5 Ways to Grow Your Brand and Monetize Your Content
Over the past few years, we've seen massive growth in the number of online influencers and sellers, thanks in large part to the rise of the creator economy. Some estimates say approximately 50 million people worldwide are currently creating some form of content.
However, many creators don't know how to grow their brand and successfully monetize it. Of those 50 million creators, only 12 percent manage to create content full-time while making over $50,000 per year. But with the right strategy in place, all creators have the opportunity to take their content to the next level and begin pulling in a steady stream of income. Here are five essential steps content creators should take to achieve this:
1. Search for inspiration.
As with any business venture, the first step should be market research, which can go a long way in helping you assess what types of content are in demand and which market segments are already too saturated. By observing some of your favorite creators, you can take notes on the aspects of their content that you would like to pull inspiration from.
From this point, you can begin creating visual design boards to track your ideas and timelines to take stock of your goals and progress. Tools like Pinterest, Dribble, Vexels, and Instagram can be of great help as you pull inspiration from content you enjoy.
2. Define your brand identity.
Your next step should be determining the platforms that best represent your content type, topic, and audience preferences. While some may choose a video-hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo as their preferred platform, others may lean towards a livestreaming option like Twitch. Some may choose to diversify and look to push their content to as many platforms as possible.
It's important to begin defining your brand's visual identity, and the best place to start is by designing a logo. If you don't have the graphic design skills needed to create your own logo, leveraging an editable design catalog like Vexels Logo Maker or Looka, or hiring a graphic designer through a platform like Fiverr, are great alternative options to get the visually stunning logo you need.
3. Monetize your platform.
Of the many forms of monetization that creators commonly use, one of the most popular and successful options is selling branded merchandise with custom designs that connect you with your audience and vice versa.
Without your own graphic design skills in hand, you can turn to platforms which provide the graphic design services you need to create stunning designs that match your brand identity for your branded merchandise. Not only can you promote this merchandise through your primary channels, but creators who like to involve their audience interactively can also have their audience provide design suggestions they would like to see on future merchandise.
4. Create an online shop.
You can have the best merchandise on the market, but if your audience finds it difficult to find and purchase, they're unlikely to spend their hard-earned dollars with you. This is why it's essential to create an online shop, which makes it easy for your audience to find you and all your merchandise in one place.
Thankfully, there are many e-commerce sites, like Shopify and Amazon.com, that include designs, fulfillment, packaging and payment processing. This allows you to offload a lot of the responsibility and ensure that your shop is safe, accessible and easy to navigate.
5. Expand your community.
With all your needed platforms and partners in place, all that's left for you to do is continue making great content and expanding the community you're creating around that content.
The best way to do this is to find other creators to partner with or collaborate with. This gives you a prime opportunity to gain new followers through your collaborators' audience and a great chance to find inspiration for new content. And there's nowhere better to meet other creators than through the many varied events around the creator economy, both in-person and virtually.
Get your content out into the world, make great connections, and watch your audience grow while you monetize your brand through merchandise.
Matias Colotuzzo is the co-founder and CEO of Vexels, the design driven platform for creators.
Matias Colotuzzo is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Vexels, a graphic design company focused on merch, print-on-demand, and unique designs. He is a born entrepreneur, launching his first web design company at 19. His business intelligence and interest in development propelled him to join the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies (CUTI), a non-profit incubator that helps businesses and mentors entrepreneurs. He served as both a director and board member at CUTI.
Matias has overseen the considerable growth in Vexels, which started with seven teammates in 2016 to more than 100 employees today. He is constantly looking for new ways to combine technology with daily tasks while improving the web experience.