Content Creator Jobs: Thrive in IG’s Creative Opportunities

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 22, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

With the rise of relatable Instagram Reels and candid photo trends, people no longer respond to boring, old, traditional ads. Gone are the days of ultra-polished campaign posters and high-brow photoshoots to promote products. Today, the more organic and creative your content looks, the more people are likely to engage with it. This demand for authentic creative content on social media platforms has made way for many content creator jobs online.

But what is it really like being an Instagram creator for a living? Is it as glamorous as people always make it seem? Do full-time creators and freelancers who churn out creative content make a decent salary? We’ll get into everything you need to know about Instagram creator jobs. Keep reading to see the answers to these questions!

A male creator filming a video of himself with his phone camera, a tripod, and a ring light.

First Things First—What Is a Content Creator?

Today, modern creatives are ditching their traditional jobs in the office and trading up for content creation gigs online. According to the Washington Post, the “creator economy” today sits at a value of 250 billion USD. But what is a content creator in the first place?

Simply put, a social media content creator is someone who produces and distributes creative content on online channels. The content can be anywhere from videos and photos to blog articles and podcasts. These posts usually fall under the creator’s specific niche, whether it’s tech, fashion, travel, food, or more.

YouTubers, TikTok stars, video editors, and content writers for lifestyle blogs are awesome examples of online creators. On Instagram specifically, creators will typically churn out a combination of aesthetically pleasing photos and engaging video content. You’ll see plenty of them working with brands and other creators through sponsorships and collaborative posts.

Regardless of where these creators do their work, they are always equipped with the skills to produce high-quality, engaging content. These include editing skills, writing chops, and, for influencers, charisma and the ability to engage an audience effectively.

Content Creator Job Description and Day in the Life

Any way you look at it, a creator’s job is to produce relevant, authentic-looking content aligned with a brand’s messaging. But creators can be classified into two kinds of jobs. These are the independent influencers and the creators part of a company’s marketing team.

Both types of online creators have the same end goal of making trendy, engaging content for a brand. However, the nature of these jobs differs in creative control, flexibility, and how the craft is done as a whole. Check out the content creator job description for each type of Instagram creator role.

Creative IG Influencers With Their Brand

The first kind of creator we’ll take a look at is the Instagram influencer. These are creators who have their own branding and Instagram pages where they post all their creative content. They work independently but will collaborate with brands to create paid promotional content.

Influencers typically have a sizeable audience that brands want to reach. Working with partner brands as a creator is then two-fold. First, you’ll be paid to create visual content that will resonate with the brand’s audience. Then, you’ll need to use your influence and impact over your followers to lead them to the brand’s project or website.

In short, brands aren’t hiring you just for your content creation skills. They also care about your influence and following. They need your name and face attached to the post to drive your audience to do a specific action. This includes buying a product from the brand’s website or checking out the brand’s page on Instagram.

Here are some of the tasks you should expect to do daily as a creative influencer and creator:

  • Liaise with partner brands to discuss sponsored posts you need to create and publish.
  • Shoot and edit content (with you in it) and pass it along to clients for approval.
  • Engage with your followers to maintain a solid relationship with them.
  • Think of growth strategies to gain more followers on Instagram.
  • Post content like Instagram Stories and feed posts in your niche to continue building your brand.

A female Instagram influencer filming video content to talk to her followers.

Creators Hired Directly by Companies To Produce Creative Content

The second type of creator is a creative professional hired by a company to make visually appealing content for them. These creators have a knack for creating trendy content but aren’t interested in being the face of their brand. Instead, they’ll work full-time or part-time to churn out creative content for a brand that pays them a salary.

These Instagram creators are usually part of a marketing team. Unlike influencers who make content independently, these creators collaborate with other departments in a company. The whole team will brainstorm the brand’s social media strategy. Then, the creators produce videos, photos, posters, blogs, and more that align with the brand plan.

These creators will also typically use content management systems to organize their work since they’re part of a bigger team. This is a far cry from many influencers who likely upload content manually.

Working as a social media creator for a company has plenty of perks. It promises a stable income, unlike influencers, who will typically get project-based contracts from clients. It also doesn’t have the same pressure of maintaining a personal brand image online. Lastly, there’s no need to engage directly with an audience—the company likely has a social media manager for that!

Here are some of the daily tasks creators are expected to do when a company hires them:

  • Attend marketing team meetings to discuss social media strategy and branded content needed for the day.
  • Work with fellow content writers, editors, graphic designers, and photographers to create content.
  • Plan projects and campaigns with the rest of the marketing team.
  • Attend brand events that require on-site content creation.

Two creators brainstorming as a team to create content for the brand they work for.

How To Become a Content Creator: Pave Your Way to Success

Sure, you might love making content with your phone camera or Photoshop. But there’s more to being an online creator than talent. Building a career as a creator takes a lot of hard work.

Ready to commit to being a full-time creator on social media platforms? Here’s a guide on how to become a content creator in four steps.

1. Develop Your Skills in Your Creative Content Niche

First, you want to pinpoint your niche—a.k.a. the area of content creation you want to specialize in. You can focus your services on photography, editing Reels, content writing, producing podcasts, or anything under the sun.

You can also go the extra mile and zero in on a specific topic in which you work. Common niche topics on Instagram include beauty, travel, fitness, fashion and food.

Once you know what kind of content you want to be an expert in, it’s time to hone those skills. There are plenty of ways to learn more about your craft and perfect it. Take online graphic design courses to learn about basic editing skills in Photoshop or the principles of design. Attend workshops on social media curation and writing. Learn and practice as much as possible until you feel extremely confident in your craft.

A person opening Photoshop on their laptop to hone their editing skills.

2. Decide If You Want To Be an Independent Brand or Work for a Company

Next, decide what kind of social media creator you want to be. Do you want to build your brand and become an influencer? Or do you want a consistent, stable job at a company by being there for all their content creation needs?

If you love sharing about your life online and engaging with people on social media, consider being an influencer. It’s also the most viable option for those who are independent workers who love having creative control over their content. That way, you can achieve your creator’s dreams while having as much flexibility as possible.

But if you don’t like being in the limelight but love content creation, it’s best to work for a company. Not only will you be able to produce cool content, but there’s no pressure of being the face of the brand. This option is also best for those who thrive when working in a team. That said, be prepared to adhere to the company’s specific aesthetic for the content you create.

3. Create Your Portfolio or an Instagram Creator Account

Next, it’s time to show people what you’ve got. If you want to be a full-time creator at a company, create a digital portfolio to show off your work. If you’re striving to become an influencer, set up your Instagram page (pro tip: make sure it’s on Creator Mode!).

Whether you’re working with a portfolio or an Instagram feed, make sure to showcase your best content in it. Remember, this is what potential clients and employers will see. Build an entire website full of work that highlights your fine-tuned creative skills. Curate an aesthetic Instagram feed that will appeal not just to brands but to your target audience, too. They’ll judge your content creation skills on what they see on these pages, so put your best foot forward.

A man holding a physical graphic designer portfolio showcasing his work.

4. Reach Out to the Brands You Want To Work With

Finally, when you’re an expert in your niche and have an online page, it’s time to find clients. Reach out and shoot an email to the brands you want to work for. Ask them if they’re interested in collaborating if you’re an influencer or hiring you as a full-time or part-time creator. Don’t forget to attach your portfolio or link them to your Instagram page to show them what you’ve got!

Here are some other tips for landing your dream creator job or brand collaboration:

  • Attend industry events and network as much as you can among people within your niche. The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to find a creator gig fast.
  • Apply for jobs online, whether it’s on freelancing sites or LinkedIn.
  • Join online creator communities. Plenty of marketing teams post job opportunities on these pages. A big family of creators is also a fantastic source of support when you’re new in the content creation space. 

What Are UGC Content Creator Jobs, and Why Are They in Demand Today?

User-generated content—aka UGC—is content made by customers and the general public instead of the brand itself. It’s when people post content on their accounts featuring a brand’s products, whether it’s clothing, fitness equipment, snacks, etc.

Brands like UGC because not only do they get free press from it, but it’s also authentic, creative, and out-of-the-box. Because it is content made by real people, it serves as social proof that the brand is worth patronizing.

Brands love UGC so much that sometimes, they’re willing to hire creators specifically to make content that looks like UGC. And so, UGC content creator jobs were born. This specific type of creator churns out content that looks like UGC made by a satisfied customer. However, they are paid to do it.

Many UGC creators are small-time influencers with a knack for creating Reels and taking trendy photos. They’ll take on freelance UGC creation gigs and get paid to make authentic content featuring a brand’s products. Then, the brand takes these content pieces and reposts them.

Content Creator Salary: How Much Do They Make?

No matter how fun being an online creator sounds, at the end of the day, it’s still a job. It still needs to be able to pay the bills. So, what is a typical content creator’s salary like?

According to Glassdoor, the estimated average pay a social media creator gets per year is around $57,800. But in the grand scheme of things, how much creators make will vary depending on many factors.

Audience size, for example, is a huge factor in how much a brand pays an influencer on Instagram. The larger your audience, the higher the rate you can demand when negotiating payments from a partner brand. Some mega-influencers and celebrities can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for one Instagram post. Meanwhile, micro-influencers might charge a couple hundred dollars or less for the same type of content.

Other factors that affect how much you get paid as a creator include your skill set and previous experience. The type of content you produce also has implications on how much you’re paid. Making videos, for example, might get you more money than writing captions since it takes more time and energy.

Aside from a salary as a creator or payments from sponsored content, you might also have other streams of income. For example, influencers can earn commissions from affiliate marketing links that they share with their followers. Some creators can also receive ad revenue from specific social media platforms. On Instagram, this is called the Reels Play bonus program. The more streams of income a creator has, the higher their overall pay.

a woman holding money in her hand

Path Social Can Help You Make Your Way To IG Creator Success

If you’ve got a knack for creating exciting content, being a social media creator might be a path worth exploring. Whether you become an independent creator or work for a company full-time, this modern career could be right for you. So, hone those writing and editing skills and ramp up your portfolio and Instagram feed. In no time, you’ll be churning out fabulous content for your favorite brands!

Are you trying to make it big and conquer content creator jobs left and right as an influencer? Path Social can help you get a head start. Creators are more successful in their careers when they have high reach and engagement. That’s exactly what we help you do.

At Path Social, we help you identify your niche audience that is most likely to engage with your content. Then, we promote your posts so that they end up on your audience’s feed. This brings in tons of new followers and engagement on your page, propelling you to Instagram fame. Start your Instagram creator journey and gain more followers today!