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How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake Content Creators Make

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Ali Abdaal

Being an online ‘creator’ can mean a hundred different things. But we’ve all experienced the same problems.

Whether you’re making YouTube videos, streaming on Twitch, writing a weekly blog, or growing a Twitter account, you’ve probably struggled with exactly the same stuff that got me frustrated when I first started:

  1. Your passion project starts to feel like another chore you have to do. It’s no longer the exciting hobby that you originally created.
  2. Your hard work isn’t translating into growth. Regardless of how much time and energy you put into it, things are slow and it’s easy to lose motivation.
  3. You find that it takes a long time to produce and distribute new content, which is stressful when you’ve got a ton of other commitments (job, friends, family, remembering to actually eat, etc).
  4. Your income is inconsistent, so your dream of doing this full-time seems pretty far-fetched.
  5. You’re reluctant to outsource work because you don’t want to waste money hiring the wrong person for the job.

 

content creators isaacafrica

 

In 2018, these were the things I was struggling with. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy making videos, but neither was I seeing the growth or revenue I’d heard on the grapevine that you could expect as a YouTuber.

Then one day I met this guy who’d seen my videos, and we got chatting. It turned out he was a business coach, and the two of us ended up grabbing dinner. He started delving into my plans for the business, asking what my goals were, and what I’d found out from competitor analysis. Spoiler alert: I didn’t have answers to any of his questions.

To me, I’d always thought ‘I don’t know, I just make videos on the internet’.

It was like someone had flicked a switch in my head. I’d been so focused on the creativity part of being a creator, that I’d totally neglected to think about the strategy, the planning… the business side of it. And this was a big problem.

In the years since, I’ve read the absolutely incredible ‘The E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael E. Gerber, which describes exactly this problem. Creators (or ‘technicians’, to use Michael’s vocab), are often convinced the way to turn a passion into a business is simply to do their thing, but more. Work more hours. Put in more effort. Make more stuff.

But unless you start to think more like a business, you won’t be able to scale up. Sometimes, you need to work on your business, not in it. This book was absolutely game-changing for me and I’d 100% suggest you give it a read.

Businesses have been solving many of the same problems creators face for decades. All we need to do is explore the different ways they’ve learned to optimise, strategise, and systematise their operations and apply what works to our own creative side hustle.

content creators isaacafrica

This may sound too simple. But take a minute to think about the similarities. Like creators, businesses need to…

  • 💻 … constantly improve their workflow and efficiency to deliver a high quality output.
  • 🔨 … identify the force multipliers that reduce costs, boost productivity, and allow them to maintain a competitive advantage.
  • ⚙️ … build systems to reduce friction, increase output, and optimise the quality + quantity of what they produce.
  • 💰 … increase their cashflow by seamlessly pricing, marketing, and selling products/services to their target audience.
  • 🤴 … leverage people to maximise growth and make their output sustainable in the long-term.
  • 🤓 … hire a motivated and passionate team that believes in their goals, values, and mission.

Don’t just think of your creative side hustle like a business. It is a business. And the sooner you recognise that, the easier it becomes to achieve sustainable growth, scale your income, and properly enjoy the process.

____________________

 

So you may have heard me talk in the past about my three step framework for getting started with YouTube (or anything creative). If you want a detailed explanation, check out this video of mine.

But broadly, it’s the idea that when you start creating content for the first time, you need to accept that you’re not going to be amazing.

You just need to get over the hurdle of starting (Get Going).

Then, as you keep creating, you naturally start to notice what works and what doesn’t, and therefore you become a better creator (Get Good).

Lastly, once you get pretty good at making individual videos (or newsletters or songs or podcast episodes, etc) you start to become more intentional with how you organise that creativity – creating systems to minimise friction and maximise output (Get Smart).

Getting ‘Smart’ is where you start to make the transition from Creator to Creatorpreneur, because you start to apply the same systems thinking which businesses use.

If you realise you don’t care about ‘getting smart’, then it’s probably not worth reading any more of these emails – no hard feelings!

🌤 Thinking Ahead…

One of the biggest things that businesses need to succeed that creators might not think about is a plan. And that’s what today’s email is about.

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey says that we should ‘begin with the end in mind’, and think about what we want from our business long-term. Likewise, in The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber talks about drawing out your business’s org chart as you’d like it to look in seven years time.

This may all seem a little pointless at this early stage, but it’s super important. By thinking about what you want, you can make informed choices about how to get there. So with that in mind, I want to break down the three ‘types’ of Creatorpreneur you could be.

🙋‍♀️1 – Solopreneur

Usually a lone creator, making YouTube videos or streaming or writing online essays (etc). By keeping this thing small-scale, you keep the production process localised, and enjoy all the returns yourself.

You’ll be limited by your own capacity, so the business is unlikely to generate life-changing sums of money (obviously this varies, but anyone making decent money at this level will start to hire a few people).

😎 2 – Lifestyle Business

At this level, things have started to scale up – everything from output, to team size, to (hopefully) revenue. In fact, at this level, the revenue you’re generating might start to have a decent impact on your life.

You’ve managed to turn your creative side hustle into a legit business, and your aim now is to live your best life while the business continues to be profitable.

If you’re really not sold on the idea of gathering a team, then this is probably not the place on the Creatorpreneur scale that you’ll be picturing. But for most people, this is a pretty sweet spot to aim for.

Examples – Patricia Bright, me (lol)

💪 3 – Performance Business

Once you’ve reached a point where your business has good margins, you’ve got enough money to live your best life, and your team are happy… where else is there to go?

At this point, money is not the incentive. Instead, it’s a commitment to the core mission of the business.

If you’re aiming for this level, it’s probably because you can see that your business has the potential to scale up massively, to benefit thousands (if not millions) of people, and you know you want to build a team to make that happen.

Examples – Mrbeast, Linus Tech Tips


🤔 Ask Yourself…

It might seem super early to think about this stuff, but it could literally influence what you do tomorrow. Do you need to start thinking about hiring a team member? Or figuring out how to adjust your calendar so that you only work until 2pm? Or designing systems to optimise for doubling your output within six months?

So here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. Are you more interested in working alone or with a big team? What does your ideal team look like?
  2. Would you enjoy managing people?
  3. Do you want to make millions of dollars or just enough to cover your expenses? Or is it something in-between?
  4. What impact are you trying to make with your creative side hustle?
  5. Look at your favourite creators, what are their business models? Which model sounds best to you?

Now, on the subject of what your dream creative side hustle looks like in 3 years…

  1. How are you making your money?
  2. How much are you working? Is all your time spent working on this creative business? Or do you have another job too?
  3. How are you spending your time? What does your ‘ideal ordinary week’ look like?
  4. How big is your audience?
  5. What content are you making?
  6. How big is your team? And what do they do?

This was a bit of a long one…my three-years-ago self wouldn’t believe how much I’ve just banged on about making a bit of a plan.

Once you’ve got more of an idea about what your ideal Creatorpreneur business looks like, you can start applying the right business principles to your side hustle to allow it to scale.

_________

Before I give you my list of Creatorpreneur resources, I’ll summarise some of the key principles here:

  1. 🏗 You need a firm creative foundation. It’s no good trying to scale up a hobby before knowing if you really love it and could (in theory) do it for years to come.
  2. 🗂 You have to think like a business. You could be an amazing creator, but without applying the principles of entrepreneurship to your side-hustle, you won’t scale it efficiently.
  3. ✍️ You need a (flexible) plan. Even if your ideas/context/ambitions change, you should always be thinking at least a year ahead. It’ll give you a focus and make your next steps more intentional.
  4. 🧠 You need to work on your side-hustle, not in it. Your job is to be the visionary, focusing on growing the creative business and automating processes rather than trying to do it all yourself.
  5. 🖐 You should learn to let go. When you do end up outsourcing things, it’s pretty easy to slip into micromanaging. Don’t. You’ll stress yourself out, and pee people off 😜

Beyond this, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to create some sort of database of resources that we can always refer back to.

To help you get started I’ve created a Notion page with some of my favourite Creatorpreneur resources. Feel free to duplicate it into your own workspace so you can start adding to it.

____________________

The final step is to understand the practical steps to start turning you from a Creator into a Creatorpreneur.

If you’ve realised that you’re not bothered about that, then you can carry on enjoying your creative outlet as a hobby. But, if you’re ready to scale up and want to start thinking about this as a business, then you’re ready for my 3-Step roadmap to being a Creatorpreneur…

It looks like this:

Step 1: Workflow

The idea here is that, as a creator, you need to define your strategy and build reliable systems to help your creative business grow. This helps you to streamline your workflow so that you’re able to do and achieve much more with whatever time/energy you’ve got to dedicate to your side-hustle.

In particular, you need to learn how to nail your creative focus, by figuring out precisely what your niche, target audience, and competitive edge actually is, plus learning how to use force multipliers to make your creativity easier and more sustainable. Then, with your strategy sorted, you need to begin building suitable systems to remove creative friction, boost your creative output, and maximise the time you spend focusing on the things you love.

The aim of step 1 is really to ‘get our creative house in order’, giving us the best opportunity to begin scaling things up and start making some decent money.

Step 2: Cashflow

Once you’ve sorted out your strategy and systems, it’s time to start thinking about how you can maximise your income as a Creatorpreneur by looking at your cashflow.

In short, this is all about delivering unbelievable value to your audience, seamlessly turning strangers into paying customers using techniques like the Pentagram Model, and diversifying those revenue streams so you’re making a decent, regular, and sustainable income from your creativity.

This step can be pretty daunting for many creators. But, the good news is that there’s literally hundreds of great ways you can monetise your creativity, and it’s possible to do it in a nice, seamless, and non-scammy way.

The formula is simple: give your audience loads of great content for FREE, ask your audience what they’d buy from you, and then build that product/service for them. This is the formula I used to generate over $300k/month from my creative business, and you can do the same.

“Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.” – Naval Ravikant

Step 3: Outflow

The final step in elevating our creative business is to begin leveraging people. In particular, once you’re starting to make some money, your goal is to begin building a team of A-players who can take things to the next level.

When you realise the power of being able to hire and work with real people, your life as a creator becomes much better. You get to stop working on the things you don’t like (which makes the whole thing a lot more fun) and you get to force multiply your skills (which makes you more money and allows you to help even more people). It’s a win-win situation.


By following this 3-step roadmap, not only will you be well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged Creatorpreneur, but you’ll also begin to enjoy a bunch of improvements in your life as a creator:

🤩 You’ll rekindle your passion for creativity by discovering strategies (like the Hedgehog Concept) that direct your creative energy to the things that excite & inspire you.

🚀 You’ll learn how to create consistent content your audience loves by building a system that removes workflow friction and delivers maximum value.

💰 You’ll understand the various monetisation options available to creators and discover how to sell your products/services using an effortless sales strategy. **

🙌 You’ll have a method for pricing your products/services and a seamless way to take your audience from passive consumers to active buyers.

❤️ You’ll understand how to amplify your income by creating revenue streams that scale and consistently generate passive income, so you can spend more time working on the things you love.

👨‍👩‍👧 You’ll know the value of building a team as early as possible in your creative journey, and how you can leverage people to achieve your creative goals faster.

And eventually you’ll have the freedom to quit your job, do this creator thing full time, and spend each day working on the creative projects that inspire you. That’s the dream, right?

 

____________________

Ali Abdaal is a YouTuber and podcaster. He’s gone from near-broke to multi-millionaire in just a few years. Ali Abdaal has a net worth of $3,200,000 based on his investments and business income. He was a doctor prior to going all in on YouTube and reached his goals around 20 years earlier than expected.

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Data Warehousing and Data Management: Key Tools for Market Research and Competitive Analysis

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Data Warehousing and Data Management: Key Tools for Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Market research and competitive analysis are essential components of any successful business strategy. Whether you’re looking to enter new markets, develop new products, or improve your existing offerings, market research and competitive analysis provide valuable insights into consumer preferences, market trends, and competitor behavior. To be effective, however, these activities require access to high-quality, up-to-date data. This is where data warehousing and data management come in.

Data Warehousing: A Central Repository for Data

Data warehousing is a process by which an organization collects and centralizes its data into a single, secure repository. This repository is called a data warehouse. The data warehouse can contain data from a variety of sources, including transactional systems, marketing databases, and social media platforms. By centralizing data in a single location, organizations can gain a more complete and accurate view of their customers, products, and markets.

Data Management: Ensuring Data Quality and Security

Data management is the process by which organizations ensure that the data in their data warehouse is accurate, up-to-date, and secure. This includes activities such as data cleansing, data enrichment, and data security. By ensuring that the data in the data warehouse is of high quality and is secure, organizations can ensure that the insights generated from the data are reliable and actionable.

Data Warehousing and Data Management for Market Research and Competitive Analysis

By leveraging data warehousing and data management, organizations can gain a more comprehensive view of their markets and competitors. This can help organizations to make informed decisions about product development, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns.

For example, consider a consumer goods company that is interested in launching a new product. The company can use market research to gather data on consumer preferences, market trends, and competitor behavior. By leveraging data warehousing and data management, the company can ensure that the data used for market research is accurate, up-to-date, and secure, and that the insights generated from the data are reliable and actionable.

In addition, the company can use data analysis to gain insights into competitor behavior, such as pricing strategies and marketing campaigns. This can help the company to develop an effective competitive strategy and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Data Warehousing and Data Management: Key Tools for Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Another example is a financial services company that is interested in expanding into new markets. The company can use market research to gather data on consumer preferences and market trends in the target market. By leveraging data warehousing and data management, the company can ensure that the data used for market research is accurate, up-to-date, and secure, and that the insights generated from the data are reliable and actionable.

In addition, the company can use data analysis to monitor competitor behavior and gain insights into their strategies and market positioning. This can help the company to develop an effective entry strategy and gain a competitive advantage in the new market.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, data warehousing and data management are critical components of market research and competitive analysis. By leveraging these technologies, organizations can gain a more comprehensive view of their markets and competitors, and make informed decisions about product development, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re a consumer goods company seeking to launch a new product, or a financial services company seeking to expand into new markets, data warehousing and data management provide the foundation for effective market research and competitive analysis.

 

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Data Warehousing and Data Management Industry Trends and Future Developments

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Data Warehousing and Data Management Industry Trends and Future Developments

Data has become the lifeblood of today’s businesses, and the ability to store, manage, and analyze it has become a critical success factor. The data warehousing and data management industry is rapidly evolving to meet the increasing demands of businesses and organizations. In this article, we will discuss some of the latest trends and future developments in this industry.

Cloud-Based Data Warehousing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses store, manage, and access their data.

The trend towards cloud-based data warehousing is driven by the desire to reduce costs, improve scalability, and increase accessibility.

Cloud data warehousing eliminates the need for expensive hardware and maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations. Additionally, cloud-based data warehousing provides unlimited scalability and allows businesses to access their data from anywhere in the world.

This trend will continue to grow as more businesses adopt cloud computing technology and the demand for flexible, scalable data warehousing solutions increases.

Big Data Analytics

Big data is a term that refers to the large and complex datasets generated by businesses and organizations. This data is too large to be processed by traditional data warehousing solutions, making it challenging to extract valuable insights. To address this challenge, the data warehousing and data management industry is increasingly focusing on big data analytics. The use of big data analytics enables businesses to process large datasets in real-time, providing valuable insights and enabling informed decision-making. This trend will continue to grow as businesses generate more data and the need for real-time analytics increases.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are rapidly becoming critical components of modern data warehousing and data management solutions. AI and machine learning algorithms can automatically identify patterns in large datasets, making it possible to extract valuable insights without the need for manual analysis. This trend will continue to grow as businesses seek to leverage the power of AI and machine learning to make informed decisions and gain a competitive advantage.

Data Warehousing and Data Management Industry Trends and Future Developments

Data Management as a Service (DMaaS)

Data management as a service (DMaaS) is a trend that is gaining traction in the data warehousing and data management industry. DMaaS provides businesses with a cost-effective and scalable solution for managing their data. DMaaS providers offer a range of data management services, including data warehousing, data integration, data governance, and data security. This trend will continue to grow as more businesses seek to outsource their data management needs and focus on their core operations.

Data Governance and Data Privacy

Data governance and data privacy are becoming increasingly important in the data warehousing and data management industry. Businesses are required to comply with a range of regulations and standards, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The trend towards data governance and data privacy is driven by the need to protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. This trend will continue to grow as the importance of data privacy and data governance increases and businesses seek to ensure the security and privacy of their data.

Integration with IoT Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming an important source of data for businesses and organizations. The trend towards integrating data from IoT devices with traditional data warehousing solutions is driven by the desire to extract valuable insights from this data. IoT devices generate large amounts of data that can be processed and analyzed in real-time, providing businesses with a wealth of information that can be used to make informed decisions. This trend will continue to grow as the number of IoT devices in use increases and businesses seek to leverage the power of this data.

Data Virtualization

Data virtualization is a trend that is gaining momentum in the data warehousing and data management industry. Data virtualization allows businesses to access data from multiple sources as if it were stored in a single location, without the need for data replication or physical movement. This makes it possible to integrate data from multiple sources in real-time, providing businesses with a complete and up-to-date view of their data. The trend towards data virtualization is driven by the need for real-time data integration and the desire to eliminate the challenges associated with traditional data integration methods.

Multi-Cloud Data Management

The trend towards multi-cloud data management is driven by the need to optimize costs and increase flexibility. Multi-cloud data management involves the use of multiple cloud-based data warehousing solutions to store and manage data. This makes it possible to take advantage of the strengths of different cloud providers, such as cost, scalability, and reliability, and to minimize the risks associated with a single-provider solution. The trend towards multi-cloud data management will continue to grow as businesses seek to maximize the benefits of cloud computing technology.

Real-Time Data Streaming

Real-time data streaming is a trend that is becoming increasingly important in the data warehousing and data management industry. Real-time data streaming allows businesses to process and analyze data in real-time, providing valuable insights and enabling informed decision-making. This trend is driven by the need for real-time data processing and the desire to extract valuable insights from large datasets in real-time. The trend towards real-time data streaming will continue to grow as the need for real-time data analysis increases.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is a trend that is gaining momentum in the data warehousing and data management industry. Edge computing involves the processing of data at the edge of a network, rather than in a centralized location.

This makes it possible to process data in real-time and reduces the latency associated with centralized data processing. The trend towards edge computing is driven by the need for real-time data processing and the desire to extract valuable insights from data generated at the edge of a network. This trend will continue to grow as the demand for real-time data processing and analysis increases.

Conclusion

The data warehousing and data management industry is rapidly evolving to meet the increasing demands of businesses and organizations.

The trends discussed in this article, including cloud-based data warehousing, big data analytics, AI and machine learning, data management as a service, data governance and data privacy, integration with IoT devices, data virtualization, multi-cloud data management, real-time data streaming, and edge computing, are just some of the many developments that are shaping this industry.

As the importance of data continues to grow, businesses and organizations will continue to seek innovative solutions to store, manage, and analyze their data.

 

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Data Warehousing and Data Management Professional Development and Certification

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Data Management Professional Development and Certification

In this article, we will explore the benefits of professional development and certification in the data warehousing and data management industry and how it can help individuals advance their careers.

Data warehousing and data management are rapidly growing fields that play a critical role in the success of businesses and organizations. As the demand for skilled professionals in these areas increases, many individuals are seeking to develop their careers and gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. One way to do this is through professional development and certification.

Why is professional development and certification important in the data warehousing and data management industry?

Professional development and certification are important in the data warehousing and data management industry for several reasons. First, they help individuals stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices in the field.

This is especially important as the industry evolves and new technologies and solutions emerge. Second, professional development and certification can demonstrate to employers that individuals have the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs effectively.

This can be especially valuable in a competitive job market. Finally, professional development and certification can help individuals advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

Benefits of professional development and certification

There are many benefits to pursuing professional development and certification in the data warehousing and data management industry. Some of these benefits include:

Improved knowledge and skills: Professional development and certification can help individuals deepen their knowledge and develop their skills in the field. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity on the job.

Increased credibility: Professional development and certification can demonstrate to employers that individuals have the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs effectively. This can increase their credibility and help them stand out in a competitive job market.

Career advancement: Professional development and certification can help individuals advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Many organizations value employees who take the initiative to improve their knowledge and skills, and are often more likely to promote and provide opportunities for career advancement to those individuals.

Networking opportunities: Professional development and certification programs often provide opportunities to network with other professionals in the field. This can lead to valuable connections and opportunities for collaboration and professional growth.

Data Management Professional Development and Certification

Types of professional development and certification programs

There are a wide range of professional development and certification programs available in the data warehousing and data management industry. Some of the most popular programs include:

Vendor-specific certifications: Many data warehousing and data management solutions are offered by specific vendors, such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP. These vendors often offer their own certification programs, which focus on their specific solutions and technologies.

Industry certifications: There are several industry certifications that are recognized across the data warehousing and data management industry. Examples include the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) and the Certified Big Data Professional (CBDP) certifications.

Online courses and bootcamps: Online courses and bootcamps are a flexible and convenient way to gain knowledge and skills in the field. These programs are often self-paced and can be completed on an individual’s own schedule.

Conferences and workshops: Conferences and workshops are a great way to learn from experts in the field, network with other professionals, and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices.

Preparing for professional development and certification

To prepare for professional development and certification in the data warehousing and data management industry, individuals should:

Assess their knowledge and skills: It is important to assess your current knowledge and skills to determine where you need to focus your attention. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve and target your professional development and certification efforts. This can be done through self-assessment, online quizzes, or by taking practice exams.

Determine your career goals: Understanding your career goals can help you determine which certifications or professional development programs are most relevant to your career path. For example, if you are looking to specialize in a specific technology, such as SQL or data visualization, you may want to consider vendor-specific certifications.

Research available options: There are a wide range of professional development and certification programs available in the data warehousing and data management industry. Researching your options can help you determine which programs are best suited to your needs and goals. This can include researching program requirements, cost, and time commitment.

Set a timeline: Professional development and certification programs can take time and effort to complete, so it is important to set a timeline and schedule that works for you. This can help you stay focused and motivated as you work towards your goals.

Maintaining professional development and certification

Professional development and certification are not one-time efforts. To maintain your knowledge and skills in the data warehousing and data management industry, it is important to continue your professional development and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices. This can be done through ongoing training, attending conferences and workshops, or by participating in online forums and communities.

In conclusion, professional development and certification are essential for success in the data warehousing and data management industry. By assessing their knowledge and skills, determining their career goals, researching available options, setting a timeline, and maintaining their professional development, individuals can enhance their careers and increase their earning potential.

Whether you are just starting out in your career or looking to advance, professional development and certification are valuable investments that can help you reach your goals and succeed in the dynamic and rapidly growing data warehousing and data management industry.

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