Pay Transparency Issues in the Creator Economy and a Unique Solution

Treyton DeVore
October 19, 2021

Good morning and happy Saturday!

I don't know about you but in my head, I still count 2019 as 1 year ago.

Anyways, came up with some new ideas for the newsletter and have a really exciting addition I'm hoping to add by next week.

Let's get into it.

- Treyton

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The Existing Problems Around Pay Transparency

This week, I learned about a site that lets creators anonymously review brands they've worked with as well as allowing them to leave information about how much they were paid in the relationship.

Why does this matter?

In the creator economy, the lack of pay transparency is a massive issue. And unfortunately, inequality has made its way into the creator economy as well.

A story released by Bloomberg earlier this year highlighted stories of black creators being drastically underpaid for the work and their impact:

"Soon musicians and record labels were getting in touch, asking her [McRae] to promote their songs and offering to pay her around $500 per dance. McRae found a talent manager and quit her job as a sales manager at Massage Envy in Miami . . . . White choreographers with followings similar to McRae’s routinely make $5,000 to create and perform a dance. McRae generally gets one-tenth that, and she has noticed the same pay disparity across the industry."
In other cases, Black influencers aren’t paid at all. Stacy Thiru, who gives beauty tips to her 1.5 million TikTok followers, says that before she knew what her true market value was she’d regularly accept products—wigs, for instance—in lieu of cash when she created promotional tutorials for beauty companies. “They got free promo,” she says. “All I got was hair.”
Kenny Knox, a 22-year-old sketch comic helped pioneer a style of online comedy in which a single actor plays all the characters in a skit, struck sponsorship deals with Trident gum, Axe deodorant, and Gillette razors, among other brands . . . He was one of the service’s most popular users, but he didn’t even realize that companies paid influencers for posts until he began trading notes with his White peers, many of whom make as much as $100,000 per video these days. “I should be a millionaire right now,” he says. “My friends, my family, they all look at me like I’m about to be Will Smith.”

Due to this of the lack of transparency and blatant disrespect towards unknowing creators, brands can underpay them and they may never even know they're being underpaid.

So Fuck You Pay Me was created.

Rather than signing brand deals in the dark, influencers and creators can sign up for the site, see what others have said about a company or brand, and get a rough estimate of what they pay.

It's basically like Glassdoor but exclusively for influencers, creators, or their agents.

from their FAQ page

It's one of the most impactful, unique projects I've seen built around the creator economy and with this, a powerful statement hangs in the middle of their site:

Your bank would never accept ‘exposure’ as payment. Neither should you.

As a creator, you're a business, not a marketing tool for brands to take advantage of.

Create, know your worth, get paid, repeat 💰

🎈On Life as a Creator

Lessons, learnings, and takeaways for career-creators


We all know the importance of building an audience.

But what about the importance of owning your audience?

On Monday of this past week, crypto & bitcoin creator, Anthony "Pomp" Pompliano posted a video podcast on YouTube talking about bitcoin with a guest.

YouTube deleted his channel shortly after..

​For over a year, he'd been posting almost daily content on the channel.

Earlier this year, we also saw Jack Butcher have his signature @visualizevalue and @value accounts taken away by Twitter.

(Visualize value was later restored, @value is still suspended)

Having a social media account taken away can be devastating, especially if it's the only way you can contact your following.

Luckily in these two examples, both Jack and Pomp had diversified their online presence so the loss (or temporary loss) wasn't as impactful.

However, for a new or budding creator, your effort may be focused on one account on one platform and the removal of that account could put a halt to your growth.

The takeaway: Begin siphoning your audience from borrowed to owned land. Especially as the transition to web3 begins, traditional social media platforms may begin to lose their juice over time and a way to mitigate platform risk is by owning your audience.

Some ways to begin doing so:

- Collecting email addresses through:

  • Newsletter signups
  • Gumroad purchases & downloads
  • Free guides, PDFs, etc

- Creating a paid community on platforms such as Patreon

- Building a community on Discord/Slack (though still carries some risk)

- If your business is suited for SMS, collect phone numbers

Your career may have been built on social media but with the instances we've seen so far, building an audience off of social media in tandem is one of the most effective ways to 'bullet-proof' your reach and connection with your following.

🕳 For the Crypto-Curious

One piece of content to fall down the rabbit hole with

.  .  .

Crypto 101: A Primer

I've found that educating around crypto is very challenging. It's hard because everyone is at different moments in their crypto journey, so some references or explanations may make sense to some, but others may not be that far along yet.

So as this new section of the newsletter grows, I want to start at the beginning with Crypto 101.

This guide from Nico Glennon is one of the best resources I've found that explains crypto and also includes links to other resources to dive deeper if you want.

The intro:

"You are reading this because you are a smart and curious person looking to learn more about crypto but don't really know where to begin. Perhaps you were sent here by a friend who is further down the rabbit hole than you, or you found your way here all on your own. In either case, welcome.

You've googled the buzzwords, perhaps watched a video or two about crypto, but so far things haven't really clicked.

Yet you can feel that something important is happening.

I've compiled this document to hopefully serve you as a roadmap and guide. I won't be writing too much of it myself — there are far smarter people who already articulated these concepts much better than I ever could. I plan to simply compile all the best sources in a single place that is easy to parse through and share with others.

This is an ever-evolving aggregation of links, videos, articles, explainers, etc. Crypto is a moving target — I will try and keep this up to date as much as possible, but ideally after learning the foundations you will be informed enough to be able to take ownership of your own journey.

A warning: the rabbit hole is extremely deep, possibly endless. And once it hits, it's hard to think of anything else. Good luck."

Check out the resource

👀 Closing Clicks

Quick, curated insights

.  .  .

• College Sports Embrace The Name, Image, Likeness Future With Gusto

TikTok removed 82 million videos, 9.6 billion fake likes between April and June

YouTube To Stop Making Year-End ‘Rewind’ Videos

• CAA Signs Crypto Collector 0xb1 And Their $450+ Million Trove Of NFTs

YouTube Is Demonetizing (But Not Banning) Climate Change Misinformation

Instagram Is Giving Creators A ‘Practice Mode’ For Their Live Streams

Keep creating,

Treyton DeVore

Read past editions of The Loaf:

October 9, 2021 | On Accepting Change and Recognizing Friction

October 2, 2021 | Brands Beginning to Acknowledge Creators and What This Means

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