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How to Become a Full-time Content Creator

Content Creator Resources & Tips

How to Become a Full-time Content Creator

By Monique Thomas

Updated on February 9, 2022

9 minute read

Tl;dr: the creator economy is booming 🚀

Published February 9, 2022

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Can you really quit your job to become a content creator? Spoiler alert: yes.

The creator economy is booming, and in 2022, becoming a full-time content creator is both a credible (and lucrative) job.

But it takes more than one viral post or nailing the latest TikTok trend

We interviewed two creators to find out how they took the leap, the lessons they’ve learned, and how you can do it too.

If video is more your style, check out this YouTube video outlining four steps to becoming a full-time content creator:

What Is a Content Creator? 

A content creator is, by definition, anyone who creates digital content. 

A professional content creator, however, is someone who is able to build an online community and monetize their output. 

And in 2022, the “creator economy” is seriously big business – it's worth over $100 billion (and counting). 

Becoming a content creator isn't just about posting on social media. In 2022, content creators wear many hats, including:

  • Developing content calendars 

  • Creating videos, graphics, or photos for their multiple social accounts 

  • Connecting with their community via Stories, Livestreams, or events

  • Collaborating with brands via sponsored posts or affiliate links

  • Guest writing blog posts 

  • Launching courses, newsletters, podcasts, or products

  • Consulting for brands, small businesses, or aspiring creators

And with more social media platforms investing in creator tools and features, the content creation space is just getting started. 

Did you know: Later’s trusted by over 4M creators, social media managers, and brands to schedule their social posts in advance. Sign up today – for free: 

How to Become a Content Creator in 8 Steps

We spoke with Tomi Obebe and Taylor Loren, two creators who specialize in different niches, to find out exactly how to become a full-time content creator and what you need to make it happen.

Here's what they said:

an infographic outlining 8 signs you're ready to become a full time content creator

Step #1: You Have a Clear Vision and Niche 

If you have a clear vision and niche, it’ll help you create relevant content, attract the right followers, and grow an engaged community. 

But more importantly, it gives you something to come back to whenever you have a mental roadblock. 

“Remember why you’re doing this in the first place,” advises Tomi. 

For Tomi, she recognized there was a disproportionate number of Black-women bloggers in the lifestyle space. 

Tomi’s vision is all about advocating for representation in the industry, inspiring women of color, and helping them “get the same opportunities that I’ve been afforded.” 

As a result, her blog, GoodTomiCha, touches on brand collaboration tips and rate transparency, along with her other content pillars such as fashion and travel. 

TIP: When brainstorming your vision, ask yourself: What are my passions and skills? What am I knowledgeable about? If I wasn’t getting paid, would I still enjoy creating this content?

Step #2: You’ve Developed SMART Social Media and Business Goals 

Content creation is a marathon, not a race. 

And before you start filming videos, taking photos, or drafting blog posts, it’s important to create SMART goals first. 

This way, you can forecast where you want to be, make informed decisions about your social media strategy, and get a clear idea of what’s considered a “success." 

Taylor, a former marketing director, shares: “I had been creating content part-time for years, and wanted to make some extra cash as a downpayment for a car. 

So, I decided to run a Content Planning Workshop. My end goal was $3K and I made over $30K. It validated the concept that I could create digital products people would pay for, and I quit my job six months later.” 

Using her key learnings, Taylor was able to set an even bigger goal and launched a successful Instagram Reels course

The takeaway? Setting SMART goals will be the foundation on which you build your entire content strategy – whether it’s for the year, or for a particular campaign. 

And they don’t have to be daunting either. Bookmark this post to help you create your own: How to Set Social Media Goals for 2022 (+ Achieve Them!)

Step #3: You’ve Built An Engaged Community – Regardless of Its Size!

Here’s a little secret: you don’t need millions of followers to become a full-time content creator. 

Tomi and Taylor each have less than 40K followers on Instagram. 

What matters most is that they’ve cultivated engaged communities who interact with their posts, click-through their links, and support their content that doesn’t live on social – like their blogs or courses. 

Taylor and Tomi using Instagram stories stickers to engage with their community

So, how do you build an engaged digital community? 

  • Show up on camera and interact with your followers, whether it’s via stories content or livestreams.

  • Create educational or entertaining content such as carousel posts, blogs, long form videos, or meme content that shows off your personality. 

  • Respond to comments and DMs! Social media is a two-way street, and listening to what your community has to say can help inform your content strategy. 

TIP: With Later’s free plan, you can schedule your social posts in advance (and all in one place).

Step #4: You Have Efficient Systems and Workflows

Streamlining your workflow is a must when jumping into content creation full-time. 

Tomi says content batching is the way to go: “It makes it so much easier to prep in advance. You need to have a game plan.” 

But setting up workflows and systems isn’t just for the content creation side of your business.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to set up your finances ASAP. Get a separate business bank account, consult with an accountant about how much you should put aside for taxes, and know what you can claim for expenses,” advises Taylor. 

And as you grow, you’ll also need to start thinking about building a team or outsourcing work – you can’t do everything solo! 

“Just because you have your own business, does not mean you have to literally do everything by yourself,” shares Tomi. 

TIP: With Later’s free scheduler, you (and your team) can write captions for upcoming posts and keep track of scheduled content. Hello, timesaver. 

Step #5: You Have Multiple Streams of Revenue 

Content creators have multiple skills in their toolkit – but knowing how to monetize those skills is where the money resides. 

Having multiple revenue streams also means you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. 

Here’s how Tomi monetized her content in 2021:

  • 70% brand partnerships

  • 20% affiliate sales

  • 10% freelance content creation and consulting

While Taylor took a slightly different approach:

  • 50% courses and workshops

  • 30% consulting 

  • 20% brand partnerships 

While there’s no one-size-fits all approach, take note of the skills you have and the type of content your audience would find valuable when taking the leap into becoming a full-time content creator. 

To learn more about how content creators make money, check out this post: 8 Ways to Make Money as a Content Creator

Step #6: You Have a Safety Net for Living Expenses

Both Tomi and Taylor stress the importance of having savings set aside. 

“Make sure you have at least six months worth of savings, and budget what your expenses and costs will be,” says Tomi.

And Taylor recommends saving even more: “I had saved up six months of living expenses before I quit my job – but that was living on a bare bones budget.

In reality, without making adjustments to my lifestyle, it was actually three months. If I were to do it again, I’d stick to my budget or wait to quit my full-time job until I had more in the bank.”

Step #7: You Have Writing, Editing, and/or Design Skills

This goes without saying: the ability to write, edit, or design is a highly valuable skill in the world of content creation. 

This can be for longform content like YouTube videos or newsletters, or short-form content like TikTok videos or Instagram captions. 

You don’t need to do them all, and you don’t need to be an expert, but it helps to have a reference point for the quality of your content.

And even more importantly: keep an eye on upcoming trends and jump on those that are relevant to your brand.

Step #8: Your Content Calendar is Organized and Consistent

The last sign you're ready to be a full-time content creator?

Your content calendar is organised and consistent – making it easy to grow on social, tell your story, and effectively promote your campaigns or launches.

PS: With Later's social media management tools, you can:

  • Plan your social content from one central place

  • Schedule your posts to go live, across platforms

  • Analyze your content to see how it performs, and use it to inform your strategy 

Plus, with the free Visual Planner, you can see exactly what your Instagram grid will look like in advance. 

If you’re not feeling its current look, you can rearrange your posts to strike the best balance – in just a few seconds:

A gif showing how to use Laters visual feed planner

Why does this matter? Your Instagram grid is similar to a website homepage – it tells visitors who you are and what they can expect from you. 

While it doesn’t need to be “picture-perfect,” it helps to make a strong first impression with a feed that is somewhat cohesive and shows what you're about:

Goodtomicha and Taylor.Loren show off their cohesive brand aesthetic in their Instagram feed

Remember: becoming a full-time content creator won’t happen overnight. And it takes more work than a one-off viral post. 

But with a solid vision and plan in place, along with an engaged community and multiple streams of revenue, you’ll be well on your way. 

Ready to create a more efficient workflow? Create a free account and start scheduling your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok posts with Later today:

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.


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