Talking Growth #17: It's for 1M followers

January 27, 2021

What would you do to get 1M followers in a year? These are the questions creators are asking themselves to reach the big 1M. Especially as platforms such as TikTok STILL allow you to go viral overnight. But before we dive in there, here's what on today's agenda.

  • The paid newsletter train picks up steam as Forbes looks to step on Substack's toes
  • A YouTube creator is pulling in over a $1M a year just from eating
  • Morning Brews, Alex Lieberman, gives the audience funnels creators and brands need to be leveraging when building an audience

📰Talking Creators

Airrack's Race to 1M YouTube Subscribers

What would you do for 1M YouTube followers? A platform that is known for helping creators make millions of dollars a year through content. Starting with 0 followers, Airrack set an ambitious goal to reach 1M followers in a year. By partnering with Stir, Airrack created a viral campaign where he stranded himself off the coast of Florida until he reached 1M subscribers. Yes, he was successful.
Source: The Hustle

Social Tokens and The Future of Media

After learning about and their companies vision to create custom digital currencies for creators, I've gone down the rabbit hole on crypto and blockchain companies building for the creator economy. Companies such as  Zora and Decentral Games have piqued my interest in the ways that crypto and blockchain will shift the power of monetization from platforms to empower creators. As Kevin Chou, founder of mentioned, custom currencies in gaming worlds are nothing new, so why shouldn't there be alternative ways for creators to monetize? The above op-ed goes deeper into the opportunities that exist and where the shift is beginning to take place. This is an area that has my gears turning, so if you're knowledgeable in the space, please reply to this email.
Source: The Block Crypto

The Crab Eating Creator Making Millions

While I talk often about the business opportunities that exist within the creator economy, I often fail to discuss why I'm fascinated with the creator economy. The allure of the creator economy is the fact that anyone can make a living doing what they love. Some would say that isn't true for every niche; however, YouTube creator BLove proves that false while earning millions from eating.
Source: TZhongg

🤳Talking Social & Platforms

Forbes Rolls Out Massive Expansion Into Paid Newsletters

It was just last week that I covered Axios $10,000 bet on paid newsletters. Now Forbes aims to make its mark on the newsletter space with its latest expansion. Right now, everyone and their mama is aiming to create a paid newsletter. I even made my attempt, but as I've mentioned in the past, paid newsletters are extremely tough. For one, it gates your best content limiting distribution. Secondly, it's a demanding job to continuously put out top-tier content which often leads to content burnout. Unlike other companies, Forbes is taking a unique approach that offers newsroom benefits (salary, editorial, and marketing assistance) with the independence of an individual creator.
Source: Axios

Humanz Raises Seed Round to Match Influencers With Their Ideal Brands

One of the biggest challenges for brands that are looking for ways to ramp up their influencer marketing efforts is finding quality influencers. Platforms such as Fohr exist but work mainly as a database. With their latest round, Humanz aims to bring their suspicious follower and influencer analytics, to create stronger relationships between brands and influencers.  
Source: Geektime

Apple's New Spotlight for Interesting Creators

The platforms that prioritize creators will win. Every month, Apple will highlight interesting creators and their content in an effort to drive more streams and ultimately subscribers for individual podcast creators. This will become commonplace for other platforms (think TikTok's creator newsletter) in order to create a flywheel for creator acquisition and retention.
Source: Techcrunch

☂️Talking Drops From Creators

Finding communities that actually provide value is the new age version of striking gold. It's incredibly difficult to find a community that provides value and doesn't just try to sell you things. The latest diamond in the rough of a community is Jetpack. Founded by Growth Marketer Sam Thompson, Jetpack is a collective of entrepreneurs, marketers, and operators all focused on helping each other level up. I recommend signing up while it's still early.

Source:Jetpack by Sam Thompson

🧨Talking Marketing & Monetization for Creators

The Audience Funnel for Creators

A creator's audience and community is their MOAT; however, few creators often realize the funnels necessary to build an audience. So, In this phenomenal thread, Morning Brews Alex Lieberman breaks down each funnel necessary to build a successful audience. Those funnels being the following:

  • Rented audience funnel
  • Owned audience funnel
  • Monetized audience funnel

Each funnel has its importance; however, the essential pathway is pushing members from your rented and owned funnel to your monetized audience. Rented audiences are those that follow you on social platforms. They're referred to as rented audiences because you don't own the data and experience of your audience from the platforms where they exist. Unlike owned audiences that exist in newsletters and SMS groups where you own the data and communication, you aren't given the opportunity for 1:1 communication and 1st part data when you're renting your audience. In order to increase your monetized audience, you must increase your rented and owned audience. This way, the effects of your monetize audience compound as you grow on other platforms.
Source: Twitter

🏄Things you want to know

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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