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The Funny Chef on turning social media into a business

From crafting hearty recipes to captivating social media audiences through funny skits – Lebogang Tlokana has cracked the content creation code.

Affectionately known as The Funny ChefTlokana has leveraged her online fame to build a booming business.

The Pretoria native said she realized early on the lucrative potential of social media.

“Upon realizing there was potential income, I strategically increased content creation. Focusing on trending topics and crafting content that appealed to a broad audience helped attract clients organically,” she told The Citizen.

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Converting likes to cash

When it comes to social media, getting likes is one thing but converting them to cash is another.

Tlokana said monetizing her content involved leveraging its popularity, after one of her videos had a ripple effect.

“After the first video gained attention, partnerships, sponsored posts, and other revenue streams followed relatively quickly, resulting in consistent income,” she said.

Asked how much her first big check was, Tlokana didn't shy away from disclosing the six digit figure.

“My initial significant earnings amounted to R300 000, marking a substantial milestone in the monetization of my social media platforms,” she told The Citizen.

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'Consistency is key'

Just like any other entrepreneurial pursuit, building a business from social media can be challenging, requiring hard work and resilience.

Tlokana's secret recipe for social media success? Consistency.

“Continuously producing engaging content and maintaining a regular posting schedule keeps the audience engaged, leading to sustained growth, and meeting monthly targets,” she said.

“I'm constantly working on something incredible and fascinating,” Tlokana said, adding that her latest project involved promoting a new product for a leading alcohol brand.

Tlokana's advice to aspiring content creators is to simply get started, and to be persistent in their work.

“Be consistent, adapt to trends, and focus on creating content that resonates with your audience to build a sustainable long-term career,” she said.

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Embracing the content creator economy

Head of Digital Content and PR at Momentum, Natalie Druion said the content creator economy has democratized the means of production and distribution – allowing individuals to turn their passion and skills into lucrative careers.

“Content creators are no longer confined to traditional media; instead, they leverage digital platforms to connect directly with audiences around the globe,” she told The Citizen.

Druion said graduates can also jump aboard the content creation train, to create better opportunities for themselves.

“In the dynamic landscape of the modern job market, the Creator Economy has emerged as a powerhouse, offering graduates the unprecedented opportunity to shape their own futures,” she said.

The emergence of social media platforms has revolutionized the creative industry, allowing creators to produce and monetize their content on their own terms.

“This shift has given rise to a diverse array of creators, from YouTubers and podcasters to bloggers and social media influencers, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the digital landscape,” Druion said.

“No longer confined by traditional employment structures, individuals now have the means to build their personal brands, connect with audiences, and monetize their creativity,” she added.

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