Here we are at the intersection of our creative work and our ability to use technology to scale. This is where we find our place in the creator economy. The big question so many of us have is, now that we’re here, what habits help us create success?
Creators want to know how to go from monetizing their creative work to building a personal brand, legacy, and multiple streams of income. It turns out, a lot of us get lost in the noise. A voice that’s cutting through is Roberto Blake. His battle-tested insights on important foundations creative entrepreneurs need, the framework for creating a personal brand, and the specifics of building revenue through your work will resonate. Roberto is founder of the Awesome Creator Academy, and CEO of Create Awesome Media. He’s grown his YouTube to over 500K followers. He’s a leading educator who helps influencers and entrepreneurs build their brands. He’s got a new book out to help us answer these questions and more.
Framework for Building a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand has so many moving parts. It can be overwhelming to think about them all. Roberto reframes this with his approach that focuses on what he calls the four “Rs”. Reputation, reach, relationships and revenue.
The framework starts with building your foundation. Roberto describes this as your body of work. This is your character. It goes back to doing the thing, to be a creator you’ve got to create. What you do, how you do it, this is what your reputation is built on. Reputation is the foundation of the four “Rs” framework, here’s more about reputation, reach, relationships and revenue and how they all work together.
Reputation: We build a reputation based on what we do. It’s about your skills, your body of work. Your reputation is a result of your craft. Start with a strong foundation, start with your craft and from there a strong reputation develops.
Reach: That strong foundation and reputation is what allows you to create more reach. Technology enables us as creators to get in front of audiences at scale that we wouldn’t have otherwise. We can’t physically be in every room all at once.Relationship: The four “Rs” framework builds on each other. Having good reach allows you to develop new relationships you wouldn’t already have. You get the opportunity for more reach by having the correct relationships.
Revenue: Build relationships and network with intention. Make sure people know who to refer clients to. Whatever you’re creating and doing make it easy. In addition, there are ways to monetize the content (about the creation) itself.
We all want to know more about monetizing our work, and diversifying our revenue streams. This podcast provides an intensive look into how creatives get cash. Make sure to listen in to hear everything Roberto shares, including more about why revenue diversification matters.
Prioritize Your Platforms Based on Your Goals
Roberto doesn’t just talk about why income diversification matters. He breaks it down for content creators. Our community is focused on developing as creators and entrepreneurs. Making money goes hand in hand with that. There are seven categories (or questions) that help people focus on creating revenue, they can be broken down as:
- What am I going to have a reputation for?
- What am I gonna be known for?
- How am I gonna be perceived in the world?
- Who can I build relationships with?
- What relationships help me generate revenue
- What relationships help me increase my reach?
- What platforms could I use that have the reach, and that will help me build the correct relationships?
These are important questions to ask when it comes to prioritizing your activity. We want to be prioritizing the different platforms available based on our goals and what suits our brand.
Roberto explains, we can prioritize YouTube because of the evergreen content. If we want professional connections, focus on LinkedIn. We need to make sure that we’re doing the correct things to be omnipresent, it’s networking at scale.
Twitter suits some (especially if you avoid politics), and for lifestyle brands and interpersonal relationships Instagram is great.
The trick is to contextualize the framework to fit your goals. What works for one person may not work for the next.
Why Revenue Diversification Matters
Early on in business, diversification of revenue is less predictable. Roberto explains diversification in simple terms. Your craft or specialization is your focus. To diversify the question then is, how can I extract more from my specialization. It’s not about diverting away from what your focus is, it’s about leaning into it.
Roberto shares this example:
Let’s pretend you’re a video editor. You specialize in video editing. You can then put together a package with value based pricing (not hourly rate). The more efficient you become at delivering the package the more valuable your time becomes. You’re satisfying the client and you’re scaling how much you can deliver.
Now, you have these clients on recurring monthly contracts. This is a retainer client, or maybe you have multiple. This stream of income means you have recurring monthly revenue. It’s all very practical, and just the beginning.
The above scenario is not a membership, it’s client services. Since you’re a video editor you could use the skills and expand offerings. The skills expand to technical creations like LUTs packs, you create and sell them. Maybe you go on YouTube and educate on how to use the software you use.
The ideas are almost endless. This is just one example. There is a thread here that moves us from trading money for time through to creating multiple streams of passive income.
Imagine the possibilities when you focus on what you’re great at and expand from there.
The Future of The Creator Economy
The creator economy is around $104 billion. It’s on a rapid trajectory upwards and in the future with all creators included, it could be in the trillions.
The creator economy is growing, and it’s also changing. People are creating a balance in life that traditional school and jobs don’t deliver. As a creative entrepreneur they can earn and invest, and own everything in the end. They can potentially scale a lot faster than a traditional job that pays $50-80K a year. And, everything changes rapidly. This is why the frameworks we talk about matter. They’re lasting and not reliant on technical aspects of the platforms, like algorithms or features.
It’s ready, set, grow with the creator economy. Enjoy listening to the full podcast, and check out Roberto’s book, “Create Something Awesome: How Creators Are Profiting Their Passion in the Creator Economy.” This is where he highlights how to begin a career as a content creator, grow your audience and influence, as well as how full-time content creators earn their living from YouTube, Podcasting and Live Streaming.