Content creator Josh Harmon has 4 million TikTok followers and 2 million YouTube subscribers. Here's how he's preparing for the impending recession. – Yahoo Finance

Josh Harmon has 4.4 million followers on TikTok and 2 million subscribers on YouTube.
Like many creators, his income comes mostly from brand deals that may be threatened by a downturn.
Here’s how Harmon plans to weather the looming economic storm.
The US economy is showing signs of a looming downturn. Inflation is surging, and many economists say Americans should brace themselves for a recession in 2023.
For social media creators like Josh Harmon, the economic outlook is a cause for concern. Companies often cut marketing and advertising budgets first to save money. Harmon – like most influencers – relies primarily on brand partnerships for income.
He told Insider that some of his fellow content creators have had brand deals axed mid-production.
Harmon quit his “dream job” at NBC’s ‘Today’ Show in 2020 to become a full-time content creator on TikTok and YouTube. This decision was bolstered by Harmon’s various successful brand deals that account for the “vast majority” of his income.
Now he’s self-employed, “the highs are higher and the lows are lower,” Harman told Insider. Because income is irregular, “it doesn’t always feel very stable,” he added.
Nevertheless, Harmon doesn’t regret his decision. He shared ways content creators can survive an economic downturn.
It’s important to build up a portfolio of income streams in case one dries up.
Harmon estimates that brand partnerships account for about 85% of his income, but he’s trying to redress this imbalance.
He told Insider: “I’m writing a book and I’m working on original music, which then I can sell — and I’m also considering going on tour.”
A creator’s audience is their biggest asset, according to Harmon.
By keeping in regular touch with their fans, creators can make sure they stay engaged — which makes it much easier to secure bigger brand partnerships.
They can also directly advertise any merchandise and promote their alternative commercial endeavors, so communication is crucial to building up a portfolio of income streams too.
“Find a way to communicate with your fans in a way that isn’t dependent on the whims of social media platforms,” he said.
It might seem old-school, but Harmon suggests launching a newsletter: “Email is definitely not going away.”
“When money is tight, people are often hesitant to make big investments. But if you’re serious about being a creator, it’s always worth investing in yourself,” he said.
Harmon bought some expensive lights early on that “paid for themselves in just a few weeks” by allowing him to make better-quality content that attracted a wider audience.
Creators can also benefit from hiring staff. “As soon as I went full-time I hired somebody to help me, even though I couldn’t really afford it at the time,” he said.
Harmon told Insider: “If the content stays good, the fans stay engaged.”
If you’re self-employed, it’s crucial to get to grips with handling your own money.
Setting aside some savings is an important first step for long-term stability. “If you have a nest egg, you won’t need to panic all the time,” Harmon said.
It’s also vital to plan ahead. Harmon told Insider he’s preparing financial forecasts for 2023 by outlining predicted income and expenditure and trying to “line up longer-term partnerships that I can rely on.”
Building reliable relationships offer much-needed stability, so creators have to prove themselves as trustworthy workers.
“It’s a crazy industry, but it’s really important to maintain professional standards.”
Harmon told Insider he always replies promptly and politely to professional partners — and he aims to complete all commercial work ahead of schedule.
“I know some creators who blow off brand deals, turn them in late, or get into arguments with the people they’re working with. That’s never a good idea.”
When times are tough, it’s never a good idea to go it alone. “Having a network of creator friends is really important because you can be in the trenches together,” Harmon said.
“The more information you have, the better prepared you’ll be. My creator friends and I are very honest – we talk about numbers. We talk about brands.”
In times of economic anxiety, creators might be tempted to accept lower prices, but they should also think carefully about devaluing their own products.
It all comes back to communication, said Harmon. Harmon told Insider creators need to be “clear with companies” about their budgets — and they shouldn’t let themselves feel pressured to accept anything less.
While Harmon’s not certain about the future, he is “very certain about my ability to be creative, make creative content, and find creative solutions.”
Read the original article on Business Insider
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