According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, economists predict that there will be a recession this year. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates, and large corporations like Amazon are conducting layoffs. As the unemployment rate is expected to hit 4.6% by the end of this year, consumer spending could go down. So how will this economic downturn affect the creator economy?
Many believe that the creator economy will be recession-proof, as it is “driven by direct financial support from audiences and creators’ ability to connect with fans,” which is typically less affected by economic fluctuations. The Information estimated that venture capitalists invested $2 billion into 50 creator-focused startups in 2021 alone. Marketing teams worldwide are investing in influencer marketing, and video content is still king, as TikTok’s projected user growth suggests. But what will the future hold in the face of an economic downturn?
As a content creator, you need to find new ways to make money and lower your expenses in the wake of an economic downturn. Here are four tips for survival this year:
Create Content for Other Pages: Organic social media is a necessary evil for content creators, but it is the reason you have an audience. Brands need consistent content for audience engagement while slotting in paid ads and ROI-driven promotions. As companies look at cutting costs, they could lean heavier on organic content. You, as a content-creating expert, are exactly what brands need right now. Reach out to brands you want to build a relationship with and offer to create fun, exciting content that only goes on their page for a lower price. By creating content for other brands, you position yourself to make as many posts as your schedule allows without ruining your own branding. That’s a true win-win!
Whitelist: Whitelisting is a powerful marketing tool for influencers. It allows a brand to put ad spend behind your posts, so even though they look organic and are hitting your audience, the brand you’re working with is actually funding them. You can pitch this to brands by letting them know that with this method, they get the opportunity to retarget your audience and close more sales, but your posts are likely to look more authentic than traditional ads and are already hitting their desired audience. This is also a win-win for you because your ad will likely have higher engagement than normal with the brand putting ad spend behind it.
Become a Social Media Freelancer: As companies look to cut costs, they may turn to contract workers to produce good content at a cheaper cost. As a content creator, you’re in a unique position to use your qualifications for a little extra cash. In the new era of TikToks and Instagram reels, brands may be looking for someone to be the face of their social media. You can take on multiple roles, from freelancing to ambassadorship, while still having the time to grow your own social media accounts.
Make the Most of In-Kind Partnerships: Although you need real money to pay rent and bills, there is such a thing as a valuable in-kind partnership. When a company approaches you asking for exposure without cash, ask yourself, “Will I use this payment?” For example, a plane ticket for a trip you were going to take anyway would be a total “yes.” The savviest creators will figure out how to utilize in-kind partnerships with their monthly expenses to cut costs. Do you have grocery bills? Try to partner with a grocery chain. Are you going to the gym? Reach out to one about a partnership. There are different levels of companies you can approach based on your own influence, but this strategy can save you money while maintaining partnerships.
Creators need to be proactive in finding new ways to make money and lower their expenses during economic downturns. By leveraging these tips, creators can survive and thrive, even during an economic recession.