Since the advent of social media, representatives from different industries have set out to create content that educates or entertains. From lawyers to teachers, influencers and content creators have been able to shine a light on hacks, insights, and behind-the-scenes information from their 9-5 jobs.
Corina Monroe, a dental hygienist from Savannah, Georgia, has taken her passion and experience in the dental field and turned it into a wildly successful content creation side hustle. She has amassed over 2.5 million followers on TikTok and 130,000 followers on Instagram by sharing tips and tricks for healthy dental hygiene and educating people on the dental world. Her accounts give a “day-in-the-life” look at working as a dental hygienist and have hit a niche that was before unexplored, leading to major success.
“I started to pursue social media on a serious level when I realized that there was a huge lack of dental knowledge in the general population,” says Monroe. “Those were the videos that took off, and I continued to create that type of content in hopes to educate.”
Monroe initially pursued dental hygiene work because it was “easy to be part-time,” anticipating that she may want to have a family one day and work fewer hours. However, she ended up falling in love with the job, added education and content creation to her schedule, and could not be happier about it.
Balancing full-time work with content creation
Being that “content creator” is a relatively new line of work and largely self-professed, the statistics on how many content creators there are can vary. According to some studies, there may be upwards of 50 million content creators out there, churning out content on subjects that run the gamut. Many of these content creators, like Monroe, work a full-time job in addition to their side gig. Juggling those two disciplines may seem difficult, if not nearly impossible, from the outside looking in. However, Monroe insists that with a little organization, it can be done — and done well.
Monroe relies on batching content in order to get as much content out as possible, consistently. “Mass producing your content — or as I like to call it, batching — is a great strategy when you are trying to grow your following,” she explains. “This means I will make many videos in one day (a batch) and then consistently post over the week and weekends a couple of times each day. Having a surplus of videos takes the pressure off of having to come up with new ideas and film a new video every day.”
By putting aside specific content creation times in order to make batch content, Monroe whittles her side-hustle time down to a few hours a week. That way, it doesn’t interfere with her full-time job and she can still grow her following and her platform.
With any content creator, full-time or part-time, consistency is key. Along with consistency, Monroe stresses the importance of having a welcoming and attractive personality, as this is what draws people to check out the content in the first place, and what keeps them coming back.
Finding a niche was easy for Monroe, who was already working full-time as a dental hygienist and finishing up her Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene. She had a front-row seat to the ins and outs of the industry and was the perfect person to give a first-hand account on social media.
“Finding your niche is important because this allows you to focus on one area of expertise rather than just posting a million different things in a million different areas,” says Monroe. “People who are interested in that niche will be drawn to your content and most likely follow you and remain following you because they enjoy your content.”
Educating the public and balancing passions
Monroe’s social media platforms took off during the pandemic, beginning with her simply sharing advice gleaned from her time working in the dental office. Her popularity has grown such that she’s been asked to speak at dental conferences. Balancing her passion for dental hygiene education and her 9-5 as a hygienist hasn’t always been easy, but Monroe has the support of her employer and her family to rely on to keep both passions thriving.
“The biggest and most influential person in my life who helped me achieve success would be my husband, Jared. He has always been my number one fan,” Monroe explains. “He never doubts me. He continues to just tell me that I can do it and that I am the hardest worker he has ever known. That reassurance and his unwavering support keep me going, and really push me to continue to pursue my dreams and keep going when the going gets rough.”
Monroe is excited to be growing her content creation side hustle by partnering with companies that are, in her expert estimation, “changing the face of dentistry”. Continuing to travel and attend conferences with patients and other dental professionals has spurred Monroe’s plans for the future. Through connections made via the conferences, she has been able to expand her work to writing industry-related articles, a new venture that makes Monroe both nervous and excited.
Content creation can be an all-encompassing passion. But with organized batch-creation and strong engagement with people, one can both be a successful content creator and work a 9-5 that you love.