The State ofCreators ‘24 Report
Kajabi’s State of Creators ‘24 examined over 2,000 creators to uncover the strategies, behaviors, mindsets and demographics that set six-figure creators apart.
Creators are moving from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat
In an industry estimated to reach $480 billion(1) by 2027, more than 50 million creators are trying to make a living online. And yet, 66%(2) of creators made most of their income from one revenue source in 2022 — brand deals.
Surviving off of brand deals is easy for those with millions of followers, but for the majority of creators, they are unpredictable and competitive.
As a result, 96%(3) of creators earn less than $100k/year.
It doesn’t end there. Creators are fighting a losing battle with algorithms designed to keep users glued on the platform, not share the wealth. While social media giants rake in the ad dollars, creators are left feeding the algorithms 24/7. They’re chasing virality and competing for brand deals, but it’s not paying off.
Social platforms are great for building audiences, not businesses. And the most successful creators have figured this out.
“Solutions” to aid creator monetization, like TikTok’s failed Creator Fund(4) have proven ineffective, paying out only a few bucks for millions of views.
Enter the Era of Creator Ownership
The real money lies in diversification and ownership—not just followers. Creators are now in control of their businesses, evolving how they earn and diversify their income streams. They’re no longer just answering to brands and social platforms for their paychecks. They’re full-blown entrepreneurs building their own brands and businesses.
Creators are innovating new ways to craft, market, and sell a diverse range of content and resources, AKA digital products. They are learning how to turn loyal social media followers into paying customers by providing them with valuable resources.
At Kajabi, we’ve seen the number of creators entering their ownership era skyrocket over the last three years with the increase in digital products:
Secrets of Six-Figure Creators
As more creators diversify their income streams, what sets apart the top earners?
How six-figure creators run their business
They have at least 5 revenue streams
While lower-earning creators have two revenue streams on average, six-figure creators leverage five or more. And to take it a step further, creators making more than $150k/year are more likely to have seven revenue streams.
Q: Which of the following best describes the different ways you generate revenue for your online business?
Top revenue streams of six-figure creators
“Income diversification is a smart move both for the creator and their customers. For the creator, it de-risks relying heavily on one stream of income that, for any number of reasons, could decrease quickly. But I think people often neglect how helpful it can be to their customers. Different offerings for different learning styles, budgets, and free time mean more options for choosing the right product or service for them. In turn, that usually means more income for the creator.”
Solopreneur and Content Expert
They make the most from online courses
Out of all the revenue streams they've built, six-figure creators are more likely to have built a digital product. And their top revenue-driving product? Online courses.
Which digital products made you the most revenue over the past 12 months?
Behaviors and Mindsets
They sometimes prioritize money over values when it comes to brand deals
60% of six-figure creators admit they’d consider working with brands that don’t align with their values if the paycheck were big enough.
Brand deals can fluctuate, and saying no to a tempting offer is tough. On the flip side, diversifying their income streams empowers creators to turn down deals that could compromise their authenticity.
“I always try to check in with myself to make sure that I'm making decisions based on my impact goals versus my revenue goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new brand deal so I like to review my values and mission statement regularly to make sure I’m making decisions that are in alignment. I'm personally willing to say "no" to brand deals that don't align with my values because it's not worth it to me to lose the trust of my audience.”
Founder of The Creator Club
They use AI twice as often as other creators
Six-figure creators are hustling and have adopted AI tools to help them increase their marketing content output and build their digital products.
Q: How often do you use AI tools to help you accomplish tasks within your businesses?
They invest in their financial futures
Six-figure creators excel at both managing their businesses while still investing in their personal lives.
They reach six figures in less than two years
It takes a ton of work to build a successful business, but it’s paying off for six-figure creators. 40% of top earners reached six figures in less than two years.
And when it comes to niches, the ones hitting six-figures the fastest are:
And when it comes to niches, the ones hitting six-figures the fastest are:
Six-figure creators have figured out that instead of chasing followers and brand deals or waiting for creator fund payouts, they need to diversify and own their own revenue streams outside of social media. They use social platforms to build their audience, but they know the key to entrepreneurial success is through diversification.
who are six-figure creators?
Education and Work
Creator forecast for 2024
2024 is looking like a big year for creators who are ready to take charge and grow. It’s all about owning your content and carving out your independence. But even the most ambitious creators have their fair share of worries about what’s coming next.
Here’s how top-earning creators are feeling about trending topics in the creator economy.
Creators want to unionize
For the same reasons creators are looking for more ownership over their businesses and bottom lines, they’re also looking for more protection against some of the questionable behaviors of social platforms. A union would help safeguard creator businesses by addressing issues of fair pay, platform policies, content rights, and more.
Nearly half of six-figure creators would join a creator union in the future.
And even as they diversify and own their income streams, six-figure creators are even more likely than lower-earning creators to seek the employment standards and protections a union could offer.
In an uncertain economy, creators will take extra measures to own their revenue streams
With inflation rates still high and brands cutting costs and doing layoffs, there could be fallout for creators who rely heavily on influencer marketing, brand deals, and platform ad payouts.
Top three challenges six-figure creators are worried about in 2024:
But, creators are safeguarding their businesses through diversification:
more creators will embrace ai to save time and reduce burnout
Six-figure creators are bullish on AI in 2024 specifically to save time and ultimately help reduce creator burnout.
“AI is going to revolutionize the Creator Economy. AI automation is helping solo creators scale who can’t afford to invest in a team yet, and it’s helping them extend their reach and compete despite having fewer resources and support than their peers. As these tools and the education around them become more available, I see more creators embracing AI in 2024 and beyond to help them increase their reach and revenue.”
Founder of Awesome YouTuber Academy
Claim a top spot in the creator economy
If you’re reading this, you’re clearly more than just curious, you’re a serious creator ready to own your financial future in the creator economy.
Forget about living on the brand deal rollercoaster or playing the guessing game with social platform algorithms. The key to longevity is investing in revenue streams you own, where you’re the boss of the content and your income.
In the end, it’s not just about creating content, it’s about creating your business empire.
Subscribe to our newsletter The Creator’s Playbook so you can get hot tips from successful creators along with exclusive insights into how you can grow your creator business this year.
Who is KAJABI
Kajabi is the leading creator commerce platform helping ambitious creators turn their knowledge and passions into digital products and successful online businesses.
In creator revenue
Average annual income on Kajabi
People globally have consumed content on Kajabi
You keep everything you earn—we don’t take a cut of your profits
Collectively, Kajabi creators make an average of $5M every day. If you’re ready to diversify your income, we’re here to help you make more money and own your destiny.
Kajabi conducted a 15-minute survey with online creator businesses across five global markets, fielded Oct 6-14, 2023. A total of 2,026 creators who are currently monetizing their content were surveyed. Half of the respondents (1,013) make six-figures a year and above and the other half (1,013) make below six--figures a year.
The sample was drawn from a range of industries and niches. Respondents were selected through a screening process to ensure they met the criteria of being an active creator currently earning money.
Results were collected anonymously and reported in aggregate. The margin of error was ±1.45% at a 95% confidence level.