How to Determine the Right Time to Grow Your Creator Business

As a digital creator you’ve put in the work on making great content your audience loves. If you’ve grown a following, you might be thinking about how to grow your business even further. But is it the right time? And do you know which options would truly be best for the lifestyle you want to have? We’ve identified three key indicators that let you know when you’re well positioned to start growing your business. Read on to learn what those are and check out this video with more details on choosing the right growth path for you.

Defining Key Terms

Before we dive in, let’s define some of our key terminology:

Creator: An expert with influence, organized around a specific topic. Followers are drawn by expertise, not just personal brand.

Successful creator-led business: A company built on expertise that provides value to an audience while enabling a profitable and balanced lifestyle for the creator.

How do you know when you’re ready to scale your business?

If you’ve been a creator for some years now, you know that getting started with creating and sharing content online is often the easy part. You can set up a blog or YouTube channel at low or no cost and not too much complexity.

The real challenge is staying consistent with creating and sharing content with your audience over time. Those who do that, are rewarded with a steadily growing community of followers who trust their content. That’s a powerful thing to accomplish and it typically happens over years of dedicated work.

So, after all that consistent commitment, it would seem like a natural next step to take things up a notch and launch a course, or write a book to grow your business. At a time when online influencers are making $50,000 per contract, it’s logical to think that selling a new product is an easy way to scale. After all, your audience already knows, likes and trusts you.

Failure To (Successfully) Launch

The reality is that growing a creator business sustainably takes more than having followers on social media. Too often, digital creators dive in to launching new products too early and struggle to see worthwhile results.

Avoiding unnecessary effort and post-launch disappointment is possible if you know what to look for. There are three key signs to watch for that will indicate when your business has hit a critical point where growth is much more likely to happen successfully.

3 Indicators That Your Digital Creator Business Is Ready for Growth

Here are the top 3 indicators to look for:

  1. You have at least 50,000 followers
  2. You have developed expertise in your niche
  3. You’ve successfully sold a product or service to your audience

Meeting these 3 criteria means you have a foundation to build a business earning $500K – $5M per year. Let’s break them down:

1. At least 50,000 followers

This is a general guideline, not an absolute rule. We’ve seen creators make good incomes with fewer followers on social media. However, the key is that they have owned email lists of 2,000-7,000 subscribers.

Email subscribers are powerful – they opt-in to your inbox and invite your messages. Loyal subscribers who consume and pay for your content are invaluable.

The total addressable market for your niche also matters. If there are only 500,000 people interested in your topic, 50,000 followers gives you 10% of the market – a solid starting point!

In larger niches, 50,000 could be just 1% of potential followers. The key is reaching a critical mass – whatever the golidlocks number is for your specific topic.

2. Expertise in your niche

Experts who are consistently offering value have a growth mindset, not a fixed one. They have an insatiable desire to continuously expand their knowledge. This dedication to learning and honing their skills is a key differentiator that attracts, inspires and builds trust.

If you have 50,000+ followers drawn to your expertise, you’ve proven you’re worth listening to. Sustained growth shows your knowledge resonates and is providing value for your audience.

Expertise doesn’t always follow a linear path either. Your content focus may evolve over time. Expect to rebuild your audience around new topics, but know that pivots can work!

3. You’ve sold something to your audience

Selling a product or service to your community shows you’ve achieved product-market fit – people are willing to pay for what you offer. This signals you’re ready to level up.

Digital courses are a common first sale, but that’s just the beginning. The key is having the right mix of products and services to fully monetize your knowledge and audience.

This further establishes you as an expert, gets superfans buying everything you offer, and can lead to other opportunities like brand deals and speaking engagements.

The Time is Right to Grow. Choose Your Next Steps Carefully.

When you’re ready to think about growing your digital creator business, the best way to start is to stay open to all possibilities. Having a well chosen portfolio of income elevators is the key to building a robust and sustainable creator-led business. Check out our podcast series starting with episode 3How To Launch Your Own Merchandise Line to learn more about this and discover how successful creators monetize their knowledge and audience through a variety of income streams.

>>Listen Up: The Level Up Creators Podcast Is LIVE<<

Exciting news! We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our brand-new podcast series. We’ll be delving deep into how to build a sustainable business in the digital creator economy. Catch all the insightful discussions, expert interviews and creator stories on our YouTube channel or listen in on your favorite podcast platforms, like Apple Podcasts. Tune in, tap in and share with a digital creator in your online neighborhood!

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