In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to starting a career as a content creator, regardless of your level of expertise.
Thanks to the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, anyone can be a content creator in 2023. However, professional content creators are in a league of their own, and it takes much more than having a smartphone and internet access to get the content creation process right.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to starting a career as a content creator, regardless of your level of expertise. From the different types of content creators to the key tasks you’d be doing as a content creator day-to-day, learn what it takes to become a creator.
A content creator is a person who makes and shares content for a determined audience. The term usually refers to digital content creators for social media and video platforms, as well as blogs, emails, or websites.
The purpose of content creation is often to entertain or inform an audience, with the end goal of growing a following and monetizing its reach.
There are different ways to monetize your work as a content creator, such as:
There are two main types of content creators, who are defined by how they produce their content:
Individual creators appear across social media platforms and focus on building an audience and then monetizing their content. According to Influencers Club, around 303 million people worldwide consider themselves content creators. The content creator economy is real and expanding globally.
Content creators work inside companies too. Businesses hire them to create content for a brand’s digital presence, and they become part of an always-on marketing output.
This creator type can focus on B2B or B2C content marketing, depending on the business’ target and goals. Also, content publishers typically follow a content strategy, which includes audience insights, channel plans, and content pillars. The content creator may be involved in developing the strategy, or they could just focus on execution.
Not quite. The difference between a content creator and an influencer is that creators focus on providing expertise about products, services, and industry topics. For example, in the finance industry, a content creator might be an expert on mortgages and home loans. An influencer, meanwhile, has typically built their following around their own personal brand – connecting with an audience by sharing candid content about their lives, jobs, and everyday activities.
Of course, in some cases, a content creator can be both an expert and an influencer.
A content creator executes a wide range of tasks within their creative process. First, they must build a strategy and set goals before producing the content they create.
Though not set in stone, these are content creators' most common activities.
Before venturing into the content creation process, the first thing is to analyze and understand the brand. Knowing how a brand looks and sounds allows creators to connect with the audience in a natural way.
This brand analysis may include evaluating competitors’ strategies, which will be useful for determining what’s working, what’s not, and what conversations are already owned within the category.
If a content creator is an individual creator, an element of landscape analysis is still required within the industry that the creator is operating. Individual creators may look at other individual creators in the space to understand what’s already being done and where the gaps are.
Content creators must know a brand’s tone, voice, and visual identity. Then, they can start the foundation of the content creation process: brainstorming.
The process should include capturing ideas and then selecting to execute the ones that are most unique, relevant, and aligned with the brand’s content marketing goals.
As an individual creator, brainstorming is still an important part of the process, and again requires the creator to understand their own strengths, content pillars, and what’s trending in the content space in which they operate.
The most crucial part of the content creation process is bringing the ideas to life. Creators must have the skill set to ensure content is high-quality, informative, and instructive to make great content that will perform as intended. These skills could include copywriting, graphic design, filming and presenting, audio recording, or video editing.
Content creators must be able to cut down their work to deliver flawless and polished content that meets the required formats and specs. This applies to copy, video, and design assets.
Creators also have responsibilities to publish and monitor content across platforms, respond to community comments and engagement, and track performance before reporting back to the brand or partners they’re working with on if their activity achieved the desired KPIs.
Content creation has many benefits for individuals and brands. However, becoming a content creator is not for everyone; it is a highly competitive industry. To give you an idea of what’s happening online, 7.7 million blog posts are published daily, while 500 hours of new video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
That said, if you’ve decided to give it a go, these are the most essential steps toward becoming a successful content creator, whether you’re working as an individual content creator, creating content in-house for a brand, or partnering with a business.
Your personal brand is how you want people to perceive you. This means aligning your intentions with your actions and establishing the image you want to portray.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you define who you are, what drives you when creating content, and your goals.
Building a personal brand is part of promoting yourself as a content creator, but it’s also a way to define the value of your career and engage more deeply with other people. Knowing why your content is valuable to your audience will help you identify opportunities to work with brands or peers.
Identifying your niche is key to informing the decisions that you’ll make when creating content. Understanding what your audience wants and what challenges they face will also help you build the identity of your platforms.
Consider the following details it will be important to know about your audience:
Once you’ve developed a relationship with your audience through your content, you will start to learn more about their interests, likes, and dislikes and can create content that will lead to more engagement.
Where do you want your content to be seen and consumed? Choosing the right platform for your content will set the foundation for your content creation process.
Numerous platforms offer benefits, and it’s tempting to be everywhere, but you can’t do it all. Follow these questions as a place to determine what you’ll create and where:
Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be one step closer to choosing the right platform for your content. Here’s an overview of the main platforms used by content creators:
YouTube is a video hosting platform with over 2 billion users worldwide. While the primary focus of YouTube has been long-form content, there’s also a short-form vertical feature (Shorts) that has been adopted by brands and content creators.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for images and short videos. It has at least 1.3 billion users.
Source: Instagram for Business
TikTok is a social media site where content creators can grow audiences fast if they post regularly and consistently. As of 2023, it has over 1.53 billion users.
LinkedIn is a social media platform focused on professional networking and development.
As mentioned above, creating and posting your content is the most important part of the process. An editorial calendar will provide a clear view for scheduling content depending on seasonality and deciding how many times you’ll post daily, weekly, or monthly.
Getting certified is a noticeable way to add value to your work. These are some examples of certifications that can boost your career as an aspiring content creator:
Doing a marketing course will demonstrate your commitment to professionalism. Your professional network can expand, and you can earn new potential clients given your certified expertise.
Showcase your content so others can get an understanding of your experience as a content creator. Even if you don’t have any clients yet, you can share a digital portfolio featuring your best work so far. For many content creators, social media acts as a portfolio, particularly if all the content that they’re creating is being shared directly on a platform or across platforms.
Looking for clients is one of the hardest parts of the job since you have to actively pursue opportunities.
As a content creator, you’ll have to pitch yourself to brands that resonate with your personal brand and values. Here’s how to approach brands as a content creator:
Besides having a deep understanding of the platforms you’re working with, as a content creator, you should also focus on developing the following skills:
There’s no single type of content creator, but the most common roles creators undertake are:
Content writers communicate and inform their readers through articles, interviews, features, and blogs. They must have strong written skills, but also be able to develop well-researched and informed content.
A videographer is responsible for recording and editing video content such as interviews, documentaries, live events, tutorials, and commercials.
A photographer records events and stories using photographs. However, not every photographer is a content creator. Being a content creator focused on photography means taking pictures with a specific audience in mind.
Podcasters must have excellent communication skills and show passion for a certain subject. Marketing podcasts can cover any topic, but they typically need to provide listeners with analysis, discussion, and some level of entertainment.
Social media influencers are content creators who base their content on their reputation, personal affinity, or expertise on a specific topic. They may not be professionally trained in writing, photography, or video production, but they can get by with DIY content that’s fit for the platform.
If you’ve got great content to share with the world, now is the perfect time to start planning your content creator career.
Remember that content creation should be based on your passion and interests. By creating content about what you love choosing the right platforms to publish on, and honing in on a clear niche, your content creation process will be easier.
Let us know if you have any questions or advice on becoming and succeeding as a content creator in the comments below.
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