June 19, 2023

Your Audience Can See Your True Intention

Anthony Longo

Last week, I wrote about how passionate creators are often scared to make money — and how the creators who seem super interested in selling to you are probably in it for the wrong reasons.

As the CEO of FIVE, I’ll be fully transparent — I want to grow this company to unicorn status in the same way Substack and Patreon have exploded. I’m an entrepreneur, through and through — and I envy the success those companies have.

Both companies are amazing — but their toolkits serve a very limited purpose.

They’re built on gatekeeping value.

Someone creates an amazing piece of content and posts it on their platform. Their technology and business model reward hiding that one-to-many conversation from the world and placing it in the hands of a select few customers.

Trust me, I get how it works and why it’s successful — but I see the bad in it too.

We believe in monetization through fair value exchange - and the exclusive content model strays farther from that every day.

At FIVE, we encourage creators to continue creating free content in the same way they always have. Give away all of your best stuff. It’s good for creators, their audience, and the world to educate as many people as possible.

If you’re building an audience the right way, you will always have a certain subset of fans that want more. Your free content is so good that they want to be able to talk to you, learn directly from your expertise, and pay for the fast track to success. They don’t necessarily want to buy your content, they want to buy the efficiency of getting the most accurate data right from the source.

Think about why people hire fitness coaches. Every workout, diet, and stretch is already on YouTube for you to follow — but a coach gives personalized, nuanced instruction. They answer your questions and sort through all of the nonsense to build a wellness plan that makes sense for you. They’ve been in shape and helping others get there for years. Of course, they’re worth paying for!

Let’s stay on this metaphor for a second. If you’re looking to hire a fitness coach, how will you pick the right one? Will you pick the one who’s spamming your Facebook feed with a million ads, or the one your friend recommends? When you meet them, you’ll instantly get a feel for whether or not they actually care about seeing you get in shape or just want your money.

As creators, your intentions are clear from the first time someone reads your words or hears your voice. Our digital entrepreneur scumbag detectors are getting really good. Most creators don’t want to be one.

I want to build FIVE into a nine-figure company. On the surface, that makes me evil, right? But it’s the intentions I have behind my goals. I believe the more wealth I can create, the more good I can do for this world - and if I can help others do the same - that’s the dream!

Last week, I quoted Jimmy Buffett. Today, I’ll hit you with Jay-Z on Moment of Clarity:

And I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them
So I got rich and gave back, to me that’s the win-win

It’s okay to yearn for million-dollar creator businesses. You’re not a bad person for wanting one so long as your heart and intentions are in the right place.

In fact, your audience wants you to build one!