A content creator is any person that makes, generates, and publishes digital content. Anyone on most social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram is theoretically a creator. Professional content creators, however, take this work a notch higher by using their platforms to build an audience and generate revenue from the content.
Content creation is becoming an integral segment of the success of marketing campaigns. Brands are now dedicating most of their marketing budget to creators and influencers. Now more than ever, creators should appreciate that their platforms are a driving force in the economy and take charge of the opportunity.
Creators are small business entrepreneurs in an enterprise slowly taking over marketing trends.
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Why Creators Are Small Business Entrepreneurs
Let’s start by understanding a business. A business is any economic activity that involves exchanging, selling, producing, or purchasing goods and services to satisfy customers and earn profits. Professional content curators conduct the economic activity of advertising products and services to the consumers (their audience) intending to earn from the brand they are advertising.
Content creators also sell their art of content creation as a service to brands and earn a percentage of profits made through sales they motivated.
Ideally, professional content creation is entrepreneurship. By de-legitimizing entrepreneurship through other terms, you risk sending the same message to yourself and others. You risk your craft being taken less seriously.
You need to act and think like a business owner even when you have a different full-time job. Doing so will require more than just referring to yourself as a content entrepreneur and labeling your creation as a business. It will require you to take up a business owner’s hat and all that comes with it.
Why You Should Treat Your Platform As A Business And Invest In A Management Platform
Many content creators stagnate or have their platforms fail altogether due to seeing their work as a hobby. Many also fail because they assume they can do it all alone, which impairs the quality of your content.
When you see your platform as a business, you realize you need management tools outside the platforms to help you grow, monitor and monetize your work.
To make this perception change, check if your content creation platforms have the following and invest in management avenues that will help you build what you don’t have and complement what you already have.
- A niche and clear vision
- An engaged community
- SMART goals
- Multiple streams of revenue
- Efficient systems and workflow
- A consistent content calendar
- A safety net for your expenses
1. A Niche And Clear Vision
Do you already have a clear vision for the future of your content creation, and do you have a specific niche? Having these two outlined helps you attract a suitable body of followers which will help you grow an engaging community.
If you do not already, find out why you are doing the creation. Your vision will always give you somewhere to come back to whenever you face a mental block or need to re-strategize.
2. SMART Goals For Content Creation
Smart goals refer to the following:
Before you even begin drafting blog posts, taking pictures, and filming videos, do you have smart goals? Such goals help you forecast your future and what you want to achieve at a certain time. The goals also help you make an informed decision on your content strategy.
A management platform will help direct you through laying out your content creation goals. It will also highlight the timelines and monitor how close you are to achieving the goals as you progress.
3. You Have An Engaged Audience And A Community
This factor is regardless of size. Many creators assume they require millions of followers to identify as full-time content creators. Ideally, what matters most is whether you have built an engaged community. Does your community click on links and support your content outside your primary platform, such as courses or blogs you run?
If so, you are sitting on an enterprise that deserves to be acknowledged as a business. A management tool monitors your engagement and highlights the places you need to focus on to grow your online community.
If you are not there yet, try the following:
- Show up and interact more with your community through content and live streams
- Create entertaining or educational content
- .Respond to your DMs and comments; these will inform you when creating a content strategy
4. Set Up Efficient Systems For Your Workflow
Workflow is another reason creators are small business entrepreneurs. Without setting up efficient workflow systems, you can’t achieve your deliverables like a business. If you’re not doing this, then it’s more reason to treat your platform like it is a business.
Streamline your content, and avoid jumping into content creation randomly. Go beyond creation and setting up systems for finances. You need a separate bank account for your content creation to track how much you are earning. Speak to an accountant, consult on taxes, and how much can be claimed for expenses.
Setting up these systems and workflow is much easier when you have a management tool. Most successful content creators use management tools to help them streamline their workflow: weekly goals, campaigns, and best times to post.
5. Have Various Streams Of Income
Creators are small business entrepreneurs. Small businesses require time to grow their profitability. When you treat your platform like a business, you will respect its earnings and even re-invest. The best way to do this is to have different streams of income.
That said, creating multiple income streams from your content is possible. All you need is to learn how to monetize your work. The following are some ways you can increase your streams of income within your creation business:
- Brand partnerships, which are often the primary source of income
- Affiliate sales
- Consultancy of freelance content creation
- Initiate courses and workshops
6. An Organized And Consistent Calendar
When you acknowledge that your platform is a business, you will appreciate the need for an organized content calendar. If you are already doing this, you are treating your platform like a small business and haven’t put a name to it.
When you create and stick to your content calendar, you experience steady growth. You can tell your story and effectively promote your launches and campaigns. When you treat your platform like an enterprise, you will notice that a lot more strategy is needed when creating a content calendar – this is why you should utilize creator tools to offer you a directory. A good management tool will help you:
- Schedule posts on the go
- Plan content from a central place
- Analyze the performance of your content
- Drive your clicks
- Some tools will even let you see how your Instagram grid will appear.
7. You Have Design, Editing, And, Or, Writing Skills
Content creation is primarily digital. The ability to design, write or edit content is an increasingly valuable skill in content creation. Whether for long content like YouTube videos, podcasts, and newsletters or shorter content like TikTok videos and Instagram.
You may only possess some of these skills. By now, we have established that creators are small business entrepreneurs. Businesses train regularly to upgrade their skill set, take a course or two and learn how to do these things. Alternatively, budget and outsource a great designer or editor when needed.
You will also benefit from a management tool. Many have pre-designed templates that can make your graphics appear much more professional.
8. A Safety Net For Your Living Expenses
You can’t live hand to mouth on your small business. Treating your platform as a business may require you to leave your current job before making this move. You must have a safety net for your expenses.
Before committing to your platform full-time, ensure that you have saved up at least six months’ worth of your living expenses. That way, profits go on your platform, and you only partially depend on it for your day-to-day.
Having a safety net also allows you to save what your business makes and re-invest. Depending on your platform as a primary source of income while it’s still small could easily affect the quality of your content. Financial pressure may lead you to create content purely for the paycheck. Such behavior risks losing your authenticity, which is how you got your platform in the first place.
Turn Your Small Business Into An Empire
Forgive yourself for the times you de-legitimize your hard work. Building your business plan, model, mission, and actualization will help you eliminate the ‘side gig’ and other terms from your vocabulary. You will also feel a lot more confident in the time you invest in your work when you know you are on an entrepreneurial path. You might even turn your content business into your ‘real’ job.
While you may desire to see and do a business out of your content creation, remember that this will take time. Becoming a fully-fledged enterprise will require much more work than a single viral post. It takes order, planning, and consistency. You are in the right direction with a solid vision, business plan, and engaged community in place. Remember, opportunity favors the prepared; that viral moment should find you ready.