What is a digital creator? How is it different from an influencer?

digital creator (1) More than 50 million people consider themselves to be influencers or digital creators

It may feel like, everywhere you look, you're surrounded by digital creators, social media professionals and influencers. You’re not wrong! Nowadays more than 50 million people globally consider themselves to be influencers or digital creators according to Influencer Marketing Hub which also estimates that the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $21 billion in 2023.

While the terms ‘digital creators’ and ‘influencers’ may seem interchangeable, they're not the same thing. In this guide, we'll explore what it means to be a digital creator, how it differs from being an influencer, and what it takes to become one.

The definition: What is a digital creator?

A digital creator is someone who produces online content across various platforms. This could include social media, blogs, podcasts, or videos. They create and share content that is authentic to them and their brand, and they usually have a specific niche or audience they target.

A digital creator is someone who is focused on building a community of followers, engaging with their audience, and sharing their often unique perspective on a subject.

How is a digital creator different from an influencer?

While there is overlap between an influencer and a creator, there are some key differences. An influencer is someone who has a large following on social media -- often in the hundreds of thousands or millions – and regularly uses that following to promote products or services.

They typically work with brands to create sponsored content, and their income is often tied to the number of followers they have.

A creator, on the other hand, is focused on producing content that is unique to them and their personal brand. While they may also work with brands, their primary focus is on creating content that resonates with their audience. A creator's income can come from a variety of sources, such as sponsorships, membership, merchandise sales, or ad revenue.

How to become a digital creator

Becoming a digital creator is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and commitment to build a successful brand. Here are some steps you can take to get started:

Find your niche

The first step in becoming a digital creator is to find your niche. What are you passionate about? What unique perspective can you bring to the conversation? What topics can you add real value to?

digital creator (3) As a digital creator, your niche should be something you're knowledgeable about, such as food

You'll want to choose a niche that you're interested in and knowledgeable about and that has an audience. Don't be afraid to be hyper-specific: in many ways, the more specific your niche, the more likely you are to stand out in a crowded market.

Build your brand

Once you've found your niche, it's time to start building your personal brand. This includes creating a brand name, logo, and design aesthetic that aligns with your niche and appeals to your audience.

Of course, this name may well be your own given name or nickname, but it will most be helpful if this name is something memorable or unusual. You'll also want to create social media accounts and a website to showcase your content and engage with your followers.

Engage and be engaging

The heart of being a digital creator is, well, creating! Most of the time this content is digital and could include videos, blog posts, social media posts, podcasts. Your content should be authentic to you and your brand, and provide value to your audience.

Engaging with your audience or members is key to building a successful brand. This means responding to comments, DMs, and emails, and creating a sense of community around your brand. You may also want to consider hosting live Q&A sessions or meetups to connect with your audience in person.

Skills you need to be a digital creator

Becoming a digital creator requires a variety of skills; you not only need to be arty and creative and have an interesting insight on your niche, but the most successful creators are highly focussed entrepreneurs and business people with well-defined content and communications strategies.

digital creator (2) You'll need numerous skills to be a digital creator such as a memorable presence on camera

Here are some of the most crucial skills you need to be a digital creator:


As a digital creator, you need to be creative in everything you do – the clue is in the title! Creativity includes coming up with new ideas for content, speaking well on camera if you are making video, creating eye-catching visuals – and this includes thumbnails for videos as well as attractive images on Instagram.

You’ll also need to be constantly finding new ways to engage with your audience, such as with Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) or sharing behind-the-scenes footage.


Clear communication is key when building a brand and therefore when progressing through your career as a digital creator. You'll need to be able to clearly communicate your ideas and brand message to your audience so you need strong interpersonal skills and clarity of thinking and speaking.

More business-minded communication is also crucial for professional digital creators; you’ll potentially be having meetings with brand reps and companies looking to work with you or sponsor your content, as well as with other creators you want to collaborate with. Getting your point across concisely and fairly is essential.

Business sense

As above, having meetings with brands and fellow creators means you need to know how collaborative projects will work to benefit you and everyone involved.

Are you aiming to reach a new audience? Re-ignite the passion with less engaged members? Spark a debate? Perhaps encourage the sale of something? All of these require clever brand positioning, knowing your USP inside-out, and an ability to sell – both ideas and products.

Examples of successful digital creators

Rhett and Link: Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln ‘Link’ Neal III – just known as Rhett and Link – have been together since 2006. They created ‘Good Mythical Morning’, a comedy YouTube channel that discusses food and pop culture, as well as posting regularly on social media, and hosting the Ear Biscuits podcast.

Kevin Smith: Filmmaker, actor, comedian, and writer Kevin Smith got his big break when he directed, and starred in ‘Clerks’. He went on to create the cult characters Jay and Silent Bob with Jason Mewes. Nowadays he is a famous YouTuber, author and the host of numerous shows on his SModcast Podcast Network, including Fatman Beyond and Hollywood Babble-On.

Molly Baz: Author, recipe developer, and food stylist, Molly Bazlaunched her digital creator career at Bon Appétit magazine, where she developed and tested recipes, wrote articles, and starred in videos on the brand’s YouTube channel. She has since launched her own cooking brand, mollybaz.com which includes social media and a YouTube channel.

Scott Aukerman: The comedian, actor and writer is best-known as the creator and host of the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast. He created and starred in the series ‘Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis’ and has appeared in shows such as Parks and Recreation. He cofounded the Earwolf podcast network and has won two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Jacques Pépin: You don’t have to be young to be a digital creator! Jacques Pépin has been cooking professionally for many decades. His latest venture, the Jacques Pépin Foundation video recipe book, merges cookbook with video membership service, allowing you to watch celebrity chefs make meals in their homes, and print out the recipes if you want to follow along.


Being a digital creator is not just about creating content, it's about building a brand and engaging with your community or members. While it takes time and effort to build a successful brand, it's a rewarding career that allows you to share your unique perspective with the world.

digital creator influencer

By finding your niche, building your brand, creating engaging content, and engaging with your audience, you can become a successful digital creator!

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