Creator Cash
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Creator Cash

A Guide to Start Selling Directly to Your Audience

This article is part of our series on How Creators Can Sell Directly to Their Audiences. In this series, we talk about how to expand your creative business and make money independent of any platform. We break it down into simple, easy steps, so you can get started right away. Check out our last article in the series:

We’re going to give you the playbook on how to get started. You’re ready for the next step in your creative business, and you want to create a store (or catalogue) of things you can offer to your audience. The question is: how?

Deciding what and how to sell can scary, confusing, and downright impossible. That’s why we’ve put together this playbook. In 5 simple steps, we’ll show you how to find and sell the products or services your audience want most. Let’s get started! And when you’re ready, CreatorStore can help you get them to your fans.

1. Identify what your audience has asked for

Your audience probably lets you know what they found interesting or what they’d like to learn more about. Your comment section is filled with suggestions or feedback. This is a good place to start if you don’t know what to sell or you’re running low on ideas. You’re a creator and thought leader, and you can sell your expertise.

If you make YouTube tutorial videos, then you can dive deeper into any of those topics. Say a lot of people replied to your “How to Make Money on YouTube” video and they specifically want to know more about brand sponsorships. You have an opportunity to create a course on sponsorships based around your knowledge and research. Then when you make it available on your store, your audience already has an incentive to purchase.

And if scanning through the comments seems like too much work, consider running a poll or survey — they’ll tell you in a flash!

2. Curate a catalogue to fit your audience

This is the fun part: Keeping in mind your audience, what will you start selling? Is it your time? Or your work?

Here’s 3 simple tips on how to create your first set of products and services:

  1. Sell What You Know: sell what you’re an expert at—not something you’ll have to study up on and research
  2. Sell Your Time First: time is easy to sell, and you’ll get to hear what people want in realtime
  3. Salvage Old Work: you likely got a treasure-trove of files and presentations you can package into a product

If you’re on a constant grind, then selling your time with 1:1s and events aren’t as desirable for you. But if you still want to connect with your audience, then selling repurposed content (more on that later) or exclusive access is more your speed.

Here are some other options for you to consider:

  • Commissioned works
  • Custom tools or resources to solve a problem (like resume tips or Photoshop practice)
  • Graphic / audio assets
  • Merch
  • Personalized messages
  • Q&A / consultation sessions
  • Simple support / donations
  • Social media or video shoutouts
  • Virtual 1:1s or meet ups

Important Reminder: every thing takes a certain amount of effort, and you get the name the price. So, what is your time and effort worth? Don’t skimp on yourself!

An example of a catalogue by one of our creators, Mist

3. Prioritize your offerings

While we’d love to sell all the things at once, that’s not always sustainable—especially for a hustling creator. Prioritizing what you want to offer can help you stay focused and avoid burnout.

Pick one (or a few) offerings that you know you can focus on. You could offer a few small things like 1:1s with fans, or you can put all your effort into one big ticket item. Either way, be honest with yourself and your audience: what level of time and effort are you able to put in? Then, keep yourself accountable. If you commit to doing three 1:1s a week, prioritize that so your audience has a great experience with your store.

As you develop more products and free up time, you can always add things to your store. Just remember to prioritize so you’re not overwhelmed and your audience can enjoy your content!

4. Set goals you can achieve

Identifying your goals will help inform your plan and make it easier to measure your success.

You can start with some realistic milestones. Part of doing that is creating SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that are relevant to you, as a creator. Are you looking to close the gap between you and your audience? Or do you want to supplement your income so you can start doing this full-time?

For example, if you want to teach more yoga classes, then one of your goals might look like this: I want to grow the number of exclusive lessons I teach via Zoom from once a week for $35 per attendee to twice a week for $45 per attendee.

Another example is if you want to earn money by selling 1:1 time to your audience, then your goal might look more like this: I want to increase the amount of 1:1s I do from two a week to five by the end of November.

Wherever you are in your journey, define what your desired outcome is. Then, build your plan from there.

5. Market your store right

Your audience should be the first people you market to. Don’t be afraid to promote your store and offerings. Chances are, your audience wants to support you! Promoting your store doesn’t have to feel like you’re a sleazy car salesman. It’s as simple as being honest, genuine, and ready for the next step of your career.

To do that, open a line of communication. As your audience turns into paying customers, collect their emails. This is important because you have a line of communication that can help promote your store and build your network. An email list can also be useful if you ever decide to do social media ads.

To expand your customer base outside of your current audience, it’s important to cross-promote. In a way that feels natural to you, post about it on Instagram and Twitter, mention it in YouTube videos, or just add the link to your descriptions. Don’t forget to also ask your existing customers to rate, review, or post about you to their social media. Referrals are a great way to garner more interest in your store.

So, ready to start selling to your audience?

It seems like a big project; but when you can break it down into actionable tips, it gets a bit easier! What did you think of these tips? Let us know in the comments and on our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

We’re all about helping you make more money whether it’s through tips like these or our upcoming feature: CreatorStore. Read more from our series, How Creators Can Sell Directly to Their Audiences here:

Download Creator Cash [iOS or Android] today.

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Creator Cash has been in the digital media space for years, and it’s paid out more than $175 million to 750K creators. Now, Creator Cash is doing something a bit different: helping creators and influencers run their businesses.

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Creator Cash

Creator Cash

We’re in the business of helping creators through FinTech. Our app, Creator Cash, is out now! It’s the app to help creators grow and access YouTube earnings.

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