More than 50 million people now consider themselves creators, fostering a “creator economy” which is now valued at more than $100 billion. — The surge has been especially pronounced over the last year, with a growing cohort of women pursuing opportunities in the creator economy. But What are the opportunities for women? What are the challenges? Particularly as it relates to mental health.
Suanny Garcia is the author of "The New Latina: 100 Millennials Shaping Our World.” She is also the editor in chief at mitú. She was born in Cuba, and bred in Miami, where she is currently based. Suanny is known for her ability to connect with women through her writing. Her work has been featured across media platforms like Popsugar, Byrdie and Refinery29. Suanny was previously a public relations manager. She studied at Hampshire College, in Massachusetts, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.
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Gabby Berstein, Four Secrets to Writing Your Best Selling Book
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Tell us more about your book?
Yeah. So by book is called the new Latina a hundred millennials shaping our world. And so what really made me decide to write it was I, oh, I was always reading books and coffee table books and featuring lots of women in creative fields or women who had, you know, entrepreneurial accomplishments.
And I said, well, I don't think there's any books. Really kind of details that there's for the, for Latinos, for our demographic. And I know that there are so many amazing, the Tina's doing so many great things. But for some reason, all I kept reading about was Latinas in history and like the same women, like just kept, I kept reading about like the same women, which is amazing because that's kind of like are what those women kind of set the groundwork for where we are now, but I wanted to highlight millennial.
I'm doing amazing things now. So that's that submission and passion behind the book. And also because when I was when I was growing up, I didn't have like these images of women. I thought that like, to be successful, you had to be a movie star singer, and I was a cat. I don't have any of those times.
So I didn't have these images. Representation is something that's really important to me. And that is, you know, that's why I created this. The w the, sort of like the, the way that I went about creating, it was, like I said, during the pandemic I, I. I was sort of looking for for avenues and, and because I didn't have any work at the time.
And so I said, okay, I've always wanted, I wanted to write a book. I didn't think it would be this soon in my life. But I said, I always wanted to write a book. Gabby Bernstein is one of my favorite authors or internet creators. And she had a chorus of digital. And her course was about how to write your first best selling book.
And I yeah, at the time I apply for this scholarship because it wasn't, it was pretty expensive and I just didn't have that money to spare. And I applied for the scholarship. I got the scholarship to take the digital course. And basically the course is like really informative. It takes you through how you should pitch to a publisher how you should find out who your target audience is for your book, how you.
Market your book. So it takes you through all of that, but the first exercise in the first module basically has you kind of visualizing yourself as this author and visualizing your book, just touching millions of people and it's a practice and visualization, which stuck it stuck to me. And you know, it just it's something that I believe in.
So it was something that was really powerful. Then a week later I met my publisher. I just met my man, my publisher out and about, and it was I was having dinner at a restaurant. We were with a big group of people. He happened to be one of those people. We got to talking about our careers. He, you know, he was telling me how he's published all these different books and and just basically about his company.
And I said, well, I have this book idea. I would like to sort of pitch it to you like informally. I would like to talk to you about it. And it helped that. That I already kind of had a connection with him that I had already talked to him about my career and my passions before I had pitched that which we can talk to, which we can talk about later.
But yeah, and then he, he said, okay, I like your idea. Send me a formal proposal. I sent him the formal proposal. He likes it. He's like, okay, let's do it. Then I started working on all the research for the book.
So tell us about the process. What was the hardest thing you had to do besides putting yourself out there?
The hardest thing I had to do was I have patients, I would say because the process was. For me, it was so enjoyable. I enjoyed everything about it. Like I, I had women that I already knew I wanted to feature it. And then the research like researching and calling for other women and calling for more pitches from, from, you know, our, the nation, the Mike, the community Just like writing it, designing it, all of that was very enjoyable.
I wouldn't say that any of that was something that I struggled with, but just having patients I wanted the book to be created way before. I, I wanted the book to be finished before I like, I'd say like like a couple of months before I actually finished it. And then the whole, like the process takes a little bit because because it's I'm featuring a lot of different, women's a lot of different stories.
So I have to make sure that it's all factual and correct. So there's like that process of like making sure that they, they see it and and all of the facts are correct, making sure that all the images are credited appropriately. Making sure that the, the publicist or the middle person sees it and approves it.
So there's a lot that goes into it. So I'd say that. Having patients to get like this baby out into the world was my biggest struggle.
What about your biggest fear that did you ever have fear of doing it in the first place or fear of, you know, who's going to read it. And then how did you overcome that fear?
I don't think that I had any. I think that it was it w so I'm very, I'm a very spiritual person. And the project was just very, I was very sure that this was what I was meant to do at the time, and that things would work out and that, and that whoever needed to be, I would even say, like, whoever needs to be in this book, please, like, let them be in this book and let that come across.
Very seamlessly because I understood this project as something so much more beyond me. And I'm so grateful and happy that I was able to create it. I was able to write this book, but it's, you know, I saw it as something that generations of women would read and generations of women would get so much from it.
So for me, Because of that perspective and that point of view, I didn't really have a lot of fears about the book or about creating you know, in the, in the entire process of creating it.
What about putting yourself out there as an author? Right? I mean, you, I mean, you you've been writing all this time and you've been in the PR world, but what about putting yourself as a creator out there? Was there any doubts.
Yeah. So what helped me was that I had started a YouTube channel a couple years before I pitched this book and I wrote this. So I had already been sort of on camera starting on YouTube and, and creating videos, creating content for digital. And because I was working in public relations, I had already been on TV for several clients that, that we, that that we needed, like sort of have to have TV appearances.
And so had already been media train. I would media train our clients. And so this was a world that was familiar for me, which really helped. And then putting myself out there on social media, it was more about like growing and now okay. Like, I need to figure out how to talk about this book without like talking about it too much.
Cause then people get tired of the same content. But also like letting people know who I am and what I do and what I'm passionate about and managing that, managing a full-time job and managing, you know, anything that else that needs to go, you know, it's all. It's a lot. It's a lot to, to work with.
So this is a perfect segue because again, our topic is the creator economy and the opportunities that exist for women.
You are both a creator and author. And through your role at me too, you also work with a lot of creators and brands leveraging creators. What can you tell us? What do you see as the main opportunities for. In terms of social media in terms of social media or even you know, we made sure to say, because I think that a lot of us, if we're not into the crater economy or if we're not really in tune with it, we may say, well, that's just a, that's just influencer marketing. Kids using YouTube for gaming. And we really don't understand that. No, it really is an industry. It blew so much over the pandemic. And it's continued. I mean, there's a lot of money flowing into that greater front of me. You have platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now they're all creating tools for creators to monetize a lot of the content that it created.
And I just think. For a lot of our members who may not be as aware of the industry. I just want to make sure that we cover what it is, what opportunity success.
Yeah. And there are so many before, when I worked in public relations I worked for a beauty agency and I was on the other side of it. So I was paying creators to feature our product.
So I knew like how much money went into those things. So I worked with a pretty big beauty brands and one time I paid a creator who had about, I don't remember, but it was like, 200,000 followers. And we paid her eight, $8,000 for one post to feature the. And that was on Instagram. It wasn't even like Tik TOK was just starting back then.
And so I was eight. I learned how much money was actually in it, which is actually why I started my YouTube channel. And I was like, okay, I need to like tap into this. And then after, during the pandemic, I was I was at home a lot, like we all were, and I was cooking a lot and. I would, I would make low carb recipes.
I would share it on TechTalk and my tech talk. So I'll give you some background. I started YouTube about I would say like 4, 3, 4 years ago. I have, let's see, I think I have. 4,000, about 4,000 followers on YouTube and I can already monetize my channel through AdSense. I started tech talk last year and I have 50,000 followers on Tik TOK.
So tech talk is like, be like, if you're going to start with a platform, I would recommend tech talk because it just moves a lot faster than other platforms and you really want to tap into it now. I mean now a lot of authors are on it. They're, they're sharing their stories and it's such an amazing platform because it's not something you don't have to have this picture, perfect life that you might have see on Instagram or on YouTube or this aesthetic.
Or, you know, whatever, if you can literally just be yourself, talk to the camera and connect with people and take talk is like the most organic platform. And and I'd say like the, the less you try on there, the better it is for you. So if you're someone who is like, I don't want to, I don't want to pretend that I have this life that I don't have.
I don't want to feel like I need to have an aesthetic. I just want to talk and connect with people. I highly recommend tapping into take talk. You'll be able to grow your audience much faster on there and just connect and. And then be able to tap into the creator economy. You, you will get paid for your views.
You'll get brand deals. I've already gotten a few brand deals for my, just for like my food content. And these are things that like, and you can tell me to stop if I, if I'm like I'm ranting. But so for example, I always tell my friend, my friend, she works in healthcare industry and she has a really great salary, a really great position.
And I tell her I'm like, you should get, you should get on Tik TOK. You have, she has like this dog that she loves. I'm like, you're always taking pictures of bell bells, a dog's name. You're always thinking pictures, a bell dog. I'm an animal content. People want to see it. People love it. And you can, you don't even have to show your face.
You could get sponsorships from from toy companies or animal companies. And it's like, you can, you can share to the world what you already do. So when I started cooking on tech talk, I was okay. I'm already cooking every day and I'm already trying to fight. Low card alternatives to the food that I already eat.
So let me just make a 15 second video about it. And it's just, it's basically just that it's like, it's basically just putting yourself out there in that way, but not thinking about it too much. And just put sometimes when you first started, you got to push out a lot of content and see what works.
When I first started YouTube, I pushed out a lot of different content. I did makeup, I did clothing and the one that worked the best was What I do in a day as a public relations manager. And that one just kind of blew up because there was a niche there, there was like a space there that wasn't filled.
And I remember I got a lot of comments on that video saying saying that they, they didn't have any videos like that on, they had never seen a lot of videos on, on public relations on YouTube. And and then that helped me grow my audience for communications and for writing this book. And so my YouTube audience is all about that.
And then my. More about like food and recipes. How
would you coach somebody to know which plump, I mean, Tik TOK is growing and it's, it's relatively new, so it's a great platform, but you know, some would argue, well, my audience is not there. It. And, and, and I do agree. It's not only a lot of people make the mistake of thinking it's only gen Z or gen a I'm on tech talk, but no, there's, there's, there's millennials or gen X and all of that, but how would you coach somebody?
What platforms should they use
to be, to be honest, I would say get on tech talk. I think that people think that it's just. See or that it's a younger audience, but there's all different types of audiences on Tik TOK. I mean, I've seen like grandma take taco, like, like go viral hub, like this. I follow a bunch of different grandmas because I liked that concept and they have millions and millions of followers.
And it's just about like connecting authors are on there. Like even my publisher told me to get on tech talk. He's like it's growing all the authors are on there. If you have some, if you have a product to sell, that's where you want to be. If you have I don't know what, if you just want to sell yourself as a creator, that's also where you want to be.
I w and YouTube, and then now Instagram is, so now Instagram is a video forward platform, which means that you can post your, which means that they're gonna promote your, your reels more than they will your photos. So you can post your, take talks on Instagram and grow your. Relatively quick, more quickly than than before.
And then YouTube is like my number one, because you there's just a lot of opportunities there for, for income, their sponsorships. And then there's Google ad sense. So Google ad sends we'll pay you depending on your, your views per video. So, yeah, I would say, I would say the first thing, I would say, try it on Tik TOK.
If it doesn't work out, then you can move on to a different platform, but I promise you that there's all kinds of demographics on Tik TOK.
Can you tell us a little bit more Sweeney about how you work with brands through me too, or even prior to that, how they can benefit from engaging with creators?
So I worked with, so the beauty brand that I worked with. They just had really strong, like influencer marketing leg. And, and basically it helps in so many ways. So the first way is obviously sales and, you know, promoting your product the second way is just getting to your target audience. So like getting to the person that you want to sell this product to, you could work with influencers who have that same demographic and who can speak to that product as well.
And who would already use that product? As a brand. So right now what's working best is organic content. So brands would pay an influencer to say, oh my God, I love this mascara on Tik TOK. And then they'll repurpose that if it's in the contract and they're able to use that content to use it as an ad, you don't have to spend ad dollars.
To create content from like your in-house team or the agency that you outsource. You can pay that money to the influencer, get the rights to that video, and then use that video as an ad and then run it and then see how that works. And typically it will work better than any sort of like a more stiff content that you'll see that you'll like reproduce in house.
Emma wants to know if you have any experience or examples with monetizing Lincoln.
I don't, I would say I know that there's opportunity there, but I don't really, I'm really bad at using that resource. Yeah.
I will say Emma, what I've seen people, how people are monetizing LinkedIn, it's better for B2B.
So if you're doing direct sales or B2B business or if you're again, working on your personal brand to get promoted higher but also for creators, what I've seen them do is that they're
doing workshops. So they do workshops or courses, and then they either offer them for free. To get them to subscribe and then do enough sale later on, or they charge for the workshop that they're doing on LinkedIn.
And so are they doing the workshop on LinkedIn? Is that what you've seen? Okay. Yeah, they have LinkedIn. So the tools that LinkedIn provides is more for educational. Content workshop type related. You can also go live on there. But there are also coming out with tools that again, will allow you to charge for people who actually are as VP to your event.
Okay. Thank you. And there's another question, Lonnie. How do you suggest going about monetizing? If you're just starting out, do you proactively seek out those opportunities or do you build your audience for.
Yeah, so you can bill and going back to that, I think I've also seen creators create courses on teachable and sell those courses if you, and if you could host like a, like a 30 minute workshop to, as a lead to your courses as a lead to whatever you're selling, you could also go back to that and use that use teachable as a platform and use LinkedIn to kind of guide people there.
Just something that I thought of, but. In terms of creating your audience? I would say you can monetize, even if you're a micro influencer, it just depends on your engagement. So it depends on if you're a micro. So my friend just started his podcast. Right. And he has about 5,000 followers now, but he has really high engagement.
So even when he'll say I'm hosting an event, like people will go when he says I'm selling something. Or when he tells people, I really liked this, people will respond to. They trust him. So it's about building trust and building engagement with your audience more than the numbers. And then once you have that and you have the analytics behind it, you can go out and reach out to the brands that you think are a fit and say, you know, this is my engagement.
This is. You know, my, my followers trust me because of this is not, and you can reach out and get get paid opportunities. Even if it's at, you know, let's say $200 for a post or $200 for a video, that's still an amazing opportunity. Starting off the story.
Okay. I have
a private message. So I'm not going to say who this is it. This is from, but she asked, can you ask her how she gets past the need to always look perfect on social media posts? That's my biggest thing. I never looked good enough or tools to look better. Thank you.
That's really good question.
And it's something that. I don't know if, if we ever get past that. But I think speaking of my experience, like I. I was super open to kind of looking, however I looked. And then later on I was, I, as I started editing more videos on YouTube and noticing little things, I would notice little things about myself that I would have otherwise not noticed if I wasn't on camera.
And I just have to like continuously check myself and say, you just because you're seeing this on camera. And like, this is how people are naturally are, this is. This is your hairline. Like this is normal just because we see these images of like perfectly Photoshops women. It doesn't mean that you have to look like that.
Something that really helps me as following women who, whose content is about that is about like, not looking perfect. So they'll show like all of the imperfections and they'll say, you know, this is who I am, this is what's normal. And I will follow, I will make it a point to follow more women who are focused on that.
And it gives you. It empowers me to do it as well, or it empowers me to not feel bad. I, to not always use filters when, when I'm on Instagram stories and to kind of like show that rawness and then tech talk is also a place where a lot of people show how they are naturally. There's no filtering.
There's none of that. And so tech talk just like the environment and the, the. I don't know. Yeah. I guess the environment on that platform is to show your raw life and people connect with that more than they would anything that's you know, to done up or to too much makeup or anything like that. But yeah, it's, it's something that's definitely difficult to navigate and it's something that even now.
Because of that pandemic, I I've gained weight and I spoke on YouTube. I said, I I've had, I've been having trouble coming on camera. And, you know, even if I've been filming my videos and I just, I don't like the way it looks. So I haven't been posting them. And that's something that, that's something that's very real about creating content online.
And and it's something that. You know, you have to be very thoughtful and very nice to yourself when you're navigating that you have to say, you know, everybody goes to this. If you, if you don't want to push out content and let's say, if you want to take a break of two weeks break month break, whatever it is, you need to take that break and just regroup and just make sure that you're taking care of yourself and your.
At, in your mental health before, and that you're strong that when you're, when you're ready to push out content that you're, you're going to be okay. No matter what people say. Yeah, I couldn't agree. I think it's great
Suanny. And I would just say that I just authenticity and I think there there's actually creators that are creating content about.
Be an imperfect, you know, or make them sauna, Instagram, like perfect pictures and stuff like that. I, I tend to follow it as well. There is another question and this is actually a great segue to my next question, which is a hot take right. Of, of this greater economy. And th that is a mental toll that it sometimes, sometimes takes not just again on the creators, but.
The people on platforms and actually I'm just going to use Sheena to lead us to this segue. She says, do you experience much negativity on social media? Both when you look perfect and imperfect. And if so, how do you handle it?
To be honest on YouTube and Instagram, I haven't experienced much negativity. There's been some comments that That are highlighting, like what I'm wearing or like the other day somebody said about some, someone said something about what I was wearing and that they didn't want to see it. And I was like, okay, if you don't want to see it, but don't watch the video.
I just commented back. Like, don't watch it. Like, I encourage you to stop, you know, watching the videos and but yeah, on Tech-Talk on, on Instagram and YouTube, I haven't seen that on Tik TOK. I get some negativity. It's never really about me or the way that I look, because I share a lot of recipes, but it is.
But if I'm like doing like a low carb recipe, people get really triggered with food recipes. I've found, they want to tell you what's healthy and what's not. And they, the