The Creator Economy isn’t for you…

Have you ever watched a YouTube video and though “I could do this?” Maybe you’ve seen a Meme on Instagram and felt you could do it better. I’m sure you’ve been on TikTok and seen a video with a simple dance get millions of likes and tried to record yourself doing the same dance, no? Let’s face it. All of us have probably tried or dreamed about having a viral video and having our lives changed from that experience, but the truth is it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

The creator economy (the marketplace made up of content creators) has over is estimated to have over 50 million creators in the United States as of the end of 2023.This indicated that about one in every 6.6 people is actively creating content for these various social media platforms. While that number shouldn’t surprise you, what may surprise you is the amount of people who do it professionally. A 2023 study from Goldman Sachs shows that of that 50 million that create consistently, only about 4% of them do so professionally, generating over $100,000 per year. When you look at the entire population, that means that only .06% of the population is successful as a content creator on social media.

The reality is that being a creator is very hard work. It has gotten a stigma as an “easy job,” and is looked down upon by most Boomers for not being real work. Creating videos that are consistently entertaining, editing, and managing social interaction is incredibly demanding – sometimes even more than a traditional 9-5. Each platform has their own monetization limits (the point at which you can start to get paid), and each algorithm requires different things to push your video out to large audiences. We’ve even seen platforms now that have exclusivity clauses and utilize technology to verify that the content you create is only for their platform. Imagine having to create new content for YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Rumble, etc. It adds up very, very quickly.

Despite recording a video taking only 15-75 seconds, there are so many details you have to follow that post-production/ editing can take you hours for a video that is only a minute. Like a writer, you have to understand how to capture people’s attention, engage them in a story line, make them pick a side, give them a reason to feel a certain emotional attachment, and give them a reason to subscribe/ follow to see additional content – all within 60 seconds. The points here is that each video takes a lot of thought and consideration but may ultimately end up “flopping” and get a number of views that is nowhere close to what it deserves. When you are a creator, you are at the mercy of the algorithm.

Currently, while writing this on April 15th, 2024, we live in the world of short-form content. Shorts, Reels, TikTok’s are where the majority of creators find their stride. If you want to be a content creator in today’s landscape, you have to figure out how to navigate the short form video world. Practices editing, practices your schtick (what you are going to be known for), and get good at it. Keep in mind the figures I mentioned to your earlier, that only 4% of people do this professionally. If you are doing it for fun, more power to you, but if you are looking for an updated career path, I think you’d better understand that it is an all or nothing path that keeps you at the mercy of the algorithm.

If you do decide it is for you, I wish you the best of luck and we are rooting for you every step of the way!

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