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If you’re passionate about a particular subject where you have niche knowledge, you’re undoubtedly interested in dipping your toes into the creator economy trend. The thought of garnering millions of views may seem daunting — and it is — but the truth is that you don’t need those kinds of numbers to find success.
Even if you don’t have a large audience, you can build a strong platform that will allow you to start monetizing your content almost immediately to achieve financial independence. Here’s how.
Develop a unique voice
The first step to finding success as a creator is to find your own voice. Regardless of the niche you intend to focus on, there will be hundreds (if not thousands) of other entrepreneurs covering the same topic. Quality information is a good start, but what will ultimately set you apart is what you’re trying to say.
A prime example of this is Jon Youshaei, who was recently named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in the Creator Economy. Youshaei leveraged his knowledge from roles at YouTube and Instagram to become a creator and an advisor for TubeBuddy. In the LinkedIn announcement, he preached “The 3% Rule”.
The late Virgil Abloh maintained that creating something new requires just making a 3% change to something old and the same applies to content.
To develop a voice that followers will latch onto, use personal stories and experiences. Share your genuine opinion, don’t be afraid to write like you speak (even if it is more informal), and look at the content produced by other influencers to identify what you like or don’t like about their voice. Most importantly, be yourself, and you’ll attract other like-minded people who are interested in what you have to say.
Be aware of related news and trends
Take some time each day to check in on current topics in your niche and go beyond news headlines. Take a look at what’s trending on social media, particularly the topics other creators in your niche are talking about.
Then, find ways to make this relevant to your own audience.
As Maggie Butler wrote for HubSpot: “The people consuming your content aren’t interested in just hearing you talk. They come looking to satisfy specific needs. Whether those needs are to solve a problem to simply increase their confidence in your industry, it’s your job to put your market observations into terms they can understand and find lessons in.”
Actively seek out brand sponsorships
Brands want to work with creators who have strong relevance in their high engagement rates — regardless of their total audience size. They understand the power of creators, so reaching out about sponsorship or affiliate marketing opportunities can be a great way for entrepreneurs to start earning money.
Smaller companies also rely on creators to improve awareness and grow their own audiences. Make yourself visible to brands that are relevant to your niche so you can secure collaboration gigs, and you’ll be well on your way toward monetizing content.
Instagram’s Creator Marketplace is a quick way to get started in branded content. Check out their guidelines and remember this strong piece of advice: “Followers can tell right away when a partnership is out of character for you. So stay true to your style and only partner with brands that really speak to you.”
Establish a consistent content schedule
Shopify suggests that content creators should post 7-14 a week (providing the content is genuinely interesting) to grow their accounts.
To help you do this, establishing a schedule for posting new items is an absolute must. You could write two blogs for your website each week and then re-purpose information from the blogs for your social media posts. Supplement that with items related to industry trends or events and you can quickly meet this suggested number.
Planning a long-term content calendar will also help you determine what to talk about and start developing ideas for your content so you can keep posting at the rate your audience expects.
Build multiple revenue streams
Video creators can place ads before or during their videos to earn extra revenue. Some creators launch membership programs that provide access to exclusive content for a monthly subscription fee. Others even make their own branded products that they sell through their website.
Creators should evaluate the needs of their target audience when determining which additional revenue streams will best fit their needs. For example, while it may make sense for a yoga content creator to sell exercise clothing, this probably wouldn’t be as good a fit for someone who shares cooking tips.
Succeeding in the creator economy is possible
The sheer number of creators and influencers can seem overwhelming. Earthweb found that roughly 48 percent of Instagram users have over 1,000 followers — giving them the potential to qualify as influencers. In addition, 30 percent of the top 1000 channels on YouTube belong to influencers.
However, many people who have the potential to become influencers don’t leverage it into a viable career path. By understanding how to set yourself apart as a content creator and actively seeking out monetization options, you can find immediate success in this new economy.