Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Finfluencer?

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September 19, 2022

The oldest Gen Zers are turning 25 this year. Many have graduated school and entered the workforce. Others are becoming parents to the next generation.

But with adulthood come new challenges and responsibilities. From paying off student loans and opening an investment account, to purchasing homes and planning for retirement, Gen Z is looking to prepare for the future. And a new cohort of creators are stepping in to help: Finfluencers.  

While adults ages 18 to 25 actually have the lowest level of financial literacy, their appetite for personal financial knowledge is strong. More than half (52%) of Gen Z say they are motivated to increase their awareness around money to reach their financial goals. 

That’s why personal finance creators are having such a massive impact. Through content that’s educational yet approachable, and even aspirational (read: not boring), they’re helping these knowledge-hungry young adults become more fiscally responsible. And if you’re qualified to offer this type of advice, you too can grow your channel with personal finance content that truly resonates. 

Approachability is Key

Most Gen Zers realize they aren’t going to strike it rich in seconds. Rather, they want to set themselves up for long-term success by saving and investing smartly. And as a finfluencer, you can provide the easy, step-by-step guide that beginner investors are looking for, helping them learn with confidence. 

Graham Stephan, for example, is a real estate investor and personal finance YouTuber with more than 3.9M followers. His content ranges widely from funny reactions and listicle-type videos on saving money, to in-depth commentary on crypto investing. He keeps his style casual and straightforward, taking the time to explain specific investment terms and concepts. 

To get his message across, Graham even uses eye-catching imagery and integrated video copy throughout his content, almost as if teaching an introductory class using a whiteboard. In his recent video, “The 5 Millionaire Investing Habits That Changed My Life,” he shares a few simple tips that make a big impact, using graphs and other visual aids to explain his reasoning. 

As more young adults look to social media for tips on how to save and invest, personal finance creators like Graham are taking on an increasingly significant role as mentors and teachers. In fact, 39% of Gen Z say they learned how to manage their money from TikTok, YouTube, or other social media outlets. Meanwhile, only 23% reported learning from parents or family members—proving that young adults look to creators as trusted sources of financial advice. 

By using a more simple, straightforward approach and ensuring your advice is easily digestible, you can help Gen Zers grasp complex concepts that can put cash in their pockets. 

Real, Actionable Examples 

Sharing anecdotes about your own investing practices or other real world examples is another way to keep viewers coming back for advice. Not only does this help you establish a niche, but it also adds a personal touch to your videos. While targeted recommendations from a financial institution may feel over the top or even intimidating to the beginner investor, creators can connect with their followers on a much more intimate level—helping them navigate uncharted territory with ease. 

For instance, paying off student loans is one of the biggest financial struggles that young adults face today. 74% of Gen Z borrowers say they delayed a major financial milestone as a result of their debt, and 54% of teenagers currently feel unprepared to finance their futures. 

This is a topic that attorney and personal finance YouTuber Erika Kullberg often explores when creating content for her 690K subscribers. Whether she’s discussing how to lower loan interest rates, or recounting life lessons she learned during her own repayment process, Erika shares struggles from her own life to provide tangible examples her audience can relate to. 

With more than half of Gen Zers living with financial anxiety today, it’s important that your content reflects real world issues. By drawing from actual experiences, you can arm your followers with actionable advice. And unlike banks or investing firms that often have their own motives, you can share recommendations that viewers can trust, fostering a genuine connection with followers.  

Make Sure You Know What You’re Talking About 

Remember: Not every creator is qualified to provide advice on personal finance. YouTube is a great platform for learning, but because anyone has the ability to create and share content online, some have reported making bad investment decisions based on advice they sourced from a self-proclaimed expert. 

While most Millennials were left to their own devices when it came to managing money in their early 20s, young people can now easily search for tips on how to budget wisely. But this also means they’re wary of who they can trust while surfing TikTok or YouTube. Before uploading a video, make sure you have the appropriate level of knowledge and experience. Explicitly state your credentials in your bio—or even at the beginning of every video as a form of introduction—to let your audience know they’re watching a reliable source. 

With the right approach, finfluencers can become a great resource for Gen Zers looking to improve their financial literacy. And there’s no doubt demand for this type of content is on the rise. As more members of the digitally native generation enter adulthood, social media is increasingly becoming a hub for learning—and creators should maximize this opportunity to expand their audience.