This isn’t hard to believe when you see the lifestyle many content creators live — but it isn’t all free #gifts and brand trips.
Refinery29 Australia spoke with content creator Tara Chandra (who’s been posting on the internet for a decade) to ask her for tips on actually getting started. Read on if you’ve been thinking about taking the creative plunge.
Consistency is everything
“Reality check. It is extremely difficult to blow up overnight on social media and maintain your following. It can feel disheartening and frustrating, but it is the reality for most content creators nowadays,” says Chandra.
“Myself and many of my friends have been in our respective industries, and have been posting online for years — for me, it's been a whole decade.”
Chandra recommends posting consistently when growing your page.
“You want to remind your followers and the algorithm that you exist,” Chandra shares.
“I personally try to post at least twice a week. Sometimes I post every day. As long as you're getting a post out at least once every one to one-and-a-half weeks, you'll be good.”
Of course, life can get in the way sometimes, (especially when you’re working a day job) but Chandra says to keep it consistent when you can.
Choose your equipment carefully
While more established content creators may use digital or film cameras, for most people, a smartphone will be more than enough to get going.
“I use my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 for mirror selfies and for when I don't have a tripod. It's super easy to just fold and place on the ground while doing hands-free selfies," says Chandra.
From editing content to scheduling posts, having equipment that works quickly and smoothly is super important in this industry.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5's FlexCam feature lets users capture content at various angles hands-free, whether it’s an ultra-wide group shot or you’re filming a GRWM video. It also boasts a large cover screen, so you can take crisp and clear selfies (no matter the time of day).
Tripods and hand-held microphones can also come in handy when creating videos for platforms such as TikTok.
Foster a community
To level up in the creator space, Chandra recommends creating authentic friendships with people doing the same thing.
“Creating mutual engagement under each other's posts, and also creating a genuine friendship is a bonus. I've met both my best friends on Instagram (going four and seven years of friendship strong). Nowadays, my best friends and I get booked for the same sponsorships together.”
To foster a real community, Chandra recommends showing your personality on your pages. It may seem obvious but by being yourself, the right people for your content may visit your page.
“I love seeing people be organic, natural and their real self online. We're all people!”
Don’t stress too much about algorithms
Commonly known as the enemy of content creators, pinning down the elusive algorithm is like chasing the weather. It’s going to change anyway, and you can’t really control it.
“Don't let [the algorithm] get you down. It's so easy to fall into the trap of letting your numbers define you. You are more than your social media page and you are more than a number.”
In saying this, Chandra did share a hot tip that’s working for her (for the moment, at least).
“Reels are my main way of growing on Instagram. This is a secret I haven't told anyone, but every 14 to 19th Reel of mine goes viral.”
“You just have to churn the video content out. In saying this, Reels don't work for everyone, so it's the Reels for me, but it may be the photo dumps, the ‘fit pics, the recipes, the TikToks, for you,” says Chandra.
“Keep posting ‘til you notice patterns in what does well, then repeat.”
Don’t forget the admin
People often see the shiny side of content creation, but once you start monetising your page, you’re technically a freelancer. Make sure that before you send your first invoice to a brand, you have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) for tax purposes.
Keep a percentage of money from your invoices aside in case you need to pay a tax bill at the end of the financial year and, if content creation becomes your main source of income, you’ll need to pay yourself superannuation.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab S9 Series is a premium tablet that can help you be productive and creative on the go. It allows you to take notes on its GoodNotes app and with its Vision Booster technology, you can see your screen clearly in brightly lit areas. So, you can stay on top of your small business admin, without being chained to a laptop or desk.
Other admin includes liaising with brands and creators and spending a lot of time back and forth on emails.
“It's a lot of emails, especially if you're self-managed. I definitely spend more time writing emails than actual content creation," shares Chandra.
Content creation should be fun
If social media was stripped back and you had the opportunity to create and post content with no chance of monetary or social gain, would you still do it?
Chandra says, “If you answered yes, then do it! I think your mindset is in the right place to be able to find 'success' in the little things and will be able to push through with time if your socials don't pick up immediately.”
“If you're consistent and you genuinely love what you're doing, it'll make the process a whole lot easier and put less pressure on yourself to reach certain targets.”
Chandra shares that turning her hobby into a job, meeting her best friends, and all of the opportunities she’s been given, have meant that she’s living out her 15-year-old self’s dreams.
“It all felt out of reach back then, but five to ten years later and I've done it all.”
“Social media has changed a lot in the last decade and the opportunities you can get from it are tenfold. Good luck!”