3. “Creator-GTM”

Internet Basics

📓Online Commodities

How the Web Works

How HTTPS works

Consumer and Creator

📓1. Creator = Consumer📓2. The Active Consumer📓3. “Creator-GTM”📓3.A. Where the Viral Things Are📓4. The Anonymous Economy📓5. Pre-founder: People-focused investing


📓5.A. Pre-founder: Nontechnicals

Creator Studies

📓1. Intro to Creator Studies📓2. Creator Policy🪟2. View: Research📓3. A Spectrum of Influence📓4. Influencing Influencers


📓TCM/C-TAM📓Revisiting Community Investing📓Rethinking Consumer LTV📓“Organic” = unpaid?📓Introducing: On-Page Collaboration, LiveWriting, anti-Press Publish📓VC Managers: Finding your style📓Women’s Consumer (2022)📓The “online” button



Personal Journal

📓An intro to Personal Journal📓Advice for a Y1/Y2 woman in VC📓Advice for a Y3 woman in VC 📓My love letter to Journalists📓Women and Wikipedia 📓“Pedigree”📓Why I dropped out

© EM 2024

What is Creator GTM?

How the creator economy changed modern GTM.

Creator GTM is a go-to-market strategy that builds a team and initiatives around non-traditional online marketing (not through traditional ads.) Instead, relying on production/content, community, creator-relations, and influencer marketing. Creator GTM affects directly two buckets of a business: CAC and Retention %.

Creator GTM initiatives can be segmented as the following:

These buckets, specifically, are “marketing” initiatives not typically considered in a founder’s CAC. [See “Organic” = unpaid?]

In all honesty, I just want for you to care about the segmentation shown above. It’s not too deep, it’s just the modern “growth team.”

What’s changed?

  • Expectations. Marketing, in startups, is a process that is expected to scale as fast as SWEs can build. When founders present that $XB slide, even though they’re reasonable, it’s expected that the founders can actually hit at least $1B in volume.
  • Costs. Anecdotally, famously, my old boss used to say, “At [top-tier firm], we quickly realized [in the 2010s] that at least 1-cent to every dollar spent at the early-stages was on customer acquisition.” And that is absolutely not the narrative presented by founders within the last ten years.
  • Trust. Simply put, for a bunch of historic reasons, people trust people more than companies. People now have incredible reach, so attention is following that preference accordingly.

Creator Team Segmentation

These functions are similar to those hired on successful creator teams, separate from personal staff and entrepreneurial projects for software or CPG side businesses. This is the mental segmentation of a core creator team.

How to get started

So you want some of the Creator GTM goodness, but don’t know where to start. Here are some questions to get you prioritized on

  1. Retention vs. Reach. Which number are you not happy with?
  2. image

1. Community

Community-led growth was a term spread throughout early 2020s to connect with customers, teams, and brands that could create a cohesive community that cares about the quality and mission of one company.

It’s hard to say who exactly was the first to coin the term, but by 2023, it’s safe to say that the “community-led” … community has become mainstream.

Example 1: Bessemer

Example 2: McKinsey

Personally, I think of David Spinks and his Business of Belonging book or communities like CMX or Community-led (to which I get a ton of the following community frameworks from) as those making it popular within software.


Inner Flywheel


These might be obvious, but for clarification:

Inner Community Segment

Trust: Building trust as a brand or organization requires authentic human connection — and community is the most effective way to do that. Creating that all-important trust starts with nurturing relationships, crafting valuable content, encouraging engagement, and ultimately, creating a safe space in which your community can thrive. Relationships: Relationships are one of the foundations upon which a healthy community is built. And that’s not just the relationship between your organization and your members — the member-to-member relationships help people feel connected, aid in building trust, and keep them engaged. Engagement: Your members’ interaction with and participation in conversations and community initiatives — is a fire lit by meaningful relationships and content. In turn, it can also help forge stronger relationships and contribute towards quality content, sparking more engagement. It can be useful to see content as the nutrition of your community — the food you’re providing to nourish members and fuel engagement. Content: More than just blog posts and newsletters — it’s all that and more, right down to conversation prompts and simple rituals of everyday community management.