If you’re the creative type like myself, perhaps you’ve dreamed of one day turning your passions into profits. Just imagine: wouldn’t it be great if your income came from doing something you already love?
Well, today I’m here to tell you that there’s never been a better time to start turning those dreams into reality. Here are three reasons why creative people are turning passions into profits in 2020 and why you can too.
The High Demand for Creative Content
We live in an extraordinary age: at no other time in history have people produced and digested content as rapidly as we do now. We stream videos on Youtube, browse images on Pinterest, listen to music on Spotify, and read blog posts our friend tagged us in on Facebook. We do this on our phones, tablets, TVs, computers…
The point is: content is everywhere, it’s readily available, we are consuming it daily and are seemingly always hungry for more.
What that means, of course, is that fresh new content is consistently in high demand. Now I’m not an economist by any means, but I know that when things are in demand, they’re considered valuable. Enter us creative types, because after all, somebody has to create all that content, right?
The Explosive Growth of Content Marketing
Content marketing is skyrocketing. By 2021, the content marketing industry has been projected to be worth almost $413 billion.
It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing. It is audience focused. It’s engaging. It builds brand identity, voice, and trust. The list goes on, but big business seems to have finally tapped into the numerous benefits content marketing can offer.
Therefore, the industry is a booming one with no signs of slowing down.
What is Content Marketing?
If, at this point, you’re asking, “what’s content marketing?”, in a nutshell, it is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing interesting (hopefully) content for a targeted audience.
Rather than the traditional method of pushing unsolicited advertisements onto consumers, content marketers utilize intriguing and informative content to pull consumers toward their brand and their products/services. By creating an engaging experience, consumers develop a rapport with the brand and usually end up supporting that brand in some capacity with their wallet.
And, like most things in 2020, most content marketing is predominantly done online.
While I won’t spend too much time in this post exploring content marketing, I’ll give you some quick examples of it. For instance, if you’ve ever:
- Watched a music video
- Googled “How to…” for literally any topic and then clicked on a search result
- Read a blog post (like this one, for example)
- Followed an Instagram story/account
- LOL’d at a meme someone shared on your Facebook feed
…then you’ve participated in content marketing as a potential consumer. It’s that simple, and it’s that encompassing.
So who’s creating all this interesting content that we share/follow/read/watch?
The answer, if you want it to be, is creative people like you.
Somebody has to write those articles, film those videos, play those songs, take those pictures… you get the drift. Perhaps more importantly, somebody’s getting paid to do it. The good news? You can, too.
There’s a good chance that the creative mindset and skills used to generate all that exciting content are ones you already possess. Whatever your niche is, I can almost guarantee you that the opportunities to use your creative skills professionally within it are growing.
You just have to start looking for them.
The Rise of Remote Work Opportunities
Perhaps you know someone who works from home. Maybe they’re a full-time parent who still wants to earn an income, or maybe they like having a job without a daily commute. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of benefits to working from home, and it has quickly become a highly desirable option among job seekers.
Many companies have adapted to accommodate and it shows in the numbers.
***EDIT*** Since the spread of the coronavirus has grown exponentially since the time of writing this post, remote work has gone up with it. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched thought to think that this virus might be a catalyst for more permanent remote work in the future when this pandemic ends.
According to Forbes, there has been a 159% rise in remote working in the US since 2007, and by 2020 it is estimated that half of the UK workforce will work remotely. Last year in 2019 alone, remote working opportunities in the art and the creative sector grew by over 40%.
While the reasons for the increase of remote work are various, the biggest reason cited for said growth is simple: a shortage of talent.
Creative People are Talented
Enter us creative types once again, because as it turns out, creative people are oozing with talent.
With years and years spent honing our crafts and developing skills that aren’t easily replicated (as so many of us do in our spare time), creative people are precious in today’s job market, and employers have taken notice.
As the competition for the best talent has become fierce among employers, it’s becoming more evident that the best talent for the job is not always locally available. Accordingly, many employers have taken to hiring remotely to fill these skilled specialty positions.
And like everything, top talent = top dollar, no matter where the source is located.
No Borders For Creativity
Both literally and figuratively, there are no borders for creativity.
With that in mind, the opportunities to turn our skills into cash from wherever we reside are growing.
I’ll give you a personal example: my sister lives in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. She works for a company in New Jersey, just across the river from the Big Apple. She’s never been to company headquarters, and she doesn’t have to go there. She’s a graphic and web-designer and received a referral for the job from a childhood friend who, at the time, was living in San Francisco. Before she took the position, she was working a job in Ottawa that she absolutely hated.
Now? She gets to design things from the comfort of her apartment while enjoying the company of her dog. Sounds pretty great doesn’t it?
As remote work is quickly becoming the norm in the corporate world, people with creative skills will be sought out more than ever. Whether they’re working from an office or their living room, they’re going to get paid for their expertise.
The Shift Towards Freelancing
With the increasing amount of remote work opportunities and continuous demand for high-quality content, the logistics of working successfully as a freelancer has become easier than ever. Technology has almost wholly put the old business model of face-to-face meetings in its grave, and as a result, many skilled professionals have shifted to becoming freelancers.
EVERYBODY WINS With Freelancing
Savvy companies are switching to hiring freelancers for one simple reason: freelancers, especially those working remotely, save companies a lot of money.
When companies hire freelancers, they are hiring independent contractors. While independent contractors usually are paid well for their efforts, they don’t come with all the attached costs that an employer/employee relationship does.
For example, remote working freelancers have no overhead costs. Employers don’t pay for training, they don’t pay for travel, they don’t pay for office space, they don’t pay recruitment fees, they don’t have to worry about turnover rates, and they certainly don’t pay for the many hours lost to water-cooler gossip sessions.
They pay for results.
This is good news for the talented professional freelancer: better results lead to higher pay rates and better clients.
Quality Work Equals Quality Pay
Freelancing is not an easy road to get started on, but the rewards can be significant. Building a strong reputation is key to attracting high-quality clients, but for talented individuals with some business sense, they can quickly rise above their competition and get paid handsomely for their work.
For example, if a freelancer’s work is good, a strong portfolio marketed the proper way can help drive demand for their services and lead to new referrals from satisfied clients. With an increase in demand, so too increase the rates a freelancer can charge their clients.
Though it varies depending on the type of work, many established freelancers are paid well over $50 an hour for their services.
What makes the pot even sweeter is that most skilled freelancers use their time effectively, which means they can comfortably take on more jobs or be pickier about the ones they take.
In 2020 Time Is Not Money
The days of merely trading time for money are disappearing in the skilled workforce. Employers want high-quality content when they need it, and they’re willing to pay for it wherever they can get it.
As creatives types, we’ve already put our time in: we’re writers because we already write a lot, painters because we already paint a lot, photographers because we already take a lot of pictures.
In 2020 the new way of trading won’t be time for money; it will be skills for money. We’ve already got those in spades.