The rise of simple and affordable digital business tools has made it possible for more people to pursue creative business ideas which sell in the digital sphere. Artists are selling through online stores, freelancers can take and process payments from a wide variety of sources and book appointments easily online.
The online store that’s made to order.
Here are some of our favourite creative business ideas to help spark your inspiration.
The key to the appeal of self-publishing is that it requires very little – in fact virtually nothing - in the way of capital investment to get started while enabling budding authors to bypass the often frustrating process of finding a publisher. The only skill needed is the ability to write. If you have skills in a particular area you could consider publishing an eBook and selling it online. Or, if you are an aspiring author, creating your own blog, website or Substack is a great way to start getting your work out there.
Social media consultant
According to the latest figures published by Statista, there are 4.59 billion users of social networks worldwide, while the social media ad spending across the globe is as high as $181 billion. The days of social media interaction being an optional extra for businesses have long gone, and even small businesses need to invest in the right social media platforms to reach their customers. Working as a social media consultant could therefore be highly lucrative since the demand for services of this kind is likely to grow in the coming years.
As a consultant, your job would be to work with businesses to develop and implement content and social strategies across a range of platforms. As well as an understanding of marketing per se (i.e. how to tap into the branding of an organisation and express that branding in ways that cut through to customers) a social media manager will need to have a firm grasp of the different platforms available, the demographic likely to be accessing each platform and the type of content needed to stand out on a particular platform.
SEO Content writer
The eCommerce shift was turbo-charged by the pandemic. In 2021 global eCommerce sales amounted to approximately $5.2 trillion, and by 2026 this figure is expected to have risen to $8.1 trillion, according to figures gathered by Statista. While this represents a huge opportunity for any business to reach customers in all parts of the globe, it also creates a massively crowded online marketplace, in which standing out and catching the attention of prospective customers is tougher than it’s ever been.
Businesses are turning to SEO content marketing to help them achieve the cut-through they need. SEO content marketing involves organisations packing their online presence with expert and useful information pertaining to the field in which they operate. In doing so, they position themselves as leading voices in the sector and trusted sources of information, which in turn often leads to being a trusted source of products and/or services. As a huge bonus, SEO content marketing helps organisations perform much better in terms of being optimised for search engines. As a SEO content writer, you’ll need the ability to research and write effective copy attuned to the sector in which a client works and the audience they are trying to reach.
In June 2021 383.7 million people were [listening to podcasts] (https://www.demandsage.com/podcast-statistics), a figure which is tipped to rise to 464.7 million by 2024. The rise of digital technology has meant that, with very little initial outlay, virtually anyone can now create podcasts of a technical standard which would previously have been the preserve of professional broadcasting organisations.
If you have a knack for storytelling and a topic, whether that’s unexplained mysteries, gaming, a specific genre of music or simply a hobby or form of crafting. No matter what the subject of the podcast is, if you can bring enthusiasm, knowledge and a degree of technical understanding to the party, then there’s every chance that you’ll be able to find your audience.
Many blogging platforms are free to start and join what is still a thriving and growing online community. Platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr offer a free space to manage your own content. Blogs are a saturated space and it may take a while to cut through, gain exposure and build an audience.
It almost goes without saying that the ability to create compelling, interesting or informative content is at the heart of writing a successful blog, but the best blog in the world will fail if not enough people can be persuaded to take a look at it. Successful bloggers are those who combine their writing skills with high-quality content within a targeted niche, with a grasp of matters such as Search Engine Optimisation and content marketing.
The rise of eCommerce has led to a boom in demand for graphic designers. Any business which relies on its online presence to drive revenue – which covers the vast majority of businesses in the digital age – needs to have an extremely strong visual presence in order to attract and hold the attention of potential customers.
As a graphic designer, you could find yourself being asked to design everything from business cards, product labels and book covers to websites, software interfaces and t-shirts. The growth in demand for apps, desktop software and websites, to name just three of the offshoots of the switch to digital interaction, means that work is out there for graphic designers who can help to make the user interface of such tools appealing and user-friendly as possible.
The market for new and creative apps is huge, and so designing apps could be a highly lucrative creative business idea. You could design apps independently and then sell them via an online store, or work in conjunction with companies who commission you to create the specific apps they need. In either case, the combination of the specialised skill set required to design apps, and the ever-growing demand for digital solutions could make this an extremely successful option to take.
Similar to a graphic designer few things are more important to a business than branding as it creates an identity for the business to utilise when trying to attract customers. Many smaller businesses don’t have the resources to employ an in-house design team to work on branding, however, so a creative small business idea could involve offering your artistic services as a logo designer. As well as the graphic and visual skills needed to create a high-impact logo, as a logo designer you need to be able to work in partnership with a business to fully understand the image they wish to convey.
Tik Tok creator
As a TikTok creator you’ll be responsible for creating short-form video content to be published on TikTok. According to figures collated by Hootsuite, TikTok is the top app for consumer spending, with spending on the app rising to 2.3 billion dollars in 2021, up from $1.3 billion the year before. TikTok reaches 17.9% of all internet users over the age of 18, which is 884.9 million people, or 15.9% of the worldwide population. Bearing this in mind, the demand for TikTok content across the marketing departments of larger organisations has grown exponentially, from 3% of marketers viewing TikTok as an effective marketing tool in 2021 to 24% in 2022.
As a TikTok creator, you can reach out to brands looking for distinctive content via the TikTok creator marketplace. Initially, you would be creating self-generated content designed to show potential clients that you can think originally, create striking visuals, and carry a project through from the first conception to finished video. Once you work with clients, you’ll be liaising with an internal marketing department to align your skills and input as a TikTok creator with their wider vision for the marketing of the business.
Every single one of these creative digital business ideas could form the basis of a successful career. In fact, depending upon your skill set, interests and experience, there are probably hundreds of activities which have the potential to become a business, given the provision of technology for matters such as taking payments or setting up a point of sale. The world is your oyster!