A content creator is the hottest new career that is sweeping the globe. Anyone can become one – and even eight-year-olds are making millions by creating content reviewing toys they love on Youtube. Gen Z high schoolers are becoming financially independent before they turn 18, and moms are cashing in on the lucrative lifestyle industry. But what is a content creator exactly?
There’s no one-size-fits-all look for a content creator. It’s a broad term that describes the general career of ideating and creating digital content for brands and sometimes sharing this content through personal channels to amplify brand awareness and tap into the influencer market.
You could be a freelance blogger, a copywriter, a Tik Tok personality, a YouTube travel vlogger, or an Instrammer – anywhere that you can create digital content online, you’ll find imaginative creators doing just that.
If you’ve been curious about the world of content creation and you are considering dipping your foot in, we’re sharing everything you need to know before you get started.
This includes what a creative content creator is and what they do, how they find work on a freelance basis, and the steps to take if you want to follow in their footsteps.
Finally, we’ll share the most common traits and habits of successful content creators so you can incorporate these best practices in your work. If you have an idea that you’d love to create content around – just start, you never know where it will take you!
What Is a Content Creator?
First and foremost, let’s answer the burning question that so many of you have: What is a content creator?
A content creator is a creative marketer that develops various forms of content (photos, videos, informational guides, related stories, live streams, infographics, etc.) across social and digital channels, including websites, podcasts, blogs, and so much more.
This is quite a general definition of content creation, but it has to be. Depending on the niche of the work a creator makes and the audience they serve, the kind of work they do varies widely.
The most common content creators are influencers, those who distribute the content they create across their own social media platforms to expand the brand’s reach and tap into the trust that followers place in their influencers.
Other content creators may solely develop content on behalf of a brand, which then shares their content on the branded channels. Content creators can even work as an employee for a brand, developing social media or blog content.
What Does A Content Creator Do?
If you’ve been wondering, “What does a content creator do?” You’re not alone. Content creation can be a highly involved process that takes a lot more than just the right photo and caption.
It also involves brand analysis, ideation and strategy, project management, research and writing, graphic design, photoshoots, videography, editing, search engine optimization, and promotion of the content.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a digital content creator:
- Research: The first step to creating good content as a business content creator or freelancer is to understand the brand itself, performing an analysis
- Content Strategy: Coming up with a strategy for the content that is relevant to both the brand and the creator’s audience
- Project Management: Managing all aspects of the project, from reviewing contracts to driving the timeline and preparing deliverables
- Writing: Copywriting can involve coming up with a caption, script, or blog
- Graphic Design: Some content may require graphic design elements through a program like Adobe
- Photoshoots/Videography: Setting up for a photoshoot or video shoot and capturing the content
- Editing: Editing photos or video footage
- Approvals: Getting your content approved by the brand, which may require additional changes or edits
- SEO: Optimizing blog posts or web content to perform well on search engine results pages
- Content Promo: Promoting the content to ensure it meets the right audience. This may include paid ads, sponsored posts, sharing via email, links, or PR.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the content creation process, whether you’re working as a free agent or as an employee for a brand.
How Content Creators Find Work And Make Money
Content creators are often responsible for finding their own work. Content creators who work as employees within a company don’t have this issue. They work on projects within their own company and are part of a greater marketing and sales team.
If you’re a freelance content creator, however, you will have to market yourself and field your own project offers. Some of the best ways to find freelance content creation work include:
- Job Boards: There are some job boards dedicated solely to content creation jobs, like Wrangle, that aggregate different opportunities in one place for creators to browse.
- Influencer Platforms: Other influencer platforms like Upfluence or Afluencer are groups that content creators can join where they may be offered certain jobs based on details such as their niche, following size, and engagement rates.
- Management/Agencies: Content creators who already have some traction may rely on personal management or an agency to find, and field offers on their behalf. This is a good option for creators who are overwhelmed with project offers and need help filtering out the good from the bad opportunities. Management teams can also help negotiate rates and review contracts.
- Cold Outreach: Cold outreach is one possible take for those just getting started. This involves pitching to brands via email or phone call and offering a bit of insight into an idea you have for content creation.
- Promotion on Digital Channels: If you have a good audience, you may be able to post about your willingness to take on more work as a way to start attracting offers.
- References: Having other creators refer you to brands when they think you would be a good fit is a great way to get your foot in the door.
- Network: Building a network of other creators means you’ll begin to hear of more opportunities naturally. You’ll also start to develop contacts with influencer management teams on the brand side of things, which can help get repeat offers.
How to Become a Content Creator in 5 Easy Steps
Interested in becoming a content creator? If you want to know just how to become a content creator with great success, follow these steps:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
First, learn about your target audience, their demographics, what they like and dislike, where they like and who they work with, what kind of brands they love, what digital platforms they spend their time on, and their biggest needs and pain points.
2. Build Your Personal Brand
To create content from an authentic perspective, develop your personal brand and voice that goes along with it. This will encompass your values, aesthetic, tone, and mission and ensure it aligns with your audience.
3. Consistently Engage on Social Media
The most important step here is consistently engaging with your audience on social media. If this is where your content will live, your audience needs to trust you and feel close with you for your content to be effective.
So show up every day, be sure to post on both the feed and with stories, and get your audience involved through questions, polls, feedback, etc.
4. Take Notes from the Pros
Follow and take close note of your favorite influencers and content creators. Create a list of notes and tips you garner from following them and integrate it into your own strategy.
5. Create Every Day
Content creation is a skill that gets better as it’s honed, so, if you want a career in content creation, you should be prepared to create content every day. It doesn’t always have to be good, but not losing that momentum of creativity is key.
Habits of a Successful Content Creator
With the steps outlined, all you have to do is follow this path to get started in the content creation world. However, if you want to stand out and perform better than most, earning a great living and creating a promising lifetime career, you should try to incorporate the habits and traits of the most successful content creators out there:
- Understanding the industry and your unique audience
- Prioritizing the user experience
- Finding inspiration in unlikely places
- Staying organized and on top of deadlines and moving details
- Strong verbal and written communication, especially when it comes to project contracts and expectations
- Analyzing results of content campaigns to learn what worked and what didn’t, then using these lessons to inform future content
- Act like your favorite co-worker, so you’re always someone brands will want to work with
These are only a few habits and traits, but they can go a long way in separating you from the rest.
In Summary – What Is A Content Creator?
Before you start creating, understanding the full picture is essential. So many people try to become content creators or influencers because they think it’s easy and fun, not realizing all of the work and long hours that go into being one.
Yes, it’s a career that can come with some great perks, like free products, trips, and a bit of fame even, but it also means a life in the public eye, tight deadlines, lots of time spent perfecting the details, and the struggle to find work without the guarantee of payment.
Still, it’s an exciting career path that didn’t use to exist. After all of this, what do you say? Want to give the content creation thing a try?
Find your voice, your audience, your work ethic, and stick with it. These four things will take you to the top.