Talking Growth #10:The Creator Revenue Dilemma

January 8, 2021

Before we dive into this week's news edition, a special treat was sent out to loyal subscribers (the newest members of Talking Growth (Pro)). It's a thank you for being a VIP subscriber.

Recap: On Tuesday I announced Talking Growth (Pro), a $10 monthly newsletter subscription where I dive into social media trends, marketing strategies, tactics, and helpful tools and resources. You can read the first version here: Talking Growth (Pro). After next week, if you're a free subscriber of Talking Growth, you'll receive Friday's email only. Friday's email will include news on the creator economy and a snippet of what's covered in Talking Growth Pro. Lastly, after this weekend, Talking Growth (Pro) will increase from $10 a month to $19 a month.

Now let's hop into today's Creator Economy news. I dive into concerns with the growing success of Lil Miquela, cover a new streaming platform that just raised $3M for Black Creators, Twitch is testing multiplayer ads to give Creators an additional opportunity to monetize, Gumroad just released a game-changer feature, and the unbundling of social continues as downloads for Parler soar.


📰Talking Creators



The Problematic Fakery with Lil Miquela - Last year I wrote an essay on the growing opportunity presented with Virtual Influencers. For one, you don't have to deal with the issue of managing an IRL individual. Two, you control the entire narrative of the virtual influencer and can shape their brand as needed. From a business POV, they're a better alternative to an actual influencer. Forbes goes a different route and does a deep dive on the problem with the fakeness of Virtual Influencers and how that can do more harm than good. It's an interesting take as companies that specialize in digital avatars (e.g. Genies) take off and grow in popularity.

A Case Study of Josh Ostrovsky "The Fat Jewish"  - Josh Ostrovsky is one of the earliest examples of building a thriving business from being an influencer. Known on social as "The Fat Jewish" (his words not mine), Josh built an empire with a following of 10 million across social. That audience allowed him to expand his reach and business, with one of his biggest wins being his ability to sell Babe Wine, to Anheuser-Busch InBev. This is a further testament to building an audience first and using your audience as an opportunity to expand your business and products.

Streaming Platform for Black Creators - Blacktag, founded by Ousman Sahko and Akin Adebowale, just raised $3.75M from Connect Ventures and partnered with top talent at CAA to help Black Creators grow their revenue and get more from their content. So, far 1,000 creators will appear on the platform; however, the handpicked creators have yet to be confirmed.


🤳Talking Social & Platforms


Twitch Multi-Player Ads - The biggest challenge I've seen from my experience working with creators and my research on the creator economy is that creators are struggling to grow their revenue. Outside of select big-name creators, most are working incredibly hard to grow their revenue. Platforms are catching on with the latest being Twitch's rollout of multiplayer ads.

YouTube Creators Challenge with Monetizing - YouTube will start running ads over creators' videos; however, due to the size of those creators, they aren't eligible for the Partner Program which means they won't be able to monetize.

SoundCloud verifying Creators - In a very, very, very, late to the party fashion, SoundCloud has started verifying artists. The early likes being Billie Eilish and Wiz Khalifa. To be frank, it's odd it's taken this long for SoundCloud to implement their own form of the blue checkmark. Especially given their history of revenue troubles.

The Rise of Parler  - Parler, a popular app for conservatives has climbed to the top of app stores as they feel they're being censored and some are being banned from platforms. On one hand, we need to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech. On another hand, how we do ensure we're not suppressing the voices of certain parties.


☂️Talking Drops From Creators


Gumroad is one of the go-to-tools for creators (including myself)  and given the number of clicks from last week's email on Gumroads public roadmap, I'm not the only one. The latest drop from Gumroad comes in the form of Memberships. An easy way to create memberships for your audience without having to use other tools such as Memberful. Some users had access to this feature for some time; however, the full rollout was released November 19th, 2020, so now anyone can offer a membership opportunity for their audience.


🌱Talking Growth (Pro) Recap

Here's a snippet of what was covered in Tuesday's send of Talking Growth (Pro).

Client Growth + Wins of the week
TikTok following grew from 552,000 followers to 570,000 followers
Instagram went from 21,300 followers to 21,500 followers
Newsletter subscribers grew from 3679 to 4,4544
Course signups from 793 to 1126 enrollments
Private community from 50 - 100 members
What's working: 5:1 organic to post ratio. For every 5x organic post, make 1x promo post with a reference to link in bio, join my newsletter, buy my product. This makes your content feel less salesy to and more authentic. Also, it allows you to find out what organic content performs well so you can test it as a promo post. Daily posting and content distribution. We repost our best performing TikTok across IG Reels and IG stories. Additionally, we use CTA's to drive to our course and free printables.

Other Wins: A previous brand I worked with, AsWeMove, just hit $1M without funding in six months. During the beginning of the campaign, we successfully built up a waitlist and early buyer reviews to help generate a 15x ROAS. Similar to all of my clients, I highly recommend building a waitlist and marketing before your product is ready.

What else was covered
How to grow organically via IG reels and the post cadence and frequency to maximize the reach of your content.
How to promote your content and products on Reddit without getting your hand slapped.
The tactics I used to grow a client's email newsletter from 1k subscribers to 3k in three weeks.
How to leverage hashtag bubbles to capture your target audience.
The Linkedin and TikTok playbook for growth.

Signup for Talking Growth (Pro) for the full rundown


🏄Things you want to know


I want to start a Clubhouse group where I interview creators and talk about how you're growing your business or product. If you're interested or know someone that might be interested, reply to this email.
Facebook started testing new monetization tools for creators.
For Creators, The dust has settled between Instagram vs. TikTok.


Until Next Time
I hope you enjoyed this week's newsletter. If you enjoyed what you read, forward this email to a friend. Just tell them to subscribe. Lastly, I tend to post more short-form content across social, so if you don't already, follow me and say hi.

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