In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber introduces a problem that many entrepreneurs face. They have a technical skill, and they decide to turn it into a business.
So, the chef thinks, I'm a great cook, I'd be perfect to open a restaurant! The mechanic thinks, I'm great at fixing cars! I should have my own garage.
Gerber found that there are many people with a great skill set who still fail at business.
Because running a successful business is its own skill. Just because someone can cook doesn't mean they can successfully run the business of a restaurant.
The creator economy is producing a sort of new manifestation of the e-myth. Just because someone can create content and build a following doesn't mean they know how to build a viable online business. It can be a very different skillset.
But this doesn’t mean that great creators can’t also become great online entrepreneurs – and the time has never been better for it.
In this article, we'll cover what to think about when you are looking at transitioning from being a creator to being an entrepreneur. We'll also walk through some of the myths about the creator economy and help you think through monetizing your work.
If you want more support in building your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!
1. Focus your content creation
You’ll still probably need to keep creating content. If running a business is going to take the rest of your time, you’ll need to focus your content creation energy on what works and avoid trying to do it all.
Here are a few ways to keep your content creation focused:
Choose a platform
One of the first things to do when taking your business online is to choose the platform or platforms you want to be on as a creator. Chances are, if you're reading this, you are already finding success somewhere.
If you already have a following and people engaging with your ideas, pay attention to what's working.
Creators often feel like they need to be on every single platform. But, as Gary Vaynerchuk argued a decade ago in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, platforms are different. Just because you are succeeding on one doesn't mean you will copy and paste your posts to another one and succeed there.
You need to understand the internal logic of each.
So rather than trying to be everywhere, at least until you have a minimum viable product up, try to focus your energy on channels that are already producing results for you.
Another thing to think about with your existing content creation is looking for places you can automate it. For example, can you schedule social media in advance? Several platforms have schedulers built into them, like Facebook and Twitter, while others require a third-party scheduling solution like HootSuite.
Think about automating your email, your customer service, your welcome sequence, or your calendar scheduling.
The more you can automate things, the more time you will free up to focus on your business.
As you are creating content, try to identify strategies for scaling it. For example, a single interview could be used for a YouTube channel, the audio adapted for a podcast, and a transcription adapted for your blog (although keep in mind what we said above on the value of getting really good at a few channels).
In this way, creating one piece of content actually creates three.
Try to find ways to scale your creation.
Another way that you can scale is to hire people to help you. Be careful about dropping too much money on staff upfront, but if you can prove a business model, it might make sense to hire people to take some things off your plate.
The final thing is to work on perfecting your craft. Running a business as a creator can take up some of your time and creative energy. So it's important to set some time aside to focus on perfecting and mastering your craft, especially if you don't feel like you have yet.
2. Get the business basics right
If you're transitioning from creator to entrepreneur, it will be essential to figure out some business basics. This doesn't mean you need to be the next Warren Buffet, but if you are charging for stuff you should have a basic idea of any business, liability, or tax implications for your region.
Many cities or states have small business centers or other online resources to help you with this process. Make sure not to get on the wrong side of the IRS, or your business will be dead in the water.
3. Choose the right business model
While there are a ton of different ways to make money online, not all are created equal. So if you're looking at monetizing your work as a creator, you need to choose a business model that fits for you.
You've no doubt heard about affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, or advertising, but we'd like to put in a plug for the single best way to monetize a creator business: with an online community.
Unlike the "business" models that pay you pennies on the dollar to use your influence to hock their products, the creator economy model is for creators to build something themselves that they sell to their audience.
And with Mighty Networks, you can build an online community on a monthly membership model, where you can deliver huge value to your members at scale. This creates a recurring revenue stream, giving you a way to build a viable business with even 100 paying members.
Plus, the option to add things like group coaching or online courses lets you create even more value, and the platform takes care of all the sales for you. It's everything you need to transition from creator to entrepreneur.
4. Work on your mindset
It can be hard to transition into being an entrepreneur, especially if you don't come from a business background.
You might have heard the word "mindset" being thrown around in entrepreneurial contexts, and it's an important one. It usually does take a shift in mindset to become an entrepreneur.
It can be hard to sell people things at first. A lot of entrepreneurs report the same internal conflict when they get started:
- What if people don't like it?
- Who am I to help people?
- Am I charging too much?
- What if I build it and nobody buys it?
- Maybe I'm not good enough for this.
Don't worry. If you are experiencing these thoughts, you're in good company. Every single entrepreneur has had them at one time or another.
Some people find that a mentor helps. Some hire a coach. Some recite positive affirmations. And of course, you can always join our free Mighty Community and meet other people who are both rookies and some who are killing it with online communities!
Whatever you need to do to help grow your mindset, figure out what works for you. And recognize that this is all part of your journey!
5. Keep learning
Entrepreneurship isn't a skill you learn and move on. It's a way of life. Ask any entrepreneur, even if they've been in the game for 30 years, and they'll tell you that they are still learning and growing! That's half the fun!
Don't be afraid to devote yourself to learning what you need to know. Sometimes this can be done for free, since there are a ton of resources out there. And sometimes it's even worth paying to learn to acquire a new skill that will make your business more profitable.
When entrepreneurs get stuck, often the thing that gets them is their own skillset. And sometimes, the person stopping your business growth is the one in the mirror.
Never stop learning. It's a vital key to success.
Conclusion- Ready to start?
We hope that reading this post has you excited about transitioning from creator to entrepreneur! It's a great time to be monetizing a creative business. Good luck on your journey.
And if you're looking for a platform to grow your business on, come try Mighty Networks. Mighty is a cultural software platform that brings together content, community, courses, and commerce. And our flexible Spaces will give you everything you need to serve your members, from beautiful content, integrated events, live streaming, discussion forums, member profiles, chat and messaging, and more. All with a beautiful native mobile app that matches your brand. And you can try it free, no credit card required.