As a creator, consulting is a great way to start planning longer term income streams. For example, next week I’m speaking on a panel about web3 and crypto in the music industry. The great thing about consulting is that it is a side hustle and so the more you work on your main hustle the more expertise you derive for your side hustle. Then hopefully, if you stay up to date and consistent, you can retire from your main hustle at 50 and be a part time consultant into retirement (that’s the plan at least!). 

JT Barnett, a professional hockey player turned creator, has recently built a very successful consulting business. Barnett, who has about 300,000 TikTok followers and 90,000 on Instagram, has found success pitching himself as a social-media strategist and content agency for brands. 

Barnett first got into contact with these companies via User Generated Content (UGC). Overall, UGC is a booming form of advertising where creators make content that a brand can use on its own pages (instead of the creator sharing it on their accounts, as is typical in influencer marketing). It’s also a smart way to get your foot in the door, Barnett said.

With a network of creator friends in Los Angeles, Barnett began looping in other creators and pitching content to brands that featured several creators, to be used how the brand wanted or needed, he said.

“I would make them UGC videos like an agency, sometimes I would be in the video, sometimes I would find talent to be in the video and I would film,” Barnett told Business Insider. He first got his start making UGC for brands while running Honey House, an LA-based content collab house that went viral in 2020.

“From there, I started to really understand what brands were wanting,” Barnett said. Dabbling in UGC was a deep dive into another side of the business for Barnett, and an opportunity to learn more of the lingo brands used such as conversions or top-of-funnel ads that “you just aren’t aware of when you’re just a creator,” Barnett said.

Barnett’s biggest piece of advice is to “learn to be a service” and “get on calls with brands that are interested in you in any capacity.”

Now, Barnett’s consulting side hustle has formed into a full-fledged consultancy firm, BarnettX, offering brands services beyond traditional influencer marketing that can unlock many opportunities for creators. “That could be UGC, graphic design, social-media management,” Barnett said, or even educating brands on how to utilise social-media tools themselves.

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