Discover more from Late Checkout - a Substack by Greg Isenberg
The Year of the Part-Time Creator
This week’s podcast is live: How to Sell Pick and Shovels in an AI world
My favorite part of the chat was discussing underrated trends/businesses right now. There are no ads on my podcast, just please subscribe and share.
Enjoy. Let me know on Twitter what you thought. I check all my replies.
Greg’s bookmarks [new section]:
5 things I found interesting this week:
How Pat Walls turned a weekend blog into a $1.1/M year business. They grew it via Reddit and SEO. Wild story.
Kevin Kelly’s new book: Excellent Advice for Living. Just bought this and looking forward to diving in.
How to 10x your welcome email. Reminded me to I need to step up my welcome email game up.
Colin & Samir interview Mr. Beast. I felt very motivated after watching it.
How to build a case-study engine like Notion. Notion is masterclass at content/community marketing.
Bonus: I need to order more Beam. I struggle with sleep, but not with Beam. I drink it every night before I go to sleep and sleep like a baby.
The Year of the Part-Time Creator
This is the year of the part-time creator. A part-time creator is someone who spends ~2 hours a week creating content. Let me explain this trend and why it’s happening…
164 000 tech employees were laid off in 2022
211 400 have been laid off in 2023 (so far!)
Prediction: they won't all get regular jobs:
25% will join other companies
15% will start venture capital-backed companies
35% will become solopreneurs, freelancers, micropreneurs
25% of them will become part-time creators
But why the rise of part-time creators?
Because they're waking up to the realities of 2023.
Regular folks are putting in a few hours each week to share insights on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. And by selling advertisements, digital assets, services or affiliate marketing, many are raking in anywhere from $20k to $200k annually.
And, let's not be mistaken, this trend is not exclusive to those newly unemployed.
Even those currently employed at big tech companies are dabbling with part-time content creation.
The once invincible fortress of “job stability” at the likes of Amazon or Google are a mirage. In an economy as unpredictable as a rollercoaster ride, relying solely on the security of a 9 to 5 job is a gamble that fewer are willing to take. So, they’re dabbling.
So, I often get this question: “how do I become a part-time creator”
If you want to get started right now, here’s what I’d do:
1. Pick a platform
You’ll want to have a home base you can use to earn attention.
Ask yourself these questions:
What platform feels most authentic to me?
Where is the greatest opportunity to go viral?
Where does my community live?
The answers will allow you to settle on 1-2 platforms that you can give all of your attention to. For me, it’s Twitter and LinkedIn. I love the process of getting my ideas into the world as fast as possible. If you like to be on camera, it might be Instagram or TikTok.
You need to be laser focused on what you want to talk about, where you want to talk about it, and who you want to talk about it with.
2. Put content creation in your schedule
Just as you might schedule a workout or hot date, pick a time in your calendar that makes sense for you to sit down for 45 minutes and write your ideas down.
It’s important to schedule in the process — but you don’t have to schedule your actual posts. As long as you’re writing your ideas down weekly, you have the ammo to fire off content when you’re feeling it.
(Fun fact: I’ve never scheduled a tweet. I just post when inspiration strikes.)
Give yourself allotted time to write and post content consistently. It’s the only way to build an audience.
3. Look the part
Once you’ve nailed the writing and posting parts, you need to play the game a little bit. It’s important that your profiles capture exactly who you are and what you do.
Go all out. Build a brand. Optimize your bio. Create a link-in-bio that allows you to capture email addresses early in the journey.
This isn’t the time to be humble. Gloat. Give people reasons to click that follow button.
Reply to the high-performing accounts in your niche. Be consistent. Enjoy the journey.
4. The path forward
If you’ve been posting consistently & engaging with other creators, over the next 3-12 months you’ll have built some sort of audience.
From there, you’ve got a few more questions to ask yourself:
Do I want to take the leap to becoming a full time creator, earning an income from brand deals & digital products?
Do I want to become a full-time creatorpreneur, with a full business built on top of my audience?
Do I want to stick with the part-time creator lifestyle and continue having this outlet?
There is no universal answer or clear indicator that you should choose any of these paths.
For me, I leaned towards the creation of community-based products. I really love the written content aspect of posting online as leverage towards the businesses I’m building. If you enjoy it all — podcast, YouTube, digital products, short-form, newsletter, etc. — design a business around doing it all.
This influx in tech layoffs tells me that it’s becoming riskier to be an employee than it is to be a creator. Employees can get fired at any time — just lines on a spreadsheet. Creators have complete control over their businesses and lives from posting their thoughts online.
It’s free to create an account.
It’s cheap to build a product.
It’s expensive to do nothing.
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