Sapa, sapa no fit catch me...
Fid #013: Expanding your financial coast as a creative business.
What’s your earliest memory of money?
Growing up, we all had different opinions about money; some see it as a solution to problems, a tool for getting things done, something valuable enough to keep, or something to be used as soon as you get it. Whatever your perception of money was, one thing was certain: it meant different things to each of us as we grew up. We would all agree on some positions about money as adults with a certain level of responsibility, even if how we handle, earn, or regard money differs, but the end goal of satisfying our needs is the common denominator for all.
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As a creator, money is just as important as talent; if you want to scale, you need money; if you want better quality videos, you still need money. We can all agree that whatever gives your creative business a creative edge requires a good amount of money to propel you to that feat, but how do you keep sapa from meeting up with you when you only have a single inconsistent stream of income?
As a creator, how do you stay one step ahead of Sapa?
Sapa is Nigerian slang for "broke" or "lack of money." It is commonly used when someone is in a bad financial situation, but it can also be used when someone goes bankrupt after spending recklessly. As a creator, it's very easy to go bankrupt, especially if you only have one source of revenue, such as Adsense, sponsorship, payment from YouTube and so on. These streams of income are not as consistent, and living solely on them and planning to scale can be difficult. In this part of the world, creators or owners of creative businesses often work another job to supplement their income until they reach a certain level of confidence in their pay. While this is not a bad thing if you can handle multiple jobs, it is not for everyone, so those who do not have multiple jobs or are unable to run multiple jobs are stuck with their creative business through thick and thin.
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Trying to make a livelihood from a stable source of income is still a struggle now imagine trying to build a business and also make a livelihood from an inconsistent source or one that require scaling.
The hack here is income diversification; most creative businesses stick to the traditional method of monetisation and do not explore other options. When there aren't enough sponsorship available or you're waiting for payment from the platform you're using, why not look into other options?
Crowdfunding is one method that creators have used to not only earn and grow their creative businesses, but also to complete successful projects. This method of monetisation is not as widely used in this part of the world as it is in other parts, but it yields reasonable dividends. We've seen platforms like Medium, Twitter, and Facebook develop systems to tip or financially support creators, reaffirming that it's an opportunity worth pursuing.
Creating merchandise for creative businesses is another great avenue for creators to pursue. This includes not only branded tees or clothing lines, but also collaborations with several brands to create branded items so you can earn commissions, among other possibilities. The sale of digital items such as e-books has been widely adopted, but more can be done to ensure that you receive as much value as you give.
As a creator who runs a creative business, thinking of new ways to earn money is as important as anything else. The more you earn, the higher the quality of the content you share and the faster you will scale as a creative business. Restricting yourself to a single source of income while creators in other parts of the world earn from as many as possible is shortchanging yourself.
Work on expanding not only your creative business but also your earning power, because you deserve to be compensated fairly for the value you provide.
Love, light and laughter!
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