The days when entrepreneurship was inextricably linked to a product or service are long gone. Instead, content creation has become a new central part of entrepreneurship. Most easily seen through influencers who post content to blogs and social media accounts, the idea of consistently posting content may seem foreign to traditional entrepreneurs.
But in reality, these entrepreneurs of the future are marketing the biggest commodity available to them: themselves.
When done right, content creation can be a truly lucrative career move — even if it looks different from the traditional entrepreneurial experience.
Content creation and entrepreneurship
As prolific content creator Sergey Faldin writes, “Content creators make a living creating content. Engagement is their main KPI. Their product is their media platform (e.g., a blog), and they seek to serve their target audience. When you’re a content creator, you are an entrepreneur in the sense that you work for yourself, and create something out of nothing.”
“There are also now many entrepreneurs who are content creators as well. These two professions go great together, as one feeds the other. If you have an engaged audience, you can transform some of that into customers, and vice versa. But content creators are first and foremost, communicators. Their job is creating content for a living.”
So, while the “product” may fall outside the norm of what people expect from entrepreneurship, the basic premise is the same. Content creators are producing something targeted toward a specific target audience. They must find a unique differentiating factor — in this case, their core message, expressed through the prism of their personal brands.
Encompassing their knowledge and perspectives on the subject they are most passionate about is what helps them appeal to new audiences — and in large numbers.
The insatiable demand for content
Today’s consumers are on a never-ending quest for content. Whether in the form of sports, news or entertainment, content has become a powerful want in today’s economy. This is especially true with the proliferation of smartphones, which make much of this content more accessible than ever before. Worldwide, the average internet user spends 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media each day — with the bulk of that time dedicated to consuming content.
In many cases, social media content creators have an easier time building and keeping an audience than traditional media. For example, studies have found that the launch of a “must-see” show on streaming platforms will draw new users in — but without a regular flow of new content, those new subscribers will often drop off relatively quickly. The problem, of course, is that new shows require a large budget and significant time to produce.
Content creators, on the other hand, are better equipped to produce an ongoing stream of content for social media, blogs, podcasts and more. With a relatively simple setup, they can quickly begin sharing their insights and opinions. This makes gaining and keeping followers (or customers) much easier in the long run.
Case in point: Joe Rogan’s popular podcast, which uploads new episodes multiple times per week, earned over $30 million in 2019 alone.
Content creation leads to multiple revenue streams
While some skeptics might argue that influencers essentially become little more than paid spokespeople for brands in their niche, there are many examples that highlight how content creators have been able to transform their platform into a means of launching new products of services.
In a column she wrote for The247, social media personality and dancer Charli D’Amelio recalls, “When I was younger, Bethany Mota was my first inspiration, because she changed the game for a lot of people. I remember when she started to create her clothing line, her perfume — that was so out of the box and so unheard of for a creator at the time. And she did it! And she did it in such an amazing way. Because she did that, she sort of opened the door for me and other creators to start thinking ‘Oh, I can do this too.’ She really did something so great for creators as a whole.”
While many of the more well-known influencer brands fall under the fashion category, this is far from the only niche where content creators have turned their passion into a launching pad for a product. Karalynne Call’s Just Ingredients offers its own line of natural health products. Twitch streamer Typer (Ninja) Belvins sells branded toys and collectible figures.
Of course, product creation and sponsored posts are far from the only revenue options available to creators. Affiliate links, subscriptions, pre-roll video ads and podcast ads are just a few other ways that content creators can turn their content into a viable source of revenue. While the right monetization mix will likely vary based on the platform and target audience, it is clear that there are boundless opportunities for creators.
What will you create?
If you have a passion, you have the potential to become a content creator. Content creators are filling gaps in countless niches, from healthy eating and politics to gaming and fashion. Your opinions, insight and personality all bring something unique to the table.
When you combine this with consistent creation and the right platform for your audience, you can turn content creation into a viable entrepreneurial career that builds a strong personal brand.