Creator Economy 101: Current State of the Indian Creator Economy and the Content Creation business!
There are around 50 million creators across the globe. The Creator economy is growing each day but monetizing this content is challenging, especially for the amateur creators. Tons of content is generated each day - Instagram reels, Youtube videos, Podcasts, Blogs, Vlogs, and Short-form content on platforms like Moj, Mx Takatak, YT shorts and Tik Tok, however, only a very small portion of this content is monetized.
Creating good, relevant content is hard but using that content to make money is harder.
I have been an active part of the Creator Economy for the past year, worked with more than 80 creators; some observations I would like to share -
1. Lack of uniformity in pricing: A creator with 30k followers with good engagement might charge Rs. X and another creator with the same amount of followers might charge Rs. 3X , the disparity will blow your mind at times. A lot of these creators are underpaid, to say the least.
It is extremely important to quote the right amount for your services in the competitive influencer market. If you are charging a lower amount, you are surely losing money and if you are charging above the market price, you are losing opportunities.
Also, it becomes very important to understand how the market demand will impact the prices you quote for paid collaboration. For example, you can easily charge 10-15 percent more for a paid collab during the Diwali season, since the demand of paid collabs during the Diwali season is high.
A successful content creator is not just someone with good content or higher subscribers/ followers, a successful creator knows the rules of the game- how to engage their audience, what to charge, how to, monetize and what to create.
After a certain level of success, it becomes hard for the creator to manage all these jobs and that's when a good creator starts building a team.
A lot of creators avoid building a team, mostly because building a team not just requires monetary investment but also a lot of time and effort goes into finding the right people for managing your personal brand and building it with you.
This resistance to build a team to grow your personal brand/ content creation business invites stagnancy.
Not only will your social accounts be stuck with the same number of followers, but you will also find it hard to expand to new platforms, launch your products (physical or digital) and grow/create a sustainable business.
2. Taxation: Let's not deny, taxes are complicated. Many of these young creators aren't even filing taxes and claiming returns, probably just receiving their collab payments via UPI/Gpay. Taxation rules for freelancers/ creators are more or less "unknown".
Freelancers in India can use the presumptive taxation system and hence avoid the tedious task of bookkeeping. The presumptive assumption rate is 50% for freelancers. Hence, on Rs 1000 turnover, the profit will be assumed to be Rs 500.
3. Leveling up:
Starting is easy, scaling is tough.
Creators can start generating fun content using their iPhone, and create an audience base. Then what? How to keep creating good content, manage collabs, edit etc. Just like a business, creators also need a team, investment and effort.
A lot of creators out there are stuck on the same follower count, same collab deal and the same platform. Why? Because they refuse to invest in a team.
4. Creating a community - Top creators instill a "community feeling" among their audience. They do this through their newsletters, merch, regular interaction with comments, conduct polls, QnA and more. Creating awesome content isn't enough if you aren't creating a community.
Building a community might look like a tedious task when starting off but your content will thrive only if your community is strong enough.
That's all for now!
Would love to hear your opinions!
Utilize the comments section ;)
Are you a content creator/ an active part of the Creator Economy? Let's connect!
You can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 📩