How can a creator build a sustainable career? The Whalar Creator Academy, forged by Whalar in partnership with Logitech For Creators, is an accelerator program for this.
About Jamie Gutfreund
Jamie Gutfreund, Global CMO at Whalar, has an extensive background in marketing and branded content. Her experience includes working in Hollywood, on one of the Olympics, and for Kathy Kennedy, Expedia, and Microsoft – just a few to mention. Jamie now works for Whalar, a global creator commerce company helping creators, brands, and social platforms work together to create business growth for everyone.
Whalar offers unique features, including an extensive brand partnership expertise, comprehensive creator talent management, a dedicated Web3 innovation practice, Echo platform technology, and C Talent, the leading management agency for Deaf and Disabled talent.
Jamie shares, “Many creators starting out don’t have access to a lot of learning. They have had to absorb [information] the hard way.”
She adds that many talented creators don’t know how to manage their finances or create long-lasting careers. In response to this dilemma, Whalar’s Creator Solutions Manager in the UK, Aime Hunter, proposed building a creator academy that would guide creators, allowing them to accelerate their careers and make long-lasting success.
After reaching out to Erin Chin, CMO at Logitech For Creators, the two companies came together to build upon this idea.
Launching the Whalar Creator Academy
Whalar and Logitech For Creators, a brand extension of Logitech dedicated to creator empowerment, launched the Whalar Creator Academy on September 12, 2022. The Whalar Creator Academy consists of a ten-week-long accelerator program with networking, expert training, and career development resources to support diverse creators in building lifelong creative careers.
Participants in the Whalar Creator Academy are matched with established creators with a similar community, niche, and content style, who will act as dedicated mentors throughout the program. Notable mentors include TikTok stars Emmanuel Duverneau (3.4 million followers), Shirli (2 million followers), and kenn2go (2.4 million followers).
Regarding the Whalar Creator Academy creators, Jamie shares, “We are focused on supporting diverse creators and diversity of all types. We made a conscious effort to include Deaf and Disabled creators. We are also including creators of color andreators who identify as LGBTQ – voices that may not necessarily have had the same opportunities to become a creator, but who have strong ideas [and] creative focus.”
She adds, “For Whalar, the opportunity is for us to help grow the creator economy in a robust way. Rising tides lift all. Our hope is by doing our part in building a diverse and uniquely creative economy, it will help everybody overall. There’s no specific goal other than our goal to make sure that we are able to tap into voices and points of views that are unique and different around the world.”
Logitech For Creators provides equipment to all Whalar Creator Academy’s creators, including microphones, streaming equipment, and more. Logitech’s engineers and experts also share critical information with the creators about the best ways to create podcasts, record audio, and more.
Building a Sustainable Career as a Creator
Jamie shares that the key to long-term success as a creator is having a unique way of expressing yourself.
“If you can do something that nobody else can do, or you have a way of expressing yourself that is unique, that you, the creator, actually feels passionate about, this is going to distinguish you from the 50 million people who consider themselves creators.”
She adds that Whalar helps creators build upon their point of views and develop strong niche communities.
Creators also need to realize that creating is a passion, but it’s also a job.
“It’s a passion, but it’s something that you’re going to be doing every day. So, you need to take it seriously and be in love with what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s not going to work because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this area.”
After fleshing out their passion and point of view, creators should observe how their audience reacts and intently listen to feedback.
“It’s super vital that creators have a unique point of view and also listen and engage with their communities, and so once that happens, then they’re off to the races, and beyond that, it’s about recognizing that you are a business, and by working with brands and partnerships to make money, it requires that you have a very strong sense of ethics of what you will and will not do.”
Jamie adds that creators must be accountable to their audience because they are a business.
If a creator isn’t respecting their community, this can result in people leaving the community. For example, a creator that accepts partnerships that don’t align with their ethics and brand may experience a loss in followers and negative feedback from their community.
The Creator Marketplace
A common challenge for many creators is keeping up with the many social media platforms they are on, especially when these platforms all have unique measurement metrics. Staying on top of all these variables, receiving feedback from a large number of people, and working with brands, can also be taxing on a creator’s mental health.
Creators also have to put on multiple hats when they’re switching between actor to writer to business owner.
“Creators are artists. They are writers. They are poets. They are dancers. They are comedians. When a brand engages them, the awareness that they are business owners, not actors, is an awareness that we’re really trying hard to improve the visibility of.”
“A significant goal for Whalar is to build a robust business that supports creators, allowing them to build long-term careers. At the same time, we’re also very focused on building a robust creator economy that allows people to express themselves.”
Whalar is continuing to focus on building more ways for creators to make more money, especially passive income forms that allow creators to make money while they sleep.
“We are continuing to support a 360 strategy so that creators are businesses and long-term businesses that will sustain and drive forward for many years to come.”