I often write about the changing world of work. The development of new technologies means that some jobs that were common in the past no longer exist – think lamplighters, elevator operators and telephone switchboard operators.
Likewise, new jobs are constantly being created. A new profession is the video content creator. Today, technology allows creatives to make a living by building their own niche audience, developing a personal brand, and growing a unique fanbase.
One such creator is Kris Collins aka KallmeKris – who since launching his career during the pandemic lockdown has grown an audience of over 43 million viewers on video-sharing services including TikTok, Youtube, Instagram and Twitch.
This week, she joined me for a webinar where, among other things, we discussed her top tips for succeeding in the hyper-competitive yet potentially very rewarding world of video content. Here’s a preview, and if you want to watch the full interview, you can find it here.
Have a content strategy
As with any endeavor, whether in art or business, think about what you are trying to accomplish and put plans in place to get there. In the case of content creation, this means understanding the different formats and types of content that will work across different channels and taking a methodical approach to writing, shooting, editing and publishing.
Colins tells me, “I do a lot of comedy sketches…so I have to have a schedule; otherwise, I’m not very organized! So I keep a Google calendar – mornings are for writing, and afternoons for filming… editing is But because I have a lot of different platforms, usually TikTok is the start of the day, Youtube is noon.
To start, she started by watching other people’s channels and talking to other content creators to get a feel for how different content worked on different platforms.
She says: “I do what I love – I love writing comedies and creating characters, and I think that has a lot to do with how successful I am – so start with something you love to do – and if you really want to succeed with that you have to manage your time very well.
Learn from your mistakes
Getting to the bottom of things and getting your hands dirty is a great way to start learning on the job right away. But one lesson Colins learned early on is to take time for yourself and avoid burnout.
She tells me, “I did five to eight videos a day for over a year – I definitely had several bouts of burnout and was starting to drop.
“But at the end of the day… people won’t care if you take the day off. I’m a mental health advocate and didn’t really take care of myself through the process.
“But now…I’m focusing on quality rather than quantity…that’s something I wish I had understood sooner!”
Learn how to manage your income
Content creators don’t get a simple, nice paycheck a month, with their taxes and other expenses all taken care of. Typically, they are self-employed, and if they want to be successful, it will usually involve managing multiple streams of income. These can come from subscription fees, brand sponsorships and offers, services like Patreon, referrals, pay-per-click advertising, Google AdSense, or many other potential sources.
Colins said, “I also sell merchandise…it’s multiple streams of income, and it’s getting overwhelming…I’m a very scrambled person!”
Financial service providers – including fintech startups – quickly spotted this emerging market of online freelancers – many of whom may not have had a deep understanding of the complexities of managing their own finances before undertaking ventures. exciting digital careers. Colins told me she uses an app called Able that’s designed to help people like her manage their income and taxes.
“you set it up with your bank account, and when you get paid…it sets aside the money you’ll need to pay taxes…the problem I had when I started is that you are earning that income, but you don’t realize that all that money is not yours!It helps you not to worry about that…the money you get is the money that belongs to you then it put it aside [taxes] for the end of the year or the end of the quarter or each time you pay your taxes.
Pay attention to analytics
Keeping tabs on the demographics your content is popular with, what time they watch it, and which videos are performing well and which are underperforming is key to growing your audience and providing them with relevant videos. Each platform provides different tools for creators to leverage their viewer data for insights, and developing a broad understanding of each is key to success.
Colins says, “At first I didn’t focus on them, but it’s really important…I keep track of everything.
“Sometimes the algorithms just don’t like you that day, and that doesn’t work well – but most of the time, if it’s shared often and there’s a lot of likes or comments, you know [the content] is successful.
“People like to scroll fast, so you have to catch them in the first second or two; you have to do something to catch the viewer…maybe it’s the thumbnail that wasn’t good enough, or maybe Maybe the video was too long – people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so analytics is absolutely something every creator should look into.
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities
Technology makes it possible to do this for a living, so content creators should always have an eye out for future trends and new opportunities to come. Colins tells me that she is currently interested in NFTs and the potential they hold to unlock new ways to monetize and share content. She is also considering live tours to meet her fans in person and is also exploring opportunities to get involved in traditional media like film and television.
She says, “Those are the big projects right now – I have a bunch of smaller projects too, like writing a graphic novel and doing other things – there’s a hundred other things!”
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