You’ve seen it on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and you’ve seen it at exhibitions as well as everywhere else and it’s something that is often referred to as “content”. What is content exactly? Well there is the meaning in the dictionary but we are going to talk about content from the creativity perspective. Content means actual produced material to be expressed via some kind of medium such as music, film images and so on. For example if you are a film maker and you have produced 2 films then you have content, if you are a musician who has produced an album you have content and if you are someone who has a portfolio of your work you have content.
Right now we have people mixing up the creation of content with the acquisition of content and this can result with very misleading impressions that people have about creativity.
Someone who actually creates their own content using their own original ideas are content creators, the task of doing this may not be one person, it may be a team of people. For example one person may have written the code for some kind of computer software but someone else may be responsible for testing the code for bugs and someone else may be responsible for his visuals on the user end. Together these individuals have created content and if this software is well received by the masses it is safe to assume they would want notoriety and credit for it, especially if it took them a long time with plenty of effort to do.
However despite this, you should now consider what you would call the person or platform that sells the “content” on their website. Maybe this person or platform is selling various content from various people from all over the world. What would you call them?
The appropriate term in this case would be to call them a middle man as they get the content from the creators and then sell it on to the general public or a specific target audience. These people can be very experienced in sales and will often contact creatives for their content offering to sell on their work for a fee or percentage of the sales.
The growing concern here is that there are so many of these middle men and they seem to be growing in numbers despite the change in business, since the internet is the place where businesses can go directly to their target with no real need for these middle men. Why does this happen though?
Why are there so many platforms popping up in your emails and direct messages telling you how much more money you can make if you sign up to their package deals?
Why is it that when you check out their social media pages and you often see them just sharing other peoples work but nothing of their own?
Well the reason is quite simple but also worrying, it is now easier to make a platform for creative work than it is to actually create content which is why Instagram is full of these middle men. The fact that there are so many of them makes the market extremely aggressive as these people are now at the door of any creative person making some kind of buzz and in some cases even if they do not have a buzz.
This is not a blog telling you not to use the services of the people that contact you but it is a way of explaining why you see so much of it as well as the things to look out for if you decide to go with one of these middle men.
Check who they have worked with before and find out exactly what they have done for the client, often times a company will try and attract you with high profile names thinking that will win you over but they don’t specify exactly what it is they did.
Really consider if their services are necessary because you may not even need what they are trying to sell you but with the same token be mindful that outsourcing some of your work flow to a competent middle man can make your life easier giving you more time.
If you go ahead with hiring one of these companies or individuals make sure you are clear about what they can do with your content during your working relationship and after
Keep the initial task simple and straight forward without giving them too much responsibility and then if there is progress give them more to do.