With the digital space becoming the center of every human activity, it is impossible to ignore the business industry’s digitalization. Almost every business activity is centered on the Internet. Businesses, big or small, are actively working towards creating and maintaining their online presence through content marketing.
This continuous struggle has given rise to the need for great content, thus, content creators. As the famous saying goes, “content is key.” Businesses, companies, and even entrepreneurs need good content to build a strong relationship with their audience. This, in turn, influences business growth, sales, and online presence positively.
Due to the amount of effort, planning, and talent put into creating great content, every business that seeks to thrive online needs a content creator(s). This has created an opportunity for creatives to succeed in the business industry.
To help you take advantage of this opportunity, we have carefully outlined the steps you should take to begin your content creation career.
Who Is A Content Creator?
A content creator is an individual who creates appealing, engaging, informative, and educational content that connects brands or businesses with their desired audience. Content creation encompasses (but is not limited to) videos, blog posts, infographics, e-books, and photos. This content is produced and uploaded on various online platforms such as social media platforms, podcasts, blogs, websites, etc.
Content creators either work independently or as part of the content marketing team of companies or businesses. They actively work towards providing valuable information while matching the search intent of new and existing audiences.
How to Become a Professional Content Creator?
Whether you intend to become a freelance content creator or take up in-house positions in agencies or companies, there is a general way to achieve this.
Although companies and agencies may require years of experience, marketing, graphic, journalism, or writing certification to offer you in-house positions, freelance content creators do not need these to get jobs.
However, as a freelance content creator, you need to build your portfolio and resume to garner some experience and well-paying jobs.
Regardless of the career path or industry, you choose to pursue, here’s a great way to get started.
- Learn what you should
Depending on the kind of content creator you wish to become, you must acquire specific skills and certifications or degrees.
If you would like to work with an agency or occupy in-house positions in companies or businesses, you would need to get certain certifications/degrees.
To this effect, several universities have included digital marketing and content creation related courses in their programs. These courses include design and production, marketing, business administration, English, public relations, and journalism. Considering content creation is a broad industry, you should know your desired niche before choosing a program.
Internships, paid or unpaid, are also a perfect way to acquire skills and some experience. In most cases, internships open you up to full-time positions and other opportunities. They also serve as an addition to your résumé if you wish to work as a freelance content creator.
If you would like to learn your way, you can. The Internet provides several possibilities for you. Through the web, you can access various courses and resources that can teach you the necessary skills. These courses, free or paid, can be accessed on online course platforms such as Udemy, edX, and several others.
- Identify your desired niche and expertise
Identifying your desired niche and expertise is essential if you wish to stand out from your competitors. This is especially important if you want to be a freelance content creator.
Do you have an interest in content marketing, editing, proofreading, technical SEO, brand analysis, or writing about a specific niche?
Whatever your answer is, that is where your expertise should be in.
If you intend to work with agencies or occupy in-house positions in companies, you can identify your desired niche in the course of your work experience. Finding your niche, gaining the necessary skills and experience in it is a perfect way to present your services as highly valuable while standing out.
- Build your portfolio
This step is partially dependent on how quickly you find your niche and specialize in it.
Your portfolio is built through your experiences, skills, and brand.
The months or years of paid or unpaid internships, experiences, and skills you have garnered make your portfolio more attractive and opens you to new opportunities. Also, gathering some valuable additional skills related to your desired niche is a great way to stand out.
While participating in internships, networking, and learning, keep your heads up for new skills you may be interested in outside of arts and writing. You can leverage these skills to find the best-paying jobs and gigs. Some of these additional skills include HTML, Technical SEO, Analytics, communication skills, etc.
You can also offer free services to your friends and family to get real client testimonials on your portfolio. This would make it easier for employers to trust you.
- Create and build your brand
Personal branding cuts across every individual business industry, not just influencers. Building and maintaining your personal social media account, blogs, podcaster vlog, etc., is a suitable way to showcase your skills.
Through these platforms, you can gain some experience and also get new business opportunities. You can successfully do this by –
- Conducting thorough researches to discover what other content creators are doing
- Developing your unique voice and style
- Specializing in your desired niche and expertise
- Creating engaging and valuable content for your audience
- Posting consistently
- Engaging and building relationships with your audience and community
- Updating your social media accounts – YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, etc.
- Build your network
Although organic networks and connections are built based on personal branding, you can also actively search for networking opportunities. These opportunities come in the form of online and physical networking events, conferences, and meetings. Also, active participation in social media groups and communities on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is an excellent way to build your network and meet other content creators.
When creating your audience and building a network, ensure that you make an authentic and active audience. By doing this, you can easily measure your skills and abilities based on their responses.
Also, connecting with other content creators is very beneficial. This way, you can acquire new knowledge and skills, get referrals, partner with them, and make new friends. You can build connections by following and interacting on their social media pages and through emails.
- Get your first job
After successfully acquiring skills, building your portfolio, personal brand, and network, it is time to get your first gig or job.
Regardless of the kind of job you want to do, freelance or a company, you have a platform. To apply for in-house positions in businesses, companies, or agencies, you can search for various job platforms to send in applications. You can find these opportunities on platforms such as Indeed, Flexjobs, etc.
However, to work as a freelancer, you can register with freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer to get well-paid gigs. Getting gigs on these platforms may be difficult initially but favorable once you get the hang of things. To remain at the top of the competition, consistently update your profile and résumé and send out great proposals for gigs.
Ensure that you deliver outstanding services and deliver in due time to get excellent reviews on your profile and portfolio to get your first job. A lot of things are going to change for you positively after getting your first job.
What Do Content Creators Do?
Content creators perform a variety of actions based on their expertise and skills. It also depends on your audience and where you work. Some tasks content creators do include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO ensures that good web content ranking. Most web content and copywriters are knowledgeable on SEO as it is essential to their jobs.
- Brand Analysis: Content creators evaluate brands in their entirety. They assess their design style, voice, strengths, content strategies, etc.
- Promotion: Content impacts and reaches relevant and targeted audiences when promoted.
- Copywriting: Copywriting comprises several content types – email copy, social media copy, long-form blog posts, etc.
Some other essential tasks include content creativity, project management, editing, videography, and visual design.
The content creation industry is a rapidly growing industry that requires innovations to keep your desired audience hooked and stay ahead of your competitors. This might present to you as challenging and difficult to keep up with, but it is lucrative and rewarding.
Learning is a continuous process, and it applies to every sphere of life, content creation inclusive. To retain clients, get referrals, and close down high-paying jobs, you would need to stay ahead of your competitors and at the top of the market trends. Learning new relevant skills, purchasing, or getting new tools is a perfect way to stay ahead.
To excel in your desired industry or niche, you continually keep up with new trends, commit to personal branding, and find your voice and style. Achieving all these while providing your target audience with value is a great way to show your skills to potential customers and attract new opportunities.