In creator economy news, we’ve been hearing a new phrase: “creator capitalists.” These are a breed of influencer-type entrepreneurs who can delegate their revenue as well as can captivate their audience.
But what exactly does it mean to be a creator capitalist, and why is it a game-changer in the creator economy?
In this post, we break down what it means to be a creator capitalist and how they’ve been around longer than you think.
Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business
What Is a Creator Capitalist?
In the creator economy world, a creator capitalist is a unique blend of a content creator and a savvy investor. While having a large following on platforms like X (formerly Twitter) or a substantial email list is certainly a part of the equation, it’s not the endgame.
These individuals go beyond just creating content; they leverage their audience to generate revenue and then smartly allocate that capital to various ventures. In essence, they wear two hats: one as creators who engage and grow their audience, and another as capital allocators who invest in opportunities that promise good returns.
Essentially, a creator capitalist is a blend of influencer and investor.
Here’s an example.
Imagine a hypothetical YouTuber, Jane, who has a channel focused on personal finance. She’s amassed a large following over the years, thanks to her engaging videos that offer actionable advice on budgeting, investing and financial planning. Her audience trusts her, and that trust translates into revenue through sponsored content, affiliate marketing and merchandise sales.
However, Jane doesn’t stop there. She takes it a step further.
Instead of just pocketing her earnings or reinvesting them solely into her YouTube channel, she, being the creator capitalist that she is, allocates a portion of her revenue into real estate investments. She buys rental properties and even invests in a real estate crowdfunding platform.
Jane then shares her real estate investment journey with her audience, creating a new content series that not only diversifies her channel, but also educates her followers on a different form of investment.
This move accomplishes two things:
- It strengthens her brand as a trusted financial advisor
- It generates additional income from her real estate investments
Moreover, by sharing her investment experiences, she’s adding another layer of value to her audience, who now learn about real estate investment directly from someone they already trust and enjoy. This, in turn, enhances her credibility and attracts sponsorship deals from real estate platforms, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of revenue generation and capital allocation.
The Evolution of Capital Allocation in the Creator Economy
Traditionally, content creators focused on building an audience and monetizing through sponsorships, merchandise or ad revenue.
However, the new wave of creator capitalists is taking a different approach. They are putting their capital to work in various forms, whether it’s investing in startups, real estate or other financial instruments.
The founder of Morning Brew, a B2B media company, pointed out that while B2C creators like Mr. Beast and Logan Paul have been ahead of the curve in capital allocation, the B2B sector is catching up.
The lag in B2B marketing strategies is gradually diminishing as more professionals in the sector become creator capitalists.
Every Business Needs a “Dancing Monkey”
What businesses ought to realize is that they, too, can benefit from being creator capitalists. In a way, anyone who leads a business by deriving content for their following as the audience-facing icon is behaving, in spirit, as the business’s own creator capitalist.
We call them the “dancing monkey” — someone who is the face of the brand and engages the audience. This “dancing monkey” is not just a content creator but also a capital allocator. They are the driving force behind the brand, making strategic decisions that propel the company forward. They also happen to be the focal personality of the brand for clients or customers.
Neil Patel over at NP Digital is the perfect example of a creator capitalist for all of the content that he generates for his brand. From podcasting to blogging to social media shorts, he’s the main identity behind his brands that spearheads exposure and thought leadership. It’s part of what has made him one of the most renowned marketers in the world!
But he’s not just the poster boy, he’s also the brains of the organization, making strategic business decisions behind the scenes.
Can you guess who the dancing monkey of Berkshire Hathaway is? Yup. It’s Warren Buffet, no less. He’s become an icon that people follow closely and is more than capable of making strategic investment decisions, as we’ve seen him do time and time again.
Having a “dancing monkey” is not just a fun idea; it’s a strategic necessity. Companies that lack this dynamic individual risk falling behind in the competitive landscape. The “dancing monkey” serves as a catalyst for business growth, ensuring that the company stays ahead of the curve in both content creation and capital allocation.
What Do We Make of Creator Capitalists?
As more creators understand the power of capital allocation, the landscape of the creator economy will undergo a transformative change, characterized by several key points
- Understand Your Value: If you’re a creator, recognize that your audience is not just a number, it’s a valuable asset that can be leveraged for capital allocation.
- Diversify Revenue Streams: Don’t rely solely on traditional methods of monetization like ad revenue and sponsorships. Explore various investment opportunities such as stocks, real estate or starting your own product lines to put your capital to work.
- Be the “Dancing Monkey”: Whether you’re a company or an individual creator, having a dynamic personality that can engage the audience while making savvy investment decisions is crucial for long-term success.
- Build Strategic Partnerships: Leverage your influence to form strategic partnerships, not just for endorsements but also for equity stakes in emerging companies.
- Use Your Personal Brand as a Business Asset: The personal brand of the creator is not just a tool for audience engagement, as we saw above with Neil Patel, but also a significant business asset that can be leveraged for capital growth.
- Change the Creator Economy Dynamic: Creators’ approach to capital allocation is reshaping the creator economy, leading to new business models and opportunities within the digital content creation space.
Last Thoughts on Creator Economy News
Creator capitalists are more than mere influencers or content creators; they are shrewd entrepreneurs who understand the power of leveraging their audience for revenue generation and capital allocation.
Whether it’s investing in real estate like our hypothetical YouTuber, Jane, or diversifying into various financial instruments, these creator capitalists are redefining success in the digital age.
They are the icon of their brand, of the business world — dynamic personalities who not only engage their audience but also drive strategic growth for their brands.
Are you the creator capitalist for your brand? How are you representing your brand as an authority in your vertical? And beyond that, how are you using the revenue you gain from your following?
If you’re ready to level up your personal brand, Single Grain’s experts can help!👇
For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.