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Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, on Creating & Monetizing Online Communities


Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, on Creating & Monetizing Online Communities

Relying on one income stream or platform as a creator can put your finances at risk. Today, Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, explains the importance of creators building independent communities online. Clubb allows creators to monetize their community and offers a variety of fan-involved features like community chat, exclusive content sharing, and live calls.

Who is Brian McFadden?

Brian McFadden started as the Head of Partnerships at Clubb in January 2022. Previously, he worked as a real estate agent for 11 years. Before the pandemic, he and his wife relocated to the Bay area, where he continued working in real estate until October 2020. 

Around this time, Brian realized that real estate wasn’t his passion, so he launched a new career in content creation, even creating his own NFL podcast. His content began growing, and he was recruited by the app Halftime Sports, which is now known as Clubb. 

Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, on Creating & Monetizing Online Communities

What is Clubb?

Clubb is a content creator community platform where creators can invite their VIP fans to connect with them. Creators can choose to monetize their unique community or leave it free for their fans. 

Brian McFadden explains, “Some of these platforms out there that help a creator monetize, like Patreon or Only Fans, seem to be missing a community aspect… You pay to get exclusive content and, yes, you can feel like you’re part of that community and get sent to an external site, like maybe you’re a patron [and] you get a Zoom meeting once a month or maybe you get attached to their [the creator’s] Discord.”

Instead of having the monetization aspect on one platform, like Patreon, then relying on other websites, like Zoom or Discord, to foster a community, Clubb has all of this on one platform

“You can follow a content creator, be part of their exclusive club. That’s where the name comes from and access exclusive content. In addition to that, [we’ve] introduced features like live audio, so like a clubhouse or Twitter space, as well as a group chat so the people who are subscribing to you and following you can also chat with each other.”

Unlike other platforms, Clubb combines community monetization, live calls, and many other features like exclusive content, community group chats, and live audio. 

Brian McFadden notes, “As a content creator myself, I really resonated with this idea, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

He expanded on this by explaining that Clubb’s target market is any creator who wants to monetize their community while providing their fans with a great experience, especially for their super fans. Creators can also use the Clubb app to offer free content options to fans. 

“If somebody wants to create a profile and have a group chat and live audio without charging a subscription model, that’s also an option [for that] while having the ability to also produce content.”

Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, on Creating & Monetizing Online Communities

Influencer Success on Clubb

Clubb was recently rebranded in late March and early April of 2022. Live audio and group chat features were also recently added. 

Brian McFadden shares that there have already been some huge successes on the platform. 

Clubb’s rebrand was tested with a pilot group of 15 to 20 creators. During the interview, Brian shared that the creator with the most success on Clubb so far was a health and beauty content creator. 

He notes, “She has a decent following on TikTok and Instagram, maybe 35,000 to 40,000 followers, so nothing huge, but she actually had the most success getting subscriptions right away because she wanted to create an accountability beauty group.”

The accountability beauty group featured perks like additional esthetician content and a community that holds each other accountable for self-care and beauty goals. 

He shares that the beauty community “supports each other in a healthy, non-toxic [way.] None of that trolling, none of that stuff that exists on some of the public platforms… and it’s been a big hit for her.”

Other influencers who have had considerable success on Clubb is an e-sports video game streamer and a creator specializing in Dallas Cowboys content on YouTube. 

This is just the beginning of Clubb’s rebranding, so Brian shares, “I’m very eager to see who else can have success with them.”

Brian McFadden, Head of Partnerships at Clubb, on Creating & Monetizing Online Communities

Misconceptions about Content Creation

When asked about the biggest misconceptions about content creation, Brian shares that it’s the idea that you’ll get rich quickly. 

“It’s this get rich quick idea that you think you see the end result of somebody who may have put as much as a decade of work into getting that four million follower count on YouTube and you just think they put out awesome videos and then everybody follows. It’s not that simple.”

Independent Monetization

Brian McFadden explains that “another advantage [of Clubb] is YouTube takes 30% to 40% because they know they have the control, so even if they don’t change those terms, you’re giving away an awful lot of money.”

Content creators need to think like small business owners and look at their ROI and what platforms are taking from them. It’s also important to never rely solely on one income stream as a creator because you never know when a platform could change its terms or kick you off. 

“We’re [Clubb] only taking 10%. We want you to be in control. We want you to realize that this is your path to independent monetization and hopefully being able to support yourself.”

NFL Content Creation

Before Clubb, Brian became an NFL content creator. 

“I dove really deep during the pandemic because, like so many people, I was at home and I was bored… I don’t have the exact podcast anymore, but I have co-founded the NFL newsletter. We have a free daily NFL newsletter.”

He notes that the NFL newsletter, Legit Football, includes everything you need to know about the NFL every day, and it’s about a five-minute daily read. They also have a companion podcast and app. 

Brian explains that he keeps a strict schedule so that he can balance content creation, Legit Football, Clubb, and being a parent. 

To other creators, he recommends, “You have to build in time, or you literally won’t have time… If you want this to be successful, you’re going to have to grind. You’re going to have to dedicate [yourself] to whatever it is you’re doing with the goal of, hopefully, one day it’ll pay off.”

Future Plans

Brian shares that he’s excited for creator feedback on Clubb’s current features. 

“Some of the features we launched, like the group chat, was based on conversations that I had with creators.”

Clubb is a recent rebrand because the app started as a sports social media app. Brian shares that Clubb and its creators are open to feedback. 

“So any creator who tries Clubb, please reach out, connect with me, and tell me what you’d like to see. Tell me what we can build for you. We have the talent, and we’re still small enough that we can be nimble like that.”
If you’re interested in creating a community on Clubb, check the app out here.

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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