What is a Creator Employee? And Are Companies For or Against It?Mar 17, 2022
The creator economy has been on the rise for the past several years on the consumer side. You can’t open a social media app without seeing a post from an influencer, podcaster, or an alert of a new blog article. Creators are taking advantage of the easy-to-use self-publishing tools and the accessible ways to distribute their content online. This allows them to gain authority on a topic and build an audience or, better yet, an online community.
Could that same principle be applied to the enterprise or corporate space? Making room for the creator employee?
Yes! I believe it can and I’m not alone (and in good company).
According to LinkedIn’s Editor in Chief, Daniel Roth believes this conversation topic is worthy of writing an article that generated over 1,100 reactions and 110 comments. Most people supported the idea of creating content directly or indirectly for the company they work for. However, the support was tethered with caution from a possible backlash by the employer or company. There are still some blurred lines of what a creator employee can do for a company and how employers can support this emerging role.
Well, that’s why I am here to help. Defining and describing what a content employee is and sharing the benefits for both the creator and the company. So, let’s start from the top. What is a creator employee?
What is a Creator Employee?
A working professional that shares their expertise and knowledge online by creating and publishing content. The content could be directly related to the company, making the creator a subject matter expert (SME) or indirectly- covering general information of their industry.
The Benefits for the Employee
Not everyone wants to create a side hustle and be a part of the creator economy. There are plenty of working professionals who have spent years mastering their craft or expertise on a subject and are willing to share what they have learned. Or a person with a unique point of view of their work, or someone with a genius way of explaining the complexities of their day-to-day activities in their role. If this describes you, you can share what you know at scale as a creator employee.
Just like the influencers you see on social media or the people you listen to or read articles online, you can carve out your own space by showcasing your knowledge and professional point of view. A chance to level up your personal brand and establish your professional authority in and outside the organization. The exposure will bring awareness to your professional brand, leading to new opportunities and helping build a sustainable foundation for your career.
“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
- Tom Peters, Fast Company Contributor
And more importantly and beneficial is the ability to be creative and the chance to create something valuable and helpful. Being an employee creator could be that connective tissue of your natural gifts and talents to your profession.
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The Benefits for Employer
Let’s be honest, content created by the people who work for your company is way better than any corporate video published on the company page.
Social posts on LinkedIn, a published article, or even a podcast created by employees and used for internal purposes or shared publicly online, show a more authentic and accessible side to the company’s brand. It signals to employees and the outside world that the company sees employees as individuals and supports their creative expression as professionals inside the organization.
The show of support creates a more productive and engaged employee who is more willing to share their positive experience with others.
Engaged employees influence 8x more for Company Page views, 4x more for Company Page followers, 7x more job views, and 4x more job applications.
And let’s not forget that all content creation is not just about posting outside the organization.
Allowing employees to produce Employee Generated Content (EGC) for internal use, like job training or community-building content, can be rewarding and fulfilling for the employee- and incredibly beneficial for the company.
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How to Become an Employee Creator
The biggest setback for people to become employee creators is the unknown of where the company stands with content creation. Here are a few tips on how to get over or around these hurdles.
- Have a discussion with your manager about creating content for company use (internally or externally). Start here to show the value you can bring to the organization.
- Volunteer to be a part of a company committee that interests you and where you can create content that brings awareness to the cause and allows you to build your brand among your peers.
- If your company doesn’t support employee-created content, don’t let that stop you from creating content on LinkedIn or other self-publishing sites. Make sure to review the employee handbook or guides lines of what information you can share. Use your best judgment.
- Companies should provide clear and understandable guidelines on what employees can share or not share publicly online.
- Companies should utilize and seek talent from employees who can contribute to content creation projects like writing the newsletter or producing videos for internal use.
Final Takeaway - What is a Creator Employee?
A creator employee is an emerging term that companies should embrace and encourage employees to feel comfortable building their personal brand in and outside of the organization.
People are gravitating towards user-generated content because of its authenticity and relatability. And soon, people will want and seek out the same type of content about the
brands and companies they support- both on the consumer and employee sides of the business.
There is a definite shift happening for employees, they will not only be a valuable asset for a company to generate sales and profitability but will soon play a significant role in the company’s brand.
What do you think about this emerging trend? Are you in or out? Share your comments below.
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