Creator Economy Winter

Let’s talk about how to weather this winter and position yourself to grow again when spring comes.

There is no point sugar-coating it—months of inflation, layoffs, and tanking stocks mean we are officially in a creator economy winter.

Creators are facing shrinking revenue streams.

Let’s talk about how to weather this winter and position yourself to grow again when spring comes:

Don't Panic

You can’t control macro market conditions. You obviously want to be realistic about what’s happening, but you don’t want to waste your creative energy stressing about things you can’t control.

Keep yourself grounded by revisiting your long-term vision.

Take a few minutes to visualize your future self. You have just achieved your biggest creator economy goal. What does your life look like?

Describe that scene in a Google doc.

Go to this future scene mentally as a part of your daily morning routine.

Figure out your runway.

Typical runway calculation takes revenue into account. We are going to assume no revenue is coming in so that you can prepare for the worst-case scenario.

The formula is total cash on hand divided by your burn rate (your monthly operating costs.)

So if you have $10,000 cash on hand right now and a burn rate of $1,000, you have 10 months of runway.

You need to become obsessed with your burn rate. Figure out exactly how much it takes to produce and distribute a piece of content if you don’t already know.

Simplify content creation costs.

Huge creators like Mr. Beast can afford to spend millions on the production of a single piece of content because they have a built platform that virtually guarantees them a profit.

Not realistic for 99.99% of us.

Take that total cost per piece of content that you figured out a couple of tweets ago.

Try and figure out a way to reduce those costs by 10%. If that was easy, try 15%. Keep going until you reach a number where the quality would suffer dramatically.

Go all-in on community.

Forget any sort of paid audience acquisition methods. No matter the state of the economy, people will always be on social media, and you will always have the same 24 hours.

Spend as much time as you can spare organically engaging with your community.

Focus on identifying your inner circle—those people who interact with your content most.

Those are the people most likely to have friends or even audiences of their own that you can tap into. This is the key to organic audience growth.

Put your energy into the highest revenue generators.

Surviving winter is all about conserving resources and using energy strategically.

Look at what content topics have led to the most revenue opportunities and double down on those.

You also want to feed your whales.

The 80-20 rule applies to the creator economy. Roughly 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your audience.

Optimize all of your content efforts for that 20 percent.

Consider lesser-known creator platforms.

You are unlikely to increase revenue from established partnerships or major creator platforms.

Plus, the top 1 percent of creators already dominate there, so these platforms have no need to promote relatively unknown creators.

Smaller platforms have a vested interest in promoting all of their creators since it also spreads awareness for their platform.

We want our creators at published.is to make us their central content hub, so a big part of our growth strategy is helping them grow first.

Let’s recap how to weather the creator economy winter:

1 - don’t panic.
2 - figure out your runway.
3 - simplify content creation costs.
4 - go all-in on community.
5 - focus on your highest revenue generators.
6 - consider lesser-known creator platforms.

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I write about reasons behind a company's growth, learnings I got from the products I'm working on and articles I like the most.