How To Explain Being a Creator To Parents (5 Ways To Get Them Off Your Back)

Updated on November 13, 2023

Being a creator…

I’m 99% sure you may have faced challenges explaining your job to your parents.

My mum still thinks I’m trying to be an influencer who takes selfies.

She also feels I shouldn’t be showing everybody how I look or sharing my life story on my about page.

The creator economy is booming, and many untapped opportunities are waiting to be capitalized.

They probably don’t understand what the heck it is.

That can be highly demoralizing and frustrating.

I get it.

So here are five ways to explain your job to your family and help them appreciate your work.

1. Show Them Examples of Your Work

One of the easiest ways to explain your career choice is to give them concrete evidence.

Share the platforms where you publish content.

Take me for an example.

When I started my blog, I never told anyone about it till I had some articles published and made it look professional.

It wasn’t until a few months later that I shared my creation and managed to get some positive affirmations.

Nevertheless, the million-dollar question has always been, “Are you making money?

Yes, but it wasn’t enough to replace my full-time job.

But that wasn’t the point.

I also showed them some feedback, comments, and reviews from my audience and clients.

Having shown proof, they could finally see the quality and effort put into this endeavor and the impact and value it has for others.

2. Explain the Process and Skills Involved

Contrary to their popular belief, content creation isn’t as simple as snapping a few photos and posting them on social media.

You need to explain to them the different stages of content creation, such as

  • Brainstorming
  • Researching
  • Writing
  • Designing
  • Editing
  • Optimizing
  • Distributing
  • Promoting

All of these activities fall under the umbrella of content marketing, which is a highly valued skill in any industry.

Mention the marketing tools you use to create and manage your content more efficiently and effectively.

As an Accounting and Finance major, my university curriculum didn’t cover these skills.

However, showing that I acquired these skills of my own volition was a huge help in convincing my family that I had the passion and aptitude for it.

3. Share Your Goals and Progression

Often, families are concerned about the sustainability and longevity of this chosen career path.

It’s not without reason because let’s be honest.

The majority of creators don’t succeed.

So make sure to tell your family the following:

  • What motivates you to create content
  • What kind of audience or niche do you want to reach or serve
  • What kind of message or value do you want to deliver or provide

You can also tell them about some milestones or accomplishments you have achieved or are working towards as a creator.

These can include growing your audience or followers, landing a sponsorship or collaboration deal, and earning a certain amount of income or revenue.

Unless you somehow become an overnight sensation, progression will be slow.

The trick is…

Every little win is progression. No matter how small.

And that is enough to prove to your family that this isn’t some hobby if you have a solid plan while tracking your achievements.

4. Compare Your Content Creation Job to a More Familiar or Traditional Job

Part of your job as a creator is closing knowledge gaps.

So help them understand by comparing this job to one that they are familiar with.

For instance, it can be compared to a journalist who writes articles for a newspaper or magazine.

This involves researching, writing, and editing the content before publishing.

You must also follow the trends and news in the niche or topic and provide accurate and reliable information to your audience.

Or how about a graphic designer who creates logos or flyers for a company?

Both jobs require creativity and technical skills to create visually appealing and effective content.

Maybe the best way is to liken it to a teacher who creates lessons or courses for students.

You have to plan, prepare and deliver your content in a way that educates, entertains, and engages your audience.

Ultimately, being a creator requires you to wear multiple hats, just like in any organization.

You are a specialized generalist. Not a specialist.

This illustrates the number of responsibilities you will undertake, which your family can appreciate.

The final way is to educate them about the trends and opportunities in the creator economy.

Explain it’s a booming and evolving industry that offers many possibilities for creative and talented individuals.

You’ll earn income through various channels like:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Selling digital products
  • Offering consulting services
  • Paid ads
  • Starting a cohort (tell them it’s basically an online school)

Also, mention that it offers flexibility.

This allows you to:

  • Work remotely
  • Set your own pace
  • Select projects
  • Enjoy recognition

You can also share with them some of the success stories of other creators who have built loyal and engaged audiences, earned significant revenues, or even created social impact through their content.

To Sum Up

Helping your family understand your decision to be a creator is going to be awkward.

But here’s a quick summary:

  • Show them examples of your work
  • Explain the process and skills involved
  • Share your goals and progression
  • Compare your job to a familiar role
  • Educate them about the creator economy

Patience and persistence are key.

They won’t get it initially, but they will eventually appreciate your passion and achievements.

And my mum is visiting me in Phnom Penh, Cambodia right now.

She’s right there watching TV while I’m here writing this newsletter.

brendan aw in phnom penh leo light shop

She still doesn’t get it.

Either way… just be one.

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.

Marcus Aurelius

Hope you like this and share it with frustrated creators who can’t get their parents to take them seriously.

See you in the next issue!

brendan aw black pic

About Brendan Aw

I’m an ex-marketing executive for 6 & 7-figures high-growth startups turned writer, creator & entrepreneur. I share my learnings on digital entrepreneurship, personal finance, and remote working while helping run my family’s crystal chandelier business.

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