In my dream world, I’d be a content material creator full-time. I’ve been an influencer at coronary heart since 2009, earlier than that was even a factor you could possibly be, and have spent my profession on the lookout for methods to make a sustainable dwelling from sharing my passions and experience with the world. Because the face of Period Nirvana—essentially the most complete web site and academic useful resource on the matters of menstrual cups and different reusable menstrual merchandise—I spend a very good portion of my time making pretend blood and sitting on a bathroom filming myself, and I really like each second of it.
However I’ve additionally been within the on-line content material world lengthy sufficient to know that making a dwelling from content material alone is a grind. You possibly can have 1,000,000 views in your Instagram Reels or YouTube movies and nonetheless not make almost sufficient cash to assist your self. Your earnings may also be wildly inconsistent month to month. I’m not saying it’s not possible to make a dwelling as a content material creator, however I discovered it difficult to make the maths add up primarily based on my earlier experiences within the trade. After I began brainstorming the launch of my new model, I spotted that if I needed to have the ability to persistently present free, academic content material that makes thousands and thousands of peoples’ lives simpler, I wanted to search out one other method to monetize it.
So, alongside my academic model, I made a decision to launch an e-commerce retailer devoted to reusable menstrual merchandise: Period.Shop. Due to this distinctive hybrid enterprise mannequin, I’ve been capable of attain multi-six figures in income inside simply two years of launching the model. This 12 months, I anticipate that I may attain $1 million in gross sales.
Whether or not you’re a enterprise proprietor trying to make use of content material to develop your model, or a content material creator questioning about launching one other stream of earnings, right here is why this strategy works so properly, plus a few of my recommendation for marrying content material and retail in a method that may result in unimaginable outcomes.
I exploit my content material to promote for my very own merchandise
The content material I create on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and my weblog serves as advertising and marketing for my store. Not solely does it assist me construct thought management and a following of potential clients who belief me, I can use each single video I create as an commercial for the merchandise I inventory.
For me, that is more practical than attempting to get different manufacturers to pay me to promote their merchandise in my content material, particularly contemplating corporations in my area of interest don’t are likely to have large advert budgets. My retail retailer additionally permits me to earn cash from the merchandise I’d be recommending anyway—as an alternative of sharing an affiliate hyperlink and making a small 1-5% fee, I can push viewers towards my retailer that has increased margins (40% on common). Although these increased margins additionally include the upper overhead prices of working a retail retailer, I nonetheless discover I’m capable of flip a greater revenue than I’d be capable of by way of advert income, affiliate hyperlinks, and sponsored posts.
In April 2021, our content material technique paid off with our first viral TikTok that netted Interval.Store an $8,000 day. One video immediately boosted consciousness of our account and model. A number of viral movies on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have fueled continued success and development whereas gaining our model world recognition as the highest supply of menstrual cup and disc schooling.
@periodnirvana Is that this a world file? #periodtiktok #menstrualcup #periodstories ♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre
The earnings I make from the shop provides me the liberty to create the content material I wish to, with out juggling different manufacturers’ calls for or stretching myself too skinny doing one thing else on the aspect to earn cash. The content material itself can also be monetized by way of packages that pay creators for the eyeballs they obtain—such web site adverts, Reels Bonus, TikTok Creator Fund, and YouTube adverts—although I see that extra as bonus earnings every month moderately than having to depend on it to assist myself and my household.
I’ve stored my content material extra academic than promotional
That stated, the most important mistake I see folks make when attempting to develop content material channels to assist their enterprise is focusing an excessive amount of on promoting their merchandise. A much more partaking strategy is to coach your viewers in your area of interest.
Sure, I discuss and demo the merchandise I promote, however I additionally reply questions on merchandise I don’t inventory and menstruation generally. Why? As a result of I need my group to really feel like I’ll present worth whether or not they purchase one thing from me or not. Once they really feel like I’m actually right here to assist them and am not simply out for the sale, it helps folks join with the model. Plus, it builds belief: after I share details about my merchandise or advocate one thing I do promote, my followers understand it’s coming from a spot of true experience.
Take into consideration what you’re the professional on, or what you’re captivated with, associated to the merchandise you promote, and lean into sharing that. It should show you how to create content material that actually resonates as an alternative of content material that comes throughout as disingenuous and salesy.
I created a robust lead magnet to tie all the things collectively
In fact, you don’t need the content material you create to be utterly disconnected from the merchandise you’re promoting, both. A powerful lead magnet—or a free useful resource you provide clients, sometimes in trade for his or her e mail handle—will be a good way to drive folks to your website with out it feeling such as you’re pushing a sale.
My major supply of gross sales is our quiz funnel. My movies on TikTok or YouTube primarily level to additional content material on my academic website (moderately than pointing on to my store), where our quiz will assist folks discover the suitable product (even when that’s not a product we inventory!) and encourage them to affix our mailing checklist. We additionally produce other assets on the location that present worth whereas additionally driving towards a few of our merchandise, like our complete menstrual cup chart and our filterable cup and disc finder.
If I ended all of my movies by pushing folks instantly to purchase my merchandise, they might begin sounding too marketing-heavy, quick. As an alternative, a compelling lead magnet permits me to have a gentler name to motion, directing viewers to a useful resource the place I can assist them discover the very best merchandise for his or her wants and additional construct belief.
I didn’t put all my eggs in a single content material basket
One other mistake I see companies and content material creators make goes all-in on one channel. Possibly they’d a video go viral on TikTok so determined to double down there, or they really feel most snug on Instagram.
I get it: Creating content material takes time, so that you don’t wish to stretch your self too skinny over a number of channels. However I all the time remind folks that you just don’t personal your viewers on social channels, they usually can change the algorithm and take away your development at any second. That’s what’s occurring for me on TikTok proper now: I used to get 30,000-100,000 views even on my lowest-performing content material, and now I’m seeing 1,000 views or fewer.
Fortunately, YouTube is on an upswing proper now, so I’m not dropping visitors on the entire—which is precisely why companies want to verify they’re placing out content material on a number of channels. You don’t even have to begin from scratch every time: I’ll repeatedly reformat movies from my YouTube into shorter-form clips for Instagram and TikTok. (I additionally know enterprise house owners who rent digital assistants to tackle the work of reformatting.) Sure, it’s a bit of extra time-consuming so as to add this step, nevertheless it’s so value it in serving to defend me from the whims of social media.
I streamlined enterprise operations to depart time for content material
I gained’t lie: Operating a content material model and a retail retailer concurrently is quite a lot of work. And transitioning from a solo content material creator to a enterprise proprietor having to cope with clients and complicated logistics was an enormous adjustment.
However I’ve discovered methods to streamline my enterprise operations to make sure I nonetheless have loads of time and mind house to be artistic and make content material. As an illustration, I’ve labored with a neighborhood 3PL (third-party logistics) achievement heart from the beginning, which suggests I don’t need to spend time delivery out orders. I do customer support myself, however attempt to time-block it, beginning and ending my day answering emails so I can have giant swaths of content material creation time in between. However there’s a lot to do when operating a store—from managing distributors to creating listings and product images—and I’m nonetheless the one doing most of it myself.
When I’ve to take time away from my old flame (creating content material) to work on constructing the retail aspect of my enterprise, I attempt to remind myself that I’m investing in monetary stability, each now and for the long run. One of many different challenges of creating a dwelling as a content material creator is that while you cease creating content material, you cease earning profits. I really like that I’m constructing a basis in order that, if I ever determine to step away as a public determine, I can nonetheless have a thriving enterprise.