A Great Way for Creators to Understand Their Business


Table of contents

Hey folks 👋

When you’re trying to juggle 100 tasks to keep your business running, it’s really easy for the details to start feeling foggy.

What value am I actually providing? Who am I providing it for? How exactly do I make money from this?

When you’re stuck in the weeds of your business, it can be hard to see how it functions as a whole.

Today I want to recommend you create a ‘Business Model Canvas’ (BMC) for your creative business. A BMC breaks down every element of your business model and allows you to visualise exactly how it functions.

Coming Up…

In the next five minutes, we’re going to cover:

  1. How to use a BMC
  2. What the Creatorpreneur BMC looks like
  3. How to create your own BMC

💬 This Is a Business Model Canvas

Here's a BMC template from Strategyzer. You can download it here.

I KNOW it looks horribly dry and boring and you probably want to look away. Just give me five minutes to change your mind.

Take a look at this BMC representing the business model for Creatorpreneur.

caption for image

This was created by Nick Himowicz, and it outlines how the Creatorpreneur business currently functions, through its primary revenue driver, the Part-Time Creatorpreneur course. It doesn't mention the Newsletter or Twitter though, which is part of our process for building a strong community of creators which I'll go through later in this email.

However, with a splash of colour and some context, this already looks much more appealing than the first image.

Let’s break it down, and you’ll see why this is worth doing for your creator business, either to visualise it in its current state, or to imagine how you would like it to function in a few months.

🔩 Breaking It Down

You can read the info on the BMC template, but it does come across as slightly dry. So I’m going to summarise each segment in a way that keeps you mostly awake.

1 - Value Propositions

Quite simply, what value are you offering your audience/customers? What problems are you solving? If you don’t have this firmly in your mind, you can’t be intentional in how you create your products/solutions.

In our case, ‘we help turn your creative side hustle into a scalable and sustainable business.’ The transition from creative hobbyist to startup entrepreneur is difficult and confusing, and we want to provide the tools and resources to help creators make that leap.

2 - Customer Segments

Who benefits from the value you’re providing? You need to know whose problems you’re trying to solve.

In our case, we want to help creators (YouTubers, writers, streamers, podcasters, artists, musicians), entrepreneurs, startup founders, etc.

3 - Channels

How will people hear about (and then access) the value you’re creating? How do you communicate with your audience either pre- or post-purchase?

For us, this includes Ali’s YouTube channel and his 5 day crash course email series, as well as this newsletter, our twitter, and (soon) our podcast. As for the course itself, it’s accessed via Teachable.

4 - Customer relationships

Speaks for itself. What is your relationship with your customer?

In our case, the initial burst of customers were fans of Ali’s YouTube channel. As we grow the brand, more of these relationships are going to be built on our own channels, through this newsletter/twitter/podcast.

5 - Revenue Streams

How much does your product cost and in what way does your audience pay? Is it a one-off payment, or a recurring fee?

Currently, our model for the Creatorpreneur Course is a one-off $799 payment. As Nick rightly points out in his video, this is slightly simplistic.

Keeping it real, there are ways we could consider collecting recurring revenue from customers, or even offering premium add-ons for those who want more content, in order to increase and diversify our revenue streams.

However, the priority has always been to provide a valuable course, and so this segment of our BMC remains simple for now.

6 - Key Activities

What absolutely needs to happen for your customer segment to receive the value you’re aiming to provide?

There are three key activities for our BMC, and these are probably going to be similar for any creative business:

  1. Create an amazing course/product.
  2. Promote that course/product effectively, through social media/other channels.
  3. Sell the course/product.

It sounds fairly obvious, but it’s worth taking a moment to consider the absolutely crucial elements involved in achieving your aims.

7 - Key Resources

Which assets are indispensable in creating the product, and fulfilling your value proposition?

There are two major categories for us in this regard - personnel, and audience.

  1. Personnel - the obvious key resource is Ali. In addition, one member of the team (Gareth) spent months working with Ali helping structure and research the course. We also had five days of filming the course itself, which required at least six or seven members of the team monitoring cameras, downloading footage, charging batteries, setting up/taking down. Then there was an intense six week editing period. It was a huge (and fun) operation, which would not have been possible without a team of people.
  2. Audience - thankfully, we had Ali’s audience to reassure us that we were making something they would find valuable. Regardless of the size of your audience, you can use them to test whether or not you’re building something they want and whether it will be worth your time investment.

8 - Cost Structures

What are the costs associated with creating your product? Thinking this through is essential for knowing whether this is a viable venture for you and your business.

For us, the major cost was hiring the filming venue for five days (especially when we anticipated it would only take two 😅)

The only other associated costs were our salaries, but these were obviously already being paid, irrespective of creating the course.

9 - Key Partners

Can anyone help you leverage your business model? Are there any elements of your business, or the product creation process, that you can outsource?

In our case, this was done in-house, so there were no key partners.

🤔 What’s next?

Download the Strategyzer Business Model Canvas and start to break down the fundamentals of your business. Either in how it works currently, or how you would ideally structure it within the next few months.

🔦 Community Spotlight

Don’t forget to show Nick Himo some love over on his channel. He broke down our business model with brilliant clarity without any insider info, and has started doing this for other entrepreneurs too. As he says in his video, it’s useful to see how others organise their businesses so we can take inspiration for our own.

Have a great rest of your week,


Man at Typewriter


🐦 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.

🚀 Free 5 Day Creatorpreneur Crash Course

If you like these Creatorpreneur newsletters, you might like our free 5 day email crash course, where Ali Abdaal shares everything he knows about becoming a 'professional' Creatorpreneur. Over the 5 days you'll receive the tools, resources, and knowledge to kickstart your journey as a Creatorpreneur and build a scalable and sustainable business.

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