When I worked in radio broadcasting in Augusta, GA, my last stint in the industry, I worked with a General Sales Manager who always joked with me that sales was the most important aspect of the company.
I think he was joking with me most of the time, but often my rebuttal was, “if I don’t have a show that’s performing at the top of the ratings then you have nothing to sell. Programming is more important than sales.”
It’s sort of a chicken/egg situation, except in this situation I know what came first. Long before there were salesmen trying to sell every aspect of the station and show you hosted, the radio existed.
It had to be created in order for sales people to have something to sell to their audience. And even then, it had to grow into something that was valuable enough to warrant ads and promotions. Let me tell you, I’ve seen stations that have one or two commercials per hour that struggled to make it and then were flipped into a different format.
When it comes to creators of all platforms, whether that’s TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, etc., there has to be a product and an audience before you can think about selling anything. There has to be enough demand generated, and you, the creator, are the reason there is demand. Companies and salespeople and influencer partners only come to you when you’ve built this up enough that people might be interested in learning about products and services that you use to help you grow as a content creator.
I say all of that to get to my main point. YOU are the most valuable part of the equation. If your content doesn’t exist, then these companies don’t have a platform to use to sell their products and services. So don’t be afraid to negotiate a price that you feel is fair and pays you enough to turn your passion into a career. You hold more of the power than they do.
Never forget that.