Move over, Instagram influencers: Welcome to the era of the independent creator

BY NICOLE LAPORTE

[Source images: herreid/iStock; ninitta/iStock]

Despite the boom of the so-called influencer economy over the past decade-plus, creators who make their living posting content on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more are continuing to face now-familiar challenges: the perils of building a business on the back of an ever-changing algorithm determined by Big Tech companies; the grueling reality of having to post multiple pieces of content a day; and, ultimately, for many, the meager financial reward. Indeed, for every TikTok star that is raking in millions, there are thousands of other creators who can barely make ends meet. 

This reality, coupled with a rise of new platforms such as Substack, Gumroad and Kajabi, which allow creators to connect with their fans and earn money from them directly, has led to what a new report dubs “the rise of the independent creator.”

Commissioned by Mighty Networks, another one of those new-ish platforms that allow creators to be more in control of their profits, and conducted by Nonfiction Research and Bodacious Strategy Studio, the report looked at 1,624 creators who earn an income from what they do and analyzed their work life. (Although the report’s findings clearly benefit Mighty Networks, the study was conducted across the entire creator economy.)

The conclusion: “When you look under the hood at a creator’s business, the foundation is shaky AF,” the report reads.

Continue Reading from FastCompany

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