About this Guide
Digital Fox Talent has a long-standing history of mentorship with members of our talent team. We help geeky content creators to make connections, respond to paid opportunities, receive briefs, and generally help to develop their side hustle or full time career as a geeky content creator.
We’ve provided a lot of the tips we’ve learned along the way to members of our team, but thought there might be a better way to give everyone access to this knowledge. So in a bid to do that, we built this guide. We’ve broken it down into chapters and will be providing to you regularly through our social channels. This is chapter one.
This guide is for geeky content creators and influencers who have already gained their followers. It’s most appropriate for those now looking to learn how to make money as an entrepreneurial content creator and gain an understanding of the most professional way to go about this. This is not a guide to producing content, social platforms, or how to become an content creator. You’re probably pretty good at all that stuff already.
You’ll hear the term “entrepreneurial content creator” in this guide a lot for good reason. This is a guide to making money, and being an entrepreneur with your content creator skills. If you don’t want to create a career, or develop brand partnerships as a content creator, and instead prefer to work for free or just as a hobby, then this guide probably isn’t for you.
If you do want to make money as a content creator, and take a professional, committed approach to doing this, then read on friends.
Can you be a paid content creator, and do you have influence?
Believe it or not, this is an important question to ask yourself before you get started and work with brands. Having millions of followers does not necessarily equate to influence. It means you have a platform to influence from for sure, but that’s not the same thing.
Also, a content creator might be great at producing content, but to be a brand influencer or paid content creator and work on branded campaigns you need an entrepreneurial spirit to be able to grow your brand and generate revenue. Not to mention you’ll need the patience and ability to deal with clients, negotiate briefs and report your performance to brands.
If you are more creative than you are business-minded, or if you don’t have time to manage business inquiries and just want to focus on producing content, that doesn’t count you out from being an influencer or a paid content creator. Instead, you would need a talent management team like Digital Fox Talent, or an agent to help you with the business side of things.
If you’re able to spark online chat around topics you’re passionate about, then that’s an indicator of having influence, and that’s what’s appealing to brands. There’s no value for brands in working with a content producer who focuses on memes or model shots if they do not offer any opinions, thoughts, credibility, or actual engagement with their audience.
Do you have a specific audience? If you can clearly describe what their demographics, their common age, and what their interests are, then you have a specific audience. It doesn’t matter if this audience is large or small, as long as you can specify it.
Influencers and paid content creators are an important part of driving conversation around current events and topics. Their audience follows that account for that reason, whether that’s your opinion, your personality, or your aesthetic. As a result, to be paid by a brand, you will need to have the power to change conversations or perception around topics relevant and of interest to your audience.
To summarize, a social media influencer and a potentially paid content creator is someone with a following on any number of social media platforms who has enough credibility in an industry to affect that industry, or its consumers. That’s what potential brand partners are interested in, it’s simply hiring credible influencers and content producers who can sway their audience towards achieving a goal for the brand.
Content creators with accounts that have a vast following, but no influence on an audience are not influencers. Examples include meme accounts, lewd accounts, accounts with an inconsistent content strategy and accounts with a hard to specify audience.
A consistent content strategy creates a specified audience.
This is important. If you’re regularly covering similar topics day in and day out in the content you produce, you are specializing in an area and therefore are creating a specific audience.
This is important for brands as they will always be looking for partners who are experts in a particularly industry, and that will work towards their objectives of the partnership more effectively.
If you do not produce content with particular themes, it is unlikely that brands will approach you as you do not have influence over a specific industry. This it makes it harder to get good brand deals when you don’t specialize.
Also falling under the bracket of inconsistent audiences is fake followers. Fake followers might bulk up that initial perception of your following, but they will not engage with you, or give you good stats, and brands will overlook you. Your audience must be real if you wish to earn revenue.
A little note on swearing, drugs and lewd content.
This is completely dependent to what brands you wish to work with. The majority will not want to partner with influencers who swear often in their content. I would recommend not swearing, or only swearing on the odd occasion when perhaps you can’t stop yourself. If you’re going after R rated brands you might be fine.
Generally you want to keep yourself open to working with as many brands as possible and that means keeping your content consumable across as many audiences, demographics and ages as possible.
If you’re found to be promoting the use of illicit drugs in content or in person you will be removed from any current or future campaigns, this also applies to illegal activity of any kind. We also recommend that you refrain from smoking at all at influencer events, or when producing content.
“Lewd” had become a term for sexualized content online. The truth is that lewd accounts get followers. People who want a lot of followers can resort to publishing this content to gain followers fast. However, by doing this it’s unlikely brands in this industry will consider you to promote their products. They will assume you have an audience who is interested in the lewd content, rather than your opinions and “influence”.
With all of these things to bear in mind, it’s easy to ask yourself why on earth you would ever want to be an influencer! Trust us, it’s worth it if you’re willing to put in the hard work, and also accept that it’s still no stroll in the park.
Why are brand partnerships important for a content creator?
If you’re an established influencer, it’s likely that you’ll remember the days of earning really good revenue through the likes of Youtube. The truth is, this has dropped off massively and is not going to increase again anytime soon. Despite that revenue stream diminishing, there’s more opportunity now than ever to partner with brands directly rather than profit from google ads or similar on your content. But, you’ll need to change your focus.
The other thing to understand is how hard these content creators truly work. They have to produce hundreds of pieces of content per year, manage their audiences whilst earning enough dollars to put food on the table along with managing brand relationships. It’s not an easy gig. Our next chapter explains why this is.