Have you noticed the wildly turbulent job market and labor shortages? Are you aware of supply chain issues or inflation and the rise in the cost of living? It’s safe to say that the economy is changing fast. In fact, with countries like the US announcing that their GDP (the gross domestic product – a value of all goods and services produced in the country) has shrunk for the second consecutive quarter (that’s 6 months altogether), many analysts claim we are entering what is known as a recession.
That can be a scary word that evokes uncertainty and fear. Without a doubt, there are some tough times ahead as we emerge from the other side of the pandemic, but it can also spark opportunity and great change. Right now may just be the time to become involved with the creator economy. Here’s why.
What is a recession, and why is it happening?
First up, let’s get our heads around what a recession actually is and why it’s happening right now. In simplest terms, when we live through a stable, “normal” period, a country’s economy will grow. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases, and the citizens, on average, will become slightly richer.
Why? The long answer is very complex, and there are many factors involved. Still, in simple terms, we’re seeing a sharp increase in commodity prices (particularly energy in Europe), and people’s incomes are falling once you adjust for these rising prices. With less money in the system, the economy is shrinking. The war in Ukraine is just one factor in these rising prices.
What can I expect to happen in a recession?
Every recession is different, but there are a few painful hallmarks that indicate what will happen. Some people will lose their jobs through widespread layoffs, and others will find it harder to get promotions and pay rises that can keep up with inflation. Meanwhile, graduates and school leavers may find it difficult to get into the job market. There are also bankruptcies and higher borrowing costs that all trend toward a turbulent, uncomfortable period.
Naturally, this can be very worrying, but for the past few years, we have been living through a period of particular instability with the pandemic and lockdowns it induced. In general, we are living through a time where the way we do things in terms of work and careers is shifting and changing at an incredibly quick rate. Within this lies opportunity and potential for positive change.
Will a recession be bad for the creator economy?
With less money in the system, you’d expect that the creator economy might be hit hard, right? So much of the industry relies on marketing budgets, and as those budgets and purse strings tighten up, there might well be less opportunity. However, recent trends from the past year hint at something altogether different.
Recessions force brands and companies to be a little more savvy and analytical. Every cent starts to count. For those truly paying attention to where the attention is when it comes to marketing and getting eyeballs on your product, it’s clear that social media platforms are the way to go. 72% of American adults use some form of social media today – that’s something you can’t really ignore.
While social media users may well have less money to spend, that will hardly force them to unfollow their favorite creators online, right? Meanwhile, working directly with creators is a lot simpler and cheaper than investing into a huge in-house media and production team that demands so many moving parts, so much time and money.
As Pepsi’s CMO Todd Kaplan noted in a discussion panel in Cannes, “Culture is having a special moment right now, where things are coming from the ground up. As a brand, you have to pay attention.” If the chief marketing officer of a huge brand like Pepsi is talking about this, it may well just be something you should sit up and pay attention to.
The creator economy continues to rise
Despite the gloomy outlook, the creator economy continues to build and rise at an insatiable speed. With more than 50 million people now working in the creator economy and a global market size valued at $13.8 billion (USD), this is serious business.
While other sectors may begin to flounder and enter turbulent periods through the recession, many leading marketers are acknowledging that creators have gone from “nice to haves” in a marketing budget to “critical”. Moreover, most leading marketing experts believe that the money will continue to move into the creator economy, further fueling and growing the industry.
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn reported that the demand for “creator” jobs (any job posting on LinkedIn with “creator” in the job title) has tripled in comparison with the exact same period last year!
It’s time to join the creator economy
While jobs and careers in more traditional industries and services may face a rocky patch, it looks like getting involved in the creator economy could be a safe bet. There is tremendous potential for creators looking to make their mark and build successful online brands and businesses. There are so many platforms to upload content to and find your niche that you can build a career that’s stable and independent of any one company. That’s an alluring prospect during a time of rabid uncertainty.
LinkedIn has found that the leading 10 industries in search of creators are surprisingly varied, too:
- Technology & information
- Advertising services
- Staffing and recruiting
- E-learning providers
- IT services & IT consulting
- Musical groups & artists
- Media & telecommunications
- Retail apparel & fashion
- Computers & electronics manufacturing
- Food & beverage services
Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a creator in front of the camera, the infrastructure needed to build these new and exciting brands generates a whole swathe of new jobs. There are administrative and support roles such as creator managers, agents and accountants. There are content educators, videographers, editors, production staff and much, much more.
While a recession can herald gloomy days for business, it is also an opportunity for those looking to grasp it. The truth is that there are no safe waters during times like this, and making a huge career change at this moment or diving into something new may be a huge risk. There are no guarantees. The creator economy is not bulletproof. But if ever there was a time to make a change and give something new a go, it’s now.
The jobs market is already in so much upheaval. Yet, the data and trends suggest that in the creator economy at least, there are exciting, bright days ahead. There’s potential and opportunity here if you’re willing to take a risk and give it a go. So, if you’ve ever found yourself wanting to be involved in this burgeoning new industry, now may well be the time to get up and do it.