About 4 or 5 years ago I had a simple thesis around the creator economy.
The basic idea was that individuals would be empowered with tools and tech that would allow them to build their own niche audiences around their work and interests.
Essentially, Kevin Kelley's idea of 1,000 true friends was empowered by the leverage of new simple to use technologies.
Death to Stock surfs this wave still today and has always touted the individual creator discovering and sharing their uniqueness of expression through their art.
As I transitioned from being a freelance photographer to business owner, I had to learn a massive amount of new information about what it meant to build a subscription business online.
This meant that my entire framework for company building had to change.
As a subscription business, you learn about Churn, Life Time Value, Cohort Analysis, Dunning Emails...
I realized that every media creator was actually in the subscription business now.
That meant that every creator on a platform like Patreon, whether they saw themselves like this or not, was in the subscription business.
And they could optimize their business by understanding the business frameworks like those listed above.
Right now this is just starting to really play out.
Youtubers are looking for ways to monetize off of Youtube in subscription models that allow them to build a 1-1 relationship with their fans.
These "companies" will be able to utilize all of the same thinking to unlock growth and value for their communities.
By recognizing what business they're really in, they shift how they operate, and they build new leverage and growth.
I believe right now there is a massive opportunity for creators to learn the fundamentals of a subscription business to scale their impact.
And I believe now that we're in the very start of a teaching and coaching boom that will follow this exact same pattern, over the next 4-5 years.
Today, I coach founders 1-1, and my pricing sits at the high end, often from $2,500-$5,000+
This means that there is only a narrow segment of my audience that can participate, and only so many people I can coach at one time.
Coaches today are scaling via education or "group coaching." We see this in the business of "Cohort Based Courses."
I believe that coaches are soon going to be in the subscription business, and as creators, this will happen through the unlock of a new set of tools that allow them to scale their time and impact across audiences.
I remember being entirely inspired by Headspace.
Mostly, I was inspired by Andy at Headspace.
Here is ONE person, who is recording "coaching" style audios for meditation, that is scaling to millions of people who learn from him.
Coaches themselves will create content for a much broader audience that will engage with them 1-1 through a whole spectrum of engagements.
While coaching today sits at the high-end, I believe it is the mid-to lower end pricing points of where the most scale and opportunity comes from.
Coaches will create messaging apps and groups around their content. We'll see $10-$50 subscriptions for some type of connection and contact with a coach.
Imagine paying $250 for access to a genius creative marketer for feedback on your ideas.
Imagine paying $200/month for text access to your favorite writer. Imagine paying $10/month for access to a Breathwork chat group where you can message with others and receive premium content.
I'm interested in this field because I, too, am I coach and I want to scale how many people I serve. I love the work of engaging with people.
I don't really want to scale out of interactions. In fact, I want to be present with more people.
I love to massage my clients, and I want to work with as many people as I can while keeping a bar for quality.
A day in my life as a Coach of in the Future:
I wake up and see that there are 40 notifications from text responses to the post I published last night.
There is some chatter in the group text, where people are responding to the topic and sharing their experiences around it.
I had dropped in a question, "What task is the single biggest drain on your energy this week?"
As people respond, I fire off a few quick call-outs on my own. I nudge someone to think deeper,
I ask a new question, and I give someone some positive feedback on progress.
Everyone in the chat group has a profile of how they've responded in the past, how long they've been a member, what their goals are...Like Intercom, I can give personalized feedback and interactions because I have our whole history together.
I shut off my phone to write tomorrow's post and schedule it for late that evening.
On my calendar, two new people have booked 30-minute calls in the afternoon.
One is stuck on a branding exercise and the other is deciding whether or not to turn down a client who's draining their energy.
Another person has booked my 4-week structured program, and an automated email welcomes them, while also giving them my calendar link so they can book their first call.
Before our chat, they will have already received a few items in the mail and will have gotten the first exercise sent via email.
I record a podcast, publish the post, take the calls, and finish off the day with some more conversation in the group chat...
Less Social Media, More Community Support:
In this world, I'm not sucked into social media but instead into the community that I'm helping foster growth in. My calendar fills up with calls at a variety of price points, some in structured programs and others in one-off conversations that I don't prep for.
Everyone is receiving content of some type, and coaching clients are guided through via an automated system.
My job is to stay at the forefront of what's possible for my community, deliver curated insights, prompt them to grow, and then be present for them as much as I possibly can.
What is so exciting to me about this is that it allows me to focus on what I care about most:
- Researching and learning as much as I possibly can.
2. Sharing what I learn through teaching and dialogues that help share that with everyone.
The "Full Stack Coach."
I believe that there is a massive amount of pent-up demand for access and personalized help and feedback that isn't a take-it-yourself course, or a cohort-based learning small group program.
We'll see the rise of the Full Stack Coach.
Messaging, content, automation, curation, and personalized feedback are at the core of the new coaching stack.
What does it look like scale coaching beyond the high end, to larger groups of people at lower price points?
How can technology empower Coaches in the same way it empowered Creators to be in a new type of business?
If you're a coach, you're still very early. I am testing all types of tools here, so get in touch if you'd like to discuss.
We're just now seeing the groundwork laid, but I'm excited about how much impact is going to happen and be unlocked over the next 5 years.