The Enthusiasm Project

The Creator Middle Class Does Not Exist

April 29, 2024 Season 12 Episode 8
The Creator Middle Class Does Not Exist
The Enthusiasm Project
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The Enthusiasm Project
The Creator Middle Class Does Not Exist
Apr 29, 2024 Season 12 Episode 8

Send a text message to the show!

Heather joins the podcast this week to talk about an often ignored and minimized group of creators who aren't just starting out, but also aren't "mega channels" with huge teams and budgets– creators who have much more in common with local small business owners than Mr. Beast, despite both sharing the title of "Creator."

Heather's Video:
https://youtu.be/NAg4LDhRNGg?si=sXVLSsmTq4S1Kk4k

🎙This week's  mics:
•Shure SM7B (Tom)
https://geni.us/tepsm7b

•Shure SM58 (Heather)
https://geni.us/fNPEFQG

•Both mics were running through the Rodecaster Pro II on a custom SM7B preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E8 | Series Episode 172

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send a text message to the show!

Heather joins the podcast this week to talk about an often ignored and minimized group of creators who aren't just starting out, but also aren't "mega channels" with huge teams and budgets– creators who have much more in common with local small business owners than Mr. Beast, despite both sharing the title of "Creator."

Heather's Video:
https://youtu.be/NAg4LDhRNGg?si=sXVLSsmTq4S1Kk4k

🎙This week's  mics:
•Shure SM7B (Tom)
https://geni.us/tepsm7b

•Shure SM58 (Heather)
https://geni.us/fNPEFQG

•Both mics were running through the Rodecaster Pro II on a custom SM7B preset.

•Send a voice, text, or video message to be included in a future episode!
tom@enthusiasmproject.com or use the audio submission button at himynameistom.com!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
🎯Support the Show
https://patreon.com/tombuck
https://buymeacoffee.com/tombuck
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

📲 Connect!
•All My Podcasts: https://himynameistom.com/podcasts
•YouTube: www.youtube.com/tombuck
 
S12E8 | Series Episode 172

Affiliate links mean I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This helps support the show at no additional cost to you.

Podcast Artwork by Kevin Ramirez
Original theme music written by Patrick Boberg and performed by Mike Alvarez

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, hello and welcome. My name is Tom. This is the Enthusiasm Project, season 12, episode 8. Ain't it great. And it's a date, because today I have my super special guest, my lovely wife Heather I am lovely wife Heather.

Speaker 1:

That's true, and we are going to kind of expand on something that we've been talking about a bit on the couples table for the past couple weeks. So if you've been listening to that, we're going to try to do a recap-ish bit without going into all the excruciating detail that we've already gone into. So if you've already heard it, there shouldn't be much overlap. But if you don't know what we're talking about, we want to give you enough context as well. So that's kind of what we're doing today, all right. Before that, though, a couple things. First got to talk about gear. So today I'm using back on the Rodecaster Pro 2, which I haven't used for a podcast in a while because I changed my whole setup but the Rodecaster I was using for a video that I was working on at my standing sitting rolling table, and so I am using the Shure SM7B and the Rodecaster Pro 2 on my SM7B preset, and Heather is using the Shure SM58 on the sm7b preset as well. Yes, are you struggling with your headphones?

Speaker 2:

I try to adjust them, but because they're too low on my ears.

Speaker 1:

But you tape them oh, those are my original ones and I broke part of oh, you can adjust one side, just not the other. Um, but yeah, so he, heather's using the 58. And the reason I wanted to do that and put them both on the same preset is because they should be quite similar. So the SM7B $400 mic, the 58, $100 mic, they have very similar capsules and with the same EQ, they should actually sound pretty similar. All right, so there's that. Before we jump into this, I do have a voice message from Gil, who I want to share, and I'm glad that Heather is here for this specific one. So, if I can do this correctly for once, take it away, gil. The podcast you and Heather will be live. This wasn't my fault, though. I'm using speak pipe and I had the slider dragged all the way to the left and for some reason, when I hit play it just went to the middle.

Speaker 3:

Okay, anyway, let's restart that take it away gil, so I rushed back home to get my headphones okay okay, I've done this plenty of times okay, that wasn't me, that that was.

Speaker 1:

You saw, I dragged, okay, so this is a speed pipe situation.

Speaker 2:

I think it's going to continue. I refreshed the page, oh, okay.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's see here one more time. I could edit this out, but I'm not going to.

Speaker 3:

Hey Tom, this is Gil. I hope all is well. So it's almost time for the couples table to air and I'm going to be filming or producing a podcast for a client and I'm making sure I grab everything that I need, but around the time that we're going to be producing the podcast well, I'll be producing the podcast you and Heather will be live. So I rushed back home to get my headphones, because I've done this plenty of times where a live stream or a podcast or a friend of mine is on YouTube and I just put an ear pod in tune into y'all or whatever the case is, and I thought that was super funny. How it's like, wow, I quite literally had y'all a part of my routine and I just thought it was really funny, really cool to share. I really appreciate y'all. Live stream your podcast. Keep up the great work. Just wanted to share that. Alrighty, thank shit. Y'all. Live stream your podcast. Keep up the great work. Just wanted to share that all righty.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, gil, that was so nice perfect timing I also think it's funny. If you're like monitoring a podcast that's being produced and then naturally we say hilarious things. You start laughing while they're talking about something really serious. Hopefully we didn't mess you up there that's funny uh, but that that, uh, thank you for that, though. That's really nice. Yeah, gil's always very good about sitting in fun stuff like that, speaking of fun stuff Speaking of fun stuff, Tom.

Speaker 1:

Now we can go into the topic of today's show, which is sort of about the creator middle class.

Speaker 2:

And the creator economy.

Speaker 1:

And the lack thereof. Yeah, so where do we want to begin?

Speaker 2:

Okay, so I think so. Okay. What is the creator economy? Let's start there. The creator economy is the economy and business around content creation. That's everything from tech startups to, obviously, the platforms that we create content on, to content creators, to viewers and how you know, consumer behavior has changed. It's all the things. It's all the things. And at nab nab show a couple weeks ago.

Speaker 2:

We went well. It was my request to go to one session out of the entire schedule and there was plenty of sessions, but the only one I wanted to go to was one called the state of the creator economy, and the reason why is because whenever there's a talk about, like, the state of the space that we work in, that's the thing that I'm most interested in, because I don't really care. I mean, it's not that I don't care. I know there's a lot of things that we can, I can learn in terms of workflow and you know youtube trends and new gear and all these things, but to me, like I really like talking, the thing that really interests me is the big picture stuff. It always has ever since. I mean, that's a huge reason why I even got into this in the first place. I found it fascinating To I don't know to talk about what we like.

Speaker 2:

How the talk was, it was bad, it was just I don't know. I feel I don't want to put anyone on blast. I've been having conflicting feelings about this. I made a video on my channel Heather just create, if you want to go check it out where I summarize like in detail talk about, uh, what was discussed at that talk, but basically, um, I felt like the creator, middle class or whatever you want to call it. There's, there's someone who's a total beginner, there's everyone in the middle and then there's like mr beast. I know mr beast is like literally number one mega creators, yeah but the yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

They have teams, they have studios, they spend six figures on one freaking video.

Speaker 1:

Or more.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we don't make that in a year, man, like geez, you know, and I just felt like the talk was so centered around that and it was discouraging, especially at NAB, because Tom and I were having like such a genuine fun time and you know, it was a time for us to reflect on our YouTube journey.

Speaker 2:

It was a chance for us, especially for Tom's channel, to see the impact of his channel in real life, like to meet the viewers who have, who have like been inspired and learned something from your channel, who have been inspired and learned something from your channel, to meet the brands and businesses that partner with you, and all this. And then we go to this talk and it's just like, oh, this creator middle class is just going to fade away, or just a passing phase which, now that it's been some time since the talk, I'm like maybe it is like a traditional media agenda where they think that the middle is just going to fade away because the TV show channels are the main reason why people go to YouTube. I don't know, I've had a lot of my thoughts, have evolved a lot since then, but what was your take about the talk?

Speaker 1:

So the thing to be clear, because I know how you feel when it's like oh, I don't want to say anything negative about something somebody did and I feel bad about that. I think you and I at this point, if someone's listening to this podcast and isn't a couple they know that we don't speak critically. You know we don't thumbs down a video or leave a negative comment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, I don't even write reviews on yelp because I just like if I don't like something, I just won't go there again, or I don't watch the video again, or I don't subscribe to the channel. I don't need them, I don't need to make a statement about it. But for this, though, it was just I. I yeah, it was bad it was bad.

Speaker 1:

I left in the middle of it. I never would do that um normally, but I just like I.

Speaker 2:

And we've talked to other creators that were there and they had they used the word disheartening, yeah. They've had. They had a similar impression, so it wasn't just. It wasn't just us.

Speaker 1:

And the thing about it like okay One, the description of the talk. Like the talk didn't live up to the description, which I'm pretty sure, at this point was just an AI generated description, but it didn't live up to that Okay. It's not only that. It even if it were a talk, that was maybe okay. The description made it sound like it's geared towards creators, maybe at our level, or even like at a smaller level, but instead the talk was geared towards mega creators.

Speaker 2:

But instead the talk was geared towards mega creators. Even in that case, it was so poorly structured and contextualized and like there was no tom. This is our craft, like that. We care so much about this. I mean it, it is our life, like we. We don't stop talking about it. And yeah, we're lucky because we've we've managed to turn the thing that we're passionate about into a job.

Speaker 2:

So it's, you know right that could be a dangerous thing, but but we, it's the thing, it's also the thing that we do to have fun. So you know, on date nights, we are talking about this, um, so yeah it.

Speaker 1:

Just the thing that I was upset about was that it was so minimizing to the thing that we do yeah, it was, you know, because it goes beyond even just being a bad talk, which like, okay, fine, I can get over that. But I felt bad about what I do. I felt stupid about what.

Speaker 2:

I do yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

You felt I don't know you were angry. The other people we were with also felt bad. Like we said, somebody else we didn't see at the time but later said the word disheartening. That's pretty bad. Like those are not good results.

Speaker 2:

And it sucks because it's like the whole nab experience was like oh my god, look at the space that we're part of the opposite of that. Yeah, like, what we do matters, you know it, it's impactful.

Speaker 2:

I was inspired, I was like I, I was just, it was, it was just whiplash you know, like wait, so we're passing phase, but then I go, I walk the floor and it's a totally different experience and it just doesn't match. And I think the thing that I was kind of scared about was, like the people who were on that panel are are, you know, the thought leaders and the figureheads of the creator economy, like people listen to them and then for them to say, okay, this middle, this middle class is just a passing phase, just I just don't think that's fair. And then to not explain, you know yeah, it's a very um minimizing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it upset me and it didn't go.

Speaker 1:

It didn't go in line, like you said, with anything that we saw or experienced or the other people we talked to throughout the whole thing. So not not to spend the whole episode just talking about this talk, but the talk was the catalyst for sort of recognizing well, we got back to the hotel room and I.

Speaker 2:

I tried to ask tom like why, why was my heart rate going up?

Speaker 3:

like why did I?

Speaker 2:

start sweating. Why was I actually like on a physical level, having a reaction to this? It was just a weird I don't. I'm normally not like that, you know, and I find a lot of things interesting. Like you could talk about Pokemon cards and if you're into it, I'll you know like I will listen to it if you're into it. But this was just like I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Not only only did it make sense, I felt like they weren't even really I mean, I felt I in a way I felt bad for the people on the panel, because there were what four, four people on the panel, um, I definitely felt like two and a half of them maybe weren't appropriate to be there, um, whereas the other ones were, but either way, it almost felt like they. I don't even know if they knew what the talk was. It's almost like they were invited to be on a panel. They're on a panel and they're sort of just reacting to but see like to me that, yes, that is fair.

Speaker 2:

But also, to me, the state of the creator economy at nab is different than just let's me and you talk about the state of the creator economy. The people who are watching this show, who are at this conference, who are at this trade show watching the state of the creator economy, are part of you know, like they have a lot of reach and impact and power to make decisions that influence.

Speaker 1:

It was definitely that we work in it was definitely a strange thing because it was NAB's first year really pushing creators to be included. Where this talk took place was in like the creator theater or something.

Speaker 2:

It was sort of like this upstairs thing. Creator lab, where it's like a whole thing geared towards as a whole floor dedicated to the creator economy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, with like a lounge and maybe some more creator-specific booths and things.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so it's like okay, we're taking this group that has traditionally been marginalized and not taken seriously, we're now bringing them into the fold with traditional media and the bigger broadcast industries, but we're just going to continue to minimize.

Speaker 2:

It was like Well, I don't know, I believe it's because they just don't know I, I, I believe it's because they, they just don't know that we're here right because so that's why it didn't feel malicious, it just yeah, it's just ignorant yeah, exactly because.

Speaker 2:

Because you know, if I were nab, why wouldn't you start with the content creators of your space? They're creating content at your trade show right there. Like I can't, I can't believe you wouldn't ask. Why would you pull in the 21 year old lifestyle vlogger who went viral six months ago on youtube? Well talk about the state of the creator economy.

Speaker 1:

It's just bizarre to me well, the the thing that they were plugging then was like, okay, if you like this, come back tomorrow, because if you want to learn more about creating, we have the ceo of mr beast. And I was like that's everything I need to know. It's not even, although, although we obviously know mr beast channel is not a guy, it's, it's a company.

Speaker 1:

It's many people three and a half million dollars on one video it's not even a million dollars on a video, the face of the channel isn't there, the person who started it, the c.

Speaker 2:

The channel has a ceo, and that's I hate it because people say, oh, learn from the biggest creator on the platform.

Speaker 1:

No, he's nothing to learn from that he's a company he's an enterprise he's a it's.

Speaker 2:

It's deceiving because it's like mr beast is one person yeah, yes, he's the face of it, but there's a whole. There's a whole large sizesize business that makes that happen.

Speaker 1:

I can learn a lot when I go on the Warner Brothers backlot tour. It's super fun and it's super interesting and it's cool to see things work at that scale. But there's also like I can't go home and then do what they do there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it's still interesting.

Speaker 1:

It's cool, it's not. It's not it's cool, it's interesting. And this is sort of the same thing, except it's, in a way, either being pretend they're pretending or they're being pitched as. Yeah, it's called the same thing as what you and I do right now. We're gonna set up a road. You want to start a youtube channel.

Speaker 2:

It's not too late. Listen to the freaking president yo yeah of mr b. It's like what, is it just like? Okay, if you wanted to start a business, it would not be appropriate for you to hear a talk from the ceo of google, right, like it's just not.

Speaker 1:

It would be interesting, but it would be much more appropriate for you to go to your chamber of commerce or talk to the guy who owns a bakery on a corner or whatever exactly like.

Speaker 2:

So, anyway, we were at the hotel room and I and we were trying to figure out like why, you know, why was I so upset, why were we so upset? And basically what we came up with, like. We started out with like what topics would we have?

Speaker 2:

like, sure like if we were in charge of the state of the creator economy. How would we have done it? Like if we were in charge of the state of the creator economy, how would we have done it differently? And then even the programming, what would we have done differently? But then we backpedaled and thought, well, why are these topics important? Because we are part of a group of creators that are not being represented and, I feel like, are just being ignored because we don't know. People don't know we're here because we're. We're not big enough, you know, and we're not you said this before the people who are just starting out. There's so many resources, there's so many youtube channels, there's so many freaking things to help you get your channel, like to start a youtube channel or to start creating content or become an influencer or whatever but if you're already going right and you're at 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 subscribers, I don't, there's not really. It's just us texting each other like, yeah, that's the help we get.

Speaker 2:

To use the business analogy, it's less of like you're not at a Google phase or a giant corporation phase that has a legal team, an HR team, a freaking you're not at a Google phase or a giant corporation phase that has a legal team, an HR team, a freaking accounting team.

Speaker 1:

But you're also not at the kitchen table brainstorming phase. You're at the point where your shop doors are open. Customers are coming in.

Speaker 2:

You're maintaining it every day and you're just doing that, day in, day out.

Speaker 1:

But you're just trying to figure it out and the thing that we noticed, especially NAB, was so good for this, because so much time, so much of our time, is just you and I talking, but nab, we got to interact with so many other people who are going through the same thing and the thing that that struck both of us, I think, was that, even though we all got to a point where we have a shop with doors open, we all had to reinvent the wheel to get there instead of, you know, maybe getting some other level of support or understanding along the way. And that's where it's like you kind of realize this middle section because, no, you know, nobody's going to be make it to the mega creator phase, like it's such a small group overall, even though it brings in a lot of viewers and a lot of money to the platform, and I understand why the platform's focused on them and they're not doing anything wrong. They shouldn't go away but the fact that they have the same label that we have is weird is.

Speaker 1:

It's confusing and and turns out probably a little bit harmful, because now the whatever you want, the small business size creator who is just trying to get things going and reinventing the wheel completely gets left in the dust.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that's the thing that upset me was that it kind of felt like we didn't matter.

Speaker 3:

You know, and it sucks.

Speaker 2:

It just broke my heart because it's like we put in so much work into this.

Speaker 2:

We care so much yeah, and it's not even just us, it's everyone we met. Everyone is genuinely passionate about this and there's an interest there that drives. You don't have to be here, you don't have to do this, you don't have to do any of this. But the fact that you're doing this and making an impact and inspiring people all around the world and then for it to just be dismissed because we're not big enough, that's the part that like upset me, because, whatever, if you want to talk about mr beast, yeah let's go.

Speaker 2:

I'm not saying don't yeah, that's not like I'll watch the call and smear episode, whatever, but it it's the. It's the part that like we're just a passing phase, you know we're going to fade out, because everyone's just everyone is just going to watch the top channels Like. To me, that is genuine ignorance, because it's not true. It's not true.

Speaker 1:

And so many of the people that we spent a lot of time with you know doing this as their full-time or part-time, potentially full-time thing. You know it's a second, third career. They're people who aren't 19 years old necessarily, although a couple of them were younger, but a lot of them were career changers. Career changers closer to middle age supporting families like that's, that's very cool to be able to build that start that raising a family working a full-time job, doing this on the side, like to me, that's admirable.

Speaker 2:

It's commendable. This is all stuff that I said in my original video, so I apologize but to have no resources for that, though, is the well, not even resources.

Speaker 1:

That's like wishful thinking I mean support like any recognition, yeah we're here, you know, I'll just take that acknowledgement of your existence.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean yeah, yeah, it's just frustrating, so, uh, so here's what I did. Uh, well, this is what we did, tom and I, because I I couldn't stop thinking about it, and then so I came up, I came up with a thesis that was basically saying that the creators that we're referring to have more in common with a small business like the small mom pop pop shop down the street. We have more in common with that person than we do with mr beast, because, if you just look at it on a business level, we're operating at different budgets, we have different goals, we have different, you know, operations, and that's fine. There's nothing.

Speaker 1:

There's no better or worse, but it's just different yeah, but honestly, if we went to the mom pop shop down the street and asked them about how they run their business, I bet we would learn more than going to the talk yeah from the president of mr beast who, like you know it's just you, you, you spent three million, three and a half million dollars well, I remember this was a couple years ago when, like mr beast was first popping up on my radar and there was a video about like I bought every car at a car dealership to give away or something. And it was, you know, one of those big, crazy giveaway videos and people were, you know, like he's so generous, he's so this. And I remember thinking at that point this was when there was a little bit less transparency about the behind the scenes of that channel I was like there's no way, like I've bought a car before you bought a car before. It took me I don't know six hours, seven hours, to sign the papers on my rav4, my one rav4 seven years ago.

Speaker 1:

If you're buying an entire, like there's so much, so many logistics and so much back end and so many legal things which obviously did not do which obviously did not do he's able to hire the right people to do that, to take care of that and then move forward with the idea from there. But right there it like. Then you have people thinking like I should be able to, like, orchestrate something big, I should be able to do something like, and it's like no, you, you.

Speaker 2:

You should not be comparing yourself to this thing, because you are not the same well, that, and like I feel like a lot of creators, the ones that we're thinking about, don't like. If you aspire to be absolutely famous, celebrity, big, awesome, right, but like I don't no one we know is on that track. Yeah, like to me, the people that we're talking about, the thing that motivates them is that they're genuinely excited to create content about the thing that they're passionate about they want to share.

Speaker 1:

They want to share a thing. Being on camera almost becomes a necessity of it, because that's the way you would be talking about it anyway yeah, I need to share my knowledge, share my.

Speaker 1:

The way to do that is through youtube okay the way for me to do that is you need to see and hear me, and so now I now I've had to pick up the skill of being an on-camera personality, which is, you know, out of necessity and not the main goal, which is why, at the talk, one of the main people there who had a former career in hollywood, was trying to say, like, oh, all creators need to join sag and it's like this, which is a screen actors guild, it's a union that hollywood actors and performers and stuff are in. There are performers and entertainers on youtube who function like typical tv and movie stars and, I don't know, maybe joining sag could be appropriate for them, but for that's not, but not anybody.

Speaker 2:

We know like no, it's not appropriate at all?

Speaker 1:

we don't. It's not. It's not the answer for a million reasons and also it's not a thing like, oh, just go sign up, like sign in with google account, like it doesn't work that way yeah, exactly so, basically like the thing.

Speaker 2:

So my thesis was that there is a type of creator like you and me and a lot of people that we know, uh, and there's no recognition, no representation and, of course, like, if we can get to this point, that'd be awesome, but no, no support, no resources, no advocacy. I've. All I want is a seat at the table at this point, just so, if you're gonna, if someone is gonna, do a talk about the state of the creator economy, please, like, we matter and I think you know you're. Uh, I think you had the analogy of the patreon, but, like, if you know, tom's channel is 144 000 subscribers as of this morning.

Speaker 2:

Congratulations hey uh, and yes, he is. You can say he's easily replaceable. If you stop creating content, there's somebody to fill his place because there's so many channels on youtube. But if you take you, if you take me, if you take all of these creators that we're talking about, who don't have necessarily a million subscribers on their own, I'm curious how much we would have collectively right and not not even just viewer count, but then how? Economic impact.

Speaker 1:

Right how exactly how much revenue are you driving to the youtube platform? How much revenue are you driving to businesses and brands and things, not even that you're making, but how much are you?

Speaker 2:

yeah, it's not even how much you're making, it's like how much, how how much does your channel contribute to the, to the economy in general and that's something that we heard from somebody over the past couple weeks.

Speaker 1:

It's been so many of these conversations but where they were saying that at the beginning of the year, this year, a bunch of big, long, big, longtime creators quit and retired from YouTube, which is a natural part of this thing going on for longer than you know, a couple of years, and that's actually a good thing because it shows that you can have a full on career beginning, middle and end on the platform. Mr peace is an example. I he's youtube's darling right now because it's massive. If he decided to quit or I don't know, netflix offered like a lucrative deal and went over, there would be effed that'd be.

Speaker 1:

That's a lot.

Speaker 2:

That's a huge chunk of viewership and revenue be very worrying for youtube right.

Speaker 1:

So they're. They're, despite how many creators are and how many. You know how varied it is. There are a lot of eggs in a couple of these very big baskets, and the person we were talking to was saying that, especially with sort of like the mass exodus earlier this year, youtube seems to be pivoting towards boosting smaller channels. Like you and I, and pretty much everyone we've talked to, have noticed that we've been getting recommendations for very small channels. On our you know channel has 200 subscribers, a video has 10 views, like it's not just the trending page on your homepage and that's cool, like that's something that people have been wanting for a long time is small creators being able to also have their voice heard in loudness. And the analogy of Patreon that I used was if you're somebody who makes $5,000 a month via Patreon, for example, but you have one $5,000 patron or two $2,500 patrons and they leave, You're effed, you're at zero.

Speaker 1:

Yes, if you have $5,001 patrons, there's a lot more room for flexibility there.

Speaker 2:

People can come in and out.

Speaker 1:

People can naturally come and go as life happens and things change and you're not, you're not, you know probably people won't all leave at the same time unless you do something it would be weird, it would be very weird, and so you know it makes sense for youtube to then also do that to, of course. Of course they're going to pay attention to the massive studio channels like of course, yeah, and that's fine.

Speaker 1:

They should like. Those channels are very important, but at the same time it's nice that then okay, maybe these smaller channels are here. But it sort of seems to be this random shotgun blast approach. We're still. It's almost like the approach is okay, let's go find the smallest channels and promote those. It's still the thing where the person in the middle is just kind of overlooked yeah, like and that's, and that's the thing too with youtube that I've talked about before.

Speaker 1:

If you are one of those mega channels mr beast is the easiest example because he's the biggest but even if you're at the, you know he's at 260 million or so. It's a. It's an absurd number. But even if you're at, we'll say, a modest 15 million, 10 million subscribers on YouTube, you have a little more access to some support, you have a little more resources, you can do things on the platform and with the platform that other people can't do, and you're probably operating at a different budget, you know.

Speaker 1:

Chances are, at that point you aren't a one person crew or-person crew, but everything else I mean and honestly I know it's not. You know this doesn't apply universally across the board, but I would say, speaking generally, channels that have up to a couple million, two to three million subscriber base which you can run as a single person, all the way down to the person who clicked create account. Today they're all just lumped in the same pile and their needs are so different, their experiences are so different and when something goes wrong or they need help with this thing that's now their livelihood they've built up, there's nothing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I came up with a term called small business creator. And again, the reason why I came up with that term was because I thought that this type of creator had more in common with the small business creator. And again, the reason why I came up with that term was because I thought that this type of creator had more in common with the small business mom pop shop down the street, because we are a small small business yeah um, I understand I've gotten feedback that this is uh different in different countries, but at least here in america there is a lot.

Speaker 2:

There is, I would say the average american um recognizes and values shopping local, like there's a a big push for shopping locals, shop small business. We have thanksgiving black friday and then small business saturday. Uh yes, amazon's taking over and all this. But I do think that there is a, there's an importance of the small business, the hardworking American man and woman who built their business from scratch and, just you know, hung up the shingle. That's the American dream.

Speaker 1:

The store, the restaurant that's been in the town for years and years, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Right and I was like okay, I feel like that same dedication, that same courage and bravery to be able to do that. We've done that. It just happens that our thing is digital, it's content creation, it's this thing. That is very weird and looks different to you know, it's very diversified, but in terms of like, have Tom and I started a business that is successful? Yes, like, totally, we've done that. And so I came up with the term small business creator and then we were trying I was trying to differentiate like what are the criteria for this type of creator that is not being recognized right now? I've used different terms like creator, middle class. I did a whole thing about the passion economy. I don't think small business creator is going to catch, so I'm thinking about changing it.

Speaker 2:

So, if you have any ideas, yeah, but my thing is that I want to give a voice Right To this type of creator, so that so, instead of us being dispersed like, let's unite. And I feel like just starting there, just being able to start the conversation. Well, just being able to talk amongst ourselves, I feel like, is more support than the just flying blind, because we're all reinventing the wheel.

Speaker 1:

And there's, there's some I mean there's so many things. Literally, talking to some other creators, in five minutes I ironed out pain points in my like behind the scenes workflow and issues that I've been struggling with for over a year. But I had no, no way to know and they're like oh, you can just do this, that and the other thing oh, I had no idea. Problem solved. Like you know, I I've talked about my experience and shifting from starting a channel where I was very anti-earning any money off of it because it needed to be pure and have all integrity intact, to then spending seven years learning like, guess what, you can do something that generates money and has integrity and maybe that's kind of the best thing because then you can support yourself with the thing that you love and I know my journey is unique, Just like navigating all that you know.

Speaker 1:

I probably could have, you know, tightened up that time frame a little bit, which probably would have been better for a lot of reasons, instead of having to just poke around in the dark and trial and error it, because I'm also inventing the wheel, while you're inventing the wheel, while everyone else is doing it. It's like we're all just trying to get to the same basic place.

Speaker 2:

So being able to get everyone T-Night, I think would be awesome, but then long, not even long-term. What I would love to happen is a seat at the table at these things that talk about the creator economy. Someone represent this very large group of creators that by themselves is not enough to get the support of the big guys. But we're here and we matter and we have a successful business that we built off of content creation. We matter and we have a successful business that we built off of content creation and I think it's. It's really sad that you would just dismiss it and I I don't. I don't want to say that it's intentional, I just really don't think that they know, I think it's genuinely ignorance.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you don't know any better.

Speaker 2:

And, of course, obviously like, if you're if you're a mega tuber, you're probably not watching a channel that's like 20 000 subscribers, but if you're if you're a mega tuber you're probably not watching a channel that's like 20,000 subscribers.

Speaker 1:

But if you're putting on, if you come from a traditional media background and you're putting on a thing creator economy you're going to look at oh, that means YouTube. Okay, well, what are the biggest ones? Let's go there and I get like it sounds weird, but from an ignorant standpoint, that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

Right? Well, because everyone's always going to look at it from their own lens, which that's why it's like I don't, I don't blame them, but I think the problem is that, like we can't, no one can speak if we do not get together. That's the problem, you know, because, like sure, I'll be the one to speak, but right now it's me and tom hi. I need people like we need to get together.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this, but I think it's important, and so, for the rest of this podcast, what we wanted to do is talk about the criteria that we Like what does it mean to be a small business creator? Yeah, or whatever the term ends up being. The pending name right now is small business creator.

Speaker 1:

I'm telling you it's Official name TBD yeah.

Speaker 2:

But, but basically the person in the, the creator in the middle right, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like, if you're listening to this, does it apply to you? Does it not apply to you? Would you even want it to apply to you? Yeah, whether or not it does that kind of stuff, yeah, and I think that's good because it goes from then. You know, it's one thing to like have complaints and be frustrated about something, but it's another to have complaints and then bring forward some kind of solution or idea.

Speaker 2:

I definitely think the solution is to get people together so there can be a voice.

Speaker 1:

So this is that second part. Then We've identified the thing that bothers us, that we're complaining about, that we're frustrated with. So now moving into the trying to figure out a solution phase.

Speaker 2:

Yes, okay, so here's the criteria, not in any order.

Speaker 1:

And it's just what we have been like discussing. So it's not. This is not like a vetted research thing, it's not finalized.

Speaker 2:

This is Heather and Tom.

Speaker 1:

It's not full. You know there could be more. There could be less yeah, but full, you know there could be more. There could be less yeah, but this is, this is the kind of creator that we're thinking about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, so the first thing, uh, was annual revenue minimum. I do think that there needs to be a minimum annual revenue because we wanted to differentiate from the person who accidentally went viral or accidentally made money on adsense. There's a difference between accidentally making money on a platform, which is very possible, yeah, but how do you sustain that into a business over time? Right, the? You have to think about it, you have to build it, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we're calling that annual revenue for the minimum just ten thousand bucks, which is, you know, a significant amount of money. It's a life changing amount of money. But if this is a part time thing for you, then yeah, 10 000 bucks yeah, so it doesn't mean you have to be a full.

Speaker 1:

It's not necessarily someone who's doing it full-time right we know plenty of people who are doing it part-time. But you know, like, I have a second youtube channel that I post on, post whatever I want, whenever I want. It last year got monetized and now makes 20 to 25 a month. Maybe if that were my only channel, it would not count. I am getting creative fulfillment out of it building connection with an audience, improving my video skills, like all of those great things are still happening. It doesn't mean that the channel is worthless, but it's not. It's not putting me in this category of small business creator because my annual income is a couple hundred bucks.

Speaker 2:

Maybe I think you have to look, you have to spend the time thinking about, about you know your value, just the business it's hard to accidentally make ten thousand dollars a year.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so by the time you've done that, being intentional about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right, so that's the minimum. Right now. We have no maximum. I initially put $5,000. $500,000. Sorry, yeah, $500,000. And the reason why I did that was because I wanted to differentiate between the people who had payroll, who had employees, who had a team, who had a studio. But I do feel like we might know a 1 million, 2 million creator. That is just in a very high paying niche.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think so that might actually make more than that.

Speaker 2:

So right now I'm just not going to put a cap. No cap, no cap Okay, so here's another one Authenticity, creative expression and individuality are a priority.

Speaker 1:

The driving factors. Yeah, between why you make something in the first place.

Speaker 2:

yes, I think, uh, connect, being able to connect with people who get the thing, who either get you or get the thing that it is that you're talking about, I feel like, is a huge part of why this creator makes content, because I'll I'll use Tom as an example. Tom makes videos about audio and video. This is what you have been passionate about, since you can hold a camera. If you saw that Minecraft was trending, you're not going to pivot to now chase this trend to get more views. You can only make videos about this topic, because this is the thing literally camera on, camera off you're talking about. Okay, he's, he's telling me about the changes in the studio.

Speaker 1:

I'm like, babe, just go record a video and go tell your members yeah, no, it's, it's that, and it's not that you can't, it's not that obviously you can't. You know, be a small business seem like you're a small business creator if money is your priority, but when you're looking at this and you look at someone who starts a business, they're usually not trying to open up their bakery for a year or two and then shut it down.

Speaker 1:

You know and then change to like yeah they usually want to do it for the foreseeable future, and I think that's a quality that the authenticity leads to, is it's people who do this for a long time and before you're in the small, small business creator phase, when you're just in the small channel phase where nobody's watching, there's no revenue happening.

Speaker 2:

you have to do it when no one's watching and that that could last for years.

Speaker 1:

You know that could. That could take a very long time to, if you ever get out of that stage. But it almost doesn't matter, because you enjoyed it so much. You're not going to give up, even when you're in that stage, because you, you almost can't you're like compelled to make these things, share the stuff, create these things and then, if it happens, to grow, now you're in the situation where you're like, okay, how do I manage this?

Speaker 2:

also. I just want to put this out here. Uh, I always feel like I have to disclaim this. I'm not hating on people who chase trends, who want to be a creator because they just want to create. You know, there are people who want to be content creators and it doesn't even really matter what the content is Like. You want to be a part of the space. That is awesome, great. I'm just trying to identify the type of creator that we're talking about so that we can get together. It's not excluding because we think you're better or we think we're better, whatever. I'm just trying to. I feel like this group does not have support. We need to get together in order to be supported, because that's the thing is like.

Speaker 1:

I always felt like a weirdo where it's like you know you're investing so much time and energy in this thing that you know why are you doing that. It makes sense now when people are like, oh, you can do it full time in the channel group and there's a decent income. Of course you're going to do that, but you know for most of the time that I did the channel.

Speaker 1:

It was not that case and you, of course, understood right from the beginning. But for other people, like that is one of the first questions. People ask how you make money with that. And now I have, like it's still an uncomfortable question. But when it's like, oh, I don't, I'm spending money, I'm losing money every year on this channel. Why are you doing that? It's like I don't know how to explain intrinsic motivation to you.

Speaker 1:

You know, why do you want to learn how to play the guitar, even though you'll never be a famous musician Like I, just really want to learn how to play the guitar because I love it. And that's a tough thing to explain and it's an easy thing to feel kind of crazy and isolated about, and it seems like the people that we are thinking of and the people we've interacted with, they all kind of started that way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, All right. Next thing is integrity and ethics. I'm not really sure how to. Will you explain this, Cause you're really good about this.

Speaker 1:

It is having them, and and I would say that's not to say okay. There is a thing I've heard people say that it's impossible to become a billionaire ethically. There's no such thing as a moral billionaire and if you look at what somebody has to do, even if it seems like they have the best intentions, there's really no way to amass that amount of wealth without doing something.

Speaker 2:

So I'm not even gonna say that, because I don't know a billionaire. I don't either.

Speaker 1:

That's why I'm saying this is a thing. I do believe this, but because it's an absurd you know, lord of the Rings, dragon level, amount of wealth. I don't want to say that you can't be massive without sacrificing integrity. Because there are big creators, I would say, like Marques Brownlee, I would say, mr who's the Boss we were talking about? Like I'm thinking of like kind of these bigger tech channels because that that's sort of more of my sphere who operate under a lot of integrity and it's really important to them, even though they have teams, they have studios, yeah, and if they, if they were to lose their integrity, it would kill their entire business.

Speaker 1:

So it's a thing. It's a thing that allowed them to grow. It's a thing that they value very much, very much. So it's not that bigger things can't have that stuff, but I feel like smaller, smaller creators not only need to operate from a place of integrity and ethics. But because you're reinventing the wheel, it's so easy to get swept up in sacrificing those things without realizing you're sacrificing them. When you see a big creator you like have a sponsorship from a company and then that or a similar company reaches out to you, you might not realize that the terms they're giving you are incredibly different and that the things they're asking you to do are maybe a little bit questionable, and you might think this is just how it works and the person that you admire, maybe they said yes to the same things, even though you have no idea whether or not, that's actually true.

Speaker 2:

Hell would who? The hell would you? Who are you going to go to to know this?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you just have to figure it out yourself and and I know for a fact, talking to people if five creators work with the same brand on five sponsored things or brand deals, they had five very different brand deals in so many different ways. And if you don't have a solid idea of what you stand for and what's important to you, it could become so easy for you to get manipulated and molded into whatever the big brands.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's even like just doing things for the views you know, like maybe you're doing things that you wouldn't necessarily. Are you going to?

Speaker 1:

put a lot of cleavage in your thumbnail.

Speaker 2:

And you know, whatever you do you, how you do you, but what I would do if it's?

Speaker 1:

if it's a video about excel spreadsheet tutorials and you got to put a bunch of cleavage in the thumbnail.

Speaker 2:

Maybe that's you know like I don't know it's questionable to talk about because I don't want to make anybody feel bad. Who does this?

Speaker 1:

like you know, I don't here's the thing I don't want to make. I I think I'm almost to the point where I don't think we need to disclaim it, because we're not out to harm anybody or say anything negative to anybody, but what we want to do is, right now we are part of a group that does not have a place yeah and by trying to sort of be over inclusive with people who don't even care to be included in this place in the first place we continue to end up without a place.

Speaker 1:

So straight up, if you're the person who says you need to put like tons of cleavage in your thumbnail to get views or whatever, we're not on the same page right you can go do your thing and you can be very happy about it and you can get all your views and I can be over here and doing my thing.

Speaker 1:

But I don't really want to talk to you about how you're running your business, because we are not on the same page and I don't want to run my business the way that you're running your business tom is popping off. Guys, let's go sometimes you the thing I really loved about the video you made on your channel which go about go watch it.

Speaker 1:

By the way, you should go watch it, it's very well put together and it makes a lot of sense. Um, but the thing I really liked was you did sort of put a stake in the sand, like you made a claim, you formed an opinion and that is going to potentially turn some people away or even, you know, maybe upset someone or make somebody feel bad if they don't feel like they're part of that, and I don't want anyone to feel bad, we're not talking about you.

Speaker 2:

You you go find, go make your own thing, you know yeah.

Speaker 1:

And if we're pointing out what you're doing and you feel bad about it maybe that's the integrity. Self-reflection is in order. Like I don't, like I like. There are obviously a lot of different circumstances and people and situations around. I don't think we can account for every single one of them. We have no ill intent for everyone. We're trying to bring a specific group of underrepresented people together. Transparency authenticity.

Speaker 2:

I think, if you are listening to this podcast, is a priority for both me and Tom. Yes, I think you know this if you're listening to this and that's the case for everybody. That we know, so here's an example.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if you want to even talk about this, but we were brainstorming yesterday while we're walking the dogs. We're like what if this did become a big group thing one day? It's a huge group and what if, you know, there's like, rather than just being sort of like a random group, a hodgepodge of people like I think that suits me, but what if it were maybe something, a more official group that someone were a part of, and a part of that might be that you have like some level of like.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what it would be a certification, a something that that states you know you're on board with this type of ethic statement yeah we'll say it's modeled on the one that I have, because that's one that people have taken and used for themselves in the past, and so now anybody who sort of has that little sticker, that badge, that gold star, any brand that approaches them, knows the terms right away, and that means they're not going to. I'm not going to be able to work out something where I get paid X amount of dollars and nobody has to review the thing that I make, but then you work with the same brand and you get paid half as much and they have to do three revisions on your video.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly it's all the same, it's all that. That that's a very down the line. You know potential like pipe dream thing, but that kind of thing and working with that kind of towards something you know, having that idea of integrity and ethics, you know, doing as little damage as possible, as little harm as possible, and all that you do, I think, is a very important part and I think also it.

Speaker 2:

It's not that like I don't know it's weird to talk about, because I don't want to make it seem like I feel I'm like above these people who have no integrity or whatever, but I I do feel like having integrity as a content creator is important to the longevity of your business it comes, it comes transparency is part of this.

Speaker 2:

Like, literally, you are playing in a space where internet sherlock sleuths yes will freaking pick out your frame-by-frame apology video, like it is in your favor to be transparent, to have integrity and to have, like you know, ethics. I think otherwise it's just. I mean, look at what's happening with this other brand right now. You know we won't go into it with this other brand right now. You know we won't go, we won't go into it. But I think I honestly think it is part of running a successful business as a content creator, I don't know how else you do it.

Speaker 1:

What if there were a restaurant and every table that was seated got a menu with different prices on it? How long would that restaurant stay in business? When it's like oh yeah, that $4 burger was amazing. What do you mean? $4? It cost me $34. Like, oh, you mean the $80 burger? And suddenly everyone's realizing like wait a minute, this is all like going over here. Oh, this vegetarian thing turns out it's just beef. Like, if this business is operating without integrity, they're not paying their employees on time.

Speaker 2:

They integrity. They're not paying their employees on time. They're like it's probably gonna go under pretty quick. Well, that and like I feel.

Speaker 2:

So the thing that I'm thinking about is, like, over the eight years that I've been doing this, one of the one of the pieces of advice that I got was to be extreme oh yeah, I remember and the person who told me to be extreme had an eating channel where they would eat food on camera and the video that I watched after they told me to be extreme in order to get views Because you got this advice.

Speaker 1:

It was like okay, well, let me go home.

Speaker 2:

This person was in the six-figure subscriber, you know hundred.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. Multiple, like multiple times over, yeah, and I obviously I'm nowhere near that and I have not been subscriber.

Speaker 2:

You know hundred, I don't know multiple, like multiple times over, yeah, and and I obviously I'm nowhere near that and I have not been.

Speaker 1:

They gave you this advice and you went home, looked up their channel, like what do they mean? What does that look like?

Speaker 2:

yes, and the the thing that I saw which, again, I'm not judging, it's just not what I would do was like taking a corn dog, putting all this mustard at the end of it and then like shoving it down your throat. I would never do that. It's just not. I don't know, it's just not. It's extreme. It's definitely extreme.

Speaker 2:

I, that person, doesn't make content anymore, right, so it's extremely unsustainable I just I think that part of having integrity is creating content that you're proud of, and so I think that's different for everybody, but it's not just like being transparent, but it's also like if you have to sacrifice a part of your soul to get views. I'm just not talking about you.

Speaker 1:

Go, do you Go, do you, you know?

Speaker 2:

obviously it worked. Obviously it worked.

Speaker 1:

For a time it did. But especially if you're somebody who's still like you know, if you're so far down that you're probably not listening to this, you're so far in that direction. But if you're somebody who, every time you click upload, you kind of have to get past this pit in your stomach of like I feel weird about this, but that's, I guess that's how it is. Click, that's one of those signals to like, look at and to think about, because you're only going to want to talk yourself out of something.

Speaker 2:

I'll use an example for me right. The first time I ever got I believe this is the very first time I got a brand deal was the Cool Wheel.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Which is an electric skateboard. And they reached out to me because they saw my boosted board review and they were like hey, we're gonna send you this 600 product, can you make a video about it? And I I, I think I don't even know. This is like 2016. I did have the know-how of like can I be absolutely honest. They were like, yeah, we just want a video. And then it got complicated because they were like can we use your face on the website?

Speaker 1:

and I was like, oh, yeah, hang on a minute, yeah, I don't know about that, but I'll make a video on my channel.

Speaker 2:

Uh, I ride the thing. It is it. It doesn't suck. It's just to me. Compared to the boosted board, it sucked um right and I felt. I felt weird. I didn't know how to navigate this. I felt weird about like yeah. It was the equivalent of it's fine.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know, I was just like yeah, it's fine, you know.

Speaker 1:

But you know there's a better thing out there. Yes. It's not to be the one you're going to pick up and use ever there's never going to be a time.

Speaker 2:

I mean I gave it away. Yeah, I still, you know. So that that's me navigating it there. My gut was telling me, you know, I want to be honest here, but it's hard now that I know no one knows that I got that. And then back then, this was 2016. There was no checkbox to check that you got a sponsored thing or you know not, yeah. So sometimes it's clear-cut, sometimes it's not sometimes, but being able to have a group where you who get people who get it, they're trying to do the same thing that you're doing, so we can talk to each other and navigate yeah, exactly, so you're not just doing it, by yourself reinventing the wheel yeah, I mean here's.

Speaker 1:

Here's a good example. Actually, this is one of the conversations we had at nAB. We were with a group of creators and someone was explaining somebody else's channel to us it's a camera channel and they were saying, yeah, it's super interesting. He noticed his views increased when he stopped putting the name of like the camera lens or the camera in the title and just does something like this is the lens you need, or you know, wide angle, masterpiece, whatever. This is the lens you need or you know, wide angle, masterpiece, whatever. And so he doesn't say the name of the lens and like doesn't hide it, like later in the video it will pop up.

Speaker 1:

But it's almost like the way it was sort of pitched at first was like, oh, he noticed his views went up because people have to watch to do the thing, and I was kind of thinking, cause I hadn't met this person yet, I was sort of thinking like, oh, it's sort of like, hmm, I don't know how I feel about that. Then I met the person and his explanation for that was yes, I did notice the views went up when they did that, but that's because people don't necessarily care about this specific focal length or this specific thing they want to know what you can do with it. So if I'm making a video that says you know whatever, 24 to 105 lens, so many people are not even going to know what that means or care or be interested.

Speaker 2:

But if you make a video, that person who already knows, knows, but then the person.

Speaker 1:

If you, if there's a video, that's like the only lens you need for vacation or something right, oh, I'm going on vacation. I want to know what that lens is, and I don't even I don't even care about the numbers that are on the lens. I want to know, oh, it's going to let me take wide shots of scenery, but I can still zoom in and get you know, like wildlife or portraits or something. Oh, that's pretty cool, and oh, and at the end it happens to be this one, or here's the link that takes me to the lens, but I don't even care what it is, and so it was something that sounded kind of shady when it was described to me, but then, after meeting the person, seeing how they did it and why they did it, I feel that it's totally like a win-win. It's a thing that they're operating with a level of ethics and integrity. They're also doing what's beneficial for their channel, which is growing, and it's beneficial for the audience because people are understanding, probably reaching a different audience Exactly.

Speaker 1:

People are understanding and, believe it or not, by the end, by the time someone goes through that, watches the video, buys the lens, uses it, they're going to pick up that info and now they're going to know, they're going to have an idea they have learned. Yeah, I'm using this is a random exam, I don't even think it's an example, but they're going to know what 24 to 105 is, which they wouldn't have cared about before. So it's, it's one of those things that's a win-win-win. But that's a very savvy approach that requires trial and error and conversation and figuring out. And you know, for every video that now does well, because this formula has been found, there were probably many, many that didn't and were frustrating and you know like navigating that kind of thing, excuse me what happened to you A little choked up here.

Speaker 1:

All right, let's move on to the next thing's do it uh, influencing happens organically yes, so it's an influencer who only pitches organic goods uh, so okay, creators versus influencers I feel like there is a difference this is a whole. This is a whole discussion on its own. We do could do a whole podcast on this so like, let's try to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's there's a Venn diagram where there's overlap.

Speaker 1:

Some creators are influencers.

Speaker 2:

I feel like the group that we're talking about. They do not use the word influencer to describe themselves. They also don't use the word entrepreneur to describe themselves is my hunch.

Speaker 1:

Even if they are an influencer or they are an entrepreneur, but they don't they don't.

Speaker 2:

That's not the label they give themselves.

Speaker 1:

I remember sitting next to someone at a hockey game and they were asking, like, during the intermission, what do you do? And I was like oh, like have a youtube channel, whatever. And he was like oh, so that means you're like an influencer? And I remember going like I guess technically, but like I don't like that term and he wasn't wrong, but I wouldn't I don't think an influencer came up with the word influencer.

Speaker 2:

No, that's a marketing term.

Speaker 1:

But I mean you. You know when, when you're creating from this place and you reach a point where you're, you know, generating a full or part-time revenue from it, you probably do have some kind of influence over an audience that you have built up over a long time.

Speaker 2:

And see the thing, thing that's so stupid. Sorry to cut you off. It's like obviously we have influence among our family and friends, right? I love you. If I see something that I know you're going to like, obviously I'm going to tell you about it, right? If I care about, if I care about this person, I see something that makes me think of them, I use something that I think that they would like.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to like, I'm gonna it's word of mouth, right and I feel like that is the organic part of what these creators do on their channel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so like for you, same thing. Yeah, like, hey, I took this microphone to nab whatever. Like this is what was great about it. Here you go. It's different when it's like you just become the home shopping network yeah, yeah it's, it's entirely different, like the, you know the any you didn't. You got it because you were sent it. You wouldn't have got it otherwise.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, and even in in some of those cases so, like the. A good example of this is the Holly land Mars, which is a wireless video transmitter system. So you can plug one into a camera, plug the receiver into like your computer or a switcher or something, and now you can wirelessly transmit video without needing a cable.

Speaker 1:

That's very cool and that's something I was very curious about, but it was like 700 bucks and I wasn't curious enough about it to spend $700 on it, but eventually this was maybe like three or four years ago Hollyland reached out, said, hey, do you want to try this? And I said I really do want to try this because I'm genuinely curious about it. Of course, it's the whole thing no obligation to make a video or anything but I ended up making a video because I found it so interesting and because I wanted to answer a lot of the questions I had about it when I was thinking about using it, and so I made a video about it. But I still use it a lot and so even now, sometimes it will pop up in a thing where people will say what's that connected to your camera? And I say, oh, it's a Hollyland Mars wireless video thing. I use it for this reason.

Speaker 1:

They might click a link to go buy that because of that. So therefore, I'm influencing them and I was sent the thing for free, but I'm not making the video or showcasing it. You need to get this, even though you don't really need to get it, but you need to get it because you need to click my link and get the thing. It's just like yeah, this is the thing I use and it's cool. Other times it's, you know, I don't know. Here's the desk mat I bought on amazon. You like the way it looks. Well, here's where you go get it. I don't know this.

Speaker 2:

This varies among niches, right, but I I also think that there is something to be said, like red bull's approach you know of, like there's no way you can do this on your own, but we have the funding yeah like we can help you do this insane thing. It's the same thing. Like you know, the company can pay you and then now you're able to I don't go on a trip and do these- right, great like do this thing that you.

Speaker 2:

it matters who is doing it to the audience. Because they care. There's a trust there Because of the integrity B&H sent us to NAB.

Speaker 1:

Right, they covered our travel costs to go to NAB. We could have gone without them, but it would have been a lot more difficult and a lot easier, especially prior to going and knowing what it's like to be there. It would have been easier to go like nah, just not, yeah. But they enabled us to do that by covering those costs. All they asked in return was, if you make anything, just say thanks, b&h, for sending us here.

Speaker 2:

So thanks, b&h.

Speaker 1:

Yes, thanks B&H, which we did and that's it. They didn't. There wasn't like it needs to be this long it you make anything. So that's, that's pretty good, um, and that's pretty organic.

Speaker 1:

And also like I've been shopping at bnh since 2001, when or no, 2000, when my ninth grade video production teacher was like, oh, you want to get a camera, go to this website. And I was like you can buy stuff on a website. That's so crazy, that's not ebay um, like so, 24 years of using bnh's website, having been to their store multiple times, you know, know, like I trust them. Right, I'm totally. They enable us to do something really great, which ended up being a very powerful thing for us, and I'm very happy to give them credit for doing that. And it's also a thing where, if I tell somebody, yeah, I bought my cameras from B&H, I bought this, whatever, so many things from B&H funded both of my school programs with so much stuff from bnh. I trust that when that person goes to bnh, they're going to be taken care of, they're going to get a fair price, good customer service, be able to return something if something goes wrong, you know. So it's like that. There's that level of integrity.

Speaker 1:

You shop at bnh I shop at pnh, yeah and have for years that is not because you're paid exactly.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, influencing happens organically, okay. So the next one is uh, the right fit matters for whatever is being sold. I'm not, I'm actually not sold on this point, but I, I just I don't know I almost feel like that ties into integrity and ethics a bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like you know, my whole thing here was.

Speaker 2:

Like you know, an online course is a very popular product for content creators.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you mean what the person is selling.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Like the right fit matters to whatever it is that you're selling. So like an online course, popular product, you have one. But what I have seen is you know you'll have a marketing funnel and it doesn't matter who the hell gets in the funnel, Just put a million people in there and then you know you can trust a conversion rate of like 20%.

Speaker 1:

You just want everyone like buy my course, buy my course, buy my course.

Speaker 2:

It'll change your life. Yeah, you know you'll make six figures. I want you to buy my.

Speaker 1:

Final Cut. Pro course, I don't care that you edit with Resolve.

Speaker 2:

Buy my it with resolve by my final cut course. Yeah, it's a terrible as I feel like. Okay, I'm gonna use peter lingren as an example, because he designed his battery charger right based off of his own pain points and his own experience. And there you go people who watch his channel. Guess what?

Speaker 2:

they have the same pain points right because it's you have that in common, which is why you're watching him, and so it wouldn't make sense to anybody else. But if you are someone who creates content or whatever, like peter, it's a perfect fit, right? Yes, so I feel like there is a, there is a care in terms of what is being sold and who it is being like, who's being targeted with the thing that you are selling yeah, and is it?

Speaker 1:

is it a decent thing or is it just like some hunk of junk? You slapped a logo onto or something?

Speaker 2:

so the reason why I'm not sure if that should be like uh criteria is I don't know if the way that we all this group monetizes is so different, so I don't even know if I feel like that's a subset of integrity and ethics yeah, maybe not a standalone point, but it's sort of a subset.

Speaker 2:

There you can hear the pen clicking okay, uh, okay. The next point is um, wanting to make a difference, slash impact. I, I don't think I didn't start a youtube channel because I wanted to make a difference. You know, know, that's what happened.

Speaker 1:

Actually I did, but you wanted to educate and empower people to utilize digital media to achieve meaningful goals.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I actually did, but I feel, like a lot of people, it's okay. So I started two YouTube channels. Yeah, I started the one that was the tutorial channel to do that, that mission statement, and then I started a vlog to document the journey in building that. To vlog to document the journey in building that on my vlog I I didn't think anyone would watch, it was just, it was an easier way for me to journal sure which I would have done, but it takes too long, and so I was like talking to the camera.

Speaker 2:

I didn't think anyone actually would watch. You know, I just I don't know, and and when I was making it no one was watching, right, uh.

Speaker 2:

But now that I have made an impact I've gotten comments, I've talked to people, I've made friends, I've met you yeah through this platform where I I am able I don't even know how this is possible, but I'm able to inspire, educate, empower, support, encourage, empower, support, encourage, be your cheerleader, like if not for YouTube, I wouldn't be able to do that. Yeah, you know and I take pride in that. That is one of the reasons why I do it and I'm excited about that, and I think a lot of these people care about the impact that they make.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that works, and that's it reminds me it might be a subset, it could be a subset, but I remember when, especially when I would do documentary projects with my students and I was teaching um, one of the points in the prompt talked about audience and purpose and it was always what do you want someone?

Speaker 2:

purpose.

Speaker 1:

Ooh, I like that there and say in the prompt what do you want someone to know, think, feel or do as a result of this? And you know that could be something like register to vote and go vote in the next like a very active, you need to go physically do this. Or it could just be something of like you know this, or maybe you're thinking about this thing a different way, or you feel entertained but having a purpose which is beyond just like look me, I'm making a video.

Speaker 2:

It's important if you if you just look at this list right here, do you see what I mean in terms of like this is a craft that we put so much of ourselves into and then for it to be dismissed. You see why I was upset oh yeah, no, I left.

Speaker 1:

That's what? Because heather keeps going. You know, she's like the self-doubt comes in and she's like am I just overreacting or is this I? Keep going like I left and I was again sitting in the middle of the row, so I had to debate. Leaving didn't mean like, oops, stand up. I had to stand up and then excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me and then leave and we were like in the third row.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we were in the middle, middle, yeah, so everyone and I have a big camera bag and stuff's falling out and it's like you know, and I, finally, I was like these people don't care that I'm here, so I'm not gonna care that. I actually would rather go organize my microphones right now yeah, all right.

Speaker 2:

So, uh, the, oh, the last two. Um, this should have been at the top, but it's a one person.

Speaker 1:

It's a one person, so a lot of the mega creators we were talking about. You know you can say a lot about mr beast. That's a one person. It's a one person. So a lot of the mega creators we're talking about. You know you can say a lot about mr beast. That's a whole studio, like even uh, mark rober. You know, like the colin and samir recently did a profile on him, he already had a massive studio warehouse thing and they go to his like how it's been expanded and they're like oh, it was so small and chill before because now it's like literally building a soundstage. There's teams of people that are producing basically a factory for, like, physical products and things. That's cool. I feel like mark rober operates with a lot of integrity and a lot of ethics and super cool is a net positive on humanity and the platform.

Speaker 1:

That's not this, though, exactly so what he's doing is great, but it's not this, and it's not something I could ever do or would actually ever want to do, probably yeah um.

Speaker 2:

So a team of one, you're, you're the independent I said one or two because, you know, tom and I are an example we help each other with the channel yeah and I. I do feel like there's a lot of uh, you know, couples or partners or you know whatever that two people run a channel it's, it's.

Speaker 1:

And that's not to say you don't contract out. So it doesn't mean like, oh well, I hire an accountant, so yeah, does that mean I'm too?

Speaker 2:

big payroll is different than paying contractors are different.

Speaker 1:

If, even if you hire someone to do your thumbnail or you send your captions out to something like rev or whatever you know you're, you're still the independent thing you're contracting stuff independent creator you're an independent creator yeah and that should mean one or two people.

Speaker 2:

Beyond that, as soon as you're hiring employees that in dealing with like an hr world, yeah it's different so the last thing isn't isn't actually like officially part of the list, but this was one that you wanted to put on there, which is um like uh, a minimum amount of time that you've been doing this so what I meant by I don't know that that needs to be on there.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a self, I think it like takes care of itself right if you check these boxes in six months, right exactly um but you're, why did you put it on there?

Speaker 1:

yeah, so this is this has been my. My gripe with youtube for for a long time is, like I was saying earlier in this, if you're a small creator and you're just starting out which is an obviously a very important part of the journey that everyone has to go through there's a lot of resources for you, uh, but you also, like, the stakes aren't very high. You know, like, yeah, the stakes aren't very high. If you're a mega creator, you have different resources. Everything from you know what management, what gets?

Speaker 1:

chosen as management direct contact at youtube legal. The example I used was if one of those mega channels gets taken over by, like a bitcoin scheme or whatever it's going to be a frustrating nightmare for them, but it's going to be resolved in less than a day, maybe even before anyone notices.

Speaker 1:

It might give some people some heart attacks behind the scenes that work on the channel, but it's going to get taken care of.

Speaker 1:

If that happens to pretty much anyone else, they may never get their channel back and even, like you know, kevin the basic filmmaker, one of our friends, who had that happen to him several years ago, it took him weeks, maybe over a month, six weeks weeks to get his channel back, where it just showed up and had his videos and stuff on it again, and to this day, over three years later, it has never recovered. It essentially got shadow banned because YouTube was picking it up as like well, you've done sort of sketchy streams in the past. Instead of being able to have a person look at this channel that had been on the platform for over a decade with well over 100,000 subscribers, had never violated anything, had this one incidence where it was attacked and being able to go. Oh, all the suspicious activity came from this. One thing it's not you. We can unshadow, ban your channel or whatever yeah no, to this day it's still a problem.

Speaker 1:

That's really scary.

Speaker 2:

And it's really scary that the the, like I said earlier, if you're kind of under that like three million subscriber mark to zero, you're all in the same lump yeah, and what you were saying was that you know, if you, if you have a proven track record of like two, three, four longer than that years of successfully creating content on the channel, consistently growing a channel you're, you're consistently uploading, you're consistently getting new views and engagement, and all of that doesn't that count for something?

Speaker 2:

and then, and the reason for that is like even if you're a smaller channel, doesn't that count for something?

Speaker 1:

yeah, it's, it's not even so much channel size, but it kind of goes back to the thing of, like youtube, you know, if they want to spread the views around so that all their eggs aren't in this, these one baskets of like huge, huge channels that could decide to leave one day Instead of just picking anyone. You know, like, if you look at a channel, like, okay, if I quit, if I quit, yes, somebody else, there will be another channel taking my place. Are they going to create 500 videos over a period of seven plus years, or are they going to create a couple of videos this month and then Peter out?

Speaker 2:

like you have a proven no-transcript.

Speaker 1:

Hey, I want to support your channel. Do you prefer Patreon or YouTube? In a perfect world, I would just say YouTube because everything's in one place. I can do members only streams, I can see everybody. It's the easiest thing to join and you don't have to leave the platform. I told them Patreon because if YouTube goes crazy and disappears, I don't want all the eggs in one basket. I have YouTube and Patreon and that's because I want it to be whatever somebody prefers. But if someone's going to ask me what they prefer, I say Patreon because it's separate, because I don't trust YouTube, because they give no reason to trust them for these kinds of things. What if they did? And that means what if they found these creators and sort of cultivated these you know these relationships to make you feel a little bit secure. There's only so much they could offer, so much security they could give you.

Speaker 2:

But any you know, yeah, there's nothing, it's four at zero, any would be nice.

Speaker 1:

And so that the idea, by the time you would get to that point it's not even necessarily about your audience size, but by the time you get to that point you've already sort of figured some stuff out, you've already built an audience, you've already figured out that this wasn't like one of those ideas you have late at night. We're like I'm gonna start a YouTube channel. I'm psyched about it.

Speaker 2:

You've built a business. You've built a successful business, yeah, by the time you've got to that point.

Speaker 1:

You've built a business yeah and so that it's not. It's not that there needs to be a duration of time, but it it probably just can't, by definition, be someone who's like I started a channel two months ago, like I want to be a small business creator. It's like maybe one day yeah, but right now you're in the figuring it out growing phase and there's nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 1:

But it's a very important phase. But you need to figure out, like are you going to keep doing this when? When it's video, you know video one and two are really cool and fun, but when it's video 86 and you're still getting 30 views, maybe Right, you know like, yeah. That's the example I have. By the time I had 50, 45, 50 videos on my channel I had been doing it for many, many months I had 36 subscribers.

Speaker 1:

yeah, it's a lot of videos for not a lot of eyeballs yeah um, but then I just kept going for seven more years like yeah, and so that's it. That's all I got I mean, that's a good, that's just what we're thinking about. So, again, to kind of take it back, if I'm curious, you know, if you listening to this, if any of that resonated with you, or if you thought any of it was way off the mark, or if you thought, yeah, also, what about blah, blah, blah?

Speaker 2:

yeah, so on my video. Uh, scroll down to the comments. You know a lot of people did not leave a comment and instead reached out to me, um, because they allowed a lot more to say or didn't want to publicly say which is fine. So it's been. Obviously, this has kicked off a conversation like it's not just in Heather's head.

Speaker 1:

Right? No, it actually connected with people, and some of the people emailed you too, or like.

Speaker 2:

Well, actually one of them was a panelist, One of them was one of the panelists from the talk, which is great. They wanted to know more, and they were. She was the one that I actually like. She should have just done the whole talk, in my opinion.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was the one positive thing you said, so maybe that's why they're the one that reached out. But I will definitely link to Heather's video in the notes for this episode, in the notes for this episode and if people want to. Obviously, if you have thoughts, you can always do the normal channels of Tom and EnthusiasmProjectcom or HiMyNameIsTomcom, but if you also want to reach out to Heather directly, oh, just hit me up on Instagram. At Heather Just Create.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but the thing that I wanted to leave everyone with is people have told me and tom to do it like you should do this. Sorry, oh my god, you seventh grader right now. Are you serious?

Speaker 1:

oh my god anyway, oh yeah, yeah, people see the video and they go. This is great. Yeah, you guys should totally do this yeah we don't know what that is. What is it?

Speaker 2:

yeah, and I have, I have a ton of ideas. I have all of the ideas, uh. But I'm curious if you identify with this criteria, what would you like to see? You know, I so much of what we're basing this off of is our own experience, but also all of the creators that, collectively, we've met over the 15 years that we've been doing this between the two of us right uh, but now that we've we've kind of put together some parameters and you know, we we've kicked off the conversation.

Speaker 2:

Uh, how do you feel about this? What would you like to see? You know, do you care, Right? So, cause my my thing, my, this is my self doubt. Uh is like who cares? You know Cause okay, cool, let's, let's so. So what if we get together? How is that any different than all the discord servers that already exist?

Speaker 1:

I discord servers that already exist. I feel like it struck a chord with me and many other people, but I, the more you can help, heather, extinguish, snuff out the self-doubt, the better I, I want, I am passionate about this, I want to do something.

Speaker 2:

I want to do something and I have some, uh, pretty viable ideas, I think. But I want to see, like, if you are you know, if you're a small business creator in Nebraska, I don't know what you're going through Like, what would you like to see you know? Or in a totally different niche, or country, or whatever. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So there you go.

Speaker 1:

That's a great place to leave it. All right. Thanks for being here and sharing all your insights. I appreciate it. Thank you for listening Again. You know where to go if you have any questions, comments or anything. Otherwise, I hope you have a safe, happy, healthy, fun rest of your day and I'll see you next time.

Speaker 2:

Bye, we'll see you next time.

The Creator Middle Class Debate
Creators vs Corporations
The Value of Small Business Creators
Defining Small Business Creators
Integrity and Ethics in Content Creation
Integrity and Ethics in Content Creation
Creators as Influencers and Ethical Sales
The Challenges of Small Creators

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