The definition of the trend “creator economy” is all in the name:
creators who make a living out of creating online content.
It includes professionals such as vloggers, photographers, and even influencers. These are people who use the possibilities and power of the Internet and social media to make an income. They do it thanks to sponsorships, community support, and paid advertisements.
The creator economy has been on the rise for years now. And even more during the pandemic. With more and more professionals staying at home, working online has its appeal. And being an independent creator means working at your own pace, at your own rate, and from you own couch -if you want to.
How the creator economy began
The launch of YouTube gave people a realization. They could create online content and make a career out of it. People figured out they that could monetize their videos.
But the real game changer was social media. With the birth of networks such as Facebook and Instagram, more people turned to the creator economy. For starters, they didn’t need to make any videos. They could only post pictures. The best part? They could post pictures of anything they wanted to.
Creators could make their dog famous or their #shelfie. They could even take videos. And social media made it all easier. Creators didn’t need professional equipment or fancy clothes for the camera. With social media, they only needed a good smartphone and perhaps an external microphone.
Finally, people could sell their online content easily, with no pain. The creator economy was slowly turning into a real, tangible option.
Monetizing imagination and content
As the website Medium reports, the modern ways of making money with online content are five. They include:
- One-off sales or donations
- Brand sponsorship and influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Let’s break them down with an easy, common example: the Hilton hotel.
In this case, the Hilton pays the content creator to produce ads. They can be videos, images, or even social media lives. It’s not so much about the results as it is about the content and quantity.
Every time someone clicks on the “subscribe to our newsletter” button of the Hilton, the creator receives a commission. The subscription can be to any specific Hilton’s service.
One-off sales or donations
In this example of creator economy, people following the creator pay for a special treatment. Or they simply donate funds to their favorite content creator.
Brand sponsorship and influencer marketing
It has become more and more popular as social media boomed. The Hilton pays creators to post content about the hotel. This can include an image or even a giveaway.
Let’s say that the Hilton has created its own soap line. With affiliate marketing, creators post a link to this product, telling their followers to buy it. Every time someone makes a purchase, the creator earns a commission.
Sure, some of these income from the creator economy sound complicated. In fact, not everyone can be an influencer. Or can it?
The platforms for creators
If people are not influencers with a huge social following, can they be successful creators? Indeed, they can. There are platforms that can help making an income, brand sponsorship aside.
It’s a selling network. Through Gumroad, creators can connect with shoppers. They sell their art and products directly, no middle man. As its website reports, “Gumroad is for artists and creators: writers, designers, software developers, musicians, educators, filmmakers, and anyone in-between. If you make stuff, you can sell that stuff – using Gumroad.”
This platform gives creators analytics of their clients and the chance of getting to the Discover page. This helps in reaching new customers who might not know who the creator is.
This platform offers useful tools such as a safe payment process, a calendar for the finances, and tons of analytics data. Plus the latest feature, the Collectives. It’s an online community to build joint ventures, share ideas, and vent.
The best part? The security of Stir. “Our top priority is keeping your data safe and secure. We will never sell or share your data,” writes the company on its website, “2e’re here for the long haul, and we only win when creators win.
Truly a 100% creator economy platform. Patreon allows professional to build a profile and ask for the support of their followers. For example, podcasters can establish different tiers of support. Like, a $5 tier or the $10.
Depending on the amount that people choose, they will get different benefits. Staying with the podcast example, the creators can release bonus episodes or shows without ads -which streaming apps like Spotify don’t allow. People decide to contribute to their favorite content creators, to keep them going.
Of course, there are many other platforms focused on the creator economy. What’s important is that they exist.
Of course, the creator economy has been on the rise. Although digital good are more difficult to sell than physical ones, creators have been taking the center stage. In fact, the attention of potential clients has moved to social media and the internet. People are looking for the next trend and the next cool item online.
The public expects influencers and content creators to say what’s cool and glamorous. And these creators need all the support they can get. Especially from their followers.