How to Make Money as a Creator - The Pentagram Model


Table of contents

Hey folks 👋

Let’s talk about the good stuff. Money. It’s one of the main reasons creators create. Humans have always had creativity at their core, and we’ve always expressed ourselves regardless of whether we’ll get paid, but since the rise of social media, a lot more creators have appeared. I wonder why…

There are many different ways to earn money as a creator, but this week we are going to be talking about one of the most efficient and non-scammy ways for selling our own products as a Creatorpreneur.

Coming Up…

  1. The different revenue streams for Creatorpreneurs
  2. The Pentagram Model

💸 Revenue Streams

Before we get into how to sell our own products, these are the most common ways to earn money as a Creatorpreneur:

  1. Ad revenue - this is money we get from the host platform for our content e.g. YouTube or Instagram paying you for views.
  2. Sponsorships - these are deals we have with brands for talking about their product.
  3. Affiliate links - this is a commission we get from a brand for getting a sale through our personalised link.
  4. Donations - this is our audience kindly giving us money because they enjoy our content so much and want to support us.
  5. Our own products - these are, wait for it, our own products that we have to sell.

📈 The Pentagram Model

By far the most lucrative of the above options is selling your own stuff, and The Pentagram Model is going to help us do that. It has five elements to it (unsurprisingly) which map the journey for a given audience member. The goal is to take them through the whole journey, from someone who has never seen our content before into a paying customer. In between each type of audience member, there is an action for us Creatorpreneurs to carry out.

Stranger - These people have never heard of us before and stumble across our content for the first time wherever we are posting regularly.


To convert strangers into fans, we need to consistently create great content that appeals to our target audience. That’s mostly it.

Fan - We now have some followers 🥳 , these are people who follow our content because they are either entertained, informed or emotionally connected to it.


It’s not enough to just create great content and hope people buy from us, we need to get our audience onto our email list. Email lists are the only things we can really own as creators and are the only way to reliably get our audience’s attention. All social media platforms control our audiences and we can’t always rely on them to show our content to the right people. There are no algorithms to rely on with email lists. So we can get people onto our email list either by either having a recurring newsletter which appeals to our audience e.g. Tim Ferris’ Five Bullet Friday or a one off reason that encourages people to subscribe, which is called a lead magnet.

Friend -  These people now feel like they get loads of value from us through our content and our email newsletter and/or our lead magnets. We contact them one to one in their inbox and they don't mind it. In short, they know, like and trust us.


At the moment, our ‘friends’ haven’t signed up to get sales stuff from us, so we don’t want to pester them with things we want to sell them. So we can do two things, either have an opt-out system or an opt-in system to hear about our products. This is our prospect list.

Opt-in would look like sharing a link to subscribe to a separate email list where they’ll get more information about our products, and opt-out would look like just sharing the sales stuff in our main email list, but saying “if you don’t want to hear about this stuff, click here and you’ll only get my non-salesy emails.” This isn’t the only way to sell things, of course we can just put our product in our main list or even in our content and not overthink it, but if we want to protect our relationship with our audience as much as possible, it’s a good idea to follow this process.

Prospect - Now we have people who have said they’re interested in buying from us. This is both super awesome and super stressful. But these people know, like and trust us and want to buy what we have to sell. Let’s make it happen.


To turn a prospect into a customer, we need to flex our persuasion skills and explain why these people should give us their money for our product. The better the product, the less persuasive we have to be, so if we can have a great product and effectively communicate the benefits they would get after they buy it, then we're in the money. Literally.

A reminder at this point is that we want to always be thinking in terms of providing value to our audience. At no point do we ever want to make people feel like they are being pushed into buying something or being lied to, we only ever want to show how much value they’ll get from buying the thing, and show them the value they are getting is greater than the money they are giving. That’s why people buy things.

Customer - These people have now bought something from us and they will decide whether it was worth it.


The work isn’t done. Hopefully, we have a satisfied customer and they don’t want to throw our product in the bin 😐. But now, we want these people to be evangelists for our stuff and act as an invisible sales team wherever they go. This means that we have to have made our product so good that they actually loved it and were really satisfied with the purchase, and will recommend it to others. And finally, we want collect feedback, so we can constantly iterate our product or service for the better.

We are now officially millionaires, hooray! 🎉

But really, selling stuff isn’t easy. It’s also hard to even know what to sell as a Creatorpreneur. We’ll cover that in future issues, so let us know if that’d interest you by replying to this email.

🤔 What’s next?

  1. If you haven’t done so already, create an email list for your creative business. We recommend ConvertKit, but there are plenty of other free email marketing tools out there like Revue or Substack.
  2. Now create a lead magnet for your email list. Click on that link to see a previous Creatorpreneur newsletter on how to do that.
  3. Begin promoting your lead magnet to your audience and start getting people on to your email list.
  4. Finally, if you don’t have a product to sell, brainstorm some potential product ideas and ask your email list what sort of stuff they’d be interested in buying from you.

🦉 Creatorpreneur Wisdom

These are some other things we’ve found over the week that might be interesting to check out.

How to Turn Social Media Impressions into Dollars - a blog from Justin Welsh that relates heavily to this email.

How I Make $4 Million Per Year - The Creatorpreneur Business Model - this video from Ali is basically a condensed version of the Creatorpreneur course, so if you can’t afford that, be sure to check it out.

How the YouTube Creator Economy Works - a YouTube video by Wendover Productions

That’s it for now.

Have a great rest of your week,

Tintin at Creatorpreneur

🐦 Creatorpreneur Twitter

We turn all our newsletters into tweet threads, so if you found this useful it’d be fab if you could show the thread some love ❤️ It really helps us reach new people :)

We tweet every day about Creatorpreneurs and the creator economy, and we’d love to keep the conversation going over there with fine folks such as yourself.

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