I just recently did a poll on Instagram whether or not it would be helpful to do a series on content creating. There isn’t much out there for beginners, and although I’m not an expert, I do relatively well so I do have a lot of insight. There was an overwhelming response that it would be helpful, so here we are. The Content Creator Chronicles will be a series with pretty much everything I know about content creating. From photography, to page layout, to getting collaborations, creating a media kit, etc. I want to help you make money by creating content! But first things first.
What the heck is content creating? Is it the same thing as being an influencer?
Being a content creator and influencer are two very different things, in my opinion, with some common ground. Content creation is all about the content you put out without the main focus of growing your social media. Being an influencer is all about the scope of your influence without necessarily having to learn photography and create unique content. Both go hand in hand a lot of the time, but you don’t necessarily have to be both if you don’t want. I know tons of “creators” who have a very minimal following but beautiful, curated feeds and get tons of collaborations this way. On the other hand, there are also a lot of “influencers” with huge followings who don’t care about having a curated feed and just post phone snapshots. Most people do a little bit of both, and generally you’ll want to do both to fully monetize.
Is it for me?
The main thing I want you to ask yourself if you want to get started is “Do I have the time to do this?” IT. TAKES. A. LOT. OF. TIME. Especially in the beginning before you are fully established and somewhat know what you are doing. Researching, applying to campaigns, shooting content (both for campaigns and for your feed), planning out shoots and posts, captioning, engaging, answering DMs and emails, so on and so forth. There is so much more that goes into it than people realize. Once you kind of get the hang of things and get a routine going, it’s easier, but still takes time.
The next thing is.. “Am I willing to put myself out there?” This especially holds true in the influencer scope of things, but even content creating sets you up for a lot of rejection, discouragement, and just an overall feeling of not being good enough. You might apply to tons of campaigns before finally getting one. The brand may not like the photos you send. The engagement on your post could be terrible. There are so many factors that you have to mentally prepare for and you have to be ok with failure and rejection. It’s just part of this, like it is part of all aspects of life. You win some and you lose some, and that HAS TO BE ok.
Those are honesty the main two negatives that I want to put out there, I’m sure there are more but we don’t have all day.
So what’s the upside?
Well first and foremost, you get paid AND get free stuff, duh. I have done some amazing campaigns, you guys. I’m still shocked whenever a brand selects me over hundreds, sometimes thousands of applicants they get. But the longer I do this, the more normal it becomes.. but it’s still freaking exciting.
Second, you make your own schedule. This is HUGEEEEE. I have three kids so obviously they are my top priority. I can basically work when I want. If I’m sick, I don’t have to do anything. If the kids are sick, I don’t have to do anything. If I don’t feel like it, I don’t have to do anything. It’s a beautiful thing. So yes, every campaign has a deadline and I rarely wait until the last minute to do them for the very reason that my life is unpredictable. But you choose how much or how little you put into it. Essentially, the more you put in, the more money you make and vice versa, but it’s totally up to you!
The last thing I want to touch on is the cost to get started. Really you don’t need anything to start but your phone and what you already have in your home. There are some incredible accounts who shoot all of their content using a phone and a preset. You technically don’t even need presets if you know some basic editing but that’s an investment I think is 100% worth it and doesn’t need to cost a fortune. I will discuss this more in the photography section of the series. Depending on what kind of content you want to create (fashion, home, motherhood, fitness, travel, food, and so on), you really just need some creativity and to play around with it until you just start seeing opportunity in every day.
So that’s that, in a nutshell. There’s obviously a lot more to it but these are just a few things to consider when starting out. It’s not for everyone, and that’s ok. Most jobs aren’t. But if you’re ok with putting time and effort into it, I really do think that it’s really rewarding and the opportunities are endless.
Hopefully that was helpful to all of the newbies out there who are thinking about it. Always feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram, I’m happy to answer any and all questions. And if you think that content creating is for you, read the first part of the series; Photography Equipment!