Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
As we build Yem's initial product offering, we're thinking more about our ideal customer. Our mission is to help creators, many of whom are solopreneurs or manage a small team.
It can be a lean operation, which is part of the opportunity. We want to give creators the superpowers of a 20-person team. But compared to a true B2B sales channel, there may be some challenges.
Last week, we talked about our goal of a $100,000 ARR run rate within 6 months. To reach our goal, we’ll likely need 50 to 100 paying customers. We're using today's post to explore a few types of customers that may buy our initial products.
Giving Creators Superpowers
To an increasing degree, the internet is shifting power from institutions & companies to the individual. With Yem, we want to encourage this shift. We want to empower individuals and help them build the most influential media brands of the 21st century.
From our origin story a few weeks ago, the idea of Yem emerged from a desire to help creators that we admire. These brave souls neglected more traditional careers. Instead, they built large, multi-platform media businesses online, and mostly on their own.
These pioneers paved the way for the next wave of courageous creators. Today’s creators have the advantage of new platforms, tools, and ways to make money. Their business models have become more complex and wide-ranging.
There’s no shortage of examples. We believe the future of media will be creators with wide distribution and several ways to monetize. Even better if those revenue streams are complementary and form a flywheel.
Still, these are not easy businesses to operate and grow. With Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth, we learned how hard it is to build an audience and monetize across several platforms. We want to help creators have their cake & eat it too: the autonomy & ownership of a solopreneur, with the support & resources of a company.
But what happens if the current creator market is smaller than anticipated? Or what if creators have a lower willingness to pay for our initial product offering?
Companies as Storytellers
Outside of the Substack vortex, most people think of "newsletters" as a form of marketing (i.e. Southwest Airlines & $50 fares). But that is changing quickly. More businesses are turning to newsletters and other forms of media to tell their story.
Mario wrote about this shift, predicting storytelling and owned media assets will become increasingly important for businesses. Mario points to a few examples of companies developing meaningful (non-core) media products:
The companies above are big enough to employ a team to work on their media efforts. But maybe there's an opportunity to work with earlier-stage businesses. Startups with similar media aspirations, but more limited resources, and not quite able to hire a team to work on non-core products.
For Eco, we could help turn their onboarding series into a drip campaign. For MainStreet, Ramp, and Pipe, we could help turn testimonials into a newsletter for prospective customers, or onboarding for new customers.
Even if working with businesses proves viable, it's not exactly a perfect fit with our creator-centric mission. Still, it might make sense. Working with businesses would likely help us build better products for creators. Also, if we don't find initial traction, we're DOA anyway, and won't be of much use to anyone.
While our hearts want to support creators, we need to keep an open mind and find the most effective way to gain traction.
Thank you for all the responses last week! Your support and feedback are much appreciated. Keep it coming. :)
Talk soon, Reid