I can't be the only one...
Right now, there are 50 million creators putting content out into the ether and building their own brands. Of that 50 million, 2 million are earning enough income from their creations to make a career out of it.
The creator economy is currently a $100 billion+ industry and it took about a decade to get here, but it was only a matter of time before companies started building products specifically for creators.
So in today's newsletter we're going to highlight a few of the main FinTech solutions currently available because let's face it, managing money is hard and if there are things that make it easier, we should be using them.
So a few of the top platforms out there right now:
A platform that aims to be a financial studio for collaborating, splitting revenue, money management and metrics—all in one place. I personally signed up for the platform earlier this year and have had mixed feelings so far.
Overall, the platform is taking on an impactful mission. Creators need a place to run the business side of their creative ventures. When you link your business bank account, it can calculate how much of your revenue needs to be set aside for taxes, though I'm not sure if it can pull the money automatically like Catch (below) does.
But, it feels like they haven't found product-market fit yet. For smaller creators, the features are fairly limited.
Right now, it basically feels like a cleaner version of Quickbooks - which is needed. Quickbooks is kinda gross.
Stir appears to be catering more towards the larger creators with features like Splits - which allow you to automatically split revenue with people you collaborated with on a video or project - and while their website says you can send invoices without processing fees, the feature is only available to managers.
Though with saying all of that, the nice thing is that it's free. They also have (or at least had) concierge onboarding so you hop on a quick 10 minute google meet and someone from the team walks through how to use the platform and gives you a chance to ask any questions.
I love what Stir's building and I believe in the team, I'm just excited to see what changes are made to favor the smaller creators so we can manage and grow our business to become the big creators.
Creative Juice is a bank solely focused on creators and their investors include Graham Stephan, Mr. Beast, Shelby Church, and Justin Kan. From the outside, it looks like they took what Stir built and then added a bank to it - which I believe makes the platform that much better because everything is integrated and much cleaner.
They have no banking fees - except a $5 wire fee - and they're also building out a tax feature to project estimated quarterly payments.
Creative Juice is tailoring the service slightly towards YouTube creators as they launched Juice Boost. When you connect your AdSense account, rather than waiting 30 days for payment, Creative Juice can see the money to be paid in 30 days and they advance you the money immediately - which can help with cash flow and reinvesting back into the business or next video.
They also launched Juice Funds, which is basically like venture capital but for creators. Partnering with Mr. Beast, they're investing anywhere from $25k to $250k into qualifying creator businesses and if you've been uploading for at least 6 months and receive revenue from AdSense, they encourage you to apply - which you can do here.
Even further, they're opening up the Juice Fund to let "anyone" participate in the investments. I'm not sure what all it takes to qualify to become an investor with Creative Juice, but I'll report back in a future Loaf with more updates because I'd love to be apart of it.
And lastly, they offer discounts/cash back at popular creative merchants like Apple, B&H, Moment, SlipStream, Adobe, TubeBuddy, and Patreon.
Overall I'm bullish on Creative Juice, really like what they're building.
I just signed up for Catch a few weeks ago and while I haven't linked my accounts and truly started using the platform yet, I'm a big fan of it. I know a few freelancers who use it and love it. Their tagline is "Benefits for people without benefits" and that's precisely what they do.
They provide easy access to health insurance plans, it automatically sets aside money for taxes based on your state (it even sends quarterly tax payments directly to the IRS within the platform), and it has built in savings and investment accounts so you can automatically set aside money for an emergency fund, taking time off, or saving for retirement.
I think Catch paired with Creative Juice is going to be my main financial tech stack and once I use Catch a little bit, I'll write a review of my experience. But on first impression, I'm liking what I see and haven't seen another competitor come close to what they offer.
And the last solution we're going to cover is a creator-based credit card. Designed for larger creators, Karat offers credit limits based on revenue and social following because most credit card companies don't understand how creator businesses are ran.
"With over $3M in revenue per year and 20 employees, the bank still doesn’t trust me with a credit card. Karat gets it. Banks don’t.” – Nas Daily
They provide text message customer support, no fees, 3-5% cash back, an engraved alloy card, and a clean dashboard to view your spending.
The card is fairly exclusive at the moment as you either have to join their waitlist or receive an invite from a creator already using the card. The card itself doesn't seem too special, but the fact that it was built for and aligns with creator businesses is an advantage that few other card providers have.
But when it comes down to it, all you truly need to manage your business financial life is:
And that's about it. Anything else is just an added convenience (or headache). It's easy to see new tech products and want to figure out the best way to start using them, but don't fall victim to shiny object syndrome. New tech can add complexity to your business and may not even solve the problems you need it to.
But with saying that, I believe these platforms are leading the way in the fintech space in the creator economy and if you're looking to upgrade your financial tech stack or you're just entering the industry and need to build yours, these platforms are a great place to start looking.
Creatorbread and The Loaf have no affiliation with any mentioned companies
How Much YouTube Paid
Pilar is a small YouTuber focused on finance and passive income content.
She created videos for 22 months before qualifying for monetization and at the time of the recording, she had 3,000 subscribers.
The requirements for monetization are currently 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time
So in her first month of monetization, as a small YouTuber, she earned $706.30.
That's very impressive in my opinion. With only 3,000 subscribers? It's motivating.
One thing I'd like to point out though is the kind of content she creates. A lot of it is based around finance and investing and from what I've seen, finance topics usually pay out the highest amounts of ad revenue.
This is because advertisers view audience members of a finance channel more likely to buy whatever they're running ads for, or at least have the money to consider buying, than someone who watches.. let's say, a gaming channel.
And this may or may not be an accurate assumption, it's just the way it works right now.
She was earning a $31.26 CPM (cost per thousand views) and for comparison, Mr. Beast only earns around a $7 CPM. He has a much larger audience but it skews younger and the audience is just less defined, and those two factors are important in an advertiser's eyes and will play a role in how much you earn from ad revenue.
Vibely recently released their Creator Burnout Report, highlighting the impact of constant content creation on our mental health and livelihood.
The biggest takeaway: If you've struggled with burnout or mental health as a creator, you are so, so far from being alone
In the report they found that 90% of creators have experienced burnout and 71% have flat out considered quitting social media.
As Colin & Samir have stated, "the recipe for burnout is creative output without direction. Once we figured out who our audience was and how we wanted to serve them, life as a creator became more purposeful and a little bit easier."
If you're not feeling like yourself, you're not alone. We're all in it together - don't be afraid to reach out to other creators for comfort or support.
This report is very well put together and I highly recommend reading it because they offer tips and solutions to avoiding burnout.
There are only two words to describe this business: holy sh**
I mean it.
If this company plays out the way they want it to, it'll be one of the most impactful businesses built in the creator economy.
Because they're taking the best parts of being employed and the best part of being self-employed and making a new style of work.
Think of it like a traditional media company like CNBC, but with a priority on making the news anchors the highest paid employees in the organization.
Workweek is paying creators to join their team to simply create content, just like they would on their own.
Businesses are beginning to realize the influence that creators can truly have on consumers and regarding this, Adam Ryan (CEO of workweek) stated the following in a twitter thread introducing the company:
"@workweekinc believes the modern way to influence business decisions is to intertwine individuals' powerful personalities with their industry expertise through culturally relevant content"
On top of providing paid creative freedom, here are some of the benefits they're offering their creators including equity, 200 hours of PTO, fully-paid health insurance, 401(k) plan with 3.5% match, $1,000 education stipend, and more:
Here's a link their Benefits, Mission, and Values page.
Overall, I love what's going on here. Going back to creator burnout report, this could be a business structure that curbs some of the nasty side effects of being a career creator.
Love The Loaf? Share it with a friend :)