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What's driving the creator community economy? | Sponsored Content

This sponsored article was contributed by Meta.

The creator economy is booming—and the numbers are incredible. Research shows that there are now more than 50 million creators globally, with a market size that exceeds $100 billion. In the US last year, the number of creators earning a living wage through this work increased 41% year-over-year.

Previously, we looked at how small businesses and global brands have built communities to drive business outcomes. Today, we’ll examine how two creators have done the same.

Not Skinny But Not Fat’s (NSBNF) Amanda Hirsch

Amanda Hirsch, podcaster and founder and creator of the Instagram account @notskinnybutnotfat (NSBNF), has grown her account to more than 600,000 followers since 2016. There, she shares her days and her takes on celebrities and pop culture.

“Instagram felt like home. I had two full-time jobs at the time, but was spending all my time on Instagram,” Hirsch said, in conversation with Meta. “That’s what fulfilled me, not my jobs.”

In 2020, Hirsch started working on NSBNF full time and found that her community was incredibly engaged, supportive, and loyal.

“These strangers show up for you with the most beautiful things you’ve ever heard,” she said. “I could never allow my account to be one-directional because they deserve my feedback, communication, and interactions. There’s nothing I love more than reading DMs from my community.”

Hirsch monetizes through her podcast, brand partnerships, and community-driven merchandise. “I used to poke fun at the idea of merch,” she said. “I wasn’t at home saying I need to make sweatshirts. The idea came from my followers, and is mostly based on catchphrases I say a lot.”

Hirsch has also participated in notable partnerships with the Kardashians and Hulu. It started with some direct messages and follows on Instagram, and before she knew it, Hirsch was hosting the family’s new show’s premiere in Los Angeles and having Kim join her podcast.

“Creators have become an increasingly important part of our marketing mix, and Amanda has been a great example of getting our community to engage around our campaign for ‘The Kardashians’ in an authentic manner,” said Brittany Mehciz, vice president, social media at Hulu Originals.

News Not Noise’s Jessica Yellin

While working as the chief White House correspondent for CNN, Jessica Yellin had grown frustrated with how the news alienated people—especially young women. In 2018, she founded News Not Noise to drive meaningful dialogue around the news.

Her account initially had less than 1,000 followers, but grew to nearly 8,000 followers when author and philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld shared the account. Then, when comedian Amy Schumer announced her pregnancy through News Not Noise, Yellin’s account grew to 60,000 followers. Today, her following is 10 times larger and her videos and posts are shared by public figures like Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston, Kerry Washington, and Selena Gomez.

Yellin monetizes through sponsorships, merchandise, events, brand partnerships, and community support. Her content strategy is driven by deep community insights (85% of her community is women in the 25-to-44 age range). One of her key strategies is to ask her audience lots of questions on many different topics.

“I call it a ‘like-valued’ community. We’re not always like-minded, but we share the same values—we care about the world and we care about doing our part to make it a better, kinder place," Yellin said during a conversation with Meta.

Her brand partnerships are particularly productive and important. “There's deep engagement and a track record of trust,” she said. “I can raise money for a cause or drive people to action. In 2020, 30,000 people told me they voted for the first time because of News Not Noise.”

For creators looking to build community, here are a few key takeaways:

  • Have a clear understanding of your demographic in order to successfully unlock brand partnerships
  • Involve your community in your content creation process
  • Creator-to-creator interaction drives organic growth

Please check out facebook.com/business/community for additional resources going forward.

—John Cantarella, Vice President, Community and Scaled Partnerships, Meta