It’s no secret that the major social media platforms which rely on creators like me to drive engagement to their channels, often leave us in the cold when it comes to getting paid. Sadly, we’re left to fight for our fair share of the revenue pie, and most creators end up with a sad serving of crumbs. Social media is broken and it’s time for a change!
As a content creator with over 192K followers on Instagram, I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way and thought I’d share them in this blog. As part of A Creator’s Guide to Monetizing Your Content, here are 5 ways to take your talent and passion to the next level and shine bright as a creative entrepreneur in the thriving creator economy.
#1: Build your online community and presence
No matter how unfair a platform’s revenue-sharing model is for creators, a small percentage of nothing will always be nothing! Monetizing your content starts with building an online community of loyal fans who will tune into whatever content you offer up. There are many benefits that come from cultivating a smaller audience of more passionate and engaged brand advocates. For example, if you garner a modest base of 100 true fans who are willing to pay you directly for your creations, you can thrive in the passion economy. (Li Jin via Andreessen Horowitz.)
So how do you get there? Audiences are generally attracted to talent, knowledge and authenticity. Aim to create insightful yet entertaining content that starts conversations and adds value for your audience. Try to focus on producing quality over quantity every single time. Look for tools that enable you to monetize directly from your audience base. Modern apps can help you get paid for what your expertise and creativity are actually worth through built-in tipping & donation options. Apps that give creators the ability to get paid seamlessly for their talents are giving the big tech platforms, well, a run for their money!
#2: Offer exclusive content & access to you
Think of this one as granting your followers rare access to your favourite hot spot’s VIP section. Instead of slipping behind the velvet rope and getting bottle service, your fans get access to something like never-before-published Vlogs or a live Q&A session with you! A recent 2021 Creator Economy Survey by the Influencer Marketing Group validates this. Users stated that they will always support specific creators because they want to interact personally with the creator. One of the most successful ways to promote this type of unique connection is through membership subscriptions. Not only do these arrangements create evangelists, but they also represent re-occurring revenue streams that enable you to target your content to your specific audience. Look for apps that offer channels that allow you to publish exclusive content for loyal fans only.
Another important point to consider is that as humans we are multi-dimensional beings and “one size" does not fit all. Seek apps like QP, a messenger-first social platform designed to help creators engage, interact, immerse and monetize. QP offers the convenience of customizing multiple profiles so you can brand yourself differently to each audience type. For example, you may want to have a specific profile picture for your professional channel, your school channel or your social/hobby channel. By having multiple profiles, you get to decide how you want to be seen, and why not?
#3: Collaborate to build your empire
What’s better than one captivating content creator? Try two captivating content creators! Collaboration is an essential piece of the monetization toolkit because it expands your presence through cross-promotion. Do it right by linking up with like-minded content creators with an audience base that is of interest to you both. The result? You will be able to sit back and watch your loyal, new followers and the money roll in! Did you know that QP makes it easy to collab with other creators to build awesome content together? In fact, you can start creating content and subscribing to other creator channels right now!
#4: Never compromise your privacy & security
Choosing apps that value privacy and control over your content has never been more critical. While you’re out there hustling to sell your talent, knowledge and skills, your privacy should never be negotiable. With QP, your messages include the latest and greatest end-to-end encryption technologies that keep your content and conversations always secure. They will never track or read your messages or sell your data to third parties like some platforms that we know!
Be sure to choose apps that champion privacy and security first and foremost and let you decide if you want to share any of your personal details at all. Protect yourself and your "virtual" personal space by selecting apps that do not disclose your personal data such as your IP address, phone number and location to third-party apps. What I love most about QP is the option of using a "connection code" rather than giving out my phone number. As a creator, I am constantly putting myself out there and this simple feature helps me stay safe.
#5: Stay in control of your content & your audience
Remember that your followers should ultimately belong to you. Sadly, I have heard so many horror stories where my fellow creators have lost thousands of followers on the big social platforms without any explanation or reason. These creators are then left to fight in order to get their accounts back up and running and to win their hard-earned fans back. Choose apps that ensure that you own your own content and audience base. What a concept!
Another important feature for creators? Look for alternative social media tools that do mess with the algorithm that determines how and when your content appears in the feed. That means your content should get to your user base in real-time and without unnecessary delays. Choose tools that put you in the driver’s seat and not at the mercy of the platform you chose.
Social media is broken—but there’s a fix!
Remember, you don't need thousands of followers to be successful. Instead, focus on building a small but loyal audience base with a higher tendency for engagement. Know your audience and stay as current as possible. When you focus on informing, entertaining, empowering and inspiring your followers, the money will surely follow!
2021 has been a year of pivoting and the most successful content creators are the ones that adapted to the market and started to think like business owners! The creator economy is ready for a massive reset, and yes, I’m here for it!
About the Author
With over 192 K followers on Instagram, Jamie Tsai is a popular health and beauty blogger based in the Bay area in California. Jamie obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health at UC Irvine. Follow Jamie @jamieetsaii.
QP is a messenger-first social media platform designed to help creators-of-all-kinds engage, interact & monetize their content. Access QP’s premium messenger with end-to-end encryption which allows you to keep your messages secure. You can start creating content and subscribing to channels on QP, and easily collaborate with other creators to build awesome content together. Through the tipping & donation options on QP, you can get paid for what your expertise and creativity is actually worth. To learn more, download QP on the App Store or on Google Play and visit qp.me.