The Creator: Amanda Rose
This is the Mukbang of healthy eating.
In reality, it began a year earlier, when she embarked on what wasn’t her first, but would be her ultimate weight loss journey, ahead of a scheduled bariatric surgery.
She weighed so much, she had to lose weight to qualify for the weight loss surgery.
She lost so much, she ended up canceling it.
The video she made expressing both her hope for her own future, as well as the future of other overweight women in her demographic, went viral on Facebook and kicked off her journey as a Creator. She received so many stories of hope (and weight loss) from women inspired by her journey that she left her social services consultancy - did I mention she has a PhD in Political Science? - to launch Eat like a Bear.
Today, Amanda measures success in centuries. So far, 190 people (mostly women over the age of 50) have achieved “Century Bear” status in the Eat Like a Bear community, losing over 100 lbs - 100 LBS!!! - through the same weight loss program she used herself. Thousands more have lost significant weight…but the weight loss itself isn’t the point.
It's my view that a big problem in the weight loss industry in general is that it appeals to things like how we're going to look.
These vanity things, that's just cultural, and I don't think that as humans, that any of those things touch us deeply in our hearts - not like actually getting out and living, you know, jumping on that horse for the first time since you were 28 or whatever it is - getting out and being able to engage with your kids, your grandkids, in just a very life-affirming way.
Those just touch us in a much deeper place, and that gives us that fuel for the long haul.
Amanda is a Creator who sits well outside of “influencer” stereotypes. She’s focused on impact over appearances. She’s over the age of 50, as is her audience. She’s primarily focused on Facebook and email.
There’s a lot of interesting insight to unpack here.
I know what a 50 year old woman does on her smartphone.
You Can’t Depend on Platforms
Eat Like a Bear’s membership is their #1 revenue driver, while Facebook is their #1 revenue source. The membership is powered by Circle (more on that in The Stack), but Amanda did consider running it in Facebook.
Our membership is off platform. It's on our own thing, we can't be shut down…but getting people to engage in other apps is very very difficult.
I do think a big part of especially our early success is that we existed on Facebook, and that in this demographic, you know, they're in line at Target waiting to check out and they're just scrolling through their Facebook feed.
People's success stories are popping up, so they stay more engaged with the content because it's Facebook, and so if we had all of our membership stuff on Facebook, I do expect our success rates would be even higher…but my heart can't bear to have that level of dependence.
Her point of view on this is marred by mixed experiences she’s had at Facebook. Eat Like a Bear has had technical difficulties, as well as issues with getting banned by Facebook censors without any rhyme or reason. In the past, she’s had a C-level contact at the company to help her sort those issues out, but without that contact there anymore, she can’t afford to centralize her business on Meta.
We have a complicated situation at Meta, and I've had quite a few security risks to my account. I had an instance where a C-level executive intervened for me, and that's the reason that I still have the account today….
That's allowed us to be there, but the problems that we've had that then required those interventions are barriers as well.
If we just had someone saying “Wow,…button yourself up and if something happens, we got you Amanda”… if I had that, and I we were just kind of all in at Facebook, we'd be crushing it.
Amanda is an example of a Creator whose content is unintentionally caught in filters that otherwise have good reason to exist.
A core problem is that Facebook community standards include not showing a before/after picture in weight loss, which I totally get and I totally support, because marketers have used these essentially to shame people into buying.
In my world, showing my before picture is an important part of my story - look at the Yellowstone video.
There was a video on YouTube that shows before and after shoes, because I actually lost a shoe size too, and if you listen to the message, you'll see that I'm actually so positive about that before self, and I really bake it into so much of my content, and say like - this is the me who got me here. This is what I looked like, and so it's very affirming.
Any human who reviews any of the content would approve it, and so we were able to advertise A Postcard from Yellowstone even though it has a before picture in it, and it technically violates community standards because of that. But human reviewers are like “Wow! This is a good video.”
But what would happen, is that we would be scaling ads, putting all this energy into these campaigns, and then we'd get shut down just like that.
These content policy / filtering errors have real impacts on the ability for Creators like Amanda to earn money - and can even lose them money!
Are these errors algorithmic or human? Why can’t they be solved faster? What’s the platform’s position? Is there some more nefarious underlying driver (e.g. ageism or sizeism)?
We can’t know. And this isn’t the first example of poor filtering by a platform - not by far. In an instance earlier this year, gamer CoryXKenshin came out with some damning accusations and evidence against YouTube…and there are many other questionable incidents out there.
Amanda’s experiences echo the same Kafka-esque absurdity of a single Creator trying to run a business dependent on faceless megacorporate powers-that-be.
All Meta, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, etc. want is for Creators to stay on their platforms and build businesses on their platforms, but by being less-than-Creator-friendly and only thinking in terms of systems rather than humans, these giant techology companies end up incentivizing Creators to seek diversification and third-party solutions (like Circle).
Until they realize that Creators are humans and need a human touch, they will end up driving Creators elsewhere for the thing that matters most - income.
Digital vs Physical Products
The second largest revenue driver for Amanda’s business is her physical books business. She self-publishes, and has had real success doing it…but she finds herself not wanting to rely on physical book publishing because of the poor margins.
We went through all of 2021 mainly driven by the sale of one physical book. It did really really well. It's the book “Half My Size with the Ridiculously Big Salad”. You would see the big garish bowl of salad, and that book got a lot of friends and family referrals, and it even got some national press at its launch, so it did really well.
But the interesting point is, that was maybe our toughest year in terms of revenue, or margin, because the margin on a physical book - one single physical book - is eaten up like that. You know, it's gone. It's gone, and so you hear that, but sometimes you’ve got to learn it yourself, and I learned it myself that year.
Digital products are a meaningful part of her business, but she doesn’t believe she can rely on them due to the psychographics of her audience.
On March 8th, we launched the sister to that book, which is “The Ridiculously Big Skillet”.…It's doing well also, and so this year I do expect our physical to probably eclipse the digital in terms of the books.
That is a demographic issue - I mean, we have mostly women over 50, and I'll tell you - there's a lot of them, a lot of people dying on the hill. They won't buy digital. They'll only buy physical, and so those sales actually do pretty well.
But it's a problem because of the margin. It is a problem for us.
Still, digital products are what got her business going in the first place.
Her story echoes one we hear from metacreators often: just put something together and start selling.
I was getting a lot of requests for this salad book, which I frankly thought was a stupid idea - like, who needs someone to teach them how to make a salad??
Well, I did these videos and there was a lot of interest in just whipping up the salad dressing in 2 minutes, and I took the next three months to work on an e-book about salads. I launched that - it was a $10 humble little e-book that I launched - in June of 2019.
The interesting point is that I learned that first of all, you can go a long way on a $10 e-book, because that was the first revenue that we really had … but more importantly, I saw the success rate of the community improve with that book. That's when the light bulb came on, like “Wow, I can create learning content that actually increases the success of community members and pays our bills at the same time!”
So that's what I've been doing these last four years.
Partners Must Align with the Mission and Brand
Given the spending power of her audience and the lifestyle focus of her business, I was curious why she didn’t have brand revenue as part of her mix.
I've kind of laid low on that whole thing, and I don't regret that. I feel like five years in, having just gotten that content squared away, I'm glad I didn't…What I now know is that there are certain brands that probably would really foster the success record in our community - but some that would probably really work against it, and they're not all that obvious necessarily.
I kind of cringe to think I might have partnered with anything based on food, because what happens in a community like mine is - if you really highlight a certain food or a certain ingredient, everyone kind of focuses on it and thinks it's necessary.
Well, there's almost nothing that's necessary that can't be swapped out or whatever else, and there'll be certain number of people who don't like it, and so they then think it's a deal breaker.
There's no deal breaker.
That’s a super interesting take - basically, that incorporating any specific product or brand into her program could actually detract from the success of the overall mission.
She’s not averse to working with brands, but hasn’t yet found the right way to do it that serves her mission as a Creator!
That doesn’t mean she hasn’t thought about how it could work.
When people find us and when they get started, a big differentiating factor between us and other weight loss platforms is our goal setting. I have what I call “The Big Goal”.
Your Big Goal would be not your pant size or how many pounds you're going to lose, but what you are doing one year from now - living your most vibrant life. Stay focused on that, engage with it in any way that you can now, and work towards that.
Any company that fits well with our Big Goal message would be a really great partner, so this is then the lifestyle companies - I would say probably minus fashion. That wasn't so obvious to me either, because I can imagine that there would be a lot of fashion industry brands that would be interested in partnering with us, and that's a natural thing in weight loss, like “Wow, look at all these before/afters” and all this stuff.
But we don’t care what you look like now, I don't care what you look like in a year…what I care about is that you are living your best life!
So any brand partnership that has to do with the living part - you know, travel types of things, adventure types of things - would really fit well.
Makeup or whatever else would definitely not.
I love this point of view so so much - it really takes a positive point of view to health consciousness, weight loss, and fitness in general. I hope some great brands that are all about living your best life end up finding her!
A Classic Funnel - Drive to Email to Drive Transactions
Now, you may have noticed that most of her audience sources don’t actually point to her revenue sources; instead, they point to her email list, which then drives Eat Like a Bear’s revenue. She even runs ads that drive to the email list.
We're currently running ads in mostly Facebook ads, some of it is on Instagram, and I'm about to launch some on YouTube as well just retargeting our views on YouTube.
The way the Meta ads are structured is we have new audience ads that actually do drive to the email. We have retargeting ads on Facebook that really promote sales of specific products, and so some of them are on the email list, and then maybe they see the ad, maybe they click through or maybe they later see it in the email.
It’s kind of synergistic, and it's it's hard to say what is the the the core driver.
What she’s describing is a classic funnel.
Discovery platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) bring audience in
That audience is funneled to email to build trust and present offers
The email audience is retargeted with ads and continuously exposed to content via email and social to build willingness to pay
Eventually, some of that audience converts to paying customers.
Discovery is hugely important, but don’t underestimate the value of building trust. That’s how you create true-fandom, and maintain a long-term creator business.
I had a Wordpress site before so it was just the natural thing to choose. Probably the first thing I did was make a website, and everything integrates with Wordpress, so it kind of makes sense.
What I didn't know in those early days that we’d be adding on Shopify, and now we have a member area, and perhaps had I taken a step back, had I known, I might have done things a little bit differently.
Things definitely have the appearance of being kind of stitched together, and that's because they were! That said, I don't think that any of the platforms…I think they're all still good choices. It's just maybe how they're brought together from a coding perspective…they could be better integrated than they are.
I asked what she might do differently if she started again today.
I'd probably consider Shopify Plus, and potentially building the website on Shopify. Shopify Plus offers some of the things that we pay for on Wordpress. We have services like security services and some other services that end up being probably the same price as something like Shopify Plus. I don't know if you're aware, but Shopify Plus is like $1000 or more a month, and it's hosting, but there's a lot of other things that get offered on there, so that price is not that high if that's where your main website is. Actually, it's probably a pretty good deal.
So that's that's what I would think people should look at, is Shopify Plus.
Ecommerce - Shopify + lots of connected apps
Amanda has had 44,000 unique customers go through her shop, so having a platform that just works is critical for her.
When we first started with just a digital book, we were on Gumroad. I was there for about nine months, and I realized that it just didn't have the integrations.
I knew we would be launching a physical product, so I just knew we were very quickly going to outgrow Gumroad, so I just shifted to Shopify at that point.
I did it because Shopify is the big player. Everybody integrates with Shopify. There's almost nothing that you can't do with Shopify, so I just wanted that future flexibility and I think that was a good reason and it was a good decision.
The integrations that Amanda uses include:
Payment collection for membership
Facebook advertising analytics
YouTube advertising analytics
Many ecomm sellers - especially of books - are also on Amazon, but Amanda isn’t yet.
We're not on Amazon, and they still haven't approved our store. I think I'm going to have to get a lawyer involved in this, as it appears that the reason they haven't approved it is they can't verify our address.
As with Meta, she’s had some Kafka-esque problems getting the Amazon megacorporation to be helpful. As a result, she couldn’t use their fulfillment services.
That’s tough for her, but also missed revenue for Amazon! Platforms - how about some Creator support? It’s good for everyone. Those 44,000 customers could have been yours.
Amazon’s failure to enable her store forced her to do some incredible bootstrapping:
When the first physical book came out - that was in the fall of 2020 - we had planned on just fulfilling it through Amazon.
Well, we couldn't, and so my husband said “Let's just fulfill it here, at this house,” which was crazy. That print run was 10,000 books! So we had all 10,000 books delivered to our house. That's a lot of books…
We have this post office with a population of 216 people in the zip code, and the the post office had never seen business like this before! I mean ever ever, and we said “Gosh, you know, we could drive it to Bakersfield”
And the postmaster, she's like “Oh no, oh no, we are doing it right here!”
And so there were distribution problems in the postal system at the same time with priority mail envelopes, and so we got our initial thousand priority mail envelopes, and thought “Okay, that should be enough for a while.”
Well, we sold through a thousand books in five days, and now we have no envelopes and so what do we do now??
Well, you couldn't get them from the postal service…So this postmaster called around to all the little post offices asking for the envelopes, and they sent them down to the regional distribution center, and their little rural mail carriers would take those 200 envelopes down, and then they were all collected down there and then shipped back up to us to our little rural post office.
And it was this real great bootstrapping story….it was really stressful actually, but it's an amazing story now.
At least now, she has a proper fulfillment partner, who is…
Fulfillment - Red Rock Fulfillment
For those who don’t know, fulfillment centers are businesses that store physical goods sold by ecommerce businesses, and then ship them out once an order comes in.
That way, you as the seller don’t have to store your products in your garage and put them in the mail every time (though Amanda did have to do this with 10,000 books - more on that shortly).
Regarding Amanda’s fulfillment partner, Red Rock Fulfillment:
They're really great! It's a family-operated business but they have pretty good square footage, like they could probably take on some other Creators.
I did a launch of the third book on March 8th, and we went to St. George to do the launch, partly because I wanted to sign the first 2000 or so books that went out, so I had to be at the fulfillment center to do that.
As a result, I have these amazing photos of me amongst 2000 books that took two weeks of my life to go and sign, and it seems kind of crazy - like why? Why go through all that?
Well, 2000 people got signed books, and that's important to them. They thought it was cool, and I mean, just one of those photos of me in all those books… well, you know, that sells books. People bought the book.
Visuals of people buying the book sells books!
I asked how she found this fulfillment center, and of course - it was from recommendations by other Creators!
I posted in some Creator groups asking for recommendations, three emerged that then I called and spoke to the the managers or owners of. We ended up with this facility at St. George, just based on, you know, likeability factors and that sort of thing.
I wonder how many fulfillment houses would even allow someone like me to come in and sign books and take these photos amongst all these books. I think that's something, and that's going to be very valuable to us.
She gave me one big tip that any Creators who expect to fulfill physical merch at scale should keep in mind:
By the way, in the fulfillment world - speaking of good friends - I didn't know this detail, but when you're shipping enough stuff with FedEx, you end up with a FedEx rep, and that rep negotiates a shipping price for you.
So, for instance, if we have a package in which one book goes, or we have the 3-pack, they agree in advance to the price on that, and that's negotiated.
It helps to have a rep who likes your mission and you. You'll get more or less help depending on the center and the synergy with your rep, if you know what I'm saying.
Apparently, we have a very good deal on our our FedEx.
Move enough product, and the shipping company - FedEx, UPS, etc. - will assign you a rep who can help you negotiate your rates with the fulfillment center. If you’re including the cost of shipping in your prices, that’s a huge opportunity to gain some margin. Even if you’re not, lower shipping prices will increase your customers’ likelihood to transact.
Just be sure to spend the energy on building a good relationship with your rep!
Book Publishing - Peter Holm (designer) + Porter Print Group (print broker)
I never really thought about how to self-publish a physical book, but there’s a whole cottage industry around it. There are:
Designers - artists who specialize in book cover artwork and design,
Print brokers - middlepeople who shop a manuscript around to the printers (book publishing’s equivalent of manufacturers)
Printers - companies that handle the physical printing of the book
Then, of course, you need to be able to fulfill orders with a fulfillment company that has a warehouse and shipping account.
The print broker business is one I wasn’t aware of - it’s sort of like having an agent, but specifically to help you find a manufacturer for whatever print medium you want to self-publish.
If you have a good print broker who likes you, they'll go to work and try to find something for you. I've been able to ask them about future products - I'd like to make something that's more of a magazine, and so in advance they can tell me: “Okay, this is the type of thing. This is the number of pages.” You know, that industry stuff that I don't know but I should.
It's good to have good friends.
Notice a theme? Relationships matter, even for Creators.
I got it because of its integration with with Shopify - there's a lot you can do with setting up automations centered around products. That said, they have a good reputation for deliverability, and that was like the core thing. I haven't made use of that core thing, so as I see it, I'm probably overpaying. I actually had some issues with them with onboarding, so I don't typically go around talking about using Klaviyo.
I asked why she doesn’t change providers, if she isn’t happy with hers.
Her answer struck me as one that is likely fairly common among Creators who are unhappy with a partner or tool:
I'm the one who set it up. Where would I move, and who would I find to set it up for me?
Seems like an opportunity….
Membership - Shopify Recharge app (recurring payment) + Zapier + Circle
Amanda launched her membership on Circle, in its early days. Back then, it didn’t have payments built in, so she had to connect Circle to her Shopify account via Zapier and a Shopify recurring payments plugin called Recharge.
It sounds complicated, but it worked then and it still works today. It also centralizes payments through her website, which is probably more convenient than sending her audience to multiple platforms with multiple payment carts.
I asked her what else she evaluated before landing on this somewhat complex setup:
We did originally have something on Wordpress, but I felt it was clunky and it didn't have a good community aspect to it.
I looked only briefly at Patreonl; had I known you and I would be talking, I might have spent more time looking at Patreon, but I wanted something that was really super rich in the community aspect and so Circle stands out for that.
There's others that that are increasingly doing really well with that. My understanding is Kajabi has, for instance, integrated more of that and maybe even Teachable as well. But Circle, by the way, was started by people from Teachable.
Paid Media (Advertising) - Self + Freelancer
I grew a lot of revenue and new members in 2019 and 2020 with Facebook ads that I set up myself.
I'm very good at ads, and if I could just be full time on ads, that would be something. That is how we grew in 2019 and 2020, and I didn't have support or anything at that time. All I did is I took a class with Harmon Brothers - you know, they're the Squatty Potty people, and they had a really nice little class on how to run paid ads on Facebook, especially using video content as the main ad asset.
The person who I have working with me now actually…let's just say that I found her at Harmon Brothers. Her role with what I'm doing is not so much to build the campaigns, but just supporting me with it. I think we've realized that probably I need to be in there building campaigns, but at the same time, as we scale them, I can't be worrying about if I'm losing my shorts not paying attention to things. She has an idea of of what is acceptable risk and watches some of the minutiae of campaigns as they're going on, and that at least helps me stay sane and not worry that there's something happening that I don't know about.
So that's kind of her role.
Communication - Facebook Messenger + Facebook Group for Community Mods
Mainly Messenger. We do have a Facebook group for our community moderators as well, and that's probably where most of it is, so most of it's on Facebook. We've tried to set it up other places, but we were born on Facebook and so we're all just used to it.
Finances - Traditional banking, accounting, and bookkeeping
We were set up as a C Corp under our consulting work, and so we had an accountant and we had some professional services, so we've just kind of continued like that and that's been adequate for us. But I can definitely see why these companies are popping up, especially for like a 20 year old who's never had to manage anything. You know, that's a big deal.
Some of the traditional firms, like accounting firms, they all have their in-house people who handle a lot of things for small businesses, and I think increasingly they're interested in learning how to offer support in the digital world. So we'll just have to see if we end up going with that kind of approach or someone who is all digital or whatnot.
Okay, so if you hear about like the stereotype of someone just running around with an iPhone, that's me, okay.
I go through this regularly - “Okay, let me get better equipment. Let me bring someone in to train me in all this.”
And then I just end up saying “Oh my god, no.”
Final Cut Pro - I mean I don't edit on my iPhone, I guess I could, but Final Cut Pro. I’m extremely basic - I mean, you'll see it from the video quality, it's very obvious.
I'm so frustrated. I haven't found an editor, and I know, I know, “Amanda Rose still is editing her own videos.” Yes I am and I am embarrassed by that. But I've tried to get editors. I found somebody and I'm gonna try them, so I go through this as well, regularly, like let me find somebody...and then, for whatever reason, it doesn't work and then I just do it myself again for a while.
Project Management - Physical notebooks, whiteboads, etc.
The reality is that any project that's worth doing at this point, I've decided I just get in and I just do it start to finish. I might have some help, I mean, I'll have editors or something like that. But I just get in and I just do it, and call it good enough, whatever it is, and that's where we are.
I don't have the team working on the different aspects of video production or whatever. It's me saying “Oh look, in that last video, when I used the whiteboard and wrote out the list, we had a higher retention rate, so why don't I use the whiteboard?”
So then I just remember using the whiteboard, using this, using that, and that's the production.
Does this give away my demographic?
Representation - Business Attorney
A business attorney. I've hired a PR person a couple of times, and that's not turned out very well, so I'm not naturally inclined to jump into a relationship and all that.
Content & Community - Self-produced + Community team
It's frustrating because I am very well aware - if I had a team, we would just be…you know, we've done the hard part. We have the success cases. Surely, getting a team around some of this stuff is not the hard part, and yet here we are. Me still editing.
I asked what’s preventing her from addressing this need.
I don't know…time and energy and networking? I've been so focused on the core learning content these past years, and I don't have any regrets about that focus at all.
…I’m just very frustrated by this issue, especially the video production side. The potential for stories that we have at Eat Like a Bear is huge. We’re beyond proof of concept here, and if we can create videos like this, we will drive more success, period. We are there. We've already got it.
What’s keeping us from is is probably, at this point…with the revenue model that we've had, for as much as I can talk about how great certain sales are or how high ROAS might be on certain ads, the reality is, at the end of the day, it costs real money to put together a team like this. We don't have that kind of money.
I'm gonna admit I've been very resistant to trying to build any kind of partnerships on that. We’ve just bootstrapped it and eight days ago was my day when I woke up and I said “You're 5 years in, you still don't have the money, how long is it actually going to take you, and do these community members have that much time?”
I’m getting emotional again…
I'm looking at partnership approaches on the video content. I don't know what all that's going to look like - again, I'm eight days into even being open to it. I would have said before eight days ago that I was open but I feel like I wasn't really open. Now I'm really open.
I asked what she meant by partnership, and if she had considered funding from one of the many Creator Economy financing entities like Breeze, Juice, etc.
I think that if it's just money, I think I have other options for getting money. We haven't even asked friends and family. We haven't even done that, and we have friends and family with money. Not a lot, but enough…
So the first step in my new eight day openness is to learn what's out there, because I don't know that. I haven’t been purposely paying a whole lot of attention to it, but it's It's a great time of year to do that. We’re coming up to VidCon, and then VidSummit is in October, and so I'm just gonna really try to educate myself about this world.
Also, looking at the production companies that'll sell a show somewhere. or whatever. I'll look at that. I haven't looked at that at all, I don't know the world. I've very much had the attitude - and this is still true - if I can grow a show on YouTube, why the heck would I ever care about Food Network, or whatever.
And that's true. That's true, but at the same time, getting long form content produced anywhere has a benefit, and so maybe I should be more open to that. The right long form content will bring in new community members. We'll also give my current community members something to engage with, and would probably drive success in the core community.
If you are interested in partnering with Amanda to scale her content business, ping me. Happy to connect you!
Outside of content production, Amanda’s team consists of:
4 community moderators, part-time, 15-30 hours/week, serving social accounts and membership areas
2 customer service people, part-time, 15 hours/week each (one is unpaid — her husband)
What’s your #1 tool to save time and money?
Well, it probably would be my iPhone if we're really getting into that.
But I need a lot more tools to save me more time and money.
With free money, who would you hire?
Yeah, with free money, I would definitely bring in a production crew and do a bunch of shoots.
What’s contributing most to your growth?
Our success history. I mean, you can’t visit our community or our website without seeing we’re the real deal.
What strategies or habits do you swear by?
Things can be so overwhelming at times. I try to stay very open to the future and to the bigger picture and just focus daily on the next little step. I’ve gotten pretty far in five years with daily consistency and remind myself of that when things start to weigh on me.
How’d you get good at all the many things you do?
I just got started and tackle each thing a bit at a time. In the process, I don’t worry about perfection, just about moving in a decent direction. That approach can feel awfully slow at times, but I’ve built a solid infrastructure over these five years.
What do you wish you knew when you started?
I started without knowledge of what was in front of me and, as a result, I had no plan. Things might have gone better with a plan, but then I also wonder if I would have been bold enough to embrace it.
How do you think of yourself - creator, influencer, artist, solopreneur, entrepreneur, or something else?
I’m the leader of my community. It’s my job to put in place the best structures I can for the success of my community members. I had a distinct fork in the road where I could have pursued more of an influencer path and focused on social media views. Looking back, it’s very clear that maximizing views can also limit the community’s success. Taking the alternative path may have been my best decision of these five years.
Who influences YOU as a Creator?
I look to the best story-tellers in the YouTube format — MrBeast, Airrack, and Ryan Trahan to name a few.
What’s your biggest regret as a Creator?
I don’t have any real regrets but things would have been easier had I more awareness in the early days of what was in front of me. It took me months to begin to step into my leadership (and I am still trying to figure out what that looks like).
What’s the biggest risk to your business?
I get hit by a bus. I stay away from busses.
How do you stay relevant in a changing Creator Economy?
I become irrelevant the day I stop focusing on the success of my community members.
How do you stay motivated when things get tough?
For the most part, I go on a hike and get a good night’s sleep. For especially tough times, I keep hiking.
Where are you investing your effort for the next few years?
I am putting pretty much all of my resources into showcasing the stories coming out of our community. Even at five years in, I have absolutely no budget for it, so I am starting with an extremely low-budget interview-style show and working to build a budget for more. (Don’t judge…)
What comes after all this?
As one of the older creators you will likely interview (at age 54), this particular mission is probably the finale. If it goes south revenue-wise, I will likely pivot into some sort of affordable variation.
My mission is to enable millions of people to benefit from the emergence of the Creator Economy. I believe that the more successful both Creators and the companies that serve Creators are, the better off humankind will be.
If you have questions, comments, or would like to work with me directly, reach out to me at [email protected].
Thanks again for being part of this community. See you next week!