats, collaborations, and testimonials.
Join LCA today and get access to my Media Kit here.
The media kit is like an elevator pitch, and this is your time to sell yourself. Use brand testimonials to verify your credibility and showcase the success other brands have experienced working with you. While some use PDFs for this, using a website is more professional, user-friendly, and easier to update in the long run.
6— Having a Monetizeable Skill
Wouldn’t it be great to leave your 9-5 job and jump right into your content creator career? As nice as that sounds, this journey will start as a side-hustle for most. Therefore, you must have a skill that someone will pay you for to maintain financial stability while building your business.
Make a list of your skills that would be worth money to someone. You could be a virtual assistant, sell your photography services, write blogs, or manage social media accounts. As you build on these skills, you can increase your prices. Doing this will take up your most valuable resource, which is time.
7— Diversify Your Revenue Streams
Statistically speaking, the average millionaire has a minimum of seven income streams. That may sound like a daunting task, but you are uniquely positioned to diversify your business income streams through various types of content as a content creator.
Content Creator Revenue Streams:
Building a Monetizable Skill
- A skill you can charge money for like editing, photography, blog writing, etc.
Ad Revenue on Social Media
- Earn money through ads on Instagram, Tik Tok, and Youtube.
- For example, Youtube pays creators a percentage of ad revenue based on the number of views.
- Brand deals allow creators to make money by getting paid to promote a product or service to their audience.
- Pick and choose sponsorships carefully, as they should align with your brand and feel organic to your followers. Don’t be afraid to turn deals down if they don’t feel right.
- Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money, and it’s simple to set up. Epidemic Sound and the Amazon Partner program are great options for content creators to start.
- For example, anytime someone places an order through amazon using your link, you get a percentage of the sale.
- Many affiliate marketing channels bring in over six figures a year by people simply clicking on a link and purchasing products.
- Not all of your content needs to be given away for free. You can create tutorials or mini-courses where people can subscribe to that service.
- Platforms like Patreon offer the ability to easily set up subscription business models.
- Licensing is when you sell rights to your content to a third party. For example, if a movie producer contacts you to buy the rights to your drone video to use in a movie.
- Without getting too in-depth, there are different licensing structures, with some offering limited use to total ownership of the content.
- This can be a more challenging revenue stream as there is a lot of variability in pricing and demand.
8— Build an Email List
Believe it or not, email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for any business. As mentioned earlier, social media algorithms have made reaching even a small percentage of your audience challenging. By creating a solid email list, you can reach your core audience instantly.
Collecting emails is simple, and you can start with the content you have already created. Offer your audience something they would find valuable in exchange for their email address: travel guides, editing tutorials, or previews of upcoming offerings.
Eventually, you may send out weekly or monthly newsletters to share industry news, your latest work, and even promotions if you have any e-commerce products. Email promotions are more calculated and targeted than blasting a link out on social media, allowing accurate, measurable data.
9— Create a Valuable Product
An e-commerce product can change the trajectory of your career. Online products align well with digital nomads already skilled in building digital assets. Listen to your audience, and they will lead you in the direction of product development by letting you know what they need.
You don’t need a large audience either; there was an influencer who had 2,000 followers and sold $60,000 worth of products. It’s all in your ability to listen and formulate a product your followers need. The Lost Creator Academy was built using this exact method, helping people become the best content creators that they can be.
E-products may not be for everyone, but it never hurts to weigh out your options when trying to earn more income as a creator.
10— Follow Social Media Trends
Remember a time before stories, reels, and shorts? These features have been slowly baked into Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and other platforms. Instagram Reels, for example, were created to compete head to head with Tik Tok.
Content creators who posted Reels were rewarded by the algorithm and grew their following significantly quicker than users who were unsure about utilizing the new feature. The same can be said on other platforms that roll out new features. When a new feature is released, jump on it and give it a try. Some creators see an explosion of new followers from 0 to 1,000,000+ within months.
11— Keep Your Expenses Low
While it’s safe to say most people enjoy a good coffee and a nice hotel room, this is where costs can creep up. The drinks, food, and accommodations will not add value to you. The best method of reducing your spending is to determine what is valuable and what you can live without while scaling your business. The money you save can be used to invest in assets that increase productivity and revenue.
Trading your services in exchange for another service can also be lucrative when you’re starting out. For example, find a hotel that is willing to give you a room, and in return, they get featured in your latest video. Show them your media kit if you think it will add credibility and help your case for getting a free room. Applying this method can also work for airline tickets, restaurants, etc.
12— Understand the Value of Time
When growing your online presence, you will wear many hats. For a content creator, there are never enough hours in the day. Your time is a valuable asset and needs to be used efficiently. Ask yourself, “what can I pass on to someone else to free up my time for more pressing tasks?”
It’s also worth noting things you are good at and the things you’re not so good at. What areas of the business do you need help with? The most well-rounded teams have people with skill sets that you do not possess yourself. It’s okay and completely normal not to be good at everything. Content creators who understand this will be able to get the most ROI with their time.
13— Learn How to Delegate
The ability to delegate work amongst a team goes hand in hand with valuing your time. Managing a team can be difficult if there is no structure. Understanding the skills of each member can help determine who reports to you.
Imagine you have a team of twenty, and they all report to you. Spending a good portion of your day answering questions and solving problems will reduce the time required for working on higher valued parts of the business. The key takeaway is to focus on your systems and procedures to streamline and scale.
14— Worst and Best Case Scenarios
You are probably considering making a living as a content creator if you’ve read this far. So, what’s stopping you from pushing ahead? List out the best and worst scenarios of becoming a successful content creator. On the right side, write down all the great things that could happen. Now, on the left side, write down the worst-case scenarios.
Look at the list of pros and ask yourself, “are there enough cons to not pursue this dream?”
15— Ignore the Noise
There will never be a perfect time to start. People will always have an opinion about your choices. The good news is your opinion is the only one that matters. It’s up to you to build the future you want for yourself. Get out there and crush it!
Ready to Make Money as a Content Creator?
I hope that you found this guide helpful in learning how to make money as a content creator. If you’re ready to take your career to new heights, join the free 1-hour online creator training to see what the Lost Creator Academy is all about. Watch the free training video to learn the ten steps to go from beginner to pro and the five steps to escape the 9-5.
Let’s get lost in the next one!
This guide links some of my favorite products and services to use as a content creator. I have partnered with these companies and earn a small fee from each purchase at no additional cost to you.