With the rise of the creator economy, now is the time to improve overall creator platforms to help today’s creators implement better processes and partnerships; João Pedro Resende, CEO and Co-founder of Hotmart Balance some ideas:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, João, Tell us more about yourself and your journey into your role as CEO and Co-founder of Hotmart?
I met Mateus Pekalho, co-founder of Hotmart, on a course in computer science at the University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. After we graduated, in 2004, we founded Mobworks, our first startup company. It was a company that developed mobile apps. It didn’t work out as we planned, and we closed our doors in 2006. Then we joined different companies and developed our careers in software development.
By that time, I was in charge of the online gamer community, and I was in charge of marketing and sales. So, I started studying digital marketing and SEO tools and learned how promotion and user traffic work. It wasn’t long until others started asking me for tips on these topics, and to make it easier, I decided to put them all together in a PDF document.
I created an e-book, but couldn’t think of any way to direct this material to potential clients. If this solution doesn’t exist, why can’t I come up with my own? So, in 2011 Matheus Bicalho and I got together again to start developing the first glimpse of Hotmart, which only offered PDF downloads and online payments. After that, customers started showing up and two months later we were able to collect 182 R$ (about $40). There we learned that we had a company with high potential on our hands.
Matthews and I quit our jobs, and since then, we’ve been working together to shape this idea and allow more and more people to create their own content around the topics they love, or as we like to say, letting people live from their passion.
When Hotmart turned 10 years old, in 2021, it became one of the world’s largest companies in the creative economy. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam and has employees in Brazil, Spain, Colombia, Mexico, the USA, France and the UK. We provide the entire ecosystem for content creators to turn their knowledge into digital products, such as online courses, e-books, and podcasts, among other formats. We have more than 30 million users, 490,000 registered products and sales in 188 countries.
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How does Hotmart enable the efforts of online content creators in various fields?
Our integrated platform contains everything necessary to create, sell and promote a digital product, and connect creators with buyers. It is a service specifically designed so that content creators have the full flexibility needed to implement successful sales strategies. We provide all the infrastructure in one place to store, pay, distribute and manage digital products such as online courses, e-books, subscriptions and podcasts, among other formats. With the built in tools, Hotmart focuses on automating the work of our users, so they can focus on creating strategies and growing their business. We currently have more than 30 million users globally.
Every few months we release new solutions or updates to our features. We recently announced a global partnership with WhatsApp, a subscription package that provides additional page editing tools, email marketing, and webinar solutions that integrate with the Hotmart platform.
What are the ways you see online empowerment platforms like Hotmart (around the world) Change the game for regional/global creators and how do you feel this trend will develop in the future?
Most professional creatives today only monetize their business through branding deals, sponsorships, or social media payments. This means that they depend on the decisions of third parties in order to generate income – which is unpredictable. What Hotmart offers is a complete platform to help creators rely solely on their audience to monetize their content, create paid products (like communities, newsletters, podcasts, or online courses, for example) and build a real business online. We also provide knowledge, support, and numerous in-person and online events to the community of creators in order to foster the exchange of experiences among them, helping the market to grow more sustainably and faster.
For those people or companies that want to join the creator economy, Hotmart also offers online introductory courses to help them get started building their audiences and products.
creative economy It continues to expand and we believe this trend is just beginning. While the USA, Brazil and some countries in Latin America and Asia have already developed a community for creators, there are many markets where consumers and creators are still learning about the huge opportunities that this offers. We believe that these changes around the digital environment are in place, and physical barriers are no longer a barrier for creators to conduct and scale sales of their products. Therefore, we focus on improving, expanding and accessing our services, in order to continue to be the best ally for those who want access to the digital environment, anywhere in the world.
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What are your thoughts on the global economy for creators? Why will this space always be important in the online world from now on?
The creative economy is just the beginning. Today, about 50 million people around the world consider themselves digital content creators, according to Signal Fire. But only about 2 million are professional creatives, who dedicate themselves to business 100%. They can offer their services globally, at scale, with low barriers to entry and low initial investment, and focus on the niche they find most attractive.
According to a survey by First Choice, three-quarters of kids say they are considering some kind of career in online videos. In the same survey, nearly a quarter of young people aged 6-17 said that creativity in creating great videos was their biggest motivation. The study showed that they prefer learning media studies and how to use video editing software over traditional materials.
The younger generation has a lot of potential. Research from Lego shows that 58% of children surveyed can create digital content themselves. With this, we can say that the creative economy is just getting started, and we can expect more innovation and disruption in this area in the coming months and years.
The market will continue to rely on the increasingly complete Hotmart platform. We are focused on organic growth in the markets we already have, in Brazil, Spain, the United States, Colombia and Mexico, and are looking to acquire tools and companies that can complement our platform, as well as enter new markets. We can expect more innovation and disruption in the creative economy in the coming months and years.
Can you share some ideas of what it takes to succeed as a creator today?
First of all, creative people must realize that their talent and knowledge can indeed be a profitable business, and therefore, activity must be faced as a profession. However, a lot of study is necessary, as well as dedication and constant updating of people to understand all the dynamics, tools and strategies of working with digital products.
Long-term planning is essential, and for a business to become scalable, they should know at least the principles of sales strategy, funnel marketing, copywriting, social media management, online traffic, content creation, storytelling, and data analytics. These are the most important elements for success in this business. Obviously, it is very difficult for just one professional to master all these skills. People tend to specialize in one or two of these and build teams or agencies that serve (or are hired by) creators. This is another opportunity for those who are not creative, but can serve the community, such as social media professionals, copywriters, video makers, designers, among other professionals.
Some recent thoughts, takeaways, digital tech/creators tips and best practices before we wrap up!
The first thing digital entrepreneurs should focus on is deciding which niche you will be operating in. Choosing a market niche is a key factor for the success or failure of a digital product, along with being an important strategy for the full development of your business plan.
It is also important to understand the needs and difficulties of the audience. The main role of an entrepreneur is to analyze the problems surrounding him and to find opportunity in those problems. After doing this, it is possible to troubleshoot these issues by building something that will be of value to the people who need the solutions provided. In general, a true entrepreneur is someone who starts something from scratch as a way to solve other people’s problems and make an impact on their lives.
The next step is to know the exact buyers. Knowing and understanding who is or will be buying your products is essential to improving your results and creating effective content. One great way to do content marketing is to study the best strategies for people to learn about your product. And one of them is to define your target audience well to create useful content from there. In order to understand the desires or objections of buyers, many companies create a unique buyer profile: the so-called buyer persona (sometimes referred to as a customer avatar). Created based on research on real people, these semi-fictional characters will help you in the marketing decision process and clarify who the real buyer is.
It is also important to focus on making the best possible product and offering free content is a good growth strategy. In this way, introductory content to your product can be presented so that anyone can get an overview of your work, see the results and proposed changes.
With free content validation, create your Hotmart account, then the paid product, register it and rely on all our platform tool solutions to expand your digital business.
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