What boundaries should you put in place as a creator?

create a better working environment

By Esra Gurkan

Monday, 12th of July 2021

A lot of full-time social-first content creators don’t stick to a 9-5 schedule. 

Working for yourself allows you to have the freedom to work the hours that you want, and so it’s not unusual for those hours to be a little different to others in full-time employment. 

It can sometimes mean that people think they can approach or contact you at all times of the day via public comments and direct messages. With a job that relies predominantly on social media, people believe you’re readily available at all times to entertain, communicate and educate. 

This is just one example of the ways in which the lines between creator and follower can be blurred, and so it’s important that boundaries are put in place to ensure that you give yourself time off, and your relationship with your followers remains authentic but professional.

Here, we break down ways in which to incorporate a better working environment online:

AD breaks

Content creator, author and podcaster Nicole Ocran incorporates ‘AD Breaks’ into her Instagram Stories. 

It allows her to make it clear to her followers how and when she is working with brands. 

Speaking about her AD disclosures, Nicole says “I will always disclose whether I have been paid or gifted an item, which means a brand has some kind of control over the post, whether that’s hashtags/handles to include or money exchanged. 

“As I live in the UK, we work under the guidance of the ASA and CMA. ASA requires you to use ‘AD’ where there is any commercial interest “before the fold”, which is why I place it at the beginning”. 

These AD breaks mean that followers of Nicole can differentiate between her content, and this openness from her means followers are clued up on when Nicole is using her platform to voice personal opinions, and earn a living. 

This authenticity is refreshing, and allows creators like Nicole to make clear when she is and isn’t working.

Communication cut off

It can be easy to fall into the trap of having a constant, open dialogue with your followers. 

What’s wrong with a quick reply to a comment late at night as you’re getting into bed, or a reply to a question on your latest post as you’re eating your lunch? 

For some people, it might be fine but sometimes it’s good to set boundaries and ensure you have time to simply scroll for yourself and not have to have work mode switched on all of the time. 

Being a social-first content creator might be your full-time job and your main source of income, but you deserve time to yourself too. 

Give yourself time to breathe, both online and offline. 

Don’t say yes to everything 

When you’re first starting out or have just gone full-time as a creator, it can feel as though you should be saying yes, yes, yes to everything you’re offered. 

From campaign collaborations to panel appearances and event invites, it can be easy to agree to it all. 

It’s important, however, to set boundaries and make sure that you are putting yourself and your mental health first so that you don’t burnout. 

You don’t need to take part in every campaign you’re offered, or work with brands you don’t particularly believe in and agree to speak at events you don’t know much about. 

Your followers will recognise if you aren’t being true to yourself and your content isn’t authentic, and so it’s always best to prioritise what is important to you – whether that’s making time for what you really want, or saying no to something even if it might be an easy cash injection. 

What boundaries will do for you

Setting boundaries in your line of work will enable you to spend more time on what matters, and help to keep you in a healthy working mindset. 

Despite what some tabloids might imply, being a social-first content creator can be hard work and boundaries should be put in place to ensure you are able to create the best content possible at a rate and in an environment that works for you. 

Set boundaries, find a way of working that suits you and let’s continue to professionalise the influencer space.