The creator as entrepreneur
Creators and influencers are not traditionally thought of as entrepreneurs but they each run their own small business. As the space gets more crowded and creators are transitioning from the advertising model of the social media platforms, creators are feeling burnt out from the social media treadmill (having to constantly create content and then being at the mercy of big Tech’s black box algorithms). Thus, the transition from subscription and membership models to a more lucrative merchandising route.
At the same time, many NFT enthusiasts have found the key to any kind of successful release is a strong community. Many create Discord groups and meetups to leverage or to build a community. However, unbeknownst to them, numerous creators and influencers have already built this community.
The influencers and creators that recognize this, are able to build a business larger than themselves. For example the founder of The Fresh Diet, Zalmi Duchman, pioneered the first prepared meal service. He started with three clients and eight years later was bought by a publicly traded company. Now he’s the CEO of Home Bistro.
Ben Kaufman was able to start Mophie which integrated power banks into iPhone and iPad cases. He was able to leverage his experiences and contacts to build a global network that became the inventor marketplace Quirky. He is now the CEO of Camp. Hilary Rowland was able to build up a large following prior to social media and parlay that into one of the early online magazines in Urbanette. After 25 years of running Urbanette, she’s taking a break to start Iconic, a series of regional guides in travel and lifestyle.
Show me the Entrepreneur Money
Entrepreneur lore says that the hardest users to get are numbers 1 through 100 (initial startup inertia), however when you have influence over your following they will gladly be your testing ground as they will appreciate that you are trying to make their lives better.
Publishing deals are sometimes done by looking at how many Twitter followers you have so that minimum book sales can be estimated. Perhaps your investors can also look at how many followers you have and extrapolate how many users you can convert. If you have a good product, and can get those initial rabid users giving you feedback and playing in the feedback loop, who knows? Maybe you’ll have the next million dollar company.
What industry is best for a first time entrepreneur
Also, not everyone needs to be a billion dollar tech CEO. Your first few customers will be the ones to help you iterate, give you feedback, and spread the word regardless of your product. As The Hustle mentions: Of the companies that they surveyed: Food and beverage comprised 10.8% of the companies. Retail followed with 7%, then apparel and fashion (5.1%), internet (4.8%), and marketing and advertising (4.8%).
And while most of the influencers utilized their own capital (82.9%) to get started, some asked friends and family (14.6%), while others went to angel investors (10.5%) and others took out loans (8.6%). Besides these, there are a myriad of alternative options, including crowdfunding, straight donations, and seed stage venture capitalists (just don’t pitch them your lifestyle business, a euphemism for a business that won’t scale or go public but kicks off recurring income for the founders to be financially independent).
Many CEOs are now influencers… maybe there’s an opportunity to move beyond subscriptions, memberships, and merchandise to literally go to the moon (if you’re able to create that kind of company!) Are you an influencer or creator that is masquerading as an entrepreneur? Tell us about your story and we’ll highlight our favorite few in a future post! What a time to be alive!