- Creator Logic
- Breaking down my 2023 business
Breaking down my 2023 business
(5 min read) My revenue breakdown, 2023 learnings, 2024 goals, and operating stack!
Hi, It’s Me - Avi Gandhi
Time to walk the walk.
2023 was my first full year of being a serious solopreneur / Creator.
In that capacity, I accomplished 3 things:
Made enough money, along with my wife’s income, to pay the bills
Figured out what my style, goals, and mission are
Laid the groundwork to scale up in 2024
Here’s where I’m at and where I’m going.
Let’s get into it!
I’ve learned a million things this year, so to keep it tight, I’ll breakdown 3 learnings for 2023 and 3 goals for 2024.
Credibility is worth more than scale (up to a point).
My credibility, as a 15-year Creator-facing executive at companies like WME, Wheelhouse, and Patreon, is worth much more - even now - than my 29k cumulative audience members.
Companies don’t pay me because of who or how many they can reach through me yet.
They pay me because of who I am, who I’ve worked for, what I’ve done, and what I know.
My reach, right now, simply helps them find me.
As my audience grows, though, that will change.
Ask for more and do less in the short run to make more and do more in the long run.
Earlier this year, I hit a wall: I had too much opportunity.
Lots of companies wanted to work with me. I’d have made money but spent all my time on them.
So I raised my prices - a lot.
Most of those companies passed on working with me.
The few that moved forward ended up paying my bills and freeing me up to write Creator Logic, product 4-5 LinkedIn posts a week…oh, and also have a baby and take some time off to learn to Dad as well.
Since then, I launched this newsletter and quadrupled my audience, laying the foundation for the business I’m envisioning building over the coming years.
We talk more about this tactic in my interview with Zahra Hussain.
I can do it all.
For the last 5 years, as a corporate leader, I’ve had teams of people to execute for me.
As a solopreneur, I’ve had to do everything myself.
Design my newsletter. Write my LinkedIn bio. Make graphics. Do accounting 🤮
And you know what?
I’m certainly an older dog than many in the Creator Economy, but I’m learning new tricks left and right!
Reach 100,000 followers across platforms.
There are two ways for me to make more money - become more credible, or acquire more audience.
Becoming more credible would require that I go back to a big-name company, in a higher-level role. Meh.
Acquiring more audience is a blue ocean for me.
Almost all my efforts have been concentrated on LinkedIn. YouTube, TikTok, Instagram…these platforms have tens of millions of Creators and I haven’t even put a video up on them yet.
In 2024, that changes, and 100,000 followers feels like an ambitious but achievable goal.
My following 4xed in 2023 (7k to 28k), so if I can 4x it again in 2024, I’m there!
Increase non-consulting revenue to 50% of my total.
Consulting is dependent on deal flow, which is unpredictable. The way to overcome that is diversification.
I’ve already taken three big steps forward on this - I:
Secured my first brand partnership with Tubebuddy (for LinkedIn - this mention is not sponsored).
Started hosting meetups (come to our LA holiday meetup on the 18th!), and have successfully secured my first sponsorships for them.
Am about to sign a deal for a major newsletter company to help Creator Logic grow and monetize, so I can focus on writing and building the community.
Each of these three seeds could grow into meaningful new lines of revenue, insulating me from the volatility of relying on consulting clients.
Delegate all operations to focus on creative and strategy.
In 2024, though I can do it all, I’m not going to do it all.
I’m going to hire people so that more content gets produced and distributed more effectively across more platforms.
I’m going to partner with a company to optimize, manage, and monetize this newsletter, so that I can focus on talking to interesting Creators and delivering valuable insights.
I’m going to formally spin out my consulting practice with an experienced team, so I can have many brains working on challenging problems for my clients instead of just my own.
I don’t need to do it all, because the less I do, the more I’ll accomplish!
Website - beehiiv + GoDaddy
I haven’t built a website for my consulting business yet. I know I should, but this sort of thinking isn’t my strength. I’ll hire someone next year to do it for me.
I use beehiiv for Creator Logic, and I got the URL on GoDaddy. I’m not a good designer, though, so hopefully my future newsletter partner can make it prettier.
Email - beehiiv
I chose beehiiv because it was the hot new startup in the space.
In hindsight, I’m not sure I should have - not because it’s bad, but because I’m really unsophisticated and their product is really sophisticated. I’m just not sure if I’m getting the value I’m paying for, because I don’t know how to.
Sometimes, I feel stupid when I’m using it.
Fortunately, my future newsletter partner uses beehiiv, so they’ll just take it over and make it great 🤞
Payment Processing - Stripe
Scheduling - Calendly
I previously used a tool called Topmate for my paid advisory session consulting, but stopped because it wouldn’t auto-generate payment receipts for clients. This is important because many clients are either expensing or writing off their time with me, and need receipts to do so.
Stripe automatically sends a receipt, and I can just include a Calendly link in the follow up email post-purchase.
Link in Bio - N/A
I have yet to pick a link in bio platform. I don’t have that much to promote yet, so for now I just drive directly to Creator Logic in all my bio links.
Affiliates - TBD
Affiliate revenue is a huge revenue opportunity I’m missing out on, because it would take forever to integrate into every article.
Yes, I’m leaving money on the table, but I know how much time I’m saving and I don’t know how much money I’m not making, so….
My newsletter partners will take care of this for me, fortunately!
I don’t know who made this, so if you do, let me know and I’ll credit them
Tejas Hullur and I talked about this meme he posted in our interview, and I think it applies to me.
I had my over-organized phase, and at this point I just use notes, email, and Sheets/Docs to track stuff.
Accounting - MidAtlantic CPA + QuickBooks
I fired two accounting firms this year, because I just need more hand-holding than either could provide. I HATE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SO MUCH.
This new firm says they’ll handle everything, from receipts to invoicing to paying contractors. I just started with them, so we’ll see at the end of 2024 how it goes.
Credit Card and Bank - AmEx
I got the AmEx Marriott Bonvoy because The Credit Brothers told me to in their interview.
I was with Creative Juice for banking, but I wrote about the end of that experience here. I switched to AmEx because they’re not going out of business anytime soon.
That said, AmEx doesn’t have the ability to add my accountant as an admin, so I may need to open an account at another bank just so my accountant can make payments on my behalf. 🙄
Video Production - Riverside
I record all my Creator Logic interviews on Riverside, but so far I’ve mostly just used the transcripts. I have all the video, but haven’t actually done any editing or cutdowns.
This will change in 2024!
I previously used Zencastr, but switched after several interviews failed to upload properly, losing me the files in the process.
Design - Canva
I was never very good at using editing software, though I did take a course on music and video editing in college.
Funny story about that, Kurt Hugo Schneider was always in the computer lab (Remember those? Anyone?) and helped me not fail my final project.
Anyway, Canva is so easy I can actually make stuff on my own without spending much time or effort.
Notetaking - Fireflies.ai
If you do 5+ virtual calls a week, get an AI notetaker. This is the best investment I’ve made all year.
AI - ChatGPT + Midjourney
I’m not really sure what I use ChatGPT for, but I’m paying for it….
Both ChatGPT and Midjourney are useful for making fun graphics for LinkedIn, but I’m finding them increasingly limited - I like cyberpunk anime-style art, and it seems like both only have a couple of training references for this style, so all the output looks the same after a while.
Analytics - Shieldapp.ai
Shield is a LinkedIn analytics platform that lets me see my content / audience trends and do deeper analysis on what’s performing how.
LinkedIn’s native analytics are pretty shallow, so this is a necessity.
Operations - Hiring / partnering
I had a VA but they didn’t work out - I don’t have a lot of repetitive tasks, I have a lot of things that need proactive problem-solving and high-quality output.
As a result, in 2024 I’m hiring / partnering with people and/or companies to help me:
Design cool thumbnails (my buddy Johnny did the one above!)
Operate my newsletter
Produce and program my social content
Manage and operate my consultancy
Streamline operations across my businesses
If I can take the stuff I find challenging and/or tiring off my plate and focus on the stuff my attention is uniquely necessary for, my audience, business, and overall happiness will grow exponentially faster!
That’s all for 2023, folks!
The next two weeks will feature interviews from earlier this year.
I’ll see you with fresh interviews in 2024, so enjoy the holidays and thanks so so much for reading Creator Logic!
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