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What are the main challenges that the creator economy market may face in the future for sustained growth beyond the year 2020?


Creator economy marketer and co-founder

Guest: I think the largest challenge for creators will still be building an audience. At the end of the day, an initial audience leads to a bigger audience base in many cases, the more likely you'll be able to find a way to monetize that audience.

Even for a platform like Substack, the challenge is figuring out, how do we make newsletters written on our platform discoverable without doing it in an algorithmic way.

That's something that they're steering away from, which could potentially put even more burden on writers on that platform, figuring out how to grow their audience. So I still see the biggest challenge being, how do I grow the audience? 

This initial platform that I've chosen, as my audience is growing on this one platform, what are these other platforms that I can look to that will have these reinforcing growth benefits, as I'm able to grow on them as well. 

These indie creators are not able to do this as their full-time job. If the majority of their time is focused on content creation, it will continue to be a challenge for them to think about growing their audience, simply because they can't spend as much time making changes and running experiments, as they might be able to through just their content creation process alone.

There is a difference between audience versus community. One of the largest newsletters on substack right now is Lenny Rachitsky. I think he seems to have a really good understanding of the difference between audience and community.

I would say his audience is the people who receive his substack newsletters. I'd say one of the reasons that the audience is growing at the rate it is, is because he's invested in the community around it. The way that he's invested in the community is primarily through Twitter. When he creates one of his newsletters, he'll share tidbits about it on Twitter, which starts this loop of people seeing a forum, the content, getting interested in it, finding their way to the newsletter, and signing up for it.

This creates a buzz and word of mouth. And then on top of that, he's also created this Slack community, in which certain people from his audience will talk, share tips. It seems that too is building this nice, concentric growth loop.

His ability to use these communities to supercharge his audience is one that he seems to be doing better than anyone else in this space. 

I'll be interested to see over the coming year if content creators can follow suit and not just think about building an audience, but also think about building the communities that will grow that audience as well.

So if you think about Slack, it's not just Lenny writing in that. It's the community members of Slack, like communicating with each other; and the same thing on Twitter, it's not just him tweeting at people, but it's people for responding to those tweets and then conversations coming off of that.

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