The Creator Economy, Sales Models, and Privacy Invasion with Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss

There’s a lot of buzz right now about a surprising new privacy announcement from Apple and a “new” thing called the creator economy.

Of course you can count on co-hosts Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss to have some thoughts about it all. Summer is over, and Roland and Ryan are looking forward to getting back into the normal groove of business, which they both love. Traffic & Conversion Summit is just around the corner. These are exciting times. And, hey, if you’re enjoying the podcast, take a minute to review it.

Today’s episode is a virtual smorgasbord of great topics, and they start off by discussing a recent article titled “The Year that Everyone Became a Creator.” The article essentially states that we have this creator economy right now and, as a result of that, anyone and everyone can be a creator, someone who is able to scale without permission. 

There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

Ryan says this development—individuals thinking more like businesses—is a good thing. In the past, an individual putting themselves out there was a fairly limited business model. They’ve shown they can monetize their own stuff, but then go beyond that and leverage investments in other businesses.

His only problem is with the terminology. This idea of a creator economy, or even creators in general, is just a rebranding of the word “entrepreneur.” It’s not new. Sure, there are more opportunities right now, so we have more winners. But businesses have been doing this forever.

Like Roland says, it’s a reskinned version of an age-old thing. Ryan’s marketer side thinks it’s brilliant to rename a category, but the teacher in him warns us not to lose the opportunity of learning from all the models we have in the past.

Roland agrees. He’s a fan of reading the classics in business and finance and marketing. Like that Shakespearean assertion that there are only 7 plots in the world, all of this has been seen before. Don’t go out and read all the new books on becoming a creator. It’s called business.

What Goes Into Being a Business?

So, to break this down, what does every business need to do? Three basic things:

  1. They’ve got to have something to sell. 
  2. They need a distribution channel.
  3. They’ve got to have monetization.

A lot of creators/influencers right now (on TikTok, etc.) are entertainers. There are no more gatekeepers. You don’t have to get on the radio or TV. You still need to have something you’re selling—a product or a service. Entertainment is a service. You still need distribution and monetization. And there are a lot of opportunities to cross-monetize your celebrity. A lot of people are now able to get into micro-funds, to micro-invest.

Roland and Ryan are developing a fund that will help small businesses. They’ll put their own money into it and raise money as well. It’s an example of creators investing in other creators and keeping small alive.

There’s a great opportunity to create your own network, like they’re doing with their podcast. It’s just eliminated the giant infrastructure with investment. Democratization is an overused word, but it’s appropriate. Don’t limit your monetization. Do all the things you’re doing but also make semi-passive investments in other companies. Diversify how you make money.

Is Our Privacy in Jeopardy?

The host switch gears for a bit to talk about something pretty important: your privacy. Apple announced recently that, in hopes of stopping child trafficking and abuse, they’re going to be scanning your personal devices for red flags. When the iOS 15 rolls out, they’ll scan your personal devices and Cloud uploads to match content against prohibited content.

On the one hand, this is very noble. On the other hand, it seems really dangerous. Apple is now protecting us from advertisers but not from the government. Red flags go to a panel at Apple—made up of humans—then on to the government for prosecution. People who abuse it could potentially use their powers for bad, take bribes to frame people.

Roland says this makes him consider leaving Apple, which would be a really difficult choice. And Ryan thinks Apple is doing this to keep from getting broken up. If they cooperate with the government, they’ll probably be allowed to keep their monopoly status.

It’s a surprisingly unpleasant precedent for a company that supposedly cares about your privacy. We’re giving up a lot of our privacy for safety and security, but that’s how dictatorships start. Roland isn’t a conspiracy theorist, and he doesn't think it’s in our immediate future, but as a student of history and law, he sees it as a slippery slope that many societies trip down. 

Which Sales Model Is the Best?

Because they don’t want to end the show on a downer, Roland and Ryan move on to talking about sales models. They’ve been playing around with webinars recently to convert people into different programs they have at Scalable, DigitalMarketer, and the Epic Network. They’ve tried a few models and haven’t found one that’s the absolute greatest yet. 

Ryan’s background is marketing first. For the first two decades of his career, he got people to a website where they could learn about a product or service, click a button, give him money, and get what they want. But there are limitations to that. People will buy online up to a certain price point (usually around $2k), but if they’re spending more than that, they want to talk to a real human about it—or go see it, touch it for themselves.

As they’ve explored the top end of the market, they’ve gotten more sales driven and added a sales team. They came up with a hybrid model. On one end of the spectrum, here’s the link; go buy. On the other end, we’ve got lots of ways we can help you; no mention of a specific program or price. In the middle, we have this specific program for these specific programs; let’s talk about it.

With this hybrid model, the sales cycle is longer, more consultative. And you have to consider that there’s about a 20% cost increase with a sales team that does not exist with an online direct sale. But that’s where they’re headed, and they think it will be worth it. From this point on, their webinars will be less about getting the sale and more about driving the human-to-human conversation.

Roland’s EPIC Challenge.

You may have heard about Roland’s EPIC challenge, which he moved online when the Pandemic hit. It focuses on Ethical Profits In Times of Crisis and dives into no-money out-of-pocket business acquisition strategies. If you’re interested in finding out more about this strategy, click here.

Contact & Follow Roland

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Through his Website.

Contact and Follow Ryan Deiss

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Through his Website.

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