It's no secret the Creator Economy is exploding, and if you're not building something already, you might be feeling a bit of FOMO.
But here's the good news:
It's easier than ever to start your creator-preneurial journey and begin the "teeter-totter" from employee-to-creator. This is going to sound too good to be true, but you can legitimately start building an audience, products, and services without spending a single dime. Not one dollar. So, if you really want to change your life, increase your income, or simply justify your time spent on passion projects - you can get it done with absolutely no risk.
Here's how you get started in the Creator Economy:
1. Identify Your Strongest Skill (or biggest passion)
There are a few sure fire ways to have fun while you're figuring out how to find success as a digital creator. First and foremost, pick a skill you've acquired in your career - a topic, subject, or function you know extremely well, that you can talk about all day long with endless knowledge and a unique perspective. Going this route makes it easy to start pumping out content quickly, find a niche audience, and most importantly - allow you to find your groove as you settle into this Creator Economy.
For example, if you've been a Python Developer for a Financial Services company for 5 years - you can talk about it all day long. From there, you get even more specific. Create content about Python programming as it applies to Data Analytics. One step further. Python Programming > Data Analytics > Financial Services.
So, leveraging a skill you already have to give yourself a nice boost out of the gates is a great option. That's one route you can go.
Another popular choice: go all-in on something you've always had a passion for but have never had time (or let's be honest, discipline) to really get in the details.
Say you've always been interested in graphic design and you've decided you're going to get started. But, you're nervous because you haven't tried graphic design in years and have never shared it with anyone. This is in fact a really valuable position to be in. Why?
Because people love to follow along someone's learning journey. It's inspiring, liberating, and will encourage others to start working on their own passion project.
Pro Tip: Here's what you do to build a loyal audience and community: share your process with the world! Or as we call it in the Twittersphere, #buidlinginpublic.
2. Pick Your Platform
Important: You need to know where your audience is hanging out. If it's a platform you're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with, that's something you'll need to overcome if you want to build the right audience.
Each social media platform is best suited for a specific type of communication and content distribution.
Twitter is best for stream of consciousness thoughts, the #buildinpublic trend, the #creatoreconomy conversation, innovative ideas, and the future of technology and creativity. Twitter is a beautiful corner of the internet where people are interested in sharing ideas and helping each other grow. Most importantly, if you enjoy writing and feel confident about your ability to communicate your thoughts concisely, Twitter might be a good place for you. Looking for the perfect tool to grow & monetize on Twitter? Check out Hypefury's scheduling, automation, cross-platform tools.
Instagram is best for digital & video content creators. If you prefer to express yourself through picture, video, and speaking directly to the camera - Instagram is your bread & butter. Creators in the creator economy that have a high level of comfortability on camera tend to really enjoy Instagram.
Youtube is an uptick from Instagram when it comes to creating video content for your audience. There are a lot of benefits of joining the Creator Economy through YouTube and building your community there. It's most beneficial for Creators that are building complex products, services, or assets that are best explained in long-form monologues couple with compelling visuals. Again, if you're a fan of being on camera, give Youtube a shot.
Linkedin is by far the most professional social media network, but the Creator Economy is coming on very strong on this platform.
Take Justin Welsh for example. A former startup executive that decide to shift into the Creator Economy and took his Linkedin following from 2k to 150k+ in just 18 months.
If you've ever asked yourself "What is the Creator Economy?" or "What does it mean to be a Creator?" -- check out Justin's stuff. He's laid the perfect blueprint for finding success in the Creator Economy. Want to learn how he scale his audience step-by-step? Check out his Operating System Playbook here.
And of course, there's Facebook. I know there are tons of people who find success on Facebook, but it's just not for me. So I have no advice here - all out of dice on this one.
3. Begin Sharing Your Opinions
You've picked your skill or passion (hopefully they're the same thing) and you selected the platform where you're going to start building an audience.
Now it's time to go! Hit the tweet, publish, or share button. What's the downside? Nobody notices? That's the same as when you weren't creating, there's really no difference. Except for the value and courage you gain from simply hitting that post button.
Take this blog for example. I'm a Co-Founder here at CreatorFunds and this my very first blog post ever! No joke. To be fair, I've been publishing a newsletter on Substack for 6 months, so I do have a little experience and momentum. But the truth remains, I've never posted a blog on a website before. Yet, here I am. So, why do it instead of someone else? Because I want to improve my writing skills, which will serve me in my creator-preneur journey years down the road.
My point is - once you get comfortable sharing your thoughts and content, you begin to understand your voice better and better each day.
You might be thinking to yourself "I don't know anything special" or "What do I know that's really going to help people?" -- if you are having these questions, keep this in mind: one thing that's common sense for you might change someone else's life. And that makes it worth sharing.
Don't worry about strategy either. If you find yourself discussing strategy with yourself before you have any data to drive a strategy, you're dressing up fear as strategy.
4. Connect with other Creators
One of the best ways to learn and grow as a creator is to connect with other creators. Share your work with them, get feedback, and learn from their experiences. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn from other people.
There are plenty of ways to get connected with other creators. One of the best ways to get started is to join online communities and forums like Slack or Discord.
You can also find creators on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Follow their accounts and engage with them by leaving comments or sharing their work. Genuinely engaging with other Creators finding success in the Creator Economy increases the probability more people see your page and therefore, your content.
Pro Tip: Don't spam somebody else's page with your page, content, or products in the comment sections or threads. First of all, you might have your account temporarily restricted or blocked (especially on Twitter). Second, you just don't want to be that person. Make sure your engagement is thoughtful and full of value. This will drive people to follow your journey quickly.
Lastly, let's not forget about live and virtual event. Attend events and meetups where creators gather to share their work and learn from each other. Traditional Networking is never a bad idea.
5. Build Your First Digital Asset
Okay, so here's where you're at:
Now, it's time to take your first shot at monetization. Want to do this without spending a single dime? Here's the recipe for selling your first digital product:
Use Canva if your asset is made to be visually compelling with fewer words and more illustrations. Or, you can even use Google Docs and convert to PDF if your asset is informational (this is exactly what I did with my first asset). Simply add your logo/brand to the doc and download it as a PDF. You're good to go.
Your last step: push it out to your audience!
And there you are, fully entrenched in the Creator Economy and in the thick of your Creator journey.
Welcome, it's a wonderful new world.