How 7 content creators built brands beyond fan merchandise and launched successful businesses

How 7 content creators built brands beyond fan merchandise and launched successful businesses

Content creators are turning their online brands into lucrative businesses. Many content creators have used their success to launch brands, turning followers into customers.

Some created products based on their content, while others launched funding initiatives.

Seven creators share their advice for making the leap to entrepreneurship.

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Liah Yoo started filming YouTube videos in 2012 with no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. Instead, she aimed to share her love for the beauty industry and her acne journey with followers while balancing a job in the corporate world.

“I was interacting with millions of different people as a content creator,” Yoo, who lived in South Korea at the time, said. “I had the ability to connect with my potential consumer on a daily basis.”

Three years later, she took her content creation side hustle full-time , building intimate relationships with her followers in ways corporate companies or large businesses can’t because of their size, she said. Those connections allowed her to discover a void in the beauty market and, in 2017, she launched the cruelty-free vegan brand KraveBeauty. Her business booked eight figures in sales in 2021, documents verified by Insider show, and Yoo continues her content creation to fuel her success, she said.

Yoo is one of many creators who have used their achievements to launch brands in recent years, turning loyal followers into loyal customers. Some created products while others launched funding initiatives.

Creating “pushed me naturally into the direction” of launching a brand, Yoo said. While it’s a natural progression for some, not all creator brands are successful. For instance, Arielle Charnas’ Something Navy , a clothing brand that evolved from her fashion blog, is struggling, and Tati Westbrook closed her beauty brand in 2021 after two years, Insider previously reported .

To understand how to successfully make the leap, Insider spoke with Yoo and six additional creators who’ve built brands beyond fan merchandise. Here’s their advice on leveraging an online profile to find and launch new business opportunities. Case Kenny

Case Kenny turned his social-media platform into a podcast and a wellness brand. Name: Case Kenny

Business venture: Kenny is the founder of the New Mindset, Who Dis brand, which includes a podcast, mindfulness journals, and a candle collection. Kenny also partnered with the card company What Do You Meme for a card game on mindfulness called “Better Than Yesterday.” His businesses under the umbrella company 216 Ventures.

Success metrics : Kenny’s company brought in more than $3.2 million in sales in 2021, documents verified by Insider show.

Platforms: Instagram , TikTok , Spotify A post shared by Case Kenny (@case.kenny) Advice on creating an ecosystem: Known for posting inspirational and motivational quotes on social media, Kenny said he found success by building multiple branches of his mindfulness brand. He’s expanded from his initial model of posting social quotes into an online presence, podcast, and products. Each of these branches goes hand in hand, he said.”It’s essential that you create an ecosystem where everything is connected,” Kenny said. “Test a subject matter on one channel and if it does well, you test it some more. Then if it does really well, you build a product and you sell it.”One aspect of the ecosystem will lead followers to the next, he added. Dede Raad Dede Raad is a content creator and investor who founded the fashion-and-travel blog Dress Up Buttercup. Name: Dede Raad Business venture: In 2015, Raad launched Dress Up Buttercup, a fashion-and-travel blog. In November 2022, she expanded her brand to include Build Up Buttercup, a “Shark Tank”-like pitch competition that helps other entrepreneurs launch their own businesses. Success metrics : Dress Up Buttercup generated seven figures in revenue in 2021, documents verified by Insider show. In 2022, through Build Up Buttercup, Raad invested in two new businesses, where she’s now an equity owner. Platforms: Instagram , TikTok A post shared by Dede Raad (@dressupbuttercup) Advice on finding business opportunities that fit: As a blogger and content creator who’d found success in the digital space, Raad was eager to experiment with another business avenue. However, as a mom with a full-time content-creation job, […]

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