Please tell us about your business.
I like to split my business into two sections: there’s the “service Alex” and then there’s the “creator Alex”.
The service Alex runs a content creation and repurposing agency that works with very recognizable names in the creator economy industry. We basically help them turn their huge content backlogs into social media content. I also provide 1:1 consulting.
The creator Alex runs The Steal Club, a newsletter where we learn how the best creators use content to grow their audience and businesses. And how you can do the same by stealing their tactics and strategies. I also sell digital products as part of The Steal Club ecosystem.
How do you make money?
The “service” side of the business generates around 75% of my current income. The “creator” side of the business generates the rest. The goal for this year is to balance these and end up in a 50-50 split.
What works on the service side (from more income to less):
- Content repurposing productized service
- DFY content strategy
- 1:1 clarity calls
What works on the creator side (from more income to less):
- Newsletter sponsorships
- Digital products (I’m rebuilding the ecosystem as I type this)
- Affiliate deals (via the newsletter)
What works to grow your audience?
This is where my traffic comes from (from more to less):
- Crosspromotions with other creators
- Upscribe (surprising)
- Other social media channels
Things I’ll try in the next 3-6 months:
- Articles for SEO
- A Product Hunt launch
- Paid advertising (other newsletters mostly, but also FB ads)
What has been your most popular content?
- How to steal content ideas from your audience
- Everything was going well until…
- I stole 9 unconventional newsletter growth strategies
- The 35-minute Twitter growth framework
Have you had any major inflection points on your creator journey?
Growth has been pretty linear, no real huge spikes. I can identify a few points where it was higher than normal though:
What were you doing before you started this?
My background is in advertising. I was working as an account manager for several ad agencies for 5 years.
During that time I worked with many creators for our campaigns, so I got a glimpse of how the creator business looked like on the inside. It also taught me the right way to deal with clients, which is something that I still apply today for the service side of the business.
How did you get started?
I didn’t “choose” to get started but was forced into it. When Covid struck, my entire regional office where I was woking got shut down. Over 60+ people got fired.
I didn’t know what to do next so I decided to finally make the switch and go from consumer to producer. I started tweeting what I learned during those 5 years on Twitter. That slowly built an audience.
But when I really started getting traction on social media was when I incorporated the “stealing” element. I think it’s what help me set myself apart from all the other creators who were talking about the same topics as me.
How much content do you produce each week or month?
- 1-2 newsletter issues,
- 1-2 Twitter threads and around 8-10 tweets. Those later get repurposed for LinkedIn and Instagram.
How many hours per week do you spend on the business now?
Creating content: 3-4 hours a week (mostly on Mondays). Then about 30 min to 1h a day on Twitter and very little time on other social platforms
Operations: 1 hour per day (responding to emails, reaching out to partners, invoicing, etc)
Do you have any employees or assistants?
Not right now!
What are the key apps, software, or tools you use in your business?
For content creation:
- Tweet Hunter
If you were starting over today, what would you do differently?
- Niche down what you do and who you do it for. Try to find your “Red Pill”.
- Brand yourself. Try to find your unique edge. What makes you different? For me, that was the “stealing” bit.
- Focus on one social channel, and one only. Then funnel everyone into your email list
- Choose 2-3 core content pillars and only write about that. You want to get known for 1-2 very specific things. You are building a pro creator brand, not a personal account.
- Pay to skip the line (if it’s possible). I’ve seen major improvements on my business when I stopped trying to figure it out and turned to experts for advice. This can be in the form of courses, other learning resources, or coaching.
- Don’t be afraid of promoting yourself. No one else will (early on).