Although the creative economy is growing and changing rapidly, there isn’t much existing research space, making it difficult for stakeholders to understand what’s going on behind the ring lights. So Linktreelink in bio Unicornis releasing a report today with findings from a survey of 9,500 creators that shed light on some overall trends in how creators are trying to make it on social media.
Being a creator is easier than ever – according to Linktree numbers, more than 200 million people can be classified as a creator, which the company defines as anyone who uses their influence and creativity to monetize your audience, no matter what platform they use. But research shows that 39% of creators – regardless of their income level – report that they consistently take steps to reduce stress; in fact, 13% of full-time creators say they’re extremely stressed out.
This tension makes sense. Creators don’t just pose in cute clothes on Instagram and do silly TikTok dances. They’re running small businesses, which often require them to be “on” at all hours of the day, dealing with a flood of Instagram comments, customer emails, and overdue bills, as anyone who has ever Any freelancer knows that paying on time is a blessing. It’s not just posting videos – it’s scripting, filming, editing, marketing, accounting, and whatever else a business requires.
But one of the more shocking revelations from the report is that creators are leaving money on the table, Linktree said. Only 12% of full-time creators earn more than $50,000 per year, while 46% of full-time creators make less than $1,000 annually (…questioning, those who make $1,000) Who is this la per year working full time? Are there more hobbyists, influencers retiring than we think?). Linktree also found that there is no direct correlation between time spent creating content and annual income. Thirty-two percent of creators earning up to $10,000 per year spent more than ten hours per week creating content, while 52% of creators earning between $50,000 and $100,000 spent less than ten hours a week to create new content.
Linktree estimates that 66% of creators consider their online pursuits a side business, while 36% of creators have only been doing content for a year or less. Of those creators, who are classified as “beginners” by Linktree, just 6% have earned more than $10,000. Thirty-five percent have made money, but haven’t earned enough to generate “livable income,” while 59 percent haven’t.
A previous report on the creator economy from the Center for Influencer Marketing and Neoreach found that brand deals are main source income for creators. But Linktree says that’s not true. According to Linktree data, 70% of creators earn less than 10% of their total income from working with brands, which shows that brand deals are not a reliable source of revenue, and Consistency. Furthermore, 12% of creators are earning less than $100 per brand collaboration (please, you’re worth more!).
Perhaps this means creators are profiting from things like YouTube ad revenue, Patreon memberships, merchandise sales, creator fund, etc. Plus, keep in mind that this is not a brand-specific influencer survey; it was a survey of 9,500 Linktree users across the entire creator space. So while a recipe Instagrammer might partner with their favorite gluten-free noodle company, a Youtuber might stick with that good, good AdSense money.
“68% of part-time creators make less than $1,000,” said Eric Jacks, chief strategy officer of Collab, Inc., who partnered with Linktree on this study. “This pivotal study highlights how difficult it is to be a creator, and how important it is for creators to find partners, platforms, and services that streamline the monetization opportunity.
Based on these findings, Linktree recommends that creators find a specific niche, citing that 37% of creators in that niche have already earned a brand collaboration, compared with 26% creators in general. After all, there’s more competition in “cooking” than “hard cooking for those unfortunate vegans who are allergic to soy and therefore can’t eat tofu or tempeh or frozen chickpea nuggets.” .”
Ultimately, research found that having a small, highly engaged audience helps creators more effectively monetize a large, minimal interaction. This makes sense, as many brands ask potential influencer partners to share information about their audience engagement rates, not just their number of followers.
This new data helps us better understand the breadth of the creative economy and the challenges participants are facing. But of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all creator guide – would you give the same advice to a VTuber and a TikTok prankster?