This week's idea was inspired by my conversation with John Speed and Timo Sarkka on Twitter Spaces. We talked about the creator economy and the huge opportunity in creating a creator economy “middle class” - a layer that services the top creators. While not everyone can be a top YouTuber, everyone can create and profit from a service that caters to top creators.
Create digital assets for top creators, monetize with revenue share.
🐣 Idea genesis
Creator platforms usually follow a common pattern: 10% of creators account for 90% of revenue. It’s hard to break into the 10% and become a creator that can actually make a living from their work. This tweet from Greg Isenberg sums it up nicely:
But, there is a big opportunity in catering to these 10%.
- Creator platforms are highly competitive and only a small percentage of creators are making any meaningful money on them.
- It’s hard to break into the top 10% despite creating good content.
- Top creators are pushed to create new and interesting content.
- Each medium is different and a good YouTube creator does not automatically mean a good course creator. Specialization is needed.
- Partner with top creators to provide them with custom build digital products (online courses, eBooks, learning games, swipe files...)
- Instead of getting paid for creating the digital product, get paid by splitting revenue from sales.
💵 Possible Monetization Streams
- Revenue share.
- You could also monetize by charging for the service, but this will be harder to scale, since you’ll be creating custom content for everyone.
👍 What are the benefits?
- Creators get a new revenue stream they didn’t previously have with no upfront investment.
- You can help them develop content on a medium they might not have experience with.
- Their fans get new, interesting content.
🤑 Are people currently spending money on this?
- Creators are already hiring people to help them create content. Recently I’ve stumbled on this tweet from Blake Emal looking for someone to help him with his Twitter MBA:
✅ What do I need to validate?
- Are creators open to having someone else create content they will be associated with?
- Are creators ok with revenue share?
🧰 How I'd validate?
- I’d pick one specific product to offer creators, ideally something you already have experience creating. The trick is to pick something you can turn into a sellable product. So don’t offer to write tweets for them, because you’d just be doing a service for them. You need a product, like an eBook, an online course, a swipe file etc.
- Go find 3 relatively successful creators (don’t go for the big fish rightaway - you need to build a portfolio of successes first, it’s also highly likely that in the case of top creators, there will be a manager between you and the creator).
- Pitch them on the idea - but, don’t come empty handed. Create an outline for the course and write a detailed pitch. Show that you are serious about this proposal.
- Offer to bare the upfront costs for creating the digital product, for future revenue share.
- If at least one wants to collaborate, you are in business, if non, this idea might not have wings.
🤔 How will I get first 10 customers?
- Fortunately, platforms make it easy to find successful creators. Like I mentioned above, don’t go for the most popular ones, start in the middle.
- Make sure your initial message is not salesy and sounds authentic.
- Don’t go empty handed and send them a detailed pitch with some concrete examples.
📈 Will it be sustainable?
- The reason I’m advocating for trying out a revenue share model is because this creates a sustainable business for you. You are growing with your creators and they are growing with you. This could be a win win for both.
👉 Am I the person to build this business?
- Do you like creating a certain kind of content?
- Are you good at interviewing and summarizing the work of others?
- Are you ok with not having your name prominently associated with a piece of content you created?