It’s no secret - top video creators on TikTok can make some serious money. Forbes reports that the top six TikTok creators each earned over $1 million dollars, and plenty of others are leveraging the TikTok Creator Fund or making brand-sponsored videos on the app.
But, there are a huge number of video creators who have a sizable audience and earn some kind of money from their videos, but are far from earning millions - or even enough to replace their job’s income.
Influencer Marketing Hub has a tool to estimate the payout from the TikTok Creator Fund. Even with 1,000,000 likes and 100,000 followers, someone might only make between $160 - $265 per video.
Even for a creator that does have a steady or substantial income from their video platform, it’s always wise to find another route to monetization. Creating digital products, like online courses, membership communities, or private podcast episodes, is a natural next step that involves many of the skills video creators have.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why digital products are a great fit for video creators who are looking to monetize their audiences beyond the TikTok hosting platform
The current state of passion economy monetization
Right now, video creators often monetize their videos with these methods:
- Directly, from the TikTok Creator Fund
- Sponsored videos organized from brands
- Affiliate links or discount codes
- Physical merchandise
- Access to membership communities
But relying on income from another platform can be risky. Platforms can change their rules, algorithms, and payouts at any time. If the change is not in your favor, that could mean a drop in earnings.
One example of a platform that made a payout change is Shutterstock. In June of 2020, stock video, music, and photography site Shutterstock changed their royalty payout to a percentage of the price paid by the end customer. The minimum payout for a photo changed from $0.25 to $0.10. 15 cents doesn’t sound like a lot, but the percentage was drastic.
There’s another way to leverage your existing audience to generate income - selling digital products. For video creators like you, selling online courses is a natural fit. The best part is that it does not involve a huge financial investment and you can get a digital product business up and running pretty quickly.
Digital products are a great way for video creators to monetize an audience because you likely already have the skills needed to produce the product. If you’re regularly producing videos, you can easily apply that experience to creating online courses.
Here are some examples of how content creators can turn their skills into digital products:
- Hobbyists can create courses on creating their crafts
- Cooking video creators can sell meal plans and recipes
- Business experts can offer coaching on sales, marketing, accounting, or strategy
- Entertainment creators can host a fan membership community
By selling digital products like online courses, eBooks, membership community access, premium podcast episodes, or more, video creators with audiences of all sizes can diversify their revenue streams. You set your own prices so you’re more in control of your earnings.
Case Study: The Burnout Coach
Emily Ballasteros of Burnout Management is a TikTok video creator who uses her platform to promote her thought leadership content. She creates content about the struggles that come from work - bad managers, being overloaded with projects, setting boundaries at work, and more. As of this writing, she has over 119,000 followers on her TikTok account and her videos also reach into the hundreds of thousands of views.
These followers and video viewers may click into her profile and see the link in her profile, which points to her content for sale on Kajabi. So instead of relying on the TikTok Creator Fund or sponsored videos from other brands, she can use her TikTok following to drive traffic to her digital knowledge commerce business.
She says, “Intellectual property is low-cost, high-impact. There are no materials you need to order, inventory you need to keep, storefront you need to rent, etc. If you have the time and agency to package an intellectual product, you can make something from nothing. The best part about having a social following is that you get direct consumer feedback and can utilize that feedback to create the best products possible for them.”
Monetizing your video audience with online courses
So if you’re in a position like Emily and tens of thousands of others, where you have a substantial subscriber base and get thousands of views to each of your videos, you could sell digital products to that same audience to capture revenue from people who are interested in your content.
Online courses are a clear translation of the video skills you already have. Another perk of for-sale video courses is that they allow you break free from making short video content that is designed for the TikTok algorithm.
By gating content behind a paywall, you have the freedom to make content that you are passionate about or have deep knowledge in. This content could be in a narrow niche. Videos on that topic may not have good enough organic performance to make it worthwhile to create if you’re relying on ad dollars or sponsorships for the revenue.
But, if you can charge for a video course on that topic, the audience members that highly value that content can generate enough sales and revenue to make it worth your time. This is especially the case if there is little to no content surrounding that topic and you’re filling a gap.
Monetizing your video audience with membership community
But, online courses aren’t your only option to monetize your fanbase. Many video creators earn income with a membership community.
With a membership community, you can:
- Share exclusive content like bloopers or deleted scenes
- Run a discussion forum for your fans to enjoy
- Interact with your fans via chat or virtual calls
- Provide other digital knowledge products
Some membership communities act like a digital tip jar with minimal involvement from the creator. Others provide more benefits and access to the creator. There’s a lot of flexibility depending on how much time you want to dedicate to it.
Membership sites can also be something to start first if you know you want to sell courses in the future. It can get your fans to buy in, and potentially at a lower price point than an online course. It’ll also help you build your email list.
You can start capturing revenue quickly while you’re taking the time to create your online courses, then have a warmer audience to market the course to.
Finding success with knowledge products
One of the most important factors to being successful with selling digital, knowledge-based products is to have some kind of potential customer base. Once you have a content niche and a pool of people to whom you can market your product, the last step is getting the tools to host and sell your course.
Many Kajabi Heroes find it possible to quickly get their first product up for sale and see a return on investment.
Video producer Kevin Anson says, “I personally built a checkout page in Kajabi and started selling a course that didn’t exist yet. I built the beta course live with the students on a Zoom. It brought in about $2,500. That’s enough to cover the cost of Kajabi for a year. This took me about 7 days from when I had the idea to actually delivering it.”
But even if that short turnaround time does not work for your schedule, it can still be relatively quick to launch your digital products on Kajabi. Osama Natto says, “It took me 60 days from signing up for Kajabi until first payment. I set the first two hours every morning to do one specific thing.”
Monetize your TikTok audience with Kajabi
Kajabi has the tools you need to monetize your TikTok audience and build a thriving knowledge commerce business. Since 2010, Kajabi has invested in building the industry leading solution to help you build knowledge products the way you want - whether it is an online course, membership site, coaching program, or more.
In addition to online course and membership site hosting, you get a website and email marketing with high-quality themes, a payment processing tool, a sales funnel builder, a CRM, analytics, and powerful automations to save you time. We have 24/7 support and comprehensive training videos to set you up for success.
Monetizing your expertise has never been easier with Kajabi. Ready to start your free trial and explore how Kajabi can help you build your business? Sign up today!
Still researching? Check out our daily webinars each weekday which cover a variety of topics and include Q&As with the Kajabi team.
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