Empowering the Freelance Economy

What is the “new” creator economy and how can freelancers and contractors get in on the action?  

The creator economy is growing and the platforms that support this growth have ample freelancer opportunities. Photo source: Photo by Ivan Samkov via Pexels
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First things first, what is the creator economy? Once you understand what the new creator economy is all about and what drives it you can best cater your interests and skill set to any given segment and start pitching for freelance work. Or even become a freelance creator or creator economy platform founder. Remember, this is not just a Millenial or Gen Z opportunity.

This graphic below by Antler, an investor in the $100bn new creator economy space, is a good place to start. The chart shows just how diverse the new creator economy is becoming – from NFTs, gaming, content to payments.

What companies are active in this space?

The creator economy offers creators and supporting freelancers opportunities ranging from music artists, podcasters, and gamers, to those who are providing personal travel advice on platforms such as TikTok, says Antler.

All of them are regularly exploring options for how to monetize leveraging the range of platforms founders are building. 

So, you want to build a creator economy platform?

Starting a creator platform is notoriously difficult, according to Antler.

There are multiple players in this category, all with similar offerings and all fighting to grab creators’ attention. This is what Antler looks for as investors when founders are looking to build companies in the creator space:

  • Obsession—do they have that absolute attachment to help creators in some capacity?
  • Are they looking to build in the Web2 or Web3 space? (More on this in our video above.)
  • Do they understand the creators’ true pain points without assuming what the pain points are? 
  • Are they deeply ingrained in the space and can they easily access creators as they are hard to initially contact?
  • Are the founders chasing a large disruptive market? The creator economy is huge, so what are the founders disrupting that may have not been disrupted yet? 

How to monetise on a creator platform

There are more than 200 million creators globally, so founders and freelancers working at creator platforms, especially at the startup stage, must consider how creators can monetise their creativity and content. From their interactions with many creators, Antler says founders the most successful ones focus on two key factors: attention and revenue. 

If you are a freelancer looking to land a contractor or project with a creator platform, you will want to make sure you are working for a client that is providing creators with fair revenue streams (high take rates are very unfair to creators), otherwise, you may be working for a business that won’t have a future.

Other questions you might want to know the answers to before working for a platform:

  • Will the platform be community-led where the creators own the audience?
  • Does it look like the platform will disrupt a large market?
  • Is the product really needed by the creators?
  • How will it build defensible network effects? 

These are also the questions creators should ask before joining a platform.

Features to build a scalable creator economy platform

Building a scalable creator economy platform is “incredibly tough”, says Antler.

“There are many platforms out there building similar concepts meaning how you stand apart from the competition will be your biggest competitive advantage. Today, we see platforms evolving to provide key features for creators to be global from day one,” says the investor. Here are some of those features which you could help improve upon when working for a platform client as a contractor or freelancer:

  • Global from day one. Can you create software (language support) that allows creators to be global vs. local from day one?
  • Creator bundling. Creators love collaborating with creators who might have superfans in common. If you allow creators to bundle content together by saving their fans some money, this drives attention for both the consumer and the creator.
  • Limited take rates. In today’s creator economy, you cannot charge 50% take rates. Seven per cent seems reasonable, 10% to 12.5% with discoverability and payments included.
  • The New Creator Economy. Allow your creators to own the data of their fans through your platform. 
  • Community. Allow your creators to connect and interact with their fans via your platform. 
  • Experience. As the product improves, you should hopefully have more users joining and returning with network effects, creating defensibility. 
  • Additional revenue streams. Enable creators to further establish themselves through community engagement and further revenue streams such as community tokens, NFTs, live shopping, and more. 

To read the report in full, go here: Investing in the $100 Billion Creator Economy | Antler and have a look at this video below:

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