- Creator Logic
- Change strategies as you change goals
Change strategies as you change goals
(6 min read) How Natalie Barbu balances twin roles of founder and Creator. Featuring Rella, Podcast Nation, TubeBuddy, and ChatGPT.
Natalie Barbu is one of a handful of YouTubers in a special club: venture-backed startup founders.
After years of trying to manage her brand campaigns in notes, spreadsheets, Google Drive, and a plethora of other software, she created Rella to streamline and centralize Creator project management.
Though she has backing from institutional investors like Hustle Fund, Charge Ventures, and Liquid 2 Ventures, Natalie is still making a living as a Creator. Doing so has forced her to prioritize, making her both a better entrepreneur and Creator as a result.
Let’s get into it!
13 years is an eternity in Creator time.
Her lifestyle vlogs hit a unique niche, making them very appealing to a dedicated audience and the brands that want to reach them:
When she first went full-time, she left her job as a consultant at Accenture.
Remember - young consultants get paid quite well (usually 6 figures), and she had only 150k-200k YouTube subs at the time. And yet…
Double a consultant salary with an audience under 1M? How?
She had revenue coming in from brand deals and AdSense, then added coaching, a podcast, a Patreon, and even an ecommerce business.
Over the years, her content and business model had to change depending on her goals. Most recently, since launching her startup, Rella, she’s had to really prioritize - and that’s meant making some hard choices.
Natalie had a vision for a platform to help her and other Creators manage, plan, and execute brand deals more easily…but her hands were full with all these revenue streams.
She knew she couldn’t accomplish her dream of building Rella if she was busy running a community and managing ecommerce inventory…so she shut them down.
Natalie continues to produce content and do brand deals. She states that that’s because it’s lucrative - it enables her to live without paying herself much from her investor funds.
I suspect that the unstated - and very smart - reason she continues to make content and do brand deals is that she needs to be her own customer, for the good of the business.
It’s the same reason that my old boss, Jack Conte, still makes 5+ videos a month for his band’s Patreon accounts, even though he’s easily worth 9 figures (as the co-founder and CEO of Patreon) and doesn’t in any way need the subscription revenue.
A Creator CEO needs to be their own customer.
Link in Bio - Beacons
Membership - Used to have Patreon, cut it once she started Rella
Affiliates - N/A
Project Management - Rella
Communication - Rella
Video Distribution - Rella
I have to say - Rella is ridiculously robust. For example - if you upload a contract, it’ll point out red flags, as well as pull all the deal terms, add dates and deliverables to your calendar, remind you to send invoices, etc. You can also use it to store files, add team members for review, schedule uploads and posts across social platforms.
Natalie recorded a 2-minute walkthrough for Creator Logic readers - check it out if you’re interested!
Accounting - Fisher, P.A.
Representation - Manifest Management (Lindsey)
Given Natalie’s auspices as a VC-backed founder, she could potentially be represented by a big, three-letter agency (WME, CAA, UTA, etc) - but that’s not what she wants.
At this point, she’s been a Creator for so long, and speaks to such a specific audience, that many brands know who she is and reach out to her directly. Still, she prefers to have her manager handle everything.
Video Production - Sony ZD1 + Final Cut Pro + iPhone + CapCut.
Editing - Self-edits for YouTube + hired editor for podcast video
AI - ChatGPT
Thumbnail Design - Canva
Optimization - TubeBuddy
I use TubeBuddy just to see what keywords other people are using. I have no idea if keywords help or not. I just use them just in case they do.
Podcast Production - Sony ZD1 + A mic with good reviews
Podcast Distribution& Monetization - Podcast Nation (network) + Megaphone (host)
Relevant Previous Interviews
My LinkedIn Roundup
I write about the Creator Economy on LinkedIn through the lens of my 15 years as a Creator, agent, manager, marketer, producer, and executive at companies like Patreon, Wheelhouse, and WME.
Here are a few highlights from the last week!
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