How Young Caribbean Entrepreneurs Can Cash-In On The Booming Creator Economy

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 14, 2022: As a creator, living in the Caribbean and trying to connect with a wider audience can be challenging. It’s an opportunity to have a lucrative career delivering content to specific audiences all over the world. While it seems like it’s something that can happen overnight. It’s not!  just like how you start an online business for ecommerce or sales – it takes planning and determination to get noticed, traction, and then monetize for a sustainable income.

There are creators throughout the Caribbean. Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Antigua, and more. One of the things they all have in common is that they are targeting specific audiences that are interested in what they have to say. This content may be completely catered to island lifestyles or may attract larger audiences around the world, but it all comes back to the same question – are they being paid for this content they create, and is the creator economy helping sustain their lifestyle?

What exactly is the creator economy?

It’s no secret that there are millions of people on YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, and other social platforms that have seen success. In this digital transformation, you can live in the islands and still make a huge impact where you can monetize and grow. All you need is a niche, great content, an audience, and a platform that recognizes what you’re doing so you can get paid.

While this sounds simple, it’s important to note that Caribbean creators may have a few obstacles to get past that you won’t find in other places around the globe. The cost advertisers pay is different than in the U.S., which may cut into profits. Additionally, you may have to pay taxes based on the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, even if you aren’t in the U.S.

Depending on what platform you use, you can quickly gain an audience in the Caribbean, especially if your niche is something people want to know about. A good way to ensure you are getting paid your worth for the content you create is by partnering with a company that is looking at your niche audience. This could mean doing content for the tourism industry, brands that want to get their products out to your audience, and more. The great thing about creating good content on these platforms is the brands will start recognizing your power and will reach out to you.

What exactly is a niche?

A niche is one specific area you cover that limits the competition in your field. You’ll become known for that particular content. This is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in that area so people will start following you to hear and see what you have to say. In fact, there are many niches that are specific to the Caribbean, like Carnival. The pool of Carnival content creators is growing, and they cover everything from where to stay, the bands playing, where to get costumes, showing how costumes are made, and then everything going on at carnival.

Now, if you didn’t know it, there’s an entire community of Caribbean content creators that support one another and provide information for pitching opportunities, discussions on essential tools needed, and fintech opportunities. Plugging into this community is a good way to start connecting with the right people to increase your chances of positioning yourself as a stand-out content creator and monetizing your content.

Create your content

While it can be difficult getting traction on some of these platforms, once you have started drawing attention from the masses, it’s time to start providing gated content where you are in control of how much money you make. For instance, you can have snippets of your content on Instagram which provides value but using a multi-platform model where you can sell your premium content is the goal.

How do you do this? There are a few ways. Create an exclusive paid online community, create a paid membership, paywall your videos or music, sell digital downloads or subscriptions and more. That means having a solid strategy on how you will use your audience to grow and then branch out into delivering your own content for a fee. By using public platforms along with your private platform, you’ll be able to gauge what your audience wants and is willing to pay for.

How easy is it to build an audience?

It depends. You have to know what people want and need. That means studying the competition, seeing what you can offer and do better, and delivering content that adds value. The internet plans in the Caribbean differ from other places in the world, so you must be prepared. If that means pre-recording your content to stream at certain times to save money while you’re building, that may be a good solution. You must have high-speed internet, and your phone plan must be top-tier.

One of the key things in building an audience is using different tactics. That means you should have a good search engine optimization strategy (SEO) so people can find you. In every instance, the quality of your content will still make a huge difference in who you connect with and whether they keep following you because they like what they hear and see.

Monetization

There are many platforms popping up in the Caribbean that offer multiple ways for content creators to shine. While many people complain about the CPM in dealing with YouTube and other platforms, there are additional ways to earn money for your content. Affiliate marketing is huge in the Caribbean because companies want their business. The problem is, it can be very expensive when trying to get things to the Caribbean, which ends up being a bust.

To combat this problem, many content creators focus on other things that are useful and completely cater to people in the Caribbean. Now, these new platforms being created in the Caribbean help content creators earn money through their social media networks and they don’t have size restrictions. The Caribbean has started taking content creation very seriously, demonstrating that they also invest in startups and business incubators.

A great move, content creators must have the tools necessary to make things happen. This means investing in a good phone, having podcast equipment if having a podcast is the move, having the right lighting, and, of course, making connections with the right people. While it may take some time to get things exactly where you want them, getting started is the key.

Networking with people around the world can also help grow your audience. That’s the beauty of having a digital platform, because the more people you attract, the larger your platform becomes. It doesn’t matter if they are in the U.S. or Ireland – if they are watching and continue to come back to listen to or view your content, you’re growing a solid base.

Tapping into networks with other Caribbean creators is a good move, especially since there is an entire community dedicated to helping them grow. New platforms like ZRise may give you insight, and other organizations and resources like FreeBalance, ISACA in Trinidad and Tobago, The Digipreneur Podcast, and other places that specifically discuss the challenges of being a content creator in the Caribbean and how to get around these hurdles can help position you to move forward.