Just a decade ago, creating and uploading videos for a living was rather unheard of. But times have quickly changed. More and more people are making content online with the goal to make it into their careers.
We sat down with Jeff Olson, the head of creator partnerships at Jellysmack, to get his opinion on what it takes to go from an enthusiastic, but casual content creator to a full-time professional creator. We also talked with artist and Jellysmack creator partner Amanda VanEver of Amanda’s Designs to get a creator’s perspective on the journey.
What’s the importance of maintaining a presence on multiple social media platforms and how does it help creators go full-time?
Olson: Surprisingly, the social platforms have limited audience overlap and the demographics are very different. For example, Facebook’s biggest audience group is 25-34. YouTube’s is 15-25. TikTok’s biggest age group is 13-24. When you expand your content to a different platform, you’re building a new audience of fans that you can monetize in addition to the audience you’ve already established on your main platform. If you are only focused on a single platform, you’re likely selling yourself short. Jellysmack helps each creator reach their full potential by getting their content onto multiple social platforms and scaling their growth which can help support a transition to full-time.
In addition to building your audience and generating more revenue, we also believe that diversifying your brand on multiple platforms makes you less vulnerable to platform and algorithm changes that are out of your control.
Amanda: For me, it’s all about growing my community and connecting with more people who enjoy my work or are inspired by my art. It’s the best feeling in the world to be able to make money doing what I love. I think every creator knows that the more platforms you’re on, the more fans you can reach and the more opportunities you have to build your brand. But it is really time consuming to create regular content for just one platform like YouTube. Keeping up with all the other platforms feels nearly impossible unless you have help.
How much time do you spend creating and producing content each week?
Amanda: It really depends, but I would say on average I spend about 20 hours a week creating art and producing content for my channel. I just recently quit my job and am now doing my art full-time, so the amount of time I will be creating content will drastically increase moving forward.
Once I plan what piece I want to create, I gather my materials, create the piece, clean up and then have to edit hours of video into something that’s a few minutes long to keep the audience’s attention. The editing process takes a lot longer than most people realize, so I’m really happy to have Jellysmack’s help with that now.
Olson: I feel like there’s a misconception that being a creator is an easy gig when in reality, it takes a lot of time, effort, talent and ambition. There’s a lot of time, skill and resources involved in tailoring and optimizing content for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. To give you some perspective, we have teams of content strategists, video editors, copywriters, graphic designers and others who tailor content for each of our creator partners. That’s on top of our suite of tech tools that run A/B tests for every single video so that we’re always publishing the most optimized version for the right audience at the right time.
How long does it take to become a pro?
Olson: The timeline it takes to become a career creator can vary widely. Some creators find success quite quickly, in a matter of months. For others, it can take years of slow but consistent growth, and then one day they have a video that pops and changes their trajectory. Typically, organic growth is very slow. At Jellysmack, we’re able to use our data and technology to greatly accelerate the timeline it takes to amass a significant following that generates sizable revenue. For example, we started working with YouTube “Slime Queen” Karina Garcia in 2019 when she had a very small Facebook presence. Since then, we built her an engaged community of nearly 3 million followers. Plus, we launched her Snapchat Discover show that has over 500K subscribers.
Amanda: I started my YouTube channel in 2017, and the growth was definitely slow at first. Then in 2018 I had a video that just blew up. It was a video of me doing a dip technique with acrylic pour and to date it has over 11 million views. Once that happened, I started seeing steady growth and more views on everything I posted. But like Jeff said, every creator has a different timeline.
What’s the hardest part about being a full-time creator?
Amanda: There’s definitely pressure to keep up. It’s tough to stay creative and produce a steady stream of engaging content while simultaneously trying to grow as a business and a brand. No matter how many hours you’re putting in, it feels like there’s always something more you could be doing, like posting more across the other platforms. That’s why Jellysmack has been a huge help, because I can just focus on creating my art and filming my content, and they handle the editing and publishing for YouTube, Facebook, IGTV and TikTok. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to take the technical piece off my plate so I can just focus on doing what I love─making art.
When is the right time to bring in extra help or resources?
Olson: A lot of creators choose to go it alone which is great, but what you’re sacrificing is time. In our opinion, time is enormously valuable. You want to take advantage of audience momentum, the popularity of a genre, and you want to call in help sooner rather than later because before you know it, you could lose months or even years where you aren’t reaching your full potential and are leaving money on the table.
Amanda: The sooner the better! A lot of creators wait too long to bring in help and then they end up feeling so burnt out from trying to do it all that they end up throwing in the towel. This is your business, so there’s no shame in bringing in help to make it achievable and successful.
How do you see your brand evolving in the next five years? What do you want to be doing more of?
Olson: One of our biggest focuses at Jellysmack is developing international creators from around the world. We’re also constantly working on new technology to help creators with their evolving needs. We even recently hired a VP of Cryptocurrency that will develop new opportunities in NFTs for our creator partners. Our goal is to be the one-stop-shop for creators and all their business needs.
Amanda: I would love to continue expanding my community and reach new people on all of these new platforms, like TikTok. I’ve written two books about art and I’d love to do more! I also have a second YouTube channel that I would like to start putting out more content on, and I would also like to spend more time focusing on my Etsy store and selling more art. I want to inspire as many people as possible to pursue their passion and create beautiful things. I would also love to have my work featured in more galleries around the world. That would be incredible. Who knows, maybe I’ll start making digital art for NFTs!
Your journey starts now
Becoming a successful professional content creator isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. There’s no easy path, but once you’re on your way, Jellysmack can help you get to the next level of becoming a career creator.
Learn more at: www.jellysmack.com