Creator’s success is often measured by views, likes, and followers. Engagement is the currency of the Internet. But all creators are bound by the realities of society and as such they must fend for themselves. When the day comes and engagement dries up, who will survive? These creators have put contingencies in place.
Upon Pillars Of Sand
Sometimes a piece of content blows up and the creator becomes famous overnight. But being briefly big on the internet doesn’t mean you know how to ride that wave. In time, most successful creators manage to become their own brands. Branded merchandise and commissions roll. Since the influencer era began, creators have all sought diversification in their productions. Chief examples have mostly been on the beauty side. Many beauty influencers became brand owners who sold their own make-up products. While some others created their own designer brands. But none were moving past cross-promotion style single facet productions. And such one-person brands have severe volume restrictions. It wasn’t long until some realized without volume there’s no guarantee for income in the long term. And no such career could be pursued sustainably. So some became massive businesses, media companies that successfully rivaled the conventional.
An Empire, Built to Last
At the turn of the decade, Linus Sebastian was a humble employee for a tech store, tasked with creating video content. Now he runs a media company that owns and operates a network of eight channels on YouTube and employs more than fifty people! And it all started on his now famous channel, the aptly named, Linus Tech Tips. Starting out with unboxing videos in 2009, Linus went viral after he made a video about a toy fire truck of all things.
“It wasn’t long that I’d started thinking about the future” Linus said during his interview with That Creative Life. Unlike many internet stars at the time, he realized that his success wasn’t to be taken for granted. Becoming a trailblazer on the internet, Linus established the Linus Media Group (LMG) in 2012 with aim of diversifying productions and reaching a wider market. Creating a media empire in the process, a company, first of its kind.
In the period from then to today, LMG has created various channels all aimed at different audiences and driving revenue from a wide variety of sources. Everything from the all too familiar merchandise operations to massive conventions wholly dedicated to their video content.
On the Everlasting
Linus Sebastian remains one of the on camera personalities on a variety of his channels to this day. While a team of presenters, editors, writers, designers, and legalese work around the clock to produce content and run the company. He has used the power of influence to convert his fame into a sustainable revenue source. His foresight even got him into a position where he could seriously consider retiring from being an influencer. Perhaps the first person to do so in their own volition, all at no cost to their income. He conveyed this position to his audience in this 2019 video.
This video itself also ended up becoming a meme on Youtube because of its rather bleak-looking thumbnail!
Where the Algorithm’s Gaze Doesn’t Reach
The story of LMG isn’t only a personal success story for Linus Sebastian but it’s also an example of what could be a legitimate career path for many influencers in the long term. This example helped prove the capacity for influence and namesake itself to be an object to be marketed and profited through. It also showed that there’s a way out of being an influencer without losing revenue. For more creators who would like a potential out from media circles but also wish not to throw away their influence, becoming owners of companies based on their brands might be a certain way to a successful career in the long term.
Have you noticed your favorite creators shifting focus to their future? Would you still keep up with their productions without them on camera? Start a discussion by leaving a comment below! Don’t forget to follow us on our socials to never miss any hot topics in the influencer marketing industry!