Creators Cultivate Third Spaces 3️⃣

Friends On Purpose uses TikTok to create IRL connection

Good morning. Rhett and Link celebrated 2,500 episodes of Good Mythical Morning last night by going on Jimmy Fallon. The best part of the segment? When Fallon tried recipes from the upcoming Mythical Cookbook—and Chef Josh Scherer claimed that the number one problem with traditional Twinkies is “not enough pork.”

The TikTokers Making Space for IRL Friendship

Nikol Moses (left) started social group Friends On Purpose (right) in January 2023 / Nikol Moses, Friends On Purpose

We see it on our FYP almost daily now—people sharing their “friend applications” on TikTok in pursuit of community and third spaces. Creators are now stepping up to fill the void apps like Bumble BFF and Meetup never could.

Welcome to the creator third space, where IRL events are designed to bring together a creator’s community. One example? Nikol Moses’ Friends On Purpose (FOP), a social group for women in their 20s.

Moses started FOP last year after posting a TikTok looking for friends in her new city of Brisbane, Australia. Hundreds of women commented that they too were looking for community, which prompted Moses to start organizing free and ticketed events for people ages 20–35 to meet up for drinks, walks, and crafts. 

The business angle: Next month, Moses is going full-time working on the group.

  • FOP makes money primarily through ticketed events, each of which welcomes about 40 people.

  • As FOP expands to more cities, past attendees will become hosts. Next, Moses plans to pursue sponsorships.

Why it works: “Seeing a face attached to a problem that you’re having makes it more relatable,” Moses told us. “And seeing someone in the same situation as you makes it easier to go [to an event] and is a more comfortable experience as opposed to the apps.”

The key for creators looking to build community, Moses said, is focusing on location and brand identity: “With the branding I’ve done I’m already attracting a specific group of people, mostly women in their 20s,” Moses said. Even so, Moses has gotten requests for more age groups and recently started events for ages 30–50.

Big picture: Moses is part of a growing group of creators building offline communities large and small—from health creator Kate Glavan, who hosts monthly run clubs for her 100k TikTok followers, to Slow Girl Run Club and Village Fairy Book Club, each with fewer than 6k followers but still fostering thriving communities.

From Reality TV → Fitness YouTube

Jesse James West (left) hired Jesse Krim (right) as a producer in December 2023 / Jesse James West, Jesse Krim

Bravo’s Summer House reality series and fitness creator Jesse James West have more than footage of six pack abs in common…they both count Jesse Krim as a producer.  

Here’s how Krim broke into the creator space → 

  • Krim started working as a contractor for West last December after emailing him with pointers on how she’d improve his content. She then went full-time in January. 

  • Prior to joining West’s team, Krim spent five years freelancing on reality shows including Bravo’s Summer House and Project Runway and Netflix’s My Unorthodox Life.

“I can’t believe I was able to find this. That’s why I want to share it with people who come from my world, that this is the next wave,” Krim told us. 

Unpacking the job: The job title of “producer” can mean anything from researching and planning videos to making thumbnails. 

Krim’s role on West’s team involves business management plus content ideation—and her experience working outside of the creator space has helped her set the right tone. 

“I started sending call sheets for our shoots, which I think is necessary in order to set standards for the future when this becomes bigger, and for people involved to understand ‘this is legit and not just some kid filming a video,’” Krim said. 

This is part of our series profiling the creator powerhouses behind the camera. Read our first article here. Is there another creator or position you want to hear about? Hit reply and let us know.

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The Art of Turning Passion into Profit

Bullet-journaler extraordinaire Amanda Rach Lee has always made a point to listen to her audience. Listening helped her find her YouTube niche, and it’s also led her to build a flourishing business.

In 2019, she launched the Doodle Planner. It was so successful that she’s released a new planner each year since and expanded to other stationery products.

So how did a creator, who dropped out of business school no less, build such a thriving venture? With help and support from Shopify.

If you’re a creator like Amanda, Shopify simplifies the process of selling to your audience. From Instagram to YouTube, Shopify has social selling tools that make meeting your community where they’re at an intuitive experience.

Instagram, Facebook Experience Widespread Outages

Meta apps faced outages on Tuesday / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Instagram, Facebook, and Threads were down for roughly two hours Tuesday morning as their parent company Meta experienced widespread outages caused by “technical” issues.

The creator impact: Art creator Ethan Tran told us that Meta’s apps (particularly Instagram) host some 95% of what he shares online.

  • While outages can delay his workflow—including completing deliverables for brand partnerships on time—he repurposes his videos across platforms to ensure he’s not dependent on any single one.

  • “If [Meta] was to go down for an extended period of time, then it would affect my work…though I don’t see it [ever completely] shutting down,” he said.

➕ Community Tab

Last week, Colin and Samir held a live pitch contest in front of hundreds of community members to hear creators’ best merch ideas. The two winners:

Sebastian Johnson. The pitch: A Press Publish Play Button frame. 

  • A creator hangs the empty frame on their wall as an accountability tool in the journey toward 100k subscribers. 

  • Once they reach that milestone and receive a Play button from YouTube, they can fill the frame and send a picture to Colin and Samir…

  • …Who will give them a discount to a bigger gold frame for the 1 million subscriber milestone.

Boaz Burnett. The pitch: A mobile wireless touchscreen monitor called CineSolo. 

  • It lets you see yourself when recording on your back phone camera, like a wireless and touch-capable flip-out screen. 

  • Burnett is looking to start a Kickstarter for this project later this year and is offering a short survey on user experience. 

Got your own idea for creator merch? Let us know!

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