Creators and the Conundrum of Scale

Jesse Clemmens
Jesse Clemmens
Co-Founder @ HiBeam
Cover Image for Creators and the Conundrum of Scale

The early days of building your business as a creator can be daunting. Developing your brand and voice, finding early followers or subscribers, keeping them engaged, figuring out how to monetize, navigating the wild world of creator tools, and the list goes on. But if you've stuck with it, found a rhythm, and built a decent audience, you might find yourself with a whole different challenge: how to deal with the sheer volume of interactions and opportunities that are coming your way! 

As strange as it may sound to those just starting, there will come a time when you shift from "clawing for every small win" to "flooded in opportunity."

But how can you surf the flood rather than become overwhelmed by it? Let's dive in.  

Scaling

In "network effect" environments like social media, growth tends to accelerate over time. You may have already encountered this phenomenon; the first 1000 followers were hard, but from 3,000 to 4,000, it was faster and easier. Growing (sometimes exponentially) while maintaining control of your processes and overall business is called "Scaling."

  • Why is the job of being a creator easy to scale? In some ways, the unique nature of creators is scalable. You have, theoretically, almost unlimited "free" distribution via the ability for your posts or content to reach millions of people at no cost to you. The power of cheap content distribution has allowed superstar creators to build incredible businesses centered around their authentic brands at a fraction of the cost and staffing of a traditional "brand" that relies on advertising. 

  • Why is the job of being a creator hard to scale? Many creators build a brand around their unique voice and individual creativity. Absolute control over content can ensure that you stand out and are true to yourself; on the other hand, you only have 24 hours in a day as a creator. When confronted with increasing opportunities, you might find it challenging to take your business to the next level without losing what makes your business unique and authentic.  

Creators as Businesses

The more you think of your creator activities as a business, the faster you will be able to identify the aspects of your business that you can safely delegate or systematize.

Like all businesses, the most successful creators hire or delegate. Let's look at two ways to think about these topics.

Human Solutions

A basic rule of thumb is that if you are spending time on a task that can be done by someone else at least 80% as well, you should delegate that task. 

This is a valuable rule in that it helps defeat the enemy of scaling, perfectionism. You may have heard the adage, "if you want something done right, do it yourself." While this may be true in some areas of life, this mindset trap will keep you from scaling your business as a Creator. 

Instead of finding areas where someone else can complete a task 100% or better than you, ask yourself, "can this be done 80% as well, whether I did it not?" If the answer is yes, the task should be hired, outsourced, or delegated away.

  • Option 1 - Hiring: at some point, when your business has become big enough, you may want to bring on full-time help. This is true of the biggest creators; for example, YT megastar Mr. Beast has a staff of 50 on his team! However, if hiring someone full-time is not in the cards right now, there are additional options.   

  • Option 2 - Part-Time Outsourcing: platforms like Upwork are a great place to find help with tasks that you've decided can be outsourced. The platform allows you to search for freelancers and virtual assistants, many of whom can work part-time or on an hourly basis. You can even hire globally at a lower cost. 

  • Option 3 - Family and Friends: you may be tempted to hire a family member or friend. After all, you already trust this person, and they may be better aligned with your goals and even your voice and style. A word of caution - before hiring, be sure to consider the implications on personal relationships if things don't go well. While many people have figured out how to make family and friends hiring work, it can also be more trouble than it's worth.

Tech Solutions 

The word "delegation" is most often applied to human help. For creators, you can also consider "delegating" specific tasks and decisions to software. 

  • Example 1: Imagine you are a creator in the life coaching space. You may have carefully selected fonts, colors, and overall styling for every inspirational post quote early in your career. After all, you want your account to reflect you, and so does your audience. But doing this type of design work takes time, and hiring a part-time graphic designer can be expensive. So, maybe you delegate to software instead. Using a platform like Canva, you can select from thousands of unique looks, fonts, and styles; aided by technology, you are essentially "delegating" the job of initial design decisions to Canva, saving you time and money. 

  • Example 2: Imagine you are a creator in the fitness space. You provide custom coaching packages to your audience. Responding to inquiries takes time, and you get countless repetitive questions about rates and availability. Instead of hiring a virtual assistant, you can delegate intake to a Chatbot using tools built into Instagram. You can automatically ask people who DM you basic questions about their needs and pick up conversations with context when you are ready. 

  • Example 3: Imagine you are the same creator, but the idea of "bots" doesn't resonate with you. After all, your audience is coming to you because you are you! However, sorting through DMs and Comments takes a ton of time. In the past, maybe you've written notes to keep track of who to reply to. Or you have copied and pasted replies into your DMs. Instead, you can delegate the organization job to HiBeam. HiBeam will sort incoming DMs across multiple channels like YT and Instagram, categorizing them so you can respond to the most important messages in your unique voice! 

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Summary

For creators who are growing fast, it's time to figure out how to scale. Think carefully about what aspects of your job you can delegate to other humans or software. Getting time-consuming work out of the way means more time for creativity and more time spent on the aspects of your content that are irreplaceable.

Join the HiBeam product waitlist!

Sign up and we'll let you know the moment we have a spot for you.

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