I'm not really planning on doing full-time content creation. I can't, it's too unstable for me.
I probably will get a job somewhere in marketing or something to have a dual income. I don't like the instability of it.
Mark Gaetano aka Snarky Marky has a lot going on.
He’s a student. He’s a Creator. One day soon, he might have a day job - not because he’s not making it as a Creator, but because he has a refreshingly realistic perspective:
Until then, here’s how he’s using networking to make the most of his content and local Creator community.
Mark Gaetano has a problem: he’s in Canada.
TikTok’s Creativity Program (and its Creator Fund before that) aren’t available to Canadian accounts.
In Canada, we don't have access to the TikTok Creativity Program. I hear of my American counterparts making quite a lot of money from it…And I feel like I could benefit from that, and maybe get an earn some money from that, but I don't have access to it. My account is registered as a Canadian account.
There's really nothing I can do. I can try a VPN all I want, but nothing's gonna work…
As a short-form Creator, these programs are his only real shot at platform revenue. Without it, he’s dependent on brand deals…and that’s OK.
Mark has figured out a unique strategy to drum up brand business, even from Toronto (a developing Creator Economy hub not yet at the level of LA and NYC).
Events! Specifically, brands’ events.
I've been going out to events here in Toronto…most of them will be hosted by brands.
Many agents and managers might reel at this approach.
After all, by going to brands’ events, he’s basically delivering them value for free.
If they invite me to an event and I post a couple of story posts about it, they are gonna see that I kind of did work for them and they made their profit…I feel like a lot of them do appreciate that and then want to work further with you.
Mark is taking an active role in sourcing business, by building direct relationships with agencies and brands in his area.
That puts him top of mind when they’re looking for local or comedic Creators for campaigns.
I've been attending, I'd say maybe one a week. And I feel like face timewith people from companies has really helped in creating those partnerships and creating those relationships with other businesses….we don't get paid to go to them, but it's a good place to build a relationship. It's also a good place to meet other Creators and just start relationships in general and network.
Mark isn’t a huge extrovert, but good news for the socially-anxious - he’s found that the networking sort of takes care of itself at these events.
When I actually get to the event, there's a checklist, so they'll see my name and they'll go, “Hi, good to meet you, I'm so and so, I'm with XYZ.” I'll meet them and then I'll go into the event. Then, sometimes, there are brand representatives walking around the event, and they'll introduce themselves and I'll introduce myself.
And it kind of goes like that.
As for Creators, I know a bunch of the people that usually go to events now, just because I keep seeing familiar faces, so I usually stick around them because I am a little bit socially-anxious.
That usually helps with the introductions to other Creators and just meeting new people and all that.
You see people that you know and you hang out with them.
They might introduce you to someone, and that's how your network expands.
Simple, and relatively painless!
Mark still has a manager - in fact, his manager, Jack Reed of Millennial Entertainment, also manages megastar Creators like David Dobrik.
By going out into the community and building relationships, though, Mark is able to create a flywheel that drives incremental revenue on top of whatever his manager brings him.
Two sources of business are, after all, better than one.
This year, my income has been the highest it has been.
Are you in LA or NYC?
NYC - Dec 11th, 7-10pm, Kingston Hall (East Village)
LA - Dec 18th, 7-10pm, Intercrew (Koreatown)
Now let’s dig in to Snarky Marky’s operating stack.
Recommendations - Goodreads
I've been trying to diversify my content. I've been trying to go down the lifestyle avenue, just because I enjoy sharing parts of my life with my audience, but also it's more lucrative because the brand deals and partnerships just become more authentic when you're a lifestyle content creator.
I thought that my best foray into that would be through something that I personally really enjoy, which is reading. I've been making book content here and there just to try and establish that I am a reader and then see if that can lead to any business or lead to any sort of new audience that does enjoy reading.
The Goodreads account is just a way to connect my audience with me as a reader, just so they can see deeper into what I read and what I have to say about the things that I read. I don't use that as a money-making strategy, but maybe, indirectly, I guess it could be
I just wanted to centralize all my links and everything, and that was just the first one that popped to mind. I’ve seen Linktree be used a bunch….
The only issue with it is that whenever I do a brand deal, a lot of the time they want me to put a link in bio, and so I have to remove my Linktree for about a week or so, and then I lose traffic for a week.
Project Management - Excel Spreadsheet + Calendar App
I’m a student as well, so I've used a calendar throughout my whole student career. I just put all my due dates in that. It's usually not a lot - I'm usually doing two brand deals at once at the very max. So it's not overwhelming ever, because it's usually
1) Content due
2) Revisions due
3) Posting date
4) Send analytics
So it's four things. I just plot them into my calendar and it's smooth sailing from there.
Finances - Credit Card (can’t remember which) + Accountant
I am incorporated. I treat my business as a corporation, and all my income goes into there because then I can treat what I do as a business - which it is a business - and buy expenses and things.
Communication - Email + Text
I have my email linked to my bio, so that's where the brands go straight into my inbox. But, if it's a very intricate kind of brand deal with a lot of details that I have to add and many revisions, then I just give them my number and we just exchange the edits back and forth so that we don't have to go through all the hurdles of the email formalities and the email etiquette and all that.
I hate, hate email and all the thousand threads and everything, so I just give them my number for ease.
Video Production - TikTok App
Video Distribution - Manual Distribution
Most of the videos I make, I film on the TikTok app just because I find the interface to be super easy and the editor suffices for me. I don't have any complex editing that I need to do for my videos, but I save all my videos before I add text because I have an inkling that the Instagram algorithm can detect the TikTok font.
So I just rewrite all the text and make it the Instagram font.
Representation - Jack Reed @ Millennial Entertainment
I was referred to him by the company that I did merch with years back and I had a call with him and it went great. I've been with him for three years.
I actually meeting him for the first time in person in a couple of weeks, so I'm excited about that. We've had a virtual relationship this whole time, but it's been great. He negotiates amazingly and it's been amazing.
My mission is to enable a million people to find freedom in the Creator Economy.
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