The Garyvee Business Model is Dead

RIP to the influencer, long live the Subcreator

My generation went through high school and college wanting to be like Gary Vaynerchuk. We wanted to get a massive following on a few social channels, then monetize through cross promotions, influencer deals, and ads. We all documented our lives, hired personal videographers, and built our brands, one follower at a time with goals to hit the millions and monetize. This, my friends, is a really shitty way to become a well paid creator in 2020.

Around 2010 , Gary saw the opening that few people saw in this space, and pounced at the opportunity. The opportunity was social media. He started his ad agency in 2009, and his personal brand, Garyvee, soon after. And the rest is history. Because of Gary Vaynerchuk, anyone trying to do the same thing in 2020 has missed the opportunity. This window closed, and the law of shitty clickthroughs has opened. So instead of working your face off and hustling to catch up, it’s time to be a little smarter. Gary noticed an opening in 2010, so where is the opening today? In my view, it’s being a subcreator.

Subcreators are creators who make a living from a subscription revenue model. They live by paid newsletters, podcasts, communities, and SaaS tools. Contrary to the Garyvee generation, they make money by staying small, staying niche, providing value, and directly capturing the value. A subcreator could be unknown, but wealthy. While at the same time, an influencer could be famous and poor. This is the next wave of creators.

Don’t get me wrong, this opening won’t be here for good. Millions of people will become subcreators in the next 10 years, and the opportunity will close. Subscription fatigue will set in, and the subcreators already in the game will work with eachother, making it harder for new entrants to succeed, similar today with the Garyvee model. So seize the day, today. Don’t hustle and struggle. See the trend, capitalize, and win.


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