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The Rise of Creator-Led Media Companies – And Why It Works

November 15, 2022

We’re currently in an unparalleled era of unlimited creator opportunity. There have never been so many ways for creators to create and produce content. With such a saturated market, it’s natural that the next evolution for creators is to lead their own media companies, a change that could put them at the same level as other established industries. With more kids wanting to be vloggers and YouTubers than astronauts these days, it’s clear the creator industry is only going to grow. 

We’re here to offer some insight into these creator-led media companies and how they’re set up for success.


Personal Branding and Consistency Are Key

The most successful creators have mastered two things: a strong personal brand and consistency in their messaging and content. These creators have found a personal brand right in the sweet spot: just niche enough to provide your audience with depth and tangible takeaways, but broad enough to speak to a wide range of people.

This attracts an audience, but to keep them, creators also need to maintain consistency with this personal brand. Creator Jay Shetty is an example of this. He uses his unique experience of serving as a monk for three years to create a brand around the theme of “purpose,” a theme that appeals to a wide audience. He’s built an empire that includes not only coaching and courses but also a best-selling book, Think Like a Monk, and the number one health podcast in the world, On Purpose With Jay Shetty. 


They’re Breaking the Traditional Mold of Talent Management

As creators take the reins of their own media companies, they’re not putting brand decisions in the hands of agents or managers the way more traditional artists might. A large part of that is caused by the traditional talent management industry failing to adapt to the new creator climate. The industry is still structured to work with movie stars and recording artists, forcing creators to handle talent management themselves. 

Because these creators have already built up an engaged audience and loyal community, they only need to hire operational support based on their specific needs. This allows them to delegate tasks and focus on the aspects of the business they truly love. With a team working under them, creators can not only avoid burnout but create higher-quality content made with passion.

For these CEOs of their own brands and businesses, brand deals and partnerships come naturally. They don’t need managers or agents to open doors for them, because those doors are already open. They just need to be smart about how they leverage these opportunities. 

Companies like Smooth Media have stepped in to help creators build their channels into media companies. As many creators expand their brand and audience, they find themselves limited by the finite constraints of time. By building a creator-led media company, creators can hire for roles like writers, producers, and editors, allowing the creators to reduce burnout and build their empires.


Creator-Led Businesses Are Innately Multifaceted

When creators take control of their businesses, the businesses become multifaceted because the creators themselves are multifaceted. Creators are often writers, editors, speakers, and more. This range of talents allows creators to diversify their revenue streams and strengthen their businesses. Many creators don’t just have a TikTok or YouTube presence, they have blogs, podcasts, classes, and sponsorships. This diversification allows creators and their businesses to become resilient and more easily able to adapt to ever-changing media trends.

This also ties into ways that creators are leaving talent agents and managers behind. As creators branch out into new sectors of their business, they create job openings specific to what they need. They may look for a head of operations, a merchandise designer, or brand ambassadors. 

For an example of someone who diversifies well, look at entrepreneur and media expert Ellen Yin. Yin left the corporate world for freelance and was able to transform one $300 client into a multimillion-dollar business. She offers many resources for other entrepreneurs. In addition to hosting the Cubicle to CEO podcast, she runs a blog, co-working spaces, master classes, and educational courses and is a highly sought-after speaker.


Creators Are Playing the Long Game

Launching a creator-led business or media company takes time. They’re built slowly and require a commitment to collecting and listening to feedback from your audience. These businesses aren’t built from what the creators think their audience wants — they’re built from what the creators know their audience wants. 

This knowledge allows them to adapt to changing markets without losing followers. When creators know their audiences, they can double down on the things that work and change the things that don’t. This also allows them to be smart with budgets, even if the economy sees a downturn.

An excellent resource for mastering this is The Mom Test by programmer and entrepreneur Rob Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was inspired by his own experience in dealing with customers to create a guide to help anyone with a customer base figure out how to communicate with their customers.  This book gives you the tools to get more information and sales out of your customer conversations and avoid biased feedback. You can also take Fitzpatrick’s Practical Customer Development course, which offers 1.5 hours of video and group workshops.


Elevate Your Brand and Business With Norby

As the landscape around content creators changes, the evolution to creator-led media companies seems inevitable. Making the switch to a company allows creators to hire additional staff, delegate tasks, expand their area of business, and adjust to changing markets. So long as creators find their niche, keep their content consistent, and are receptive to the feedback that their audience offers, their media company has the potential to thrive.

Norby’s toolkit offers the best digital marketing tools and techniques to help creators market and grow their brands online. Our toolkit includes essentials like a custom link in bio, landing pages, and landing page marketing, as well as add-ons for your CRM platform for analytics, customization, integrations, messaging, monetization, and support. Join us today to plan and grow your business! 

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