Though a self-proclaimed introvert, Roberto Blake never seemed to be alone at the Creator Economy Expo this year.

The successful entrepreneur and founder of the Awesome Creator Academy answered questions and interacted with attendees both on and off stage (even in 95-degree weather). Get a glimpse of his hot advice to help you perform on YouTube (where he has over 500K subscribers) or in any content-first business for that matter.

Entrepreneur Roberto Blake (seated on his suitcase) talks with Creator Economy Expo attendees long after his presentation concluded.

1. Take your content seriously

Roberto Blake started his YouTube channel in 2009. By September 2013, he had 30 or so uploads and zero subscribers. Then, a thought popped up: “What if I actually showed up every week?”

He thought a consistent compiling of effort on his part would create a consistent compiling of results. It worked. In 11 months, he had an audience of 10K who willingly gave him their attention. 

In February 2015, he had an audience of 20K and upped his content frequency to five to seven videos a week. By the end of 2015, he had 75K subscribers.

2. Twist your viewpoint

When he got to 10K subscribers, Roberto Blake was shocked and horrified. 

An introvert who worked from a home studio, he never liked attention. Now, he was under the microscope of 10K people. “I had a living, permanent record on the internet, and I felt I was still practicing and I didn’t deserve an audience for still practicing,” Roberto explains.

He turned that feeling into a motivator. By acknowledging he was creating something for someone else, he shifted from thinking about what videos he wanted to create to thinking about what videos would provide value for his audience.

He showed up more consistently, asked questions of his audience, and took their criticism more seriously.

3. Get help

Roberto did everything in his content business for too long. “It’s probably a miracle I didn’t radically burnout,” he says.

His first hire? His sister came on board as a personal assistant, taking the admin work off his plate so he could focus on what he does best and what moves the needle for his business.

Hire or contract for those tasks that you don’t like to do or don’t do as well as someone else. Doing so lets you focus more on the tasks (often creating) that led you to get into the business, and that’s important for its long-term viability.

“Value what the audience gets more than you value taking credit for everything,” he says.

4. Let data drive your content

“Ego is wildly expensive,” Roberto says. ”The opportunity to do even better was on the table, and I missed it because I didn’t put my own creative ego aside to be driven by the data,” he says of his 2015 success.

Ego is wildly expensive, says @RobertoBlake. His early success could have been bigger if he had put aside his creative ego and been driven by audience data. #CreatorExpo Click To Tweet

Instead of thinking he knew what was best for his audience, he should have looked at the data. That information tells you what’s proven to be most valuable to the audience, what captures their attention, what’s most helpful to them, etc., within the value system of your content tilt.

5. Know all data is not equal

Roberto is a master at data today. The key, he says, is to know what the data is telling you and ignore what’s not helpful to your business.

For example, the total views-to-subscriber ratio is often mentioned as a metric of success. Yet, it’s not relevant because all videos are not the same. For example, Roberto’s video about getting to the first 1K subscribers on YouTube would receive a lot more views than a video about sponsorship deals. That’s because the market cap for a beginner audience is a lot bigger than the audience who are ready for sponsorship and brand deals.

Viewer-to-subscriber ratio is an unhelpful metric. All videos are not the same. A beginner topic draws more viewers than an expert-level topic, says @RobertoBlake via #CreatorExpo. Click To Tweet

Use the data to understand where the audience is and what they value they experience in real time because that determines what gets a click or the all-important watch time.

Get deeper into Roberto Blake’s helpful data discussion and watch this presentation for free at Creator Economy Expo on demand.

Join your fellow serious content creators at the Creator Economy Expo May 5-7, 2024. Registration opening soon.

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.