The Complete Guide to Starting a Creator Business

Starting up your creator business in the US?
This handy guide covers everything from identifying your business idea to setting goals.

Starting a creator business is a very viable career option in the digital age, and the following you have already built can become your business. Many creators are building the lives they want by monetizing their growing communities.

With newer platforms like TikTok, and the continued popularity of YouTube, the creator economy in the US is booming. According to Business Insider, the creator economy is set to be a $480 billion industry by 2027 which means now is the time to monetize your passion because content creator businesses are here to stay.

Business ideas and plans - getting started

You’ve started to build a following which is great, but what’s next? As a creator you’ll likely be full of ideas already. First, you’ll want to think about building a unique selling point (USP). Although it’s important to stay creative, identifying one idea can be the best first step when it comes to setting up your business.

Identifying the business idea

There are really no limits when it comes to choosing an idea. TikTok has created space for creators in niches to blow up including everyone from everyday fashionistas to mathematicians in drag. Learn more about some amazing niche US TikTok creators from Buffer.

These examples show the incredible range of successful creators who have monetized their following. So, it’s no surprise that our first tip is to define your niche. Many creators on TikTok constantly speak about finding and defining your niche, including Coco Mocoe.

Your current audience will help you understand where your content is successful but if you’re trying to monetise, think about who your target audience is to expand.

Research the market

When you have your idea, you can help define it by thinking about market demand. Research can go a long way in understanding any content gaps or market needs that aren't being addressed. If there’s no one else making this content, that could be your creative hotspot to monetize. Checking out competitors is a smart move too. If there is someone already covering your target market, that’s not a stopping point - can you do things better?

Create a business plan

Once you’ve settled on an idea you can then create a business plan. A business plan looks at defining and outlining goals for your business. For example, if you want to be making a certain amount of money per month by a certain date.

Financial projections can help you upscale the idea and you’ll want to make sure you have a marketing plan in place. For your marketing plan it’s a good idea to think beyond your platform, using different platforms, tools such as mailing lists and websites and more. You might even want to consider some additional distribution tools such as creating your own app which allows you to own your audience.

Business structures for creators

When it comes to setting up a business in the US, understanding how to structure your business might feel confusing at first, but with the right information and in respect of your business plan, choosing a business structure is usually quite straightforward. You can find all the different business structures for your creator business below.

Sole proprietorship

Sole proprietorship is for you if you are the sole owner of your business and you don’t expect anyone to be involved. This is usually the case for most creator businesses, for example, many YouTube creators will automatically be considered a sole proprietor of their business, as highlighted by Forbes.


Partnerships are best if you’re looking to collaborate with someone else, for example, if a collaborator is going to create the product you’ll be selling through social media.


A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is very similar to a partnership but it offers liability protection in the event that anyone takes out any claim against your business, which might be particularly important if you're looking to monetize through goods or a product.

Corporations and S corporations

Corporations and S Corporations might only become more useful when you have upscaled your business. Corporations offer liability protection for larger businesses and S Corporations allow you to pass finances through personal tax returns.


A nonprofit structure is for you if you aren't looking to monetize your business for profit, for example if you’re looking to educate and simply pay yourself. A nonprofit can often qualify for certain tax exemptions too.

When it comes to choosing a structure, it’s best to start small so most creators like you will start with sole proprietorship, unless you need certain liability protection. Your structure is important for tax reasons but it can be changed later on quite easily. It’s just good to plan ahead so you can be prepared!

There are several key components when it comes to legalities of setting up a creator business that can really help your business thrive. Getting these things sorted earlier, rather than later, will be a key component in your business success, and can help protect your business in the future.

Choose a business name

First you’ll want to choose a business name that can be protected. This means no one else can use your business name and it’s important to check its availability before you get started.

Legal and tax paperwork

Then, you’ll need to set up other key legal elements to your business such as any licenses or permits you might need to obtain and getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which is key for tax purposes. Make sure to remember to register your business with your local state too, so it’s easier when it comes to filing taxes with the IRS.

Handling finances in your creator business

We believe in your idea and so we hope you get some great returns on your business so you can operate and upscale it. When you're creative, sometimes the financial side of the business can feel like the last thing you want to do, but having the practical financial elements can really help your business grow.

Business bank accounts for creators

First and foremost we’d suggest setting up a business bank account so you can carry out all of your business transactions. This ensures you have a record of all your outgoings and incoming finances so everything is easy when it comes to keeping track. If you need additional support and don’t want to handle your accounting alone, you may even consider an account system to track everything in one place.

Taxes for content creators

When it comes to handling taxes, it's key to set up a plan for paying them. This might look like putting money aside from all of your earnings every month so you don’t have to foot a huge bill or scramble to gather the funds. Taxes you might expect to pay may include federal, state and local taxes.

Fundraising ideas for content creators

A final financial consideration is exploring funding options. Funding your business in the early days might seem like a big task, but beyond personal funding there might be investments you can draw on or loans. Of course, all funding comes with risks, so don’t rush into anything.

You could also think about crowdfunding to gather support from your followers. For some inspiration, Root Remedy founder Marcella explains on TikTok how she crowdfunded her small business as a creator.

Our tips on operating your business

Empowering yourself as a creator running a business is also about gathering the best operational tools. This can enrich your business and ensure your revenue is increasing.


A good example is making sure you have the right equipment for content creation. Ring lights, video production equipment, microphones and more can all empower you to level up your content when you start promoting in your niche. Although they might be an initial investment it can really help in your content creation strategy.


There is other technology you might consider when working on building a community. There are some amazing tools out there that can help your business. At KLIQ we offer the ability to launch your own custom app with no upfront cost. With our app you can choose some amazing features to connect with your community, engage them and monetize. Learn more about our tool here to start growing your community today.

Build a team

No creator is an island so you might also want to consider looking for teammates for your business. Personal assistants can really help with more of the day to day tasks and you might be able to build relationships with freelancers to grow your own business. This will keep your productivity up and widen your creative strategy with support!

Marketing and sales for creators

If you’re a creator with a following, there’s a high chance you already know how to market yourself. In this guide, we wanted to mention a few pointers and other considerations beyond your chosen social media strategy that will also help you grow your business.

Branding for creators

Branding is a crucial component when it comes to launching a creator business. This includes making sure you have a logo and the tone of voice that can help you build a community. A great idea might be to work with a designer and specialist who can help you with market research and offer some brand advice.

SEO and Content Marketing

You’ll also want to think about other marketing tools such as building a website for your business and developing some content strategy. Lots of creators are fans of easy-to-use website builders so support doesn't have to be outsourced. With research you can make sure your site is optimized to improve search engine rankings to grow your brand beyond social media.

Email marketing

Building a community beyond the platform you are using as a creator is invaluable and email marketing is a great tool for doing this. Unlike changing trends and algorithms, building a mailing list is a more permanent solution for retaining your community. Customers who sign up are more likely to be loyal as well, so you can strategize on sales increases.

Sales strategy

Building an optimized sales strategy as a creator is all about noticing opportunities, making sure your content is in line with strategy for identifying gaps. Sales strategy can be a powerful tool to make your creator business sustainable long term.

As you grow as a creator there may be more room for error when it comes to risk management and legal concerns. One of the largest worries is copyright infringement since you are creating something new. Other risks might include FTC compliance and seeking representation.


The easiest way to protect yourself against any legal concerns or risks is ensuring your business has the right insurance. This will vary depending on the nature of your creator business. For example, if you’re creating music, you don’t want a costly copyright claim without being protected. All creator businesses can benefit from this kind of protection and it is usually very affordable.

Data protection

Another risk managing tool is to ensure you have the right data protection in place. This can include things like making sure customer data is secure and private. Even though your customers will be connecting with you through social media, they still have a right to privacy.

Generally it is advised to keep any personal information from followers such as messages and personal details secure and don’t share them with anyone else.

Overall, it's a good idea to stay up to date with the ever changing landscape of building digital communities so if anything affects your business, you are protected and can manage the risk. If you’re a little confused by most of this, it might be easier to seek some support and ask a lawyer.

A quick HR tip for creators

As a creator you’ll be running most things on your own so human resources might not be a large concern but if you do decide to work with anyone else, you should consider having some human resource plans in place.

Your decisions will most likely come down to whether you want to hire a contractor or an employee. In the instance of an employee, you’ll need to have the correct hiring processes in place and think about employee benefits.

Growing and upscaling your creator business

We’re super confident you can grow your business with the right mindedness and plan in place, but an important part of running a business is thinking long term. Setting growth goals can really set you apart from other creators and build your community in a more sustainable way.

Business goals

Goals can vary between short and long term goals. Short term goals would be something like ‘Sell X amount in the first three months of business’ or ‘Grow subscribers by X amount’. It’s important that these are tailored to your unique growth strategy. For long term goals think about where you want your business to be in the next few years or where your business takes you in life. Just remember to start small and celebrate the successes as you go!

Planning for expansion

It’s great to master your niche and become successful but don’t be afraid to set goals beyond this. This could look like offering a new product later on, or offering a different service. Being a creator means new creative ideas can keep your business thriving and your community growing.


Networking is a powerful tool in any industry but it's especially crucial when you’re a creator. Unlocking and building upon potential networks can help your business expand. Think about all of the different creators, influencers and professionals you might want to work with and don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Remember that every connection is a potential opportunity.

Improving as you grow

Staying on track with your goals requires constant dedication and analysis. As a content creator you can keep up to date with how your business is doing to really improve things. As sales climb and things get busy, keep your head straight and analyze where you are right now to find more opportunities.

Other things to consider as a creator

Choosing to follow your passions is commendable and when you’ve considered everything else for your business it could be easy to forget something else that is crucial - you.

Work-Life Balance as a content creator

There’s no use in pursuing what you love for it to eventually consume you with how busy it becomes. One of the great benefits of striking out on your own as a content creator is that you can choose a work-life balance that suits you. Make sure to set boundaries and implement breaks when you need to, to really enjoy the life and business you have built.

Keep improving

Your personal growth is also important as a creator. You can stay connected to your community by looking for feedback from your loyal customers. If your community is speaking up, it’s because they care about your business. Remember to listen to keep your business thriving and improve as you go along. Being a successful content creator is also about listening and learning.

From picking your niche to seeing your biggest month of turnover yet, it’s a rewarding process starting your creator business. We’re here to support you along the way with more guides and blogs. Below you can also find a list of common questions, delving into some specific platforms and resources you might find useful.

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Common Questions on Creator Monetisation

How much does the average creator make?

Average creator earnings do vary depending on a few different factors. For example, you might earn directly from the platform, different commissions or affiliate marketing. Brand partnerships can also really increase earnings.

However, when it comes to the specific earnings for creators, Glassdoor suggests the average annual income is between $49,000 and $79,000. According to, the amount that content creators earn annually is a little higher at $79,978 per annum. This makes becoming a content creator a really viable option and career choice.

If you’re looking for information on earning on specific platforms, you can find more information in the next FAQ.

What is the best platform to make money as a creator?

Thinking about the best platforms for your content creation career can vary depending on your business goals and niche.

When it comes to building and setting up a website, there are many free tools that can be used with some great extensions. Some great options include WordPress and Substack.

For long form content, YouTube pays an average of $5-$6 per 1,000 views which might seem low but because there are so many viewers per day on the platform, it's easier than you think to slowly build up your numbers. It’s important to note that payouts do vary depending on your niche.  With short form content, TikTok is generally preferred because they have some great tools to support creators such as the creator fund which pays 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views.

On Kliq, because you own your own audience who rely on your expertise, we find that our users make on average 14x more than they did on YouTube.

Can anyone have a creator account?

You may be wondering if anyone can have a creator account and the answer is yes! When you’re building your community, most social media platforms are there to support you as a creator and whatever your niche is, you can set up a creator account quite easily. Set up varies depending on the platform.

Don’t worry too much about numbers either as you don’t need a certain follower count to access a creator account. As the number of creators on platforms like Instagram grow, creators' accounts are a great step in the right direction, regardless of whether you have 1,000 followers, or 10,000.

Is it better to have a creator or business account?

With the few different types of accounts out there, with each platform offering both business and creator accounts, it can be confusing. If you’re just getting started and you are just looking to build a personal brand, a creator account is the best option for you.

You would only need a business account if you’re looking to start a retail business, brand or an organization. Don’t worry too much if you think this might come at a later date, as you can easily switch.

Both options offer different benefits and access to analytics so this also might be a consideration when choosing too.

What is an example of a content creator?

There are so many great examples of content creators that you can find if you’re looking for some inspiration. You could even get started by searching for the top content creators in your niche as part of your planning.

Here, we’re talking about creators who post content for an audience to monetize their growing communities. This includes everything - bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, Influencers and more. Learn more through some of the examples listed here by Cardsetter!

You might be a content creator who isn't limited to one platform too, in fact, we encourage diversifying the channels you use to grow your personal brand and community.

What is a Creator license?

In the USA, a creator license (also known as whitelisting) is used when influential content meets paid advertising. It’s a key component in influencer strategy. Commonly when creators work with brands they will discuss licensing. A great example is when a brand wants to run an ad through a creator's account where they may negotiate licensing to access editing tools, analytics and more.

Generally for you as a creator, you can negotiate these terms when you’re working directly with a brand to set up a creator license you are happy with.

The creator licensing process varies depending on the platform you are using. For Facebook and Instagram you’ll have to give permission for the brand to access your Facebook and Instagram business account. On TikTok, you will need to look at enabling Ad authorisation from your creator account once the content has been published already.

We hope you enjoyed our guide on creator business setup – be sure to check out our articles about how much to charge as an online coach and how to build an online community.

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