Sometimes you go through memes comparing people who work double shifts but still barely have enough money to live on, with a kid who posts regular funny stuff on YouTube and is worth a million dollars. The 9-5 jobs are no longer attractive to the youngsters who now want to be influencers when they grow up; quite a contrast to the days when medicine and engineering were the most revered careers in society. The reason for this change is we are now living in the creator economy, and the pandemic has only fueled its rise. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this new economy.
Defining the Creator Economy
Most of us can't remember the last time we paid for a theater ticket; it most definitely was not last year. Since our favorite entertainers need to make their money, they did not wait until the lockdown order was lifted. Instead, they became innovative and started releasing content through social media. On the other hand, those who lost their jobs still had to look for ways to put food on the table without waiting for that Stimulus check to arrive. Therefore, hobbies and talents have evolved into income-generating activities, and the best way to reach potential customers despite the lockdown has been through the internet.
The being said, the creator economy is defined as Web 2.0 and beyond and is the era of free services in which the only cost is registration. Although it is has only become a trending topic recently, it is clear that the creator economy has been around for more than a decade, but it is now that people recognize how much potential the internet carries. It took a while before consumers realized that the intent was more than a place to gather information; it could also be used to share their opinions, interests and make money from it.
It has continued to be embraced because, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, it has offered everyone the platform to perform their dream job and specialize in their talents. No longer are people required to have someone breathing down their neck to make money. Now you can excel at playing video games, lip-syncing, playing the guitar, or whatever else you fancy and accumulate your millions. The creator economy is enabling anyone who can create anything participate in building the economy from their home's comfort.
The Evolution of the Creator Economy
Medium enlightens us that in the 1900s, the creators were restricted to professionals like journalists, and authors among many more. The internet was mainly used to collect information, and we relied on online magazines to keep us in the loop. However, the shift began in the late 1990s and early 2000s when we no longer had to visit cyber cafes to access the internet.
Mobile phones with internet configurations were more affordable, and another group of creators seized the opportunity. Consequently, the first-ever recognized social media site, Six Degrees, was born in 1997; it allowed users to socialize after uploading their profiles. Later on, came the first blogging site in 1999. Since then, social media use has been increasing; hence more sites have been created, including Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and the list keeps growing.
Medium informs us that by 2010, content sharing was no longer restricted to business or political news. People shared more personal details and expressed their ideas; hence platforms like Instagram were born. Users became bolder about what they could post; instead of sticking to pre-recorded content, unscripted work began emerging, but the content duration decreased. The sites granted creators a business opportunity where besides entertaining or educating fans, advertisers could post their products, enabling creators to earn some money.
How Do You Join the Creator Economy?
Hugo explains that you can join the creator economy by creating content. Regardless of whichever content you like, be it photos, videos, audio, or live streaming, you are spoilt for choice when choosing your preferred tool. However, if you are planning on minting dollars, you need to grow your audience. Therefore, once you create content, encourage people to watch, listen or share it as many times as possible. That will only be possible if you choose a platform with loads of users and make your content shareable. Also, allow fans to comment so you can interact fully and learn what needs to be improved for after user experience.
Unfortunately, even if you have a million followers on Instagram, Hugo reasons you do not own the audience but are renting it. For this reason, the next step is to own your audience by exporting the followers to a community. Once you have captured your target number of followers, you can build a community. You might have noticed how content creators encourage us to subscribe to their newsletters; that is one way of owning your audience.
The purpose of joining the creator economy is to make money. Hence you should start monetizing your audience online. Creators earn money in different ways depending on the content. For instance, YouTube runs ads where the creators get to keep a percentage of the revenue made. On the other hand, life coaches can encourage the audience to download content while a teacher can have students buy a digital course. Some platforms rely on donations but whichever method you prefer, weigh all the pros and cons that affect you as the creator.
How Will Businesses Remain Relevant in the Creator Economy?
The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience believes that the creator economy is here to stay, and you might as well equip yourself with the guiding principles. For businesses to remain relevant in this economy, they must focus on creating more value for the customer. Besides, as we know, anything related to the internet is very dynamic, we must continually improve in different aspects of the business.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee