Why This Creator Turned Down Millions in Brand Deals

Treyton DeVore
October 25, 2021

Good morning and happy Saturday!

A warm welcome to our 6 new subscribers this week including Matt, Hassan, and Britney 🖤

If you hadn't heard, the bitcoin ETF (that isn't really a bitcoin ETF) launched this week which played a role in the price of bitcoin itself hitting all-time highs.

So if you invested in bitcoin in 2016 when it was around $700 - congrats 🎉

If you invested in bitcoin this week at $65,000 - also, congrats 🎉


- Treyton

Betting On Yourself and Building Equity as a Creator

I'll preface this by saying I'm not the biggest Logan Paul fan, but it's hard to ignore the strategy around his creator business.

He's built a following of over 100 million, has one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and even if you hate him, his name seems to somehow make its way into conversation.

He's recognized the opportunity that sits in front of him with the following that he's tirelessly built, and has chosen to build equity in himself rather than other brands.

What do I mean by this? Let's break it down.

Most creators who make money solely from their content are typically doing it through a few different ways:

  • Ad revenue
  • Brand deals/sponsorships
  • Affiliate links
  • Or a combination of all three

Rather than continue down this traditional route, Logan decided to create Maverick - his own clothing brand and membership club - in May 2020, just a few short months after the pandemic began.

The website showcases a clip of Logan jumping over a charging bull and he shared on an episode of Impaulsive that the company made between $30-40 million in its first year.

$30-40 million..

Now, that could just be revenue or it could be net profit, but either way it's a wildly impressive number.

And you may be thinking that the selling merch is overdone and the market is saturated, and you'd be right.

But creators who view and market their merch as a 'movement' and a true brand are finding much more success than those who throw a logo they haven't built equity in on a shirt and hoodie and try sell it for $80.

And that's exactly what Logan has done so far.

Since he's built community around his content for so many years, the moment he launched the brand, it had traction. And since he's defined his audience as young males (I mean, who else really watches his content?), he can narrow down the messaging and brand he wants to build.

He's done that by using taglines on merch such as "nothing to see here ;)" and "we're not the same".

To piggyback off of the merch, they've built out Maverick Club - an "inner circle inner circle that includes things from exclusive, uncut content, to real-life hangouts, insane giveaways, limited edition Maverick Clothing, site-wide discounts, free shipping, and a ton more"


The Maverick Club costs $20 a month and to be honest, if I was a big fan of a creator and received all these benefits, I'd probably join.

I don't know how active Logan actually is in the community but for creators who have built up a tight audience, giving access to yourself (like Logan's zoom calls and dinners) and providing exclusive content are two of the best ways I've seen to reward those diehard fans.

Now, they aren't solely marketing Maverick as they do have sponsors on their podcast, but they're in constant rotation and I do think it'd seem odd if he was always pushing his own merch and brand in every ad placement.

But overall, he's turned down millions in brand deals to keep Maverick as his main brand so he can capture the full financial upside that his personal brand can provide.

Outside of building equity in yourself, a few other reasons why a creator may decide to turn down brand deals could include:

Wouldn't bring value to audience

You know your audience better than anyone so if a product or sponsorship doesn't align with what your audience, it doesn't make sense to accept money and try to push a product that won't convert. It may even hurt your relationship with your audience because they could view it as a cash grab.

Untrustworthy brand

Some brands are willing to spend all their money on influencer and creator marketing because it's their only hope to sell what they have to offer. They're hoping to use the trust you've built in replace of the trust that they don't have.

The price is wrong, b****

And sometimes, the price simply doesn't make sense. Not all brands can afford to pay the appropriate price and that's okay. Kindly decline and move on.

There's also been a slight shift towards brands utilizing "micro-influencers" over spending the big bucks that high profile influencers demand. This is creating new opportunities for those who create niche content, have built authentic relationships with their following, and have influence on their audiences decisions.

But overall, the lesson here is that nothing can replace building equity in yourself.

Brands will come and go but if you're in the creator economy for the long haul, start building your brand and your name so you can be the one with leverage, not the brands.

🍿 Closing Clicks

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Keep creating,

Treyton DeVore

Creator | Content Writer


Read past editions of The Loaf:

October 16, 2021 | Pay Transparency Issues in the Creator Economy and a Unique Solution

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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