Content Creator vs Influencer: What’s the difference?

July 13, 2022

I’m Tara.
 I'm an influencer strategy expert, the host of Project Influence the Podcast, and the founder of Creator Cube™, a co-creating space for content creators. 
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Content Creator vs Influencer: What’s the difference? That’s the big question we’re going to be answering in this post.

In today’s world, the words Content Creator and Influencer are thrown around a lot. Heck on this blog we are always talking about what it means to be an Influencer, the different levels of Influencers, and how you can start making money as an Influencer (with as little as 2k followers!) But with all this talk about Influencers, we haven’t really spoken about what a Content Creator is…

And now you might be wondering, “is a Content Creator different from an Influencer?” Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out. 

What is a Content Creator?

A content creator is someone who creates content. But keep in mind that the content they create is not limited to blogs, videos, YouTube, or Instagram. And it doesn’t have to be content that they create for their own channels. A Content Creator could also be someone who gets sent a brand line, shoots that line and then all of the photos go directly back to the brand. This is a type of partnership where the brand is paying more for the photography and ‘product’ that they’re getting in return, i.e. the photos. 

Content Creator vs Influencer
Here’s an example of a content creator, who would be hired to shoot photos for them to use, without her ‘audience’ being sold to.

What is an Influencer?

Influencers can also create such content, but they’re better known for their connection to their audience (i.e., the “influence” they have on their followers). So what a brand is paying for when they work with an Influencer, is their audience and more importantly, the trust that they’ve built up with that audience. 

Below is an example of a brand I worked with to inspire my audience to try Mahesh’s Kitchen!

What’s the difference between a Content Creator and an Influencer then?

Here at Tara Carr, we would define the biggest difference between a Content Creator and an Influencer by the way that they work with brands. A Content Creator can be more ‘behind the scenes’ because what the brand is paying for is the content. 

An Influencer needs to be front and center of the collaboration, sharing a product face to face with their audience, because as I mentioned before, the brand is paying for their relationship and influence over their audience. 

So what would a typical ‘day in the life’ look like for a Content Creator vs. Influencer? Let’s first dive into what their skills are so you can get an idea of what these two different jobs look like. 

Content Creator vs Influencer: Skills

Content Creators and Influencers are going to have a lot of overlapping skills. These are going to include being able to use a lot of the same programs, photography and editing skills (or video editing skills in some cases), and writing. 

While some individuals are better at one skill than others, most Creators and Influencers need these skills in order to thrive in their field. 

Common Skills:

  • The ability to communicate ideas effectively
  • Basic technical skills and ability to use tech
  • Managing client expectations
  • Admin tasks like invoicing, email management, follow-ups, calendar management, etc. 
  • The ability to take and edit photos/videos/blogs (whatever their expertise lies in)

But beyond having these skills in common, Content Creators and Influencers are also going to need some skills more specific to the work that they’re doing! For example, Influencers need to have a strong understanding of how social media works. They’ll need to know how to build an engaged audience and keep them engaged. Being an Influencer depends on this!  

Influencer skills:

Content Creator vs Influencer
  • Social media management
  • Audience management
  • Live streaming (and all the confidence that goes with it!) 
  • Self-promotion
  • Knowledge of advertising and the ability to understand and gauge how your audience responds to ads
  • Usually a niche in a particular industry 
  • Being comfortable behind the camera
  • Light photo and video editing 

Content Creators can benefit from having all of these skills as well, but what Content Creators need to focus on more than their audience, is the audience of the brand. And they need to be good storytellers. Whether their writing copy or creating content for a brand’s upcoming launch, they need to be able to tell the story. 

Nowadays, many Content Creators excel in a specific field. That might be SEO and blog writing, creating UGC (user-generated content) for TikTok, or product photography specific for Instagram or Web. Their skills in digital marketing are aimed at helping the brand grow, more than helping their own brand grow. 

Content marketing skills:

Content Creator vs Influencer
  • Above-average writing proficiency 
  • Above-average photography/videography skills (depending on the type of content and platform they work with)
  • SEO
  • Skilled digital marketers
  • Someone who excels at telling stories and captivating audiences
  • Handling content management systems
  • Content research
  • Keyword research
  • Audience research
  • Broad knowledge of a particular industry and platform (whichever platform they decide to use) 

And once again, it’s always helpful for Influencers to excel in any of these areas, but it’s more important for an Influencer to focus on her brand and her audience rather than working as hard to grow a company’s brand for them. 

At the end of the day, I like to think of it like this…

An Influencer is someone in front of the camera, engaging with their audience, showing their faces, going live, and taking photos of themselves. A Content Creator on the other hand is someone behind the camera, telling stories and creating content specifically for brands’ use. 

You’ll read all kinds of definitions of what people think is the difference between a Content Creator and an Influencer, but as an Influencer and Influencer coach, this is how I typically define these two very specific types of jobs! 

And don’t worry if you call yourself a Content Creator and after reading this you’re thinking, “noooo I’m an Influencer! I’ve been doing it all wrong!” For starters, you’re totally fine! So many people don’t know what the difference between these two careers is! The real mistake you’re probably making as an Influencer or Content Creator is trying to go it alone! 

Courses for a Content Creator vs Influencer

In the Influencer Blueprint™, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Content Creator or an Influencer! This course is FULL of ways that you can create content, edit content professionally, do brand outreach and mainly, launch your business online!

Even though I always considered myself more of an Influencer, being in front of the camera talking with you guys, doesn’t mean that the strategies and methods I teach can’t be used to work with brands behind the scenes as well, as a Content Creator! In fact, you should take the Influencer Blueprint™ if you’re a Content Creator simply because it’ll help you work directly with brands and land more partnerships. And we all know that more partnerships = more $$. 

So if you’re been bopping along up until this point, not really sure what next steps to take in your business, well this is it! Take my free class on ‘How to Land Paid Brand Deals’ and get a very special offer to join the Influencer Blueprint™ to finally start growing the Influencer (or Content Creator) business of your dreams! 

Do you have more questions about Content Creator vs. Influencers? Let’s chat over on Instagram → @taradcarr. I’m always answering your questions as best as I can there! 

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