How To Make Money Online: The New Creator Economy

How To Make Money Online: The New Creator Economy

Want to make money online? It’s no secret that influencer marketing has become a massive industry, thanks to people like the Kardashians. But these days, glitzy digital influencers are out. Creators are in. Equipped with a lot more gravitas, this new generation of creators is working to create a more positive internet culture. The New Yorker explained it best in a recent essay on the topic : “’Creator’ is a term with a more wholesome air, conjuring an Internet in which we are all artisanal blacksmiths plying our digital craft.”

According to experts, there are more than 50 million content creators out there, working in the digital space and making money online—through photography, writing, video, podcasting and more—and all contributing to the new creator economy. One of the architects in the space is Gigi Robinson, a 23-year-old Gen Z digital nomad who is helping redefine this new digital world from the inside out. When Robinson was 11, she was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, forcing her to give up her passion for competitive swimming and find a new hobby: photography.

Robinson has translated that passion into a bonafide online money-making business. She is the founder of It’s Gigi, a creative media company focused on making ethical and intentional content for brands like Best Buy and Spotify, where she hosts a GenZ live audio show on Spotify Greenroom called “Everything You Need Is Within.” In addition, she has grown a healthy social media audience on Tiktok and Instagram, where she shares tips on mental health, chronic illness, body image and more. She also regularly lectures on social media literacy and branding to global companies (Meta, Reuters Pharma, Yahoo, Her Campus) and universities (UCLA, USC, UMass, FIT, Baruch). Meet Gigi Robinson, a 23-year-old Gen Z digital nomad who who helps teach people how to make money … [+] ©Gabrielle Robinson Most impressive of all, she does it all while traveling the world as a digital nomad. “I am able to find inspiration anywhere I go—all I need is my phone, my camera, my laptop, my hard drive and a microphone,” says Robinson.

Here, we caught up with Robinson to find out how she built her brand, how she has scaled in an ethical way, how she travels with a chronic illness, as well as her tips for how anyone can make money online in the new creator economy.

Origin Story : During high school in New York City, Robinson won award after award for her photographs, including Scholastic, the Dedalus Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When she got to college, she needed to make extra money to help pay for rent and school loans, so she used her photography skills to start a side hustle as a content creator. “I had over 10 different brand ambassador roles, meaning I represented, created content, was an event planner and an overall face on campus for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Timberland and Smashbox,” says Robinson.

Creating a Business: “I got a BFA in graphic design and photography and am currently working towards my MS in integrated Design, Business and Technology from USC. I wanted to translate the learnings from my degrees into my career as a digital nomad and creator,” says Robinson. “I decided to combine my skills of critique and critical thinking and apply that to storytelling through digital mediums and social media platforms. Now, I teach others how to do the same.”

My Mission: One of the pillars of Robinson’s brand is to help other people feel less alone, whether it’s a struggle with mental health, chronic illness, body image or career. “My diagnosis inspired me to become the person I wished I had to look up to during the rise of social media,” says Robinson. “I’ve committed myself to making content that showcases positivity and confidence across platforms. I focus on how we do things and not what we do.”

Social Media Literacy: Robinson’s interest in social media literacy was sparked in 2020 when companies began posting their responses to social causes including Covid-19, the BLM movement, Asian hate crimes and antisemitism. To her surprise, many influencers were more focused on the paycheck from brands while brands were focused on engaging in conversations around ethical content creation. “This sparked a flame in me, so I started teaching others how to cultivate community across social platforms by creating meaningful content that creates impact,” she says. Gigi Robinson is a digital nomad with a […]

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