Full-time YouTuber and competitive gamer turned CEO Daniel Koss built Creable. It’s a platform designed to help brands find the right creators and for creators to automate processes. Today, Daniel shares how his experience helped him create Creable and how it continues to help creators and brands.
Who is Daniel Koss?
Daniel Koss is the founder and CEO of Creable, the world’s biggest influencer database. He has been a competitive gamer and full-time YouTuber, working with various brands and agencies for years. He started his own influencer agency and worked on campaigns for big brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Ikea.
How Creable Came to Life
Daniel worked as a creator for years and has seen the ins and out of the industry. His motivation to create Creable stem from the lack of creative data, including audience demographics, performance metrics, and pricing insights, in the industry. Because of this, he felt the entire market was unprofessional.
He adds, “There was so much manual coordination for something that I felt would be super easy to automate.”
The goal of Creable is to help influencer marketers, influencer agencies, influencer campaign managers, and businesses that do marketing in-house influencer campaigns quickly find the best creators for their brand, product, and demographics. Instead of spending weeks, they can find creators in minutes with Creable.
Why Is Creable Different from Other Creator Databases?
One thing that makes Creable stand out from other creator databases is the size, accuracy, frequency of updates (real-time on request) and depth of its database. It indexes every single creator present on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Because of this, you can look for any creator through the platform and find their social media accounts in seconds.
Another notable feature Creable has is allowing creators and brands to claim their profiles. Daniel gives us more insight into how this feature works by explaining,
“They can think of it as a bit like somebody writing a Wikipedia page about you. That will be your Creable page, and you can claim it. You can add additional information, fact check it, and choose which details you want to make private and which ones you want to add on.”
This feature enables creators to highlight their experience and skills — data points many advertisers care about. For example, when creators claim their profiles and update their contact numbers, say email addresses or phone numbers, advertisers can easily reach out to them and ask about the services they offer, which brands they’ve worked with in the past, how much they charge for collaborations and many others.
Additionally, this feature provides data that goes much deeper than publicly available data. This encourages conversations between brands and creators, eventually leading to professional partnerships.
The Status of Creable from a Creator’s Point of View
The number of creators joining Creable grows very quickly, with numbers different every single month. But as of this writing, the platform has almost 300 million indexed creators and thousands of claimed profiles.
How Does Creable Help Brands Best Identify Creators and Influencers?
Creable’s process of connecting brands with creators and influencers is pretty straightforward.
“They go to our website to create an account, buy a certain amount of tokens, and then with tokens, they can unlock Creators. And they just enter filters the same way you would make an ad on Google or Facebook. You just say, ‘What’s your demographic?’ or ‘Should they have an email?’ It just combines all the features that you care about.”
Paid customers also go through an onboarding session where they’re taught the full functionality of Creable, its best practices, how to use its filters, and many others. Daniel adds, “But then, usually, it only takes one minute to enter your filters, and boom, you’ll see a list of the best creators based on the specific filter you set.”
Successful Campaigns That Used Creable
Europa-Park, the Disneyland of Europe, uses Creable differently. Instead of the brand going after creators to pitch in collaborations, Europa-Park consistently receives an influx of requests from influencers every day and uses Creable to determine which influencer to work with.
Daniel Koss says, “A ton of influencers approach them [Europa-Park] and say they want to work with them. They’re like, ‘Hey, I will make a post for you. Can you just get me a free ticket?’ and stuff like that. And so, Europa-Park uses Creable every time they get an inbound request from creators.”
“They just enter the creator’s user name on Creable, and they fact-check the quality of the creator’s audience, how influential the creator is, and how much reach they have on a target demographic, channel, or gender. They decide if the expected value from the creator is higher than the price of giving them a ticket, then they do it. If it’s lower, then they don’t do it.” Daniel adds.
The typical outbound example involves analyzing creators using Creable. For instance, if you want to find the right creators, you can use Creable, enter the client’s filters based on the briefing, select a list of 100 to 300 creators, and then contact them.
Another brand using Creable is Heights. It’s a UK-based company producing gut and mental health supplements.
The companies that use Creable have many things in common. They’re premium brands that sell directly to customers or operate as B2C businesses. They also have a high affinity for performance and digital marketing and find their customers online.
How Creable Ensures Privacy and Security of its Creative’s Data
Daniel Koss recognizes two types of privacy concerns Creable have to address — one is the audience demographics. For Daniel, this issue is easy to solve. He says, “It’s always encrypted and anonymized, so you can never identify individual people in the audience or their personal contact details.”
When it comes to the creators, they’re given full control over what information they want to divulge to the public. Many of the data points available on Creable are directly from the creators. Daniel adds, “So they give us data points because they want us to share these data points, so they’re easier to find. It’s like we’re an SEO for the creators to make it easier for advertisers to find the right creators.”
Creable also uses public data associated with the creator since it’s already accessible and available for the public to see. They don’t require the permission of the creators to use public data but will respect their wishes if they want to remove that data from the platform.
Daniel Koss continues, “We only do it for creators with more than a thousand followers with public profiles. And if they want their data to be removed, then we grant their wishes. The reason for that is if the creator doesn’t want certain data points public and then brands contact them based on that, these creators are most likely angry and probably not the ones that are open to working with brands.”
For instance, if creators don’t want their email addresses public, they’re probably unwilling to cooperate with brands.
Feedback Creable Received From Brands and Creators
“The influencers that have used our platform really liked that we automate a lot of the number stuff, and they don’t have to send screenshots anymore, which they just hate and usually do it with a couple of days of delay. It’s a huge pain point for both sides. But the main value is getting more brand deals because their Creable Media Kit makes them look more professional and easier to book,” Daniel shares.
On the other hand, brands usually don’t believe in the number of creators accessible through Creable until they test it. Daniel says, “When we tell them the number of creators in Creable, they don’t usually believe it for a second. They’re like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and then we’re like, “No, really, test it.’ They enter any creator to test, and they’re like, ‘Wow.'”
Daniel Koss even shared that brands are impressed when they have someone in their team with a thousand followers and then find them on Creable’s database. “It’s kind of funny and always blows brands away,” Dan states.
What’s in Store For Creable
Although people have been hearing about and using influencer marketing for decades, Daniel believes it’s still in its early stage. And for Creable, helping brands find the right creator is just the beginning. The next big thing for the platform is to enrich its database with more creator emails.
Daniel Koss says, “Right now, we have emails for 50 million creators because only one in every six creators has their account identity public. We think we can enrich that into 200 million creator emails over the next couple of months. So this will literally increase the number of creators that are available and get contacted by brands.”
Another thing Daniel has planned for Creable is to offer audience psychographics. This feature lets brands see information about the creator’s lifestyle and audience. Is this creator vegan, or do they eat meat? What’s their lifestyle? What are their interests and aspiring in life? What’s their audience’s average income? How much do they spend per month?
These are just some of the questions Creable wants to provide answers to in the future.
The last thing on Daniel’s to-do list for Creable’s development is workflows. He says, “We want to be a one-stop solution for brands and agencies to identify the right creator, do in-depth analysis on whether they’re aware of their money and the expected ROI. And then number three, to also contact them and set up the corporation.”
Plans for Expanding Creable into New Markets
Presently, Creable is already global, but its expansion plans include offering the platform to B2B, like LinkedIn as a platform. Creable has yet to expand in East Asia, specifically in China, including all the Chinese super apps.
Daniel Koss adds, “Expanding the platform is the main plan, and also to add LinkedIn for B2B. Depending on how well Elon [Musk] handles over the next couple of months and years, Twitter might be interesting.”
The team behind Creable raised a little less than a million. According to Daniel, the amount will be spent on infrastructures like computing power, domain IPS, but mainly Engineering. Some of the funds will also go into developing the product, and then the other part of it is for the team’s salaries.
Daniel’s Affiliation with Sigma Squared Society
Sigma Squared Society is a nonprofit organization and global community of young founders selected for their ability to transform broken industries and their impact-driven initiatives.
According to Daniel’s LinkedIn profile, he has been a Fellow of the Sigma Squared Society since February 2021.
“It’s a little bit like Y Combinator, but the focus is less on commercial success and more on impact. For example, if you help 1 million kids go to school, but you’re a nonprofit, you can still be part of Sigma. You don’t have t have a for-profit business model, it’s just about the impact. You can be a for-profit, but it’s not a must. Oh, and you must be under 26 when you get in,” Daniel shares.
In short, to qualify for the Sigma Squared Society, you need to do something that typically helps 1 million people before you turn 26.
Daniel’s Other Affiliations
Besides the Sigma Squared Society, Daniel Koss is also part of On Deck and Launch House. On Deck is like a digital program for the world’s most ambitious, hyper-potential young talents. It’s like the continuation for those who actually achieve a certain level of financial success, usually a couple of million in funding or revenue.
Launch House is another program specifically focused on the creator economy, where there are two houses, one in New York and one in Los Angeles. Under the program, 20 founders in the creator economy are co-living together.
Daniel’s Early Business Ventures
Daniel’s background in the creator economy is extensive. Besides creating Creable and being a part of several groups for young entrepreneurs, he is also the founder and CEO of Yxterix. It’s an influencer marketing agency that he managed in November 2015. He managed over 100 influencers in the agency.
His experience with Yxterix taught him how painful it is for advertisers to work with unreliable influencers. Back then, he thought the brands were the bad guys, but after managing Yxterix, he now prefers working with brands over influencers.
“I always find it very hard to deal with the influencers and their spontaneous moods, ideas, and sentiments. But it was absolutely crucial in understanding these pain points and getting my own hands dirty for six years. I had to first understand the pain points brands have when working with influencers,” Daniel states.
The number of years Daniel Koss has been in the creator economy also helped him clearly understand the difference between different verticals, like beauty, fashion, comedy, and more.
Most importantly, he saw the differences between small creators, medium creators, and big creators. He also gained tons of experience, from managing creators to running small bookings and bigger campaigns.
Daniel Koss shares, “We did comedy programs for some creators with physical products. So before Mr. Beast and all of that stuff was a big topic, we already had multimillion-dollar creator-owned brands and many experiences. And it gave me a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. And the best part is for the things that don’t work, we have the potential to improve them through technology.”
Advice for Entrepreneurs Looking To Start Their Journey in the Creator Economy
“I would really think 10x about whether you really want to build for creators because creators are usually very, very expensive to acquire because everybody wants their attention. If you’re going for the Mr. Beast types, many people have this kind of illusion like, ‘Oh, I’m going to get Mr. Beast to use [this product], and every other creator is going to use it.’ But you need to sharpen your competitive advantages and make it crystal clear on your solution and why it’s a must for creators,” Daniel states.
Daniel Koss also advises aspiring entrepreneurs to network as the barrier to entry is high. He considers the creator economy as a gated community. Anyone can work their way up, but without a good network, you must be insanely better than any alternative.
Daniel continues, “In many cases, I think the best solution to actually make it scalable and get to revenue quickly is to go B2B and acquire talent agencies or acquire talent management. In that way, you can acquire 100 to 200 creators at once instead of going one-to-one per creator.”
Daniel Koss considers this strategy better or more cost-effective in the long run. He explains further, “If you have a sales team, the revenue made per creator in relation to how much you spend to acquire them will show that you actually lose money for every single creator. So you have to find ways.”
Daniel suggests looking into economics, especially today, where there’s no longer free money, and funding is often scarce. So, for aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed, they need to care about business economics.