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 The People-First Model for GTM Creators

The People-First Model for GTM Creators

Nick Bennett 12 min

📝 Worksheet to Decode Your Audience's Needs

Step-by-Step Guide to Engaging Storytelling

Behind-the-Scenes Showtime:

Actionable Tip:

Capture your creative process—whether it's sketching, writing, or setting up equipment. Share snippets of your work environment, brainstorming sessions, or even bloopers!


YouTuber Peter McKinnon often shares his photography setup, editing process, and 'day in the life' snippets, giving a peek into his creative world.

Personal Stories FTW:

Actionable Tip:

Weave personal anecdotes into your content. Share your struggles, victories, or a funny mishap. Make it relatable!


Writer Elizabeth Gilbert, known for "Eat, Pray, Love," shares personal stories on her podcast, connecting deeply with her audience.

Invite Audience Participation:

Actionable Tip:

Ask for your audience's opinions, suggestions, or ideas. It's similar to having a brainstorming session with your pals!


Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of "Hamilton," engaged fans by sharing behind-the-scenes content and asking for feedback during the musical's development.

Workshops & Sneak Peeks:

Actionable Tip:

Host live sessions, workshops, or Q&A sessions where you share insights, teach a skill, or give a preview of your upcoming projects.


Illustrator Charlie Mackesy often hosts live drawing sessions, allowing followers to witness his creative process and interact with him.

Consistency is Key:

Actionable Tip:

Make sharing your journey a regular thing. It's like a series that keeps viewers coming back for more!


Casey Neistat’s daily vlogs unfolded everyday stories, giving viewers a reason to tune in regularly.

The magic of storytelling lies in authenticity. Be yourself! Whether it’s sharing a setback, celebrating a win, or giving a sneak peek, your audience craves that genuine connection. So, throw open those curtains, share your tales, and watch your audience become your biggest fans!

✅ Creative Partnership Checklist

Instead of just launching a new creation, you've built this awesome group of people who love your art. They're not just customers; they're part of your community. And when you finally drop that new masterpiece, they're first in line, excited because they've been part of your journey from the start.

And how do you know it's working? Well, you observe indicators like how many friends showed up to your art exhibition (Volume), the number of people who loved it enough to make a purchase (Conversion Rates), how quickly they snatched it up (Velocity), how much they value your work (Value), and of course, how much it expenses incurred to throw this amazing party (Cost).

This people-first thing isn't just about selling stuff; it's about building a fan club around your creations. It takes more time, sure, but it's way more fun, and you end up with people who genuinely love what you do.

When to Use the People-First GTM Strategy As a Creator

Building Meaningful Relationships:

When you're all about creating a strong bond with your audience, People-First GTM is your go-to. It's like shaking hands and having a chat with your viewers. You're focusing on building genuine connections, not just pushing your content.

Navigating in a Crowded Space:

In a world where everyone's trying to stand out, the People-First approach finds you your own lane in a traffic jam. It helps you cut through the noise by tailoring your content to your audience's specific needs and preferences.

Launching Something New:

This strategy can be your secret sauce if you're about to drop something fresh – a new series, a product, or even a collaboration. It's like inviting your closest pals to a sneak preview. You're involving your audience from the get-go, making them feel like part of the journey.

When Authenticity Matters Most:

This approach is your best buddy for creators who value being real and authentic. Speak from the heart, share your story, and let your audience know that you're there for more than just the views or likes.

People-First GTM isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, but when your goal is to build real relationships, foster engagement, and create an audience that's not just there for the content but for you as a creator, that's when this approach truly shines.

Three Channels to Turn Interest Into a Paycheck

People-first GTM uses three channels to turn interest into a paycheck.

Channel #1: Community-led Growth.

This is where you build a cool gang around your stuff. Think about starting a club for people who love what you do. You do this by sharing stories, chatting with your followers, and making them feel like they’re part of your creative journey.

Community-Building Activities & Event Ideas:

Here’s a playbook to organize those engaging events and activities that’ll turn your followers into die-hard fans:

Live Q&A Sessions:
  • Ask Me Anything (AMA) Hour: Host a dedicated session where your audience can ask you anything related to your niche, life, or upcoming projects.

  • Theme-based Q&A: Focus on specific themes each session, diving deep into topics your audience cares about. For instance, "Tech Tuesdays" or "Creativity Corner."

Personal Storytelling:
  • Storytelling Series: Share personal anecdotes or experiences through a series of short videos or blog posts, weaving in life lessons or insights relevant to your content.

  • Behind-the-Scenes: Take your audience on a virtual tour of your workspace, share the backstory of your projects, or reveal the making-of process.

Interactive Discussions:
  • Debate Club: Organize a structured debate or discussion on a hot topic in your niche. Invite guest speakers or influencers to spice it up.

  • Interactive Polls & Challenges: Run polls or challenges related to your content. For instance, a "Weekly Challenge" or "Pick Your Favorite" polls for audience engagement.

Engaging Content Creation:
  • Collaborative Projects: Initiate a collaborative project involving your audience. It could be creating a community artwork, writing a story collectively, or a shared playlist.

  • Audience Spotlight: Highlight user-generated content by showcasing your audience's work, stories, or projects, giving them a platform to shine.

Engaging Platforms & Tools:
  • Exclusive Groups or Forums: Create a private Facebook group, Discord server, or a dedicated forum where your audience can connect, discuss, and share ideas.

  • Virtual Meetups or Workshops: Organize online workshops, masterclasses, or virtual meetups to dive deeper into specific topics, offering value to your community.

Mix and match these activities based on your audience’s preferences and your content style. By creating a space where your audience feels valued, engaged, and connected, you'll have followers and a community of enthusiasts cheering you on in your creative journey!

Channel #2: Member-led Growth.

Here, it's about giving VIP treatment to those who are super into your work. They're like the fan club presidents. You create exclusive content, maybe behind-the-scenes footage or early access to your creations, just for them. This makes them feel extra special.

For Member-led Growth, you'd create exclusive content, maybe offer discounts on new releases, or even give them first dibs on limited edition stuff.

Here are some ways to accelerate member-led growth:

Exclusive Content & Offers:
  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: Share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, or insights into your creative process. This gives them a front-row seat to your creative world.

  • Early Access to Content: Offer VIP members early access to your latest videos, articles, or products before the general release. They get a sneak peek before everyone else!

  • Limited Edition Merchandise: Create special, limited-edition merchandise exclusively for VIP members. It could be signed prints, customized gear, or unique collectibles.

Unique Member-only Experiences:
  • Live Q&A Sessions or Workshops: Host private live Q&A sessions, workshops, or masterclasses exclusively for VIP members. 

  • Personalized Interactions: Offer one-on-one interactions, whether it's a video call, voice message, or personalized shoutouts. It adds a personal touch and makes them feel valued.

  • Exclusive Events or Meetups: Organize VIP-only meetups, virtual hangouts, or events where members can interact directly with you or other VIPs in a more intimate setting.

Special Offers & Discounts:
  • Member-only Discounts: Provide exclusive discounts or special pricing on merchandise, courses, or premium content reserved only for your VIP members.

  • Freebies & Giveaways: Offer occasional freebies, giveaways, or access to exclusive contests with special rewards for your VIP members.

Personalized Support & Access:
  • Direct Communication Channels: Offer direct access through exclusive messaging apps, private forums, or groups where they can interact with you directly.

  • Personalized Coaching or Feedback Sessions: Provide occasional coaching sessions, feedback opportunities, or consultations tailored to their needs and interests.

Creating a VIP experience goes beyond just delivering content—it's about fostering a sense of belonging and exclusivity. By providing unique, value-packed experiences and special offers, you'll turn your dedicated fans into your most loyal supporters, making them feel like part of an exclusive club!

Channel #3: Customer-Led Growth.

This one's all about the people who've actually bought your stuff. You keep them engaged by asking for feedback, giving them exclusive deals on your new creations, and ensuring they're happy customers.

For Customer-Led Growth, you need to stay connected with your buyers, ask for reviews, and show them some love with special offers.

Best Practices Mini-Guide on Customer Led Growth:

Gathering Feedback Effectively:
  • Post-Purchase Surveys: Send personalized thank-you emails or surveys after a purchase, asking for feedback on their experience. Keep it short, specific, and easy to answer.

  • Review Requests: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website, social media, or review platforms. Highlight the importance of their feedback in improving your products/services.

Creating Special Offers:
  • Exclusive Deals for Repeat Buyers: Offer special discounts or loyalty rewards to customers who’ve made multiple purchases. This showcases your thankfulness towards  their continued support.

  • Early Access or Sneak Peeks: Provide early access or exclusive previews of upcoming products or content to your existing customers, making them feel privileged.

Maintaining Long-Term Relationships:
  • Personalized Communication: Keep in touch through personalized emails, newsletters, or updates about new products, promotions, or relevant content. Make it feel like a friendly chat rather than just marketing.

  • Exceptional Customer Service: Be responsive and attentive to customer queries or concerns. Resolve issues promptly and courteously to ensure a positive experience.

Cultivating Brand Ambassadors:
  • Referral Programs: Encourage existing customers to refer friends by offering incentives or rewards for successful referrals. Happy customers are your best advocates!

  • Showcase Customer Success Stories: Share success stories or testimonials from satisfied customers. Highlight how your product/service has positively impacted their lives.

Building Trust and Loyalty:
  • Transparency and Authenticity: Be transparent about your products, processes, and values. Authenticity builds trust and fosters a stronger connection.

  • Act on Feedback: Use customer feedback to improve your products/services. Show that their opinions matter by implementing changes based on their suggestions.

By implementing these practices, you’ll keep your existing customers engaged and satisfied and foster long-term relationships that can lead to repeat purchases and organic growth through positive word-of-mouth.

Partner-Led Growth for Creators

When you activate partner-led growth as a creator, you are teaming up with your creative buddies, your super fans, other creators you admire, and even brands that dig your style. It's about finding those perfect pals who share your vibe values and who have their own cool audiences.

When you partner up, it's like combining forces. Your partners bring in their audience, ideas, and expertise, and you do the same. Together, you create something bigger and better than you could alone. It's like having a jam session where everyone's bringing their own instrument to create an awesome melody.

For creators, partnering with your audience means involving them in your creative process. You might ask for their input on new projects or even collaborate directly with them. Collaborating with other creators helps you tap into their fanbase and share each other's talents. And when you partner with brands, it's about finding those that resonate with your values and your audience, making the collaborations feel authentic.

There are some incredible examples of successful creator-to-creator collaborations that have brought immense value to both parties and their audiences:

Casey Neistat and Karlie Kloss:

Casey Neistat collaborated with model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss on a video series called "The Making of a Model Entrepreneur."

This collaboration brought Casey's filmmaking expertise and Karlie's insights into the fashion and entrepreneurial world. It showcased Karlie's journey as a tech-savvy entrepreneur, offering Casey's audience a glimpse into a different industry. Meanwhile, Karlie's audience got exposure to Casey's storytelling and vlogging style.

Emma Chamberlain and Louis Vuitton:

Emma Chamberlain, a prominent YouTuber, collaborated with luxury brand Louis Vuitton for their fashion campaign.

This partnership combined Emma's relatable, authentic content creation style with Louis Vuitton's high-end fashion image. Emma's audience saw her engaged in a new and unexpected environment, while Louis Vuitton gained access to Emma's young and dedicated fanbase.

David Dobrik and Chipotle:

David Dobrik, a popular YouTuber, partnered with Chipotle for various marketing campaigns and giveaways.

This collaboration was a win-win. David Dobrik's audience received exciting content, including giveaways and exclusive promotions. Chipotle gained exposure to Dobrik's massive, engaged audience, increasing brand visibility among younger demographics.

MrBeast and Mark Rober:

MrBeast, known for his philanthropic challenges, teamed up with former NASA engineer Mark Rober for a series of scientific and entertaining challenges.

This collaboration merged MrBeast's entertainment style with Mark Rober's educational approach. It resulted in engaging content entertaining MrBeast's audience while introducing scientific concepts to a wider audience.

These collaborations allowed creators to cross-pollinate their audiences, offering diverse content and experiences to both sets of viewers. By partnering strategically, they leveraged each other's strengths, expanding their reach and introducing new perspectives to their audiences. The partnerships weren't just about creating content; they were about creating something unique that resonated with both creators' fanbases.

These partnerships can open doors to new opportunities, expand your audience, and bring fresh perspectives to your content. They're the secret sauce for growth in the creator world!

Now, here's the fun part. Partnerships aren't just about creating something cool but about expanding your universe! It's like hosting a big creative gathering where everyone gets a chance to shine. For creators, it's crucial to partner with folks who align with your style and passions, whether they're influencers, fellow creators, or businesses that share your vision.

How to Prompt Partner-Led Growth?

Building partnerships isn't just about the big names; it's about meaningful connections. It's like joining forces with people who get what you do and are excited to share it with their own crowd. That's how you amplify your reach, bring in new ideas, and make your creative journey even more awesome!

Here is how you can do it:

1. Identify Your Tribe:

Reach out to your existing audience and identify the super fans who are always engaging with your content.

Look for creators in your niche who resonate with your style. These could be fellow YouTubers, Instagrammers, or podcasters.

2. Authentic Collaboration:

Reach out to these potential partners with a genuine collaboration idea. It could be a joint video, a podcast episode, or a creative project.

Ensure that the collaboration aligns with both your and your partner's brand and interests.

3. Engage Your Audience:

Involve your audience in the collaboration process. Seek their input, ideas, or even contributions to make them feel a part of the project.

Use social media polls, Q&A sessions, or exclusive behind-the-scenes content to build excitement.

4. Leverage Platforms and Tools:

Utilize collaboration tools like Google Workspace or Slack for seamless communication and brainstorming.

Choose platforms for your collaboration that align with your audience's preferences—YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

5. Offer Value to Partners:

Ensure that the collaboration is beneficial for all parties involved. It could be exposure, access to each other's audiences, or even shared revenue if applicable.

6. Measure Impact:

Track metrics like reach, referrals, and, if applicable, revenue generated from the collaboration.

Use analytics tools and feedback from your audience and partners to understand what worked well and what can be improved for future collaborations.

7. Expand Your Network:

Continuously seek new partnerships. Attend virtual events, engage in online communities, and be open to collaboration opportunities that align with your brand.

Remember, it's not just about the numbers; it's about building meaningful relationships and creating content that resonates with both your and your partner's audience. Activate partner-led growth by making it a collaborative journey that benefits everyone involved.

How to Activate People-First GTM

Your People-First GTM strategy should involve creating genuine connections, offering value, and engaging your audience authentically. It's a journey where you're creating content and building a community that resonates with your beliefs and values.

1. Craft Your Unique Story:

Start by defining what you stand for and why. What problems are you passionate about solving through your content? This is your core message.

2. Seek Audience Feedback:

Engage with your audience directly. Have conversations, conduct polls, or use surveys to understand what resonates with them and gather feedback on your content ideas.

3. Identify Your Target Audience:

Use the insights gained to pinpoint the specific audience that aligns with your story and message. This audience should relate to your beliefs and the problems you aim to solve.

4. Establish Guiding Principles:

Define clear principles that support your beliefs. These principles will be the backbone of your content and resonate with your audience.

5. Create a Valuable Asset:

Develop content, host events, or offer a free product that acts as a catalyst for spreading your message. This should be something valuable to your audience that showcases your unique viewpoint.

6. Collaborate for Distribution:

Seek partnerships with other creators or brands to help promote and distribute your content to a wider audience. Partnerships can amplify your reach significantly.

7. Build Your Community:

Develop ways for people to subscribe or follow your content. Build an email list or encourage following on social media platforms to nurture your audience.

8. Amplify and Repurpose:

Repurpose your key content into smaller, more digestible formats. Create micro-content-like snippets, quotes, or short videos that can be shared across various platforms.

9. Prioritize Audience Building:

Always focus on building an audience before launching new products or initiatives. Your audience is the driving force behind your success.

How to Measure Your Go-To-Market as a Creator

Think of measuring your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy like you're making your favorite dish—you wanna make sure it's turning out just right!

1. Volume – The Amount of Buzz:

Volume is like checking how many people are talking about your content or engaging with it. Are your posts getting shared a bunch? How many comments and likes are you raking in?

Tools & Methods:
  • Social Media Analytics Tools: Platforms like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Instagram Insights provide data on shares, comments, and likes.

  • Google Analytics: Track website traffic, referrals, and content engagement.

2. Conversion Rates – The Effectiveness:

Conversion rates are all about efficiency. They're like seeing if your message is hitting the bullseye. Are people taking the action you want them to, like subscribing or following you?

Tools & Methods:
  • Google Analytics Goals: Set up specific goals (e.g., newsletter sign-ups, purchases) to track conversions on your website.

  • CRM Software: Customer Relationship Management tools like HubSpot or Salesforce can track leads and conversions.

3. Velocity – The Speedometer:

Velocity is how quickly things are happening! It's like checking how fast your audience is growing or how quickly they're reacting to your content. Are you gaining followers at a steady pace?

Tools & Methods:
  • Social Media Management Tools: Tools like Hootsuite or Buffer help monitor follower growth and engagement rates over time.

  • Email Marketing Platforms: Monitor subscriber growth and engagement through platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.

4. Value – The Worth of Your Efforts:

This one's all about the worth of what you're doing. Is your content adding value to your audience's lives? Are they finding it helpful or entertaining?

Tools & Methods:
  • Surveys and Feedback Forms: Use tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to gather feedback directly from your audience about the value they find in your content.

  • Engagement Metrics: Analyze comments, shares, and testimonials to gauge how your content resonates with your audience.

5. Cost – The Spending Meter:

Lastly, think of this as the expense check. Are you spending too much time or money on something that isn't giving you enough back? Keep an eye on your investments and make sure they're paying off!

Tools & Methods:
  • Expense Tracking Software: Use tools like QuickBooks or Expensify to monitor spending on marketing campaigns, content creation, and advertising.

  • Time Tracking Apps: Tools like Toggl or Harvest help track time spent on various tasks to evaluate their efficiency.

For creators, these measurements help understand how your content resonates and whether it's hitting the mark with your audience. You need to be looking at different aspects of your content creation journey to ensure you're not just making noise but actually making an impact!

📝 Homework


  1. How are you currently engaging with your audience beyond surface-level interactions?
  2. What steps can you take to foster a deeper sense of community among your followers?


  1. Initiate a conversation or poll with your audience to understand their preferences or challenges.
  2. Host a live session or AMA (Ask Me Anything) to interact directly with your audience and build a stronger connection.


NOTE: Want to unlock the rest? You gotta subscribe to TACK Network to get the other 7 courses. 

Nick Bennett 12 min

The People-First Model for GTM Creators

People-first Go-To-Market (GTM) for creators is basically a way to sell your content by putting people at the heart of everything. It's saying, 'Hey, let's make cool things that people actually want!'. It is a strategy that leverages relationships and partnerships to generate, seize, and transform demand into revenue. Traditionally, it was more about just pushing your stuff out there, hoping someone would buy. But this new way is cooler. You start by understanding what people care about, and what problems they have, and then you build stuff that actually addresses their needs. And here's the cool part: you don't just create; you also share stories about your process, maybe host workshops, or even offer a sneak peek into your next project. It's like inviting people behind the scenes, making them a part of your journey. The key? Partnerships! You team up with other artists, share each other's work, and bring more people to the party. By saying, 'Hey, I'll show your work if you show mine,' both your audiences grow. Let me break it down for you.

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