Small but Mighty - Bricks 'O' Brian

(6 min read) Brian Saviano on committing to family-friendly, putting creative first, and focusing on community. Featuring Squarespace, Printful, Patreon, Kidoodle, Linktree, Kickstarter, and more.

Brian Saviano aka Bricks ‘O’ Brian

I might not have 100,000 subscribers, or whatever it might be, but I have a relentless commitment to making content for the audience that I have found over the years.

In the vanity-based world of social media celebrity, Brian Saviano’s 28,000 followers might seem small.

Thanks to his diverse portfolio of revenue streams, unique creative advantages, and thoughtful content distribution, he’s done very well for himself.

There’s a lot we can learn from Brian’s approach.

Let’s get into it!


The Business



One of my biggest challenges as a Creator…when I'm talking to a parent or, you know, a 55-year-old grandmother, trying to explain what Patreon or Twitch is, it’s like trying to re-explain color TV.

Brian is a family-friendly gaming Creator who plays Super Mario, Minecraft, and other games for a 16-and-younger audience.

There’s a lot of opportunity in this space, but also quite a few challenges:

  • Parents, advertisers, platforms are VERY sensitive to content safety

  • Kids are the primary viewers, but parents control the spending

  • Not all parents get the value of subbing on Patreon, Discord, Twitch, etc.

Brian makes a living by addressing these challenges in 5 ways:

1) Committing to being family-friendly

If I'm playing Minecraft or Mario, generally speaking, it's enjoyed by families and kids of all ages. I want my content to reflect that…

That translates into the Kickstarter and stuff, because parents are very passionate about this particular type of content.

The internet is all about authenticity.

Brian is authentically family-friendly, and is committed to maintaining that brand in his content.

That commitment creates trust.

Trust creates loyalty.

Loyalty drives conversion.

And that’s how he was able to raise over $65,000 - more than $2 per follower - to fund his two children’s books (Pro Gamer’s Guide to Making Friends and Pro Gamer’s Guide to Healthy Habits) on Kickstarter!

2) Acting like a professional

When I go into these meetings, I'm saying, “Hey, this is my brand statement, this is my mission, this is what I'm about.”

Very few Creators are able to articulate their mission.

Having a mission statement is something a professional does, not an amateur.

Companies want to work with professionals.

It’s also a powerful tool for a pitch - I recommend watching Start With Why to really understand this point.

Here’s the statement Brian has on his LinkedIn:

My focus is making content that is engaging, entertaining, and approachable for people of all ages!

If you don’t have one of these, I recommend spending some time thinking about your mission!

3) Putting creative first

Although a book was a good idea to start, the art style wasn't working at first. I thought about canceling the whole thing before my buddy, Kevin, actually stepped up to help me with the illustration.

Just because it makes business sense doesn't mean I do it, and that heart and soul still maintains even through everything that I do today.

Quality > Quantity

You’ve heard it before, but it’s true.

More posts, more projects - these aren’t the way to win.

Making your content really good (for your audience) is the true path to sustainable success.

4) Focusing on the community

Textbook community building - I've just done it relentlessly over my career and made these connections, traveling to conventions and meeting people face to face, which is what really helped me.

Brian invests significant energy into cultivating his community, both online and offline.

In-person interaction is the most powerful connection-builder there is, but as Creators become more like celebrities, I fear we may be losing this critical piece of the community puzzle.

If you’re a Creator please - meet your fans. It will pay off in spades!

5) Diversifying revenue streams

I’ve said it once, I’ll said it again (and again, and again):

Diversification is the path to freedom in the Creator Economy!

Brian has 8 revenue categories, with multiple sources within each. No one category accounts for more than 25% of his income.

If any one revenue category disappeared tomorrow, he’d be just fine.

Keep reading to learn how Brian distributes to OTT platforms like Roku, why he used Kickstarter to sell his books, and exactly what the heck “Kidoodle” is.

The Stack

Website - Squarespace

The advertising got to me, and a few of those #ads in the Creators I watch…

I actually had a WordPress website for the book website, and I worked with an independent company on that. I found I was paying hundreds of dollars for stuff like…I don't know what…So I'm just going to use Squarespace instead.

OTT -  Kidoodle + Playworks (Roku app)

OTT distribution is still nascent for Creators, so Brian is ahead of the curve. His family-friendly gaming content (Minecraft, Mario, etc.) really helps here:

My content tends to work a little bit better than most because families are looking for that on a Roku device. Call of Duty, Apex Legends, those audiences generally aren't looking for that on Roku.

Think about the behavior - parents want to put something on the TV to entertain their kids. They have a Roku TV (the #1-selling TV in the US). They know their kids like Minecraft, they know Bricks ‘O’ Brian is family-friendly... It’s an easy choice.

On top of having his own Roku App, he also distributes - and gets paid a royalty - through family-friendly OTT platform Kidoodle.

Kidoodle.TV is an over the top streaming platform where you can upload your content if you are a family friendly Creator. So think Dude Perfect, Blippi, Paw Patrol, and yours truly, where all the content is curated by humans.

CREATORS TAKE NOTE - size isn’t everything.

Brian’s total social following is about 2000x smaller than Dude Perfect’s YouTube channel…

And yet, he’s distributed alongside them in Kidoodle.

He found an angle (family-friendliness) that allows him to stand alongside giants, and benefit from the audience they bring to the table.

What’s your angle?

Livestreaming - OBS + Twitch

Fundraising - Kickstarter 

Brian used Kickstarter for 3 reasons:

  1. Traditional fundraising wouldn’t work for him

I didn't know how to find money independently and I still don't.

  1. All-or-nothing model works better under uncertainty

I like the idea, oddly enough, of an all-or-nothing campaign, which is what Kickstarter is over Indiegogo…

Especially when it was first starting out, I didn’t know if this was going to work.

  1. He personally likes Kickstarter

It's one of the only platforms online that I actually like scrolling through because I like seeing what people are putting out there into the world and trying to accomplish for their business or their dream.

It ended up having additional benefits:

I said, “Hey, our goal for the first book is $14,000. If we hit $20,000, I'll do a webcomic for a year,” which then adds to the content of the characters and the world.

And then, maybe that could become its own piece of media in the future that can be distributed across all the platforms.

Another one of those was, “Hey, I'll do a podcast with other family-friendly content creators,” and I'll do a six episode series of that for Spotify, YouTube, wherever else.

So not only was it just making the content of the book itself…it allowed me to intertwine the content creation aspect with the actual sales of the book!

Book Distribution - Mascot Books (produced + distributed hardcover) + Authocrasy Studios (produced softcover #1) + Pathway Book Service (distributed softcover #1)

It takes forever to get the distribution avenues going, but once they're going, they're good.

Appearances - Cameo (virtual) + Self-Booking (live)

Merch - Printful + StickerApp + Vistaprint + Catprint

I was previously with Teespring, which is now Spring…I actually had a partnership with them in the very beginning, where I guess my sales were good enough and they would actually make some things for me, like a digital product, a coloring book, or some designs for Halloween time.

But things didn't always be that way.

And so I switched over to Printful.

Link in Bio - Linktree + Squarespace

I use Linktree for Bricks O'Brian and whatever the Squarespace one is for Pro Gamers Guide, and I don't know which one I like. So, 50-50 on either of them.

Membership - Patreon

Patreon because it was generally accepted by a lot of the Creators that were in my sphere at that time, and there's definitely a name associated with that. People recognize it.

Project Management - Notebook

Video Distribution - Manual + Editor

Finances - Accountant + traditional credit card and bank

These [Creator Economy] companies are a bit too new, as opposed to, like, Bank of America or Wells Fargo or a local credit union, who I'd rather trust my banking with.

Representation - Unrepresented

I don't have any management of any kind. It's something I'm seeking on the Creator side, but also on the book side, which are two separate agents, two totally different industries.

Production - Elgato suite of products + LIFX lighting with Lumia Stream + Shure SM7-B + Sony A-4100 DSLR + Office Space

Why does Brian rent an office space to stream from?

I'm not worrying about neighbors and noise complaints and stuff, especially because my stuff happens later at night. So I can be a little bit more rambunctious in my content….also having a dedicated space for work as opposed to it just being in a spare bedroom or in your bedroom or an office attached to your home, that separation is definitely key.

Thanks for reading!

My mission is to enable a million people to find freedom in the Creator Economy.

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