Are content creators entrepreneurs? Four simple words, one big question. And the answer to that question is a favorite of every seasoned content marketer … It depends.
Content creators are sometimes entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs sometimes create content. But the two categories are not synonymous.
Content creators aren’t necessarily entrepreneurs. Sometimes they just create content. Entrepreneurs don’t necessarily create content. Although content has become more and more a part of any type of business, some simply create businesses that sell products or services.
Let’s first look at the journey to become a content creator. Then we’ll explore the next steps a content creator would take to become an entrepreneur.
Content creators, entrepreneurs, and everything in between
Building an audience involves a lot of trial and error.
But those who wish to have their own audiences make the effort because having a group of individuals who look forward to getting your content is an extremely valuable asset.
Your audience members are the most likely to become customers or clients because they have gotten to know, like, and trust you through the value you already offer them — before any money has been exchanged.
Although every content marketing journey of trial and error is different, your personal story likely shares a common thread with your peers’ paths …
Content creators influence each other
Some years ago, I wrote about an impressive YouTube channel called Pick Up Limes.
A dietician named Sadia Badiei created Pick Up Limes and began posting videos about nutrition, travel, minimalism, and productivity at the beginning of 2017. By the end of that year, she had more than 650,000 subscribers.
Now, in 2023, she has more than four million subscribers.
I discovered the channel after a damn good headline on my YouTube home page caught my eye. All of the videos I binge-watched in a short period of time were professional and polished, and I knew I’d check out new content from Sadia in the future as well.
I also noticed a lot of similarities to another YouTube channel I followed called Jenny Mustard.
So, it was no surprise that by the middle of 2017 Sadia collaborated with Jenny and mentioned that Jenny’s content-creation style influenced the videos on the Pick Up Limes channel.
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The business of creativity
Sadia didn’t just stay a fan — a consumer — of Jenny’s content; she transformed from a Fan to a Fanatic to a Fantastic Content Creator.
Your favorite content creators all decided to shed their old selves in order to grow. And your favorite content is a direct product of time dedicated to learning and studying.
It’s a process, and it’s one professional writers know well.
Let’s review the three phases.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this phase for content creators on their way toward becoming entrepreneurs.
Not only do savvy content marketers know the value of their fans, there’s no substitute for the passion and enthusiasm that comes with being a Fan.
When you’re a Fan, you’re also uniquely positioned to learn a lot about content creation.
You’ll notice that your favorite publishers:
- Follow a consistent posting schedule
- Ask for feedback
- Try out new content types and topics
You might regularly comment on content, participate in LinkedIn group discussions, or attend free webinars.
You know you’ve entered into the Fanatic phase when you say:
“I think I could do something like that …”
You’re ready to admit to yourself that, deep down, you’ve had the desire to create Your Own Things all along. 🙂
The content and communities you explored as a Fan have propelled you to start seriously studying everything you need and want to learn.
You’ll feel good about diving in and uncovering your own style.
Fantastic Content Creators (on their way to becoming Entrepreneurs)
Now you have your own publishing platform, but the truth about content is that you can always get better at creating it.
You may be a Fantastic Content Creator, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to produce your next project — and there’s no guarantee that it will be effective either.
So, these three phases aren’t actually separate. Success comes from simultaneously embodying all of them.
Fantastic Content Creators need to remain Fans, and they definitely need to stay Fanatics about their own work.
There’s no complacency in content marketing.
So, how do content creators become entrepreneurs?
Are you ready to grow, but don’t know what you should do first?
Like I wrote in the introduction of this article, your content marketing journey is going to involve a lot of trial and error.
But taking just one step to learn a new skill can give you the momentum you need to be confident about experimenting and figuring out what works for you and your audience.
Forget about the “best way” and find your way.
Content creators are often well positioned to become entrepreneurs because they understand their audience members and how the right products or services can help them.
It doesn’t hurt to stop comparing yourself to others
People in your life mean well. They really do.
Your family and friends want to protect you. They want you to have a “safe” career (aka, one they understand).
So, after content creators decide to become entrepreneurs, they’ll often hear a lot of concerns when they mention their new business venture.
I’ve been there. In 2008 when I started a writing business, no one I knew thought it was a good idea.
Believe me, I had my own fears about it, and the disapproval I received from others magnified those doubts. I looked at other working content marketers with popular blogs and wondered how I could compete.
One day, I had to make a choice
I had to choose to find clients for content writing … strategically.
Which meant two things:
- I had to invest in training that would help my company grow.
- The writing and editing services I offered had to get business results for clients.
I couldn’t just sit back, browse low-paying job ads on freelancing sites, and hope I’d stay busy.
That was unsustainable, and the type of work I’d get on those sites would be soul-sucking and meaningless. I wanted to write for companies I believed in and help them reach their marketing goals.
But how was I going to get connected to those great clients? Didn’t they already work with other content writers?
Creativity is not a competition
While you do have to position yourself to stand out to your ideal prospects, creativity is not a competition.
I used all of the content marketing blogs I read as sources of motivation, rather than reasons to give up.
If other people were doing it, I was definitely capable of doing it too. My way.
There are limitless opportunities for you to offer unparalleled value, no matter how intriguing someone else’s services seem.
Another freelance writer can do their thing and you can do yours … remarkably.
You simply have to commit to:
- Offering premium services
- Charging premium prices
- Building a sustainable business
Sounds professional, right?
The content entrepreneur’s guide to success
When you’re ready to get serious about transforming from a content creator into an entrepreneur, you need a one-two punch of business fundamentals and content strategy.
And that’s where most content entrepreneurs fall short …
Here’s the problem: Content creators love to write, but they don’t know how to persuade with their writing to make sales.
What’s worse is that many writers think they’re content entrepreneurs, but they don’t have a product or service to sell in the first place.
So, they spend a lot of energy creating content that never earns them any money.
It’s disappointing and it feels like a waste of time. Like you should give up and find a different job.
Luckily for you, we have a solution. At Copyblogger Academy, you’ll learn how to:
- Grow an audience
- Create a valuable product or service
- Write sales copy to sell your product or service
- Craft marketing automations that work while you sleep
- Scale your business
Copyblogger Academy is for writers and content creators who want to become successful entrepreneurs, and you can join us right now.
Interested in learning more?
Sign up below to get our free report and stay in touch …
Reader Comments (7)
Sim's Life says
I have never even considered being an entrepreneur before, a small business owner yes, but never an entrepreneur. I have been blogging well over 10 years now and this has progressed to so much more than just content writing… which is exciting!
So yes, I’d like to think of myself as an entrepreneur going foward!
I feel that first sentence. It will be a year next month for me in blogging and I’m still mastering the small business owner part.
Hassan Mujtaba says
Yeah, I think the article provides a useful distinction between content creators and entrepreneurs. The three phases presented in the journey to becoming a content creator are insightful and may be useful for individuals who want to build a following. The advice to find one’s way and understand one’s audience is also valuable
Tolga Borakan says
Thank you for your valuable information. In my opinion, content production is an entrepreneurship. They can do great audience management with the articles they write.
Ryan Biddulph says
Ceasing to compare is beyond important Stefanie. When I compare, I create less. When I do not, I create more. We all walk a different content creation and entrepreneur journey based on our mindset, talents and overall level of resistance to freedom combined with the desire to overcome the resistance. Yep; the balancing act feels intense sometimes because fear tugs as does a belief in self and abilities, in the opposite direction.
Stefanie Flaxman says
Good to hear from you, Ryan!
As a content creator, I wouldn’t consider myself an entrepreneur, but rather self-employed. I’ve been trying to use different tactics such as brandpush press releases and paid ads to get a bigger following and get verified on social media. I guess my view is that the only way a content creator can become an entrepreneur is by having a big following, because that’s when the true business opportunities come flowing. Thank you for this article though, it was very insightful!
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