How One Creator is Future-Proofing Her Business 💸

Salary Transparent Street plans to make $2M this year

Good morning. Big news in sports media: ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery announced a joint streaming service for live sports yesterday. In other words, we’ll now have three unique broadcasts cutting to Taylor Swift during Chiefs games—all for the price of one. 

How Salary Transparent Street is Future-Proofing

Hannah Williams of Salary Transparent Street (left) shares that her brand earned $1,043,593 in gross revenue in 2023 (right) / Salary Transparent Street

Hannah Williams of Salary Transparent Street (STS) has become known for asking strangers how much money they make—with the goal of increasing pay transparency. Williams recently made waves for flipping the script: unpacking how she made $1 million for STS in 2023.

Breaking it down: Brand partnerships with companies like Indeed, Sofi, and Deputy accounted for 97% of STS’s $1 million in income last year. But in a very meta moment, Williams told us she found out she was “charging way too low” for some conversion partnerships after creator peers chimed in on her revenue breakdown last month.

“You see $1 million, but in my mind I see something that can go away in a split-second,” Williams told us.

So to future-proof her business, decrease her reliance on partnerships budgets, and ultimately double her income to $2 million this year, Williams is leaning into new revenue streams: data and community.

  • STS has a free newsletter and email-gated salary database. Both offer valuable first-hand data on STS’s audience.

  • STS also plans to launch a job board with a recruitment referral process.

“In my mind, having data and having a system that brings people together in a way that current databases don't is worth something. It cost $200,000 to make and we own everything, which is on purpose because if it gets acquired that could be a huge payout,” Williams said.

Another benefit to investing in her site? Providing a space off social platforms where users can share their salaries and research others. According to Williams, that’s part of what makes STS stand out from other person-on-the-street shows. 

Three Creator Show Launches We’re Watching

Rhett & Link (left) tease a main channel show, ex-Too Hot To Handle star Harry Jowsey (top right) joins Unwell, and Epic Gardening launches a brand with a new host, Joe (bottom right) / Rhett & Link, Harry Jowsey, Epic Off-Grid Living

Several top creator-led companies announced new shows this week, each with a unique distribution strategy. Three we’re watching:

Rhett & Link are debuting a new TV show on their personal YouTube channel. In an upload Tuesday, the longtime creators and co-hosts of Good Mythical Morning expressed frustration with their attempts over the last several years to sell a project they wrote to traditional TV studios.

So, instead of continuing to pitch studios, the duo will make the show as a Mythical production and release it through their original Rhett & Link channel in the fall. “We see it as an investment in ourselves, in our creative ideas, and in our team,” Rhett said.

Alex Cooper adds a third podcast to her Unwell Network. Reality TV star Harry Jowsey will join the Unwell talent roster alongside TikTok creators Alix Earle and Madeline Argy. Jowsey has become a fan favorite among Cooper’s listeners after multiple appearances on Call Her Daddy.

Jowsey’s Boyfriend Material, featuring conversations about dating and relationships, will launch across audio platforms on February 27. 

Epic Gardening is going off the grid. Its new media brand Off-Grid Living explores how to live sustainably in the wilderness through 1) a pair of vertical videos each day across TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram and 2) one weekly longform video.

Sponsored by Shopify

Unpack Shopify’s 2024 Product Drop

Building a creator-led business is a lot like building a house. You can’t build one without having a solid foundation in place.

Discover new tools for laying the groundwork of your business inside Editions, Shopify’s twice-yearly drop of platform-enhancing products. Their Winter 2024 announcement has over 100+ product updates that make running an online store easier than ever, including:

  1. Shopify Magic: Save time with AI-powered features that write product descriptions and edit product photos for you (will be available in early 2024).

  2. Shopify Subscriptions: Create more predictable revenue by offering customers recurring product orders.

  3. Shopify Lending: Keep scaling with more financing options, like a flexible Line of Credit you can access at any time.

Create a more efficient and successful online store in 2024. Dig into all of Shopify’s latest releases by checking out Editions today.

YouTube CEO Unveils Platform’s Top Priorities

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, who spoke with Colin and Samir in 2023, shares the platform’s priorities for the new year / Colin and Samir

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan published a letter yesterday outlining the company’s top priorities for 2024.

The main takeaways:

  1. The YouTube Partner Program is thriving. More than 3 million channels are now registered in the program, which has paid out more than $70 billion to creators over the last three years.

  2. More generative AI experiments are coming, Mohan promised. FYI: Last year, YouTube announced several AI features, including tools that let creators sing like their favorite artists or create text-to-image backgrounds for Shorts.

  3. The living room is YouTube’s “next frontier.” Mohan said the number of top creators who received the majority of their watchtime on TVs increased more than 400% in the last three years (a trend that factored into Colin and Samir’s content strategy in 2023).

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