Does a Million Views on Social Media Mean a Million Dollars?

Hi, I am Jamie Raine!
I am a Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Indriya, and I am also a social media content creator under the name Everything Jamie Raine. I have been fortunate enough to have digital marketing success on the platforms of Facebook and Youtube in Cambodia. My goal for this blog is to unveil the misconception of social media success in Cambodia, by sharing with you my personal and professional experience.

For the last two and half years in Cambodia, I have worked as a content creator and a digital marketer. My fan base started low but after producing and releasing consistent and professional work, I have been fortunate in reaching 50K+ followers to this present day. In my brief time, I found that a handful of my videos were able to go viral on various social media platforms.

View my recent work here.

This line of work is a lot different than what I thought it would be. My first shock was 2 years ago when my wife Jany Min and I released our first song together β€œ10 days”. In a matter of a week, the song went viral with 1 million views on YouTube. Since then, I have joined the artist collective β€œWorkaholics” managed by the fearless female Cambodian pioneer, Nikki Nikki

I hit 1 million views, does that mean I am wealthy now?

The answer if you live in Cambodia is: No πŸ™ 

This is not because Cambodian content creators are not up to par with international content creators. It is because currently the Youtube Partner Agreement and Facebook Partner Agreement policies, the tool which enables monetization on digital content, are not applicable to the Cambodian region according to the international market. Here is a list of current regions with an available monetization tool. 

I am an Australian Citizen and have a bank account in Australia so I was able to find an alternative solution to this issue, but that leaves us a second problem to take into account. The cost per view of a Cambodian user is not substantially high due to the region’s limitations by the Youtube Partner Agreement, the song β€œ10 Days” that Jany Min and I posted after receiving 1 million+ views earned us only a total revenue of 78.68USD.  

So how are you supposed to make money using social media?

Think smaller, earn bigger! You’ve heard the bad news, now let me tell you the good news. You can make a substantial amount of money from learning how to leverage your views and engagement by working directly with brands

Do a deep dive into your local market, find the niche and industry you want to affiliate yourself with, and take advantage of businesses that you support. Many content creators will come to face the struggle of growing an organic following in the beginning but once the ball starts to roll, working with brands that fit your character and lifestyle can accelerate the success of your influence. Showing support towards your local businesses by working with them, especially if it is a brand with products that you like to use, can give a sense of genuinity towards your audiences which in return can reward you in influential success.

Before you start working with brands, as a content creator you must prepare yourself for the workload that comes prior. Based on my personal experience while building my fan base in the past, I find these simple advices to hold truth to present day:

  1. Be authentic and do not compromise your values and beliefs for brands.
  1. Study marketing strategies. The more you understand about the business psychology of brands in your industry, the more negotiation power you will have in conversations with your potential clients. 
  1. Social media can be a double edge sword. It has the ability to make users feel ecstatically happy and overwhelmingly miserable. A documentary I highly recommend, which explores this concept is the  β€œThe Social Dilemma”. There have been times I have felt upset and stressed at the lack of engagement on my posts; a challenge that all content creators will face while their audience grows. There were also times I made content just to please people. But there is one golden rule in this industry: Above everything, continue to make content. Even if you don’t find the content you make is up to standard, put them out anyway because the only way to produce better content is to continuously work on your craft. There will always be supporters along the way, so do not discourage yourself from putting out your work on the market. Showing growth is not a sign of weakness in your career.

Okay! I made content that I’m happy with, how do I collaborate with brands?

There two ways to engage a brand as a content creator:

  1. Organic Reach –  Brand finds you.
  2. Direct Contact – You reach out to the brand.

In my personal perspective as a businessman, I don’t like to leave my opportunities up to luck so I often pursue method 2 instead, which is direct contact. High organic reach can be fantastic engagement but it does not consistently guarantee a brand’s interest and attention.

I have been fortunate enough to have a high organic reach in the last year and a half but in my early years of content creation, that was not the case at all. I had to knock on doors and pitch my value to brands. That was my social media hustle: low ball my cost until I built up my portfolio with enough brands to get more leverage in putting a comfortable price on my work when discussing potential deals.

If you find yourself being presented with the opportunity to work with a brand, most of the time this process is why they have approached you:

  1. Brands need to advertise their product or service
  2. They come up with an advertising idea or hire an agency to come up with advertising ideas
  3. They get authorization to spend the marketing budget from their company
  4. Advertising campaign begins
  5. After the campaign is done, they often have to prove the campaign effectiveness in the form of a report.

If this process is how most clients in our local market operate, then as a potential content creator you should use this to your advantage in order to prove why you are worth their return of investment (ROI). Brands will assess the value of your engagement based on the success and result of the marketing project/campaign that they have hired you for. The client will judge the outcome of the brand’s benefit through reporting the campaign’s statistics gathered after the project is completed.

silver laptop on white table
Photo by XPS on Unsplash.

If you would like to increase your chances in working with a certain brand as a content creator, you must keep in mind that everything you propose when you present yourself should reflect and answer two main objectives. Brands will often ask the question:

  1. Does the Key Opinion Leader (KOL) match our business values?
  2. Does the KOL’s price match the value they can add to the campaign?

If your experience thus far as a content creator can provide the brand with added value, then you will find yourself in a good position to receive their work. Being a content creator requires persistence and perseverance in two aspects: your content & your clients. Since the goal is to make a living out of your own content, you must consistently be self-improving in the quality of your content for your audience. Naturally this will steer your engagement towards more valuable clients as well because they are able to quickly identify the dedication to your work.

I hope you have enjoyed my first blog for Indriya!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at jamie@indriyacs.com

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