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a Q&A with Raeesa Dhorat

In the words of More Than Digital, “The Creator Economy is a megatrend,” and hopping onto this trend is a diverse group of creatives who can finally profit off of the work that they are most passionate about.

Not only does the Creator Economy depict how society has integrated into digital worlds, but it also exhibits an evolving society in which gender pay gaps may be closing.

This is because this space offers equal opportunity to both male and female creators. Additionally, it is understood to be one of the most ethnically diverse spaces to earn money in.

So, as society progresses through digital turfs, we’re seeing a new appreciation for female voices. What’s more, we’re seeing the growing importance of and need for spaces like this.

Therefore, it is essential for more women to explore opportunities in the Creator Economy as it is not only a space that they need, but it is also a space that needs them.

Curious to find out why this space needs women so much?

Then read on as media update’s Lara Smit chats to Raeesa Dhorat, head of the Female Voices Development programme at Special Effects Media, to discover why the Creator Economy needs more women.

Let’s jump in:

Why is it so important to have female voices in the Creator Economy?

It is important to have female voices in the Creator Economy — especially in South Africa. This is due to our country’s complex history, which leaves women at a great unemployment disadvantage.

According to Stats SA, “Black African women are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of 38.3%. Further disparities reveal that only 31.2% of women occupy managerial positions and that 56.2% are discouraged from joining the workforce.”

In order to bridge this gap within the country’s employment sector, and to see more investment and growth into the female Creator Economy and the broader digital one, female voices need to occupy space in the economy.

How can the Creator Economy benefit from having more female perspectives?

It benefits from having more female perspectives as this leads to the space becoming more diverse, equal and authentic.

From my experience, I can share that the majority of South African female creators are dominating the beauty, lifestyle and vlog space. [This is] with each creator building a unique brand and community of their own.

The Creator Economy benefits from this as the space is continuously growing and reaching a larger South African and global audience. Furthermore, with the impact that Covid-19 has had in this space, this economy has never had more:

  • growth
  • development
  • support, and
  • investments.

Why should more businesses focus on supporting female creators?

Businesses should focus on supporting female creators as this has a vital impact on their growth and development within the space, and thus contributes to bridging the unemployment challenges that women face.

Many female creators cannot commit to being “full-time” content creators. [This is] due to the lack of financial investment and support in the space and additional burdens that they carry.

By better supporting female creators, businesses will:

  • inject more revenue and investment into the space
  • highlight different creator talent
  • allow creators to reach a broader network of brands and other creators, and
  • empower creators to strengthen their brand within the economy.

How can more businesses empower female creators?

Businesses can empower female creators in many creative ways, but the most important is allocating more budget to creators and campaigns.

It is well known among creators that businesses do not allocate enough budget when working with them, which is the biggest downfall in the female creators’ space.

The first step that businesses can take is to have an open conversation about a creator’s rate card / media kit (which is shared by the creator). This will give the creator the opportunity to “showcase” their work and why they have chosen specific values for their content.

The second step is to have an open line of communication with the creator in the case of there not being enough budget.

It would be really beneficial for a business to negotiate the budget with the creator instead of going cold on a creator. This method fosters good long-term relationships with creators and makes creators more likely to work with the brand in future — or recommend it to other creators.

How can women benefit from being a part of the Creator Economy?

Women benefit by being part of the Creator Economy in many ways, but in my opinion, the top three are:

  • branding
  • collaborations, and
  • money.

1. Branding

The Creator Economy is an open space that has no criteria for entry except creating content.

By entering and being part of the space, women can create content in a way that is most authentic to who they are. It allows for women to:

  • build their confidence as they navigate the space
  • carve their niche, and
  • allow them to constantly grow and evolve their brand.

2. Collaborations

The economy is made up of a tightly-knit community in which everyone knows everyone.

Being part of this, women are exposed to a new world of networks and connections, from both brands and other content creators that contribute to their overall growth within the space.

One successful collaboration has the power of overnight fame for a creator.

3. Money

There has never been a space that allows one to make money (and I’m talking big money) as quickly as the creator space does.

Women benefit from being part of this space as it contributes to their financial gain, and thus financial freedom. Money in the space can take on many different forms such as:

  • successful brand deals
  • ad sense monetisation on YouTube, or
  • even alternative monetisation.

With the right strategy in mind, creators can secure the bag.

What advice do you have for women who would like to be a part of the Creator Economy?

Don’t overthink it, just go for it.

The journey always falls into place and it is a really exciting one to experience that will open a new world of people, places and experiences for you. Additionally:

  • consistency is key key key
  • remember your worth
  • own your story, and
  • stay true to your values.

Are you thinking of becoming a part of the female Creator Economy? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Still not sure what it means to be a part of the Creator Economy? Then be sure to read our article, What is the Creator Economy — in 200 words or less?

*Image courtesy of Canva

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