How You Can Go From Consumer To A Creator Of Content And Be Successful
Everyone wants to be a content creator in their own way, and share what they have to say with one another. But content creation is one of the hardest things to do. It takes focus, craft, time, dedication, and especially know how. And if you want to make your creation your job it is even harder.
Over the last year I have been working for myself full time, growing my start up entertainment media business. I will say this has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. I have yelled, screamed, tossed and turned at night, cried. The whole nine yards. But by god; I have done it. Through hard work, collaboration, and experience I have created a self sustaining machine that even though I put a lot of work into it, still provides me my cost of living every month.
So, if you indulge me I will tell you how I did it and through this, will teach you how to do the same.
You will want to start with an idea and build out a business plan. For me I run an entertainment company that writes articles, makes youtube videos, and posts daily content on Facebook and Twitter. But your idea can be anything. The same goes for photographers, editors, graphic designers, visual artists, musicians, really anything you want to do.
Once you have your idea it is time to start planning how you are going to grow your business, how you’re going to market yourself, and what you do, and how to get customers.
This is my ‘pin up board business plan that I made with my best friend back in March 2020. Our plan was to start with internet articles, something that people did not have to initially pay for, and something that would show others my work, portfolio and what I was capable of.
The point with this first step is to have a catalog of past work that shows the world what you make, who you are as a creator.
Most modern businesses are internet based and social media marketing is crucial.
If you have nobody seeing your creations, there will be no customers and no consumers. Most people use Instagram to share the photography that they take, and catalog their work for everyone to see. The best strategy for Instagram is to use less common tags and highly curate your content to the topic that you are going after. Say you are a nature photographer, posting pictures from your travels and the surroundings you are in. and tagging them with tags that don’t have millions of posts, alongside the tags that do, will get you noticed.
One thing to mention with all of this is that this is the thing that takes the most time, and when targeted right with enough consistency, you will find yourself in a snowball of success.
For my business I chose to start a Facebook page with Star Wars memes, and share them with friends, in meme groups that I followed. And after a few weeks of being really lucky and posting 15–24 times a day (yes I know that is a lot), I gained my first 2000 followers on Facebook. The way I did it is, I targeted each meme I was posting in accordance to the biggest meme of the week. and that coupled with me starting my business in the first few weeks of the lockdowns, when everyone was inside everyone was on online, and that played in my favor.
We recently did this on Twitter, with really good results in the last few months, going from 100 to 5400 followers. We are gaining about 100 followers/day.
You can do this with almost any topic that you want, and when you gain a following sharing memes, you can start to incorporate your own work into the mix where the engagement is now, not only on others work. It is now on your work and this is the time where you can start your next phase, monetization.
The next step is to monetize. Once you get customers, no matter what field it is in, and your have past work to build from, you can start by charging a little bit of money for the work that you do. Start small and go from there. My friend started charging about $10 - $20 per shoot for an hour and then once he grew a catalog and a following, now charges closer to $100/hour to shoot.
The most common example is with photography. Once you show potential customers what you can do with your camera, you can start asking people to pay something for you to photograph for them. Same goes with any field that you decide to go into.
Another way you can do this, is with monetizing your website and the content you make. As you can see from my pin up board up top I have monetized my website through Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, Patreon, and through Facebook itself.
The way you make money through Google AdSense is placing adverts from google onto your webpage. With this you can make money from ad clicks and selling products that google advertises on your website. An average amount to make from this is $2.80 CPM (Cost Per Mille) which is the amount you get per 1000 impressions, and then you get a certain amount from CPC (Cost Per Click) which is about 20% of the amount the advert cost the advertiser.
Another way that you can monetize your website content is through selling Amazon products on your website. So say that you are a wedding photographer talking about the cameras that you use to shoot, you can embed links for that camera, lenses, or equipment you use, and if someone in turn buys that product, you will receive a commission on that. I post links in the articles that we write reviews about for toys, books, and more and we are making about $100-$300 a month on this.
Patreon is a good way for you to make money directly from the people who consume your content. It is easy to sign up and your supporters can give directly to you. You can set up special tiers that have different dollar amounts and give special perks.
YouTubers use them all the time to give their subscribers specialized Merch, rewards, or events that only those supporters can give you. I have seen some people monetize their business on Instagram through this, by having exclusive content or access to content before it comes out publicly online.
Online Video monetization is most definitely the hardest on this list because it takes the longest to make, grow an audience, and hardest to market. Peter McKinnon, a photographer, is a great example of how a photographer can market their business through online videos. He is a professional photographer and YouTube Content Creator. Through making content about photography and how to photograph, and edit, is how he markets himself.
What my company and I do on YouTube and Facebook is create interest-based content about Star Wars, Marvel, Dc and more, in the film and TV sector, and we publish our content onto YouTube and Facebook. We have grown our main Facebook page to 25,000 followers and we are making about $50-$100 a month on the advertisements we have on our videos. We are in the process of getting YouTube monetized and once that happens, we are looking at getting about $100-$250 in our first month, with current numbers.
There is a barrier to entry for both Facebook and YouTube. Just to be transparent, for YouTube you must surpass 1000 subscribers and have 4000 public watch hours on your YouTube videos. This barrier to entry is much more achievable than Facebook's requirements; which honestly are sort of ridiculous. For Facebook you currently have to have 600,000 minutes of watch time. This requirement just changed and I was monetized before the change.
Long Term Growth
Growing your business will not be easy and I don’t want to mislead you, because it will be the hardest thing to do. But with determination and consistency you will do it.
I have been on Medium writing for almost a year now, and have almost 700 followers, which is not a lot; I know and it would have been much higher by now if I had not stopped writing back last summer. Even with the lack of content, I am still making a dollar or two every month from my writing.
With my previous growth patterns, and the consistency of writing one full story here a day, I was on track to having around 7500–10K followers if I had continued to write here every day.
The biggest advice I can give you for long term growth, is consistency and never giving up. Just like the stock market when the views go down, don't give up. just HOLD on and wait for the recovery. Giving up when you have a bad month for revenue, views, or business, is not a reason to quit. It is a moment where you can sit back and reflect and analyze patterns, and make changes to better your future.
Making calculated changes to your workflow, and the way you do business, will be the greatest indicator to your growth.
Over the last year, my company has made around 30K in revenue and about 26K of that is pure profit. When creating a business, making money is the end goal, and making enough to survive on just this one venture, is even harder.
The best way, and most secure way to make your business profitable, is to make sure that your expenses aren’t more than the money you are making in a month. So for example, I keep my personal expenses low myself so my cost of living with all my expenses is around $800/month but yours most likely will be way higher.
So, when you are building up a company and a business, keep in mind what your C.O.L. is and then aim to make 20% higher than that to start, and then grow from there. For me that number would be an initial amount of $1000 minimum to keep me in the green on a given month.
I have multiple sources of income and so should you. I have my main company that I make money with and right now it makes me around $1,000/month through all of the sources of income we get from Facebook, the website, and Amazon, after expenses. The total we make is closer to $5500/month and I have around $500 of expenses after paying contractors, and I split the left over with my business partners that run other departments. That will leave me with anywhere around $800-$1,000 a month depending on the time of year, and it is constantly growing.
After my main business, I do freelance writing. I am a video editor, and I do photography on the side. This combined makes me about $400 a month and keeps me afloat while the main hustle takes off and grows.
Putting It All Together
Building up a successful business is hard. It is rarely easy. When you combine hard work, dedication, and consistency, you will be surprised with how far you will go.
When we started Culture Slate we started with an idea, wrote it out, and then found the necessary people to work on each part of the company we wanted to build. Each person runs and operates their side of this thing and as we grow our team of now about 60 people. We are expanding each month to new markets, growing to reach new audiences, and then mixing and matching the various content that we are creating to fit into the spaces that we have created for it.
Building this company you want to start is going to take blood sweat and tears but once it’s running, you can’t stop the train.
One More Thing…
Hope you have a wonderful day. I don’t have anything to promote and usually people have things to promote here, but I don’t.
I just wish you a nice day, and I hope this helped.