For many, being a digital creator is a dream job — it allows you creative freedom, as well as flexibility over how and when you work. However, there’s an aspect of this increasingly popular career option that isn’t talked about enough: How do you start making money as a digital creator? With little to no direction, it may seem difficult to earn a sustainable income when you’re just beginning your creator journey. That’s why we’ve enlisted the team behind ilovecreatives to help.
Known for being a portal for digital creatives to enhance their digital skill set, ilovecreatives boasts a library of resources that they’d love access to themselves as creative freelancers. From an information-packed weekly newsletter to online courses, it provides valuable ways for digital creators to acquire new skills, while also helping them figure out how to earn money as freelancers.
ilovecreatives’ online courses cover a range of topics, including graphic design, video creation and editing, and even how to build a Squarespace website. Additionally, the platform offers a number of useful tools, such as a spreadsheet for calculating your freelancer rate and font books for your design needs.
Below, the ilovecreatives team shares five tips for building an income as a digital creator.
1. Share and sell your knowledge online.
If you have an expertise in a particular field or topic, you can start earning money by turning your knowledge into an online business. One way to do that is by creating and selling an online course. It can be about anything that interests you and can provide value to others. Some of ilovecreative’s most popular courses include its Squarespace Design Course, Video Creator Course, and the Graphic Design Course.
Creating a course can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start, but take cues from ilovecreatives. To mitigate any bumps in your course creation process, the team advises to understand your audience and their desires, and create a plan from there. “Start with a number of hours you think your audience would want, then build out your curriculum. We found that the opposite way tends to be never-ending. The hardest part is finishing your course before you lose motivation,” the team says.
To gauge interest from its community, ilovecreatives has created sign-up lists for various course requests. “We were getting so many ideas, but wasn’t sure what to prioritize. As people sign up, we can prioritize certain courses,” the team explains. “Make sure there’s demand!”
2. Focus on providing useful resources consistently.
To start generating income as a digital creator, it’s important that you cultivate an engaged audience and understand their needs. Remember that they are your potential customers. And to gain their trust, you need to offer something of value to them on a regular basis.
Once you’ve figured out your target demographic, you can start building out resources that cater to your audience’s needs. “If you know who your audience is, build a newsletter that would be helpful to them and send it out every week,” the ilovecreatives team says. “You don’t have to sell anything, just be helpful.”
Consistency is key when you’re just starting out, so ensure that these resources are being delivered on a schedule that works for you. When creating the resource, you should also think about whether you’re truly adding value to your audience. According to ilovecreatives, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: “Is this [resource] genuinely helpful, or are we just saying stuff?”
3. Design matters — invest in a professional.
Whether you’re selling an online course or an e-book, do not neglect the design and aesthetic of your digital products. “This isn’t a tangible product, and good design can signal to people the quality of your digital product,” ilovecreatives notes.
If you aren’t design-savvy, the team recommends investing in a professional designer to assist you in creating the design for your content. Hiring a professional will help ensure quality and consistency across your content and product offering, which is essential when you’re trying to earn an income online.
4. Be motivated by wanting to help others.
To successfully make money online as a creator educator, you need to ask yourself what your intentions are. “You have to genuinely want to help people,” ilovecreatives says. “If that’s true, then you’ll be a great teacher.”
In addition to showing that you’re passionate and well versed in a particular subject, being motivated to transform other people’s lives will help you establish rapport with your audience. When your intentions are backed by actually useful resources for your community, that’s when you can expect to earn your first dollars online.
5. Learn how to build your own website.
Creating your own website will give you full control over how your content is showcased. ilovecreatives believes that learning how to build your website can help you experiment quickly with different ideas, without any restrictions of a third-party platform. This also provides a space for your personal creativity to nurture and flourish.
Need some pointers? There are many examples of brilliantly made websites that you can take inspiration from on the ilovecreatives website.