3 lessons from failure and success

(5 min read) Justin Moore on failing, rebuilding, and pursuing his mission of helping Creators land a million sponsorships by 2032. Featuring ConvertKit, Restream, and Kick.

Together With

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe

Justin Moore

I was in business school, taking all these classes around marketing and advertising, and I said to my wife, “I feel like we should ask them for money next time…” 

When Justin Moore’s wife, AprilAthena7, launched her YouTube channel in 2009, brands weren’t paying Creators. Today, 80% of their family business comes from brand deals. 

Along the way, Justin launched an influencer marketing agency of his own - then experienced the entrepreneurs’ heartbreak having to shut it down 7 years later. 

Today, Justin applies all he’s learned to teach Creators how to make more from brand partnerships, through his successful Creator Wizard business. What a comeback story!

I’m a big fan of Justin’s, and we discuss a lot more than what’s in this email, so for the full conversation, check it out on YouTube.

Now then - let’s get into it!



How can you create lasting revenue streams?

How? Kajabi streamlines the process of transforming your expertise and passions into digital assets that pay for as long as they’re public. Produce once, sell forever—regardless of your niche. (I see you D&D homebrewers.)

This deserves a call out: Creators are making a staggering $5 million in revenue daily on Kajabi - almost $2B a year. Many are achieving six-figure incomes, some with fewer than 50,000 followers.

With Kajabi, you can:

💡 Diversify your revenue: Sell multiple offerings to create multiple revenue streams

💰 Keep what you earn: Pay a flat monthly fee and pay 0% commission

🎨 Own your brand: Customize your pages and products without any technical skill

The Business




Brands were always telling us, “Wow, you're our favorite Creators to work with. You're so professional, you're so communicative, you're on time with everything….”

I figured I could start an agency.

Justin’s agency did well at first. He ran it for half a decade, working with big brands to partner with thousands of Creators for millions of dollars.

Then it came crashing down.

2020 and COVID just absolutely crushed us. Our pipeline got eviscerated and I had to lay off all my employees. 

It was the absolute lowest moment of my life, man. 

Many other entrepreneurs might pack up and go home. Justin had a lucrative family YouTube business, so he didn’t have to do more.

But he did. 

It was really in those ashes that I had this realization - I had acquired this very interesting perspective both as a Creator as well as having run an agency. 

That was when I decided to start making Creator Wizard videos, because I wanted to help people by sharing what I’d learned. 

It worked. Today, Creator Wizard is thriving, with content and courses that help thousands of Creators (including myself) make more money from brand partnerships, and an ambitious mission:

To help Creators, big and small, land a million sponsorships by 2032. 

There are a few lessons we can take from Justin’s story of failure, resilience, and rebuilding:

  1. Nothing lasts forever, so have a plan for what comes after.

Our eyes have always been on the horizon. Honestly, even at our peak, when we were doing $25k/mo in revenue just on AdSense, I would be like, “This can't last forever.”

Creator careers are finite - tough to admit, but true. Even if you’re early in your Creator career, it’s worth having a plan that adapts as your Creator career evolves. 

The agency was Justin’s initial plan, but that didn’t work out so he adapted and launched Creator Wizard. 

  1. Cover your baseline first.

It was never life or death, right? I think that it's been liberating and freeing in that regard, because Creator Wizard was not the main hustle. 

If pursuing your dream feels like life or death…that’s a lot of pressure. Consider finding ways to cover your baseline needs - for example, by getting a regular job.

  1. The ultimate sign you’re on the right track is when customers come to you.

With the agency, it felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill for a lot of it, trying to chase new clients and convince them to work with us. It felt so exhausting all the time. 

With Creator Wizard, everything has come to me, dude. I have not reached out to one Creator and been like, “Take my course, work with me, hire me for coaching…” It's just been a totally transformative experience. 

Justin is describing what techies call “product-market fit” - there’s so much demand for what he’s offering that customers are coming to him. Every committed Creator should iterate on their content and offering for as long as it takes to achieve this state. 

The Stack

Website - Squarespace

Newsletter - ConvertKit

Justin has multiple sequences of emails that serve different information, suggestions, and purchase calls to action (CTAs) depending on a subscriber’s goals. How does he know those goals?

[After opt-in], they’re immediately met with a personalized segmentation survey... The #1 question is, “What's your biggest goal this year as a Creator?”

I call it “The Sorting Hat”. 

He’s able to get a sense of his audiences’ objectives, and then serve them both free and paid value that helps meet those objectives - the ultimate sales strategy. 

Check out the full convo on YouTube for more detail on how it works and how he built it

Scheduling - Calendly

Payment Processing - Stripe

I started doing something called “Public Coaching” where you pay half my rate if you let me publish it on YouTube. Since then, I've had 20 Creators take me up on that option!

Storefront - PayKickstart

A huge part of my business has been built on referrals - Creators taking my programs or hiring me and then recommending me to their friends…

Maybe a Creator wants to send people to my YouTube video. PayKickstart can make custom links to YouTube videos … that puts a cookie on the viewer’s machine, so if the viewer ultimately enrolls in my paid course, the Creator gets credit.

Community - Circle

My good friend Jay Clouse had his community on Circle and I was in his Creator Science lab, and I thought it was sweet. It was pretty much as simple as that. 

Live Commerce - Amazon Live

Affiliates - Amazon (Live) + Direct to Company

Did you know you can build an audience on…Amazon? Me neither.

We’ve done a livestream on Amazon every week, and have done tons of partnerships and collaborations. We're [often] at the very top of the fold, so people discover us from these livestreams on Amazon. 

[Our Amazon audience] has also carried through to other platforms, like Instagram. 

Livestreaming - Restream

Justin multicasts across YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and other platforms every week. Why?

People are always saying, “I've been watching your livestreams and you give so much value - that's why I decided to join the course…” 

The livestreams serve as mid-funnel in terms of nurturing the people who are already in my audience and continuing to provide value to them on an ongoing basis. 

This is another tactic I plan to follow Justin’s lead on…so stay tuned!

Project Management - Notion + Google Workspace

Communication - Google Chat

Finances - Karat (credit card) + Kick (bookkeeping)

Justin caveated that Kick is a sponsor of his, but:

I had to have multiple Quickbooks accounts, right? One for the personal business, one for the agency, etc. It sucked. I hated it. I hated my life and my 2023 taxes. 

Dude, I'm singing this from the rooftops: I honestly saved $17,000 by going with Kick. 

Video Production - Sony A73 + Shure SM7B + Rode Caster + Mac Studio + Teleprompter + lighting setup including toplight + Riverside

Podcast Distribution - Transistor.fm

Video Distribution - Direct to platform + HypeFury

A word of caution from Justin if you’re having a VA in a different country upload:

One of my employees is in the Philippines and…because he was uploading videos on his device, the vast majority seeing the TikToks were people in the Philippines. 

If you’ve got a VA doing social, get them a VPN.

Likewise, he has strong opinions on content uploaders:

We've tried using some of these repurposing or distribution platforms… I'm very sure that a lot of our content is suppressed when we do that.

Operations - Director of Operations & Community + Operations Coordinator + Assistant + Freelancers (video editing, thumbnail design, content strategy)

A standard leadership refrain to scale a business is: “Replace yourself”. Here’s how Justin does it:

Every single time I'm about to do something that I feel like only I know how to do, I fire up Loom or Tella and record myself doing it.

We now have this really vast repository of SOP [Standard Operating Procedure] videos of how we do basically everything at Creator Wizard.

My Recent LinkedIn Posts

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the full interview! This one’s a great one, I promise.

If you found today’s article interesting or valuable, please forward this email to a friend. For feedback, advice, consulting, sponsorships, speaking engagements, or anything else, reach out anytime - [email protected].

If you’re not already subscribed, please do - it’s free:

Like what you see? Subscribe Now or Partner With Us

Written by Avi Gandhi, edited by Melody Song,
powered by TheFutureParty

Join the conversation

or to participate.