Our Startup Experiment: CreatorLoop — A media kit generator for creators
At my startup, Node, I’ve had the pleasure of working with over a hundred brands this past year that are using our platform to find and collaborate with creators.
I’ve learned how brands evaluate and compensate influencer deals — from the types of questions they ask to the metrics they want to see.
In recent months, we’ve started to see an influx of creators pitching us their media kits in our inbox. I like to read through them, but I usually don’t remember any of them a week after receiving them.
We also don’t hire creators directly ourselves, since our platform facilitates these collaborations on behalf of our customer brands.
But it did beg the question — how can we provide value and help creators close more brand deals if they’re outside of our platform?
When it comes to monetization models for creators, there are two main avenues — directly through your audience (eg. Patreon, OnlyFans, Cameo), or from brands that want to tap into your audience as an influencer.
There’s no shortage of tools for creators to add paywalls and sell exclusive content to their audience, however, advertisement and brand deals still generate the majority of creator incomes.
We’ve also talked to hundreds of users on our app and learned that creators use a variety of mediums to find brands and essentially fill their funnel.
Above all, the majority of creators have expressed that it’s incredibly important to have a media kit or website if you want brands to take you seriously.
While many creators are extremely talented at their craft and have excellent ideas, most are not aware of what brands look for when they’re hiring creators.
The main problem with media kits is that the current format doesn’t provide a positive experience for either the creator that’s publishing or the brand that’s being pitched.
A media kit is actually quite crucial for creators, especially if they’re doing outreach and haven’t yet established a large enough audience to get the attention of brands.
Your media deck is basically a pitch that tells brands who you are, what your content is about, and why they should work with you based on your audience.
Most media kits look like resumes or slide decks made on Powerpoint and I rarely see creators that include social data that’s relevant to advertisers. Even when the creators do provide adequate social analytics, the data is outdated since they aren’t updating their media kits every day as their numbers grow.
Creators have to spend hours putting together media kits and don’t have the technical know-how to do it well. Plus, these assets need to be updated frequently as the creator hits new growth milestones they want to share.
Worst of all, a PDF — which is the most commonly used format for a media kit, doesn’t do justice to the creator when it comes to selling their overall value and creative range.
Most of the creators we have personally surveyed have mentioned that their media kit is one of the first touchpoints when they contact a brand. That being said, according to our clients at Node, nearly 50% have rejected more than half of the creators that contacted them with a media kit.
What’s more concerning is that the analytics on a media kit can’t even be verified or checked for credibility. And who’s to say that a creator wouldn’t inflate their numbers? It’s been reported that there are over 95 million bots on Instagram, so validating data is absolutely crucial for brands.
As a marketer, you should hate these media kits too. Why? These influencer marketing media kits are simply a headache for your brand to wade through.
Realizing the friction that media kits create between brands and creators made us wonder how they could be made more effective.
PDF media kits are relics of the past and don’t adapt well to today’s creators. They may have been useful decades ago, but they are awful at helping creators build and sell their personal brand.
To further explore the topic, we recently created a landing page to learn more about how creators are building and using their media kits.
It’s an experimental project right now called CreatorLoop, and so far we’ve signed up over 400 creators to join our waitlist.
I invite you to sign up here if you'd like to join us on this journey as we validate CreatorLoop with more creators and work towards a beta-release.