Feb 13, 2023

Content Creators: What Are They And How Can You Be One?

Written by Dan Hughes

As avid users of social media, experienced content creators use a wealth of creative marketing skills to produce high-quality visuals and messaging for specific audiences. Being a content creator is a varied and rewarding role paved with exciting opportunities (just see what some TikTok creators can make)—if you know what you’re doing.

Here we look at what it means to be a content creator and look at ways to become one in today’s age of influence.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What is a content creator?

A content creator produces… well… high-quality content for a range of digital channels, from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok, YouTube, and beyond.

Some content creators produce visuals and communications for a range of digital channels while others specialize in one particular platform or medium. But, in either case, successful content creators must have a well-balanced knowledge of key digital marketing principles to create videos, images, ads, copy, and messaging that speaks to the right audience at the right time.

Most content creators produce videos, animations, infographics, well-crafted social media posts (both paid and organic), and even articles or blog posts.

What does a content creator do?

As you will know by now, content creators deal in words, imagery, and videos—largely on social media channels. With such a varied role, there’s no typical day in the life of a content creator—but there are certain tasks or duties that come with the job. These include:

  • Working with brands and businesses to establish key customer segments and buyer personas
  • Creating campaign concepts and ideas that are inspirational and offer value
  • Using content creation tools to produce images, animations, videos, graphics, articles, blog posts, memes, social media ads, promotional copy, and a range of other targeted promotional materials
  • Measuring, tracking and analyzing the success of content and campaigns using data-driven marketing tools and platforms

What skills does a content creator need?

To be a successful content creator, it’s important to develop a well-rounded mix of creative and analytical skills while possessing (or working on) certain personal attributes.

  • Copywriting skills: the ability to craft compelling and conversational messaging is essential as a content creator. Understanding the art of copywriting will help you connect with your audience while earning engagement for your clients.
  • Visual editing and creation skills: knowing how to create sharp, polished, and visually appealing videos, imagery, and digital designs is essential as a content creator—especially as most of today’s consumers respond best to visuals.
  • Analytical skills: as we touched on earlier, having the ability to test, track, and analyze the success of your content is critical to content creator success. As such, learning essential data-driven marketing principles and getting to grips with tools like Google Analytics is important.
  • Storytelling skills: gaining the ability to create compelling stories across channels and mediums will help you stand out as a content creator. Brand storytelling is a powerful tool and learning how to arrange your campaigns, content, and messaging into inspiring narratives is one of the greatest skills you can acquire.
  • Communication and organizational skills: being able to communicate clearly and frequently with your clients throughout a project is essential. Plus, as most content creators have to juggle many projects, having sharp organizational skills will ensure you remain consistent, creative, and reliable at all times.

Read: 11 social media tools every content creator needs to set yourself up for success.

What’s the difference between content creators and influencers?

While content creators are influential in their own way, they are not social media influencers. Both content creators and influencers create and share relevant content via social media—but it’s the motivation and style of content that generally differs.

Influencers are focused on building their personal brand and sharing content based on their personal lives or interests. Once an influencer gains a healthy following, they work with brands to plug or promote their products through their social media pages.

A content creator, on the other hand, produces and develops content for a variety of brands or businesses based on the needs of their target audience or marketing goals. Content creators do often promote themselves through social media, but ultimately, work in collaboration with clients to publish a range of content while consulting on creative direction and campaign concepts.

Read: The ultimate influencer marketing guide (and template) and discover all you need to know about the subject.

How do you become a content creator?

Now that you know the answer to the question, ‘what does a content creator do?’, we’re going to look at how you can get into this exciting branch of digital marketing.

Find a niche and audience

First of all, it’s worth noting that to stand out as a content creator, you should avoid spreading yourself too thin.So, rather than trying to be a ‘one stop content creation shop’, you should focus on a specific niche or area of expertise. For instance, you might want to specialize in working within the charity sector or in ethical retail.

Choosing a niche and understanding various audiences within that niche will empower you to create content that earns results while building a name for yourself in an area that suits your passions and knowledge.

Decide what type of content you want to make

As a content creator, it pays to know how to produce materials for a range of channels and mediums. But, having one specialist area won’t hurt as it will help you excel in a specific area.

You could, for instance, position yourself as a TikTok and YouTube video specialist in the charity sector. Focusing your efforts in this way will give you direction while helping you gain an edge on the competition.

Build your portfolio and content

Once you’ve picked your niche and content specialism, you can set about building a portfolio of your work. At first, you can experiment with personal campaigns and if you have a friend with a business, you could offer your services to gain experiences as well as pieces for your portfolio.

The more you create, the more you can add to your portfolio and have a better chance of gaining regular rewarding work.

Tip: Whenever you finish a job or project, ask for a client review or testimonial to use as social proof. Publishing client testimonials on your social media channels will build trust and credibility, which will lead to a steady stream of lucrative clients.

Keep your finger firmly on the pulse

The digital world is in a state of continual evolution. So, to stay ahead of the game, it’s vital you take  the time to frequently upskill .

In addition to continually honing and updating your skills, you should check in with industry news and publications to avoid missing important updates or getting left behind.

Read: Our guide to the six most important social media & influencer trends in 2023 to get ahead of the pack.

How much do content creators make?

Being a content creator is a potentially rewarding and lucrative career path. Like any role, your income or salary will vary depending on experience and industry.

But, as a working guide, today’s content creators can make anything in the region of US$38,000 to $99,000 per annum, with the average salary for seasoned professionals coming in at around US$61,988.

Read: Our guide on how much YouTubers make and dive deeper into the earning potential of specialist content creators.

Is being a content creator a good career?

Did you know? 52% of creators earning $50K-100K spend 10 hours or less per week actively working.

In addition to being well compensated for your efforts, being a content creator is a great career choice. It is varied, challenging, and incredibly creative.

Another prominent perk is the fact (especially if you're a freelancer) that you can enjoy the freedom to choose your hours while earning money from anywhere in the world, enjoying a quality  work-life balance in the process.

Read: Looking for digital nomad jobs? Here are some top tips for inspiration and advice on becoming a globe-trotting digital marketer.

Why do brands work with content creators?

Today’s most forward-thinking brands work with talented content creators to connect with their target audience on a deeper, more meaningful level.

Not only do content creators boast niche skills, but they also offer a fresh creative perspective that can really elevate a brand’s image or messaging.

As a result, content creators help brands boost engagement, extend their commercial reach, and earn consumer loyalty. Brands are willing to pay the right content creators well as they offer an excellent return on investment (ROI).

To connect with its core audience of small to medium-sized business owners, MailChimp, for instance, worked with professional content creators to launch its All In a Day’s Work campaign.

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Slick, informational and wonderfully presented, this mini-series outlines the challenges and truths that come with running a budding business, along with the triumphs. This collection of telling stop-motion videos were cross-promoted via MailChimp’s most subscribed social media channels, earning droves of engagement in the process. A testament to the power of content creation specialists.

Another inspiring example of content creator collaboration comes from retailer Boots. To prime consumers for its new seasonal range, the brand launched its ‘Summer Better Ready’ campaign with the help of content creators.

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The video itself is polished and builds a real buzz. Coupled with social media as well as editorial content, the campaign was a roaring success, earning Boots an ROI of £2.50 for every £1 spent.

Become a content creator

If you’re ready to take the big first step towards becoming a professional content creator, our content marketing short course is flexible and industry recognized.

Here you will learn of the essential skills that you need to succeed as a content creator at a pace that suits you.

Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes

Dan is a content writer specializing in digital marketing, emerging tech, music and looking after a toddler. You can find out more about him and his work by visiting his Catchy Space.

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