Talking Growth #06: The Creators Database

October 16, 2020

This past weekend I quietly chipped away at version one of The Creators Database. The goal of the project was to highlight the fragmented landscape of creators building in public.

To my surprise, it was very well-received with creators. The initial success of this project wouldn't have been possible without being consistent. This is all to say that no matter what you’re working towards, get your reps in.

🌱Talking Growth

The Creators Database - I’m bullish on the Creator Economy and building in public. So bullish, I did some manual searching and received help from the building in public community to help create a running database of creators. This is version one but I'm excited to expand upon this and include tools, content creators, and communities. If you're a creator, share what you're working on and I'll make sure you get added.

Talking Growth TV - As I mentioned last week, I'm working on a Talking Growth Interview series on YouTube. In it, I'll I interview creators and key figures in the Creator Economy to discuss building and growing an audience, creating a community, the opportunities present in the Creator Economy, imagining the future, and how creators can monetize.
I’m working on locking down the first few guests, so subscribe to my YT and keep an eye on your inbox for the first episode.

Talking Growth Community - This is a very early WIP but I'm working on the early stage of the Talking Growth Community. The community will be a way for creators to network, share strategies and tactics to grow their product, and find collaborators. A few subscribers have already expressed interest in this, so if you're interested in joining, reply to this email.

📈Audience Learnings/Insights of the Week

Last week I mentioned my Twitter game as of late has been on the weaker side. That changed with Monday’s release of the Creators Database. I received the most impressions, engagement, and followers from any Tweet I released. The best part is that I’m fortunate other creators retweeted my post expanding its reach. This helped me grow from 37-53 followers but more importantly, it helped me get the much-needed validation to continue to building the Creators Database.

TikTok's organic reach is absolutely insane. I mostly attribute this to them wanting to increase their DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users), but also because it's incredibly easy to follow a profile from the FYP (for you page). Unlike Instagram where you have to go to a user's profile, the following icon is on the same screen as the likes, comments, and shares. Last week I was at 543 followers and managed to grow to 796. For context, I've been stuck at 370 IG followers for a year. I'm sure that number would change if I focused on the channel but organic reach on IG is non-existent.

Surprisingly this is a relatively small amount of growth on TikTok. Unfortunately, the niche I chose doesn't have that many views on the hashtags I’m aiming for. Therefore, my strategy on TikTok is more of an investment for what the platform will become. With all of that said, I’m getting better at creating content on the platform and I should have a video go very viral soon. The below video currently has 8,000+ views and helped me get a 50% of my followers.

🧠 Talking Strategy - Anti-Marketing

One of the top ways to compete with an incumbent is anti-marketing. For example, when Notion first came on the scene, a large number of users were still using Evernote or Google Docs. Notion specifically called out that they’re better than both incumbents. Additionally, they ranked pages under competitors' search terms to clearly paint out there differences.

(This page ranks #1)

This doesn’t mean you use language like “our competitors suck”. It means you specifically reference what makes your product better. Just note that there needs to be a significant pain point outside of just price. Price isn’t a big enough differentiator to make customers switch. Depending on your industry and the size of incumbents, you should be able to find reviews of your competitors. From there, your goal is to aggregate their common complaints, suggestions, and package up that language into messaging which shows your product in the superior light.

Anti-Marketing is the reverse of talking solely about your product and more about why incumbents have a created a poor product compared to yours. It helps when you can reference the negative experiences from sources such as Google and G2.

📰From the news

Twitter Link Fiasco- Last week Twitter broke the internet when it explicitly prevented the spread of a NY Post article (with loose evidence). While the article does have a number of holes and a lack of investigative journalism, it still doesn’t warrant a complete shutdown of the platform. Plus, it did more harm than good to Twitter's moderation policies.

Stir Raises $4M - I know, I talk about the Creator Economy a lot, but I told you I'm bullish on it, and it seems prominent investors are as well. Stir, a platform specifically for creators, just raised $4M to help creators get a better POV of their business and easily collaborate with other creators.

Zoom Marketplace - Similar to the likes of Shopify, Zoom takes a stab at building a MOAT through the release of OnZoom, a marketplace for virtual events, and Zapps, third-party apps that integrate directly into your calls. Building a marketplace is a tried and true playbook to build a MOAT, especially when there isn't a true differentiator between Zoom and other video software.

🎤From the people

Paul Graham (Early Work) - One of the toughest parts of being a creator is getting over the mental hump or fear of creating. This often because we don't want to create something that is poor quality or "bad"; however, you have to start from somewhere. Paul Graham, of YC sheds light on this in his essay, Early Work.

My .02 - My first newsletters were terrible. My first few blog posts were terrible. My first few TikToks were terrible. My first few Tweets were terrible. The content I create is still in the learning phase but I know that if I get my reps in I'll be able to create better content.

💡 Inspo

"Stop disliking yourself for everything you aren't and start loving yourself for everything you are." - Pammy

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