Jay Clouse

Jay Clouse



I doubled my revenue and earned nearly $350K in 2022 as a solo creator. Here are 23 of the most important lessons learned that you can carry into 2023: 🧵

1. You only need ONE product. Don't get caught up in creating and launching new products – it actually starts to confuse customers. Work on making (and improving) one great product that's useful to the majority of your target audience.

2. The most successful creators are expert relationship-builders. Doing great work is necessary – but may not be sufficient. The most successful creators we admire almost certainly were aided by the relationships they built with others who helped them break through.

3. The YouTube algorithm makes it an incredible opportunity for new creators (still). Subscribers don't matter that much on YouTube – video performance does. The algorithm gives any new video a chance to resonate with a new audience. It's still a wide-open playing field.

4. Social media is necessary. I spent years going all in on email and podcasting thinking that "rented" platforms were risky and "bad." That belief held me back. You need to leverage these discovery platforms in order to develop your own distribution systems.

5. LinkedIn is still an arbitrage opportunity. As @Dmurr68 told me on my podcast, LinkedIn *still* has underpriced attention. If you're doing well on another platform, you can likely repurpose that content and quickly find traction on LinkedIn. There isn't enough good content.

6. The best way to increase creative output is to find sources of friction and eliminate them. Telling yourself that you "should" be doing more than you are? You're running into some sort of friction in the creation process. Find it and eliminate it.

7. Memberships are hard to do well – but incredibly valuable when you do. I doubled my revenue in 2022 by launching my membership community, The Lab. But it's so hard to do well and members routinely tell me they're *surprised* by how much better it is than other communities.

8. Audio podcasts are not good for new audience acquisition. There's just no discovery in audio. Spotify may be working toward it, but whatever discovery exists goes to the top few hundred podcasts. Audio deepens audience relationships – it does not generate a new audience.

9. Video podcasts are good for new audience acquisition (but tough for the YouTube algorithm). My podcast has found more new listeners in the last 6 months than ever before – because it's now on YouTube. However, viewer behavior isn't typically watching a 60-minute interview.

10. Having a GOOD brand name matters a lot. Mid-year, I rebranded my business from "Creative Companion" to "Creator Science." My hypothesis was that by putting "creator" literally in the name, I'd be more closely associated with creators. Immediate night and day difference.

11. It’s worth paying a commission for a good ads partner. I don't sell my own ads – I work with @ConvertKit Sponsor Network for my newsletter and @podglomerate for my podcast. They earn a % of revenue and that has been so well worth it. Inventory fills and I am hands off.

12. Good things happen when you treat your social media following like a community. Unsurprisingly, being social on social media is a winning strategy. When you care about your audience, they will care more about you!

13. Good audio and video equipment are a great investment. I'm lucky to have learned a lot from @theKevinShen and @RealAntipreneur this year in terms of good video equipment. I look and sound great on camera, I'm confident, and people trust me more too. Huge ROI.

14. The best sales tool is an incredible product that customers love. When you make something that really helps people, they tell other people. It's the best marketing there is. In 2022, I generated $25K in revenue from affiliates of my membership community alone!

15. Raising your prices is scary…until the first purchase. I realized that I priced my membership too low, so I raised the price late in the year. It was *terrifying*...until new members joined at that price. Now it's not scary – it's just the price.

16. If your work isn’t finding traction, it might not be that good. This is some tough love that I had to accept myself. Often we aren't honest with ourselves about what is truly good, useful work. If your work isn't better than the competition – why would we choose you?

17. If your work isn’t finding traction, simplify instead of adding on. When things aren't working, our first reaction is to try something new. We add more to the pile. Instead, ask yourself what you can *remove* from your business to make things simpler and more effective.

18. Growth hacking can’t save poor work. Putting more water into a leaky bucket just means more water leaking from the bucket. And hacks are for hacks.

19. Having a life partner is a game changer. I got married this year and it's made every part of my life better. I'm happier, I have a stronger purpose, I have more support, and it's also improved both of our lives financially.

20. Raising a puppy is hard (but so worth it). We got a puppy in December 2021 and raising it in the beginning of the year was *so* much work. I was so burnt out at times. Now we have an amazing part of the family we can't imagine living without. ...and a second on the way!

21. We’re all playing games – choose yours wisely. You get to choose the game you want to play, the rules you want to abide by, and the players you want to play with. The games you play and the players you play are pretty easy to see and say a lot about you – so be careful.

22. The best way to improve your metrics is to consistently look at them. Know what sucks? Constantly seeing numbers trend in the wrong direction. Most people hate it so much they don't look at their numbers – but you have to do it. The discomfort will push you to improve.

23. Exercise is one of the most productive things you can do. Adding 3-4 workouts per week has changed my entire physical and emotional health. I look better, feel better, have more energy, and generally enjoy life more. If you don't know what you're doing, hire a trainer!

That's it! What lessons did you learn in 2022? If you enjoyed this thread: 1. Follow me for more advice for succeeding as a creator 2. RT the tweet below to share it with your friends 👇

And if you like tweets like this, you would love my newsletter, Creator Science! Each week I dig into the science of what makes today's top creators successful. By learning from their example, you'll grow faster too. Join 15K+ subscribers here:

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