Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a creator, or maybe you walked in through the back door. Regardless of whether you chose the creator life or it chose you, staying in the game is as much about putting out your bread-and-butter content as it is about finding new ways to grow and stabilize your revenue.
Ahead, find tips for diversifying your income as a creator. Yes, that’s why we’re here. And yes, ECON101 will find you, no matter how awesome your freelance or content creation job is.
Why is having different income streams important for creators?
Three words: Sustainable. Business. Model.
Lissette Calveiro, content creator and founder of influencer marketing consultancy Influence with Impact, says having diverse income streams help ensure that if one revenue stream is having a slow season — a normal part of entrepreneurship — the others can make up for it.
But how do you figure out what to focus on? “A good way to think about how to find your next revenue stream is to think about the journey of your ideal client, from level one to level 10,” Calveiro says. “How can you serve people at different stages? Are there different services that you can build to give people multiple points of entry to working with you?”
Oh yes, there are. Let’s dive in.
1. Adapt your content to new platforms
The more eyes there are on your work, the greater your opportunity to sell your stuff. However, at a certain point, it may feel like you’ve hit the audience growth ceiling on your platform of choice. So make the leap to a new one, and expose your work to a brand new audience.
Repackage, don’t just repost
Social media users are sensitive to authenticity, meaning the content they see needs to feel native to the platform they’re on. It’s no secret that Instagram’s manicured look will flop on your TikTok For You page. So try repackaging the nugget of your content into a format that’ll work on your other platform. This will not only allow you to feel “real” to new followers, but it’ll also help you go a long way in expanding your reach. After all, each creator platform has a different raison d’être which determines what works, what goes viral, and what trends resonate with users.
2. Share your knowledge
Whether you’re a fitness coach with the secret to growing glutes, or you’re widely regarded as the new Bob Ross, selling classes or speaking at conferences can help bring in a surprising amount of dough.
Create an online course
Building an online course — especially your first — will take time, so plan at least two months ahead, says Juan Galán, creator coach and founder of IG Creator Academy. He suggests aligning your content strategy with your course, and posting at least two pieces of content per week on it leading up to the launch.
“Show sneak peeks, ask questions, and involve your audience in the creation to generate curiosity and excitement,” Galán tells us. “Create a VIP or waitlist for those that are super interested and almost ready to buy [access to your course], so when you actually launch, your audience will be warm and won’t be bombarded with promo content about a course they had no idea about.”
Start talking and build authority
If your thing is more about sharing knowledge, inspiration or experience, consider speaking at conferences, workplaces or schools. The easiest place to start is by building your authority online. “Really become that go-to person in your category or industry,” Calveiro shares. Tap into Reels, TikTok and livestreams to prove your on-camera and public speaking skills.
“Speaking opportunities are all about storytelling from our own experiences and expertise,” she adds. “So the more consistently you show up telling those stories on social [media], the more likely people start to take notice.”
3. Sell physical goods
We are still living in a material world, and Instagram has recently made the buying and selling process easier than ever. Coincidence? We think not. Let’s explore two great use cases for monetizing physical goods.
Your product is what you make
This is a no-brainer, but we have to say it: If you make stuff, sell it. Does the internet love to watch you sketch? Give the people what they want: a chance to buy your drawings. Same goes for the woodworkers, bakers, sewers, potters — you get it.
Your product is who you are
Your personality is intangible, and as such, it may be one of the harder things to monetize — but it doesn’t have to be. Why not put your brand, your face, or your most famous quote on absolutely anything you can think of, and enter the world of branded merch?
4. Start a club
According to Galán, this is the easiest way to make bank. “People already love the content you put out, so why not give them the option to get access to exclusive content + community + you?”
Make exclusive content
Is there something people always ask you about, or ask you for help with? If so, think of how you can make it easier for them to get the answer.
“I was sharing weekly trending audios and tips on my page,” Galán says, “but it was always hard for people to find the audios or save them. … So this is how my Reels subscription was born. Now, I send people links to trending audios, predictions, and tips every week via email.”
Build a private-access community
Private access is not just about the content, says Calveiro. It’s also about discovering what experiences and value you can give your community that they aren’t getting elsewhere, whether that’s information, transformation, or connection to others.
For instance, consider hosting virtual or live events that allow your followers to connect with each other, as well as with you. “They’re meant to be here in the long run, not just taking what they need and leaving,” Calveiro remarks.
5. Partner with brands
Try a new angle on this oldie but goodie: On top of promoting a big brand’s goods in exchange for cash (and growing your following with their reposts), offer to up the ante by co-creating courses or products featuring both your brands.
Whatever you do, a master document is key to tracking what works, Galan notes. “The sky’s the limit when it comes to monetizing your content, you just gotta try different things, and then rinse and repeat whatever worked the best with your audience.”