In the ever-evolving landscape of modern entrepreneurship, there is a unique class known as the “Creators.” These individuals create digital products that focus on imparting knowledge and information, such as books, workshops, and training courses, to benefit themselves and their consumers. One such innovator who has mastered the art of successful creative entrepreneurship is Jay Clouse, a passionate maker of the world’s most effective creative strategies.
With platforms like The Creative Elements podcast, a thriving YouTube channel, a newsletter with 14k subscribers, a membership community of 100 members, seven LinkedIn Learning courses, and five freelance courses, Jay is a role model worth exploring for insights into what it takes To thrive as a creative entrepreneur. He recently joined Negotiate Anything to share some of his best tips for building confidence and achieving success as an online creator.
The core of Jay’s philosophy lies in a deep understanding of the creator’s role in a transactional relationship with his audience. A content creator is defined as a person who presents mostly digital products for the mutual benefit of both the consumer and the creator. In an interest-driven economy, Jay’s main principle is to align incentives to monetize interest. To achieve this, he emphasizes building trust and persuasion with the audience.
Building trust as a creative entrepreneur requires establishing a personal connection with the audience. This connection is nurtured through consistent communication, often on a one-to-one level, over a long period. According to Jay, the relationships formed in this way pave the way for a sustainable career as a creator. To stand out in a sea of competing messages, Jay suggests a simple yet profound approach: Treat your audience like friends. By speaking in an accessible, conversational manner, creators can cut through the noise and form a real connection with their audience.
Jay’s insights offer a refreshing perspective. In contrast to formal and professional communication styles, he encourages adopting a more informal and relatable tone in brand communications. Engaging in our daily interactions, we typically engage at a fifth-grade level of communication, so creating content that matches this tone will likely help build trust.
The big challenge on this journey is finding the balance between personal connection and scalability. Jay acknowledges the humility required to build broad-based trust, echoing the feeling that broad-based trust requires genuine commitment to one-on-one interactions.
Reveal your shadow artist
For those feeling stuck and/or craving some form of creative expression, Jay has an interesting concept: the shadow artist. This is the part of you that craves creativity and expressing yourself, often through activities you may not yet be pursuing. To connect with your shadow artist, he recommends examining your social media interactions, including the people you follow. This analysis can reveal some hidden interests or feelings. From there, it’s all about committing to discovering your own shadow artist. For Jay, it was about writing every day. He felt that writing was a form of creativity, and that if he wrote every day he could prove to himself that he was, in fact, creative.
Get paid for your fortune
For creators, finding value in their work and effectively communicating that value to potential clients is a major determinant of success. Jay identifies two basic approaches: building a product and then finding the right customers, or building a following and then selling the product. He relied on the latter. In building trust with his audience and customers, sales have become less of a battle.
Jay’s sales philosophy extends far beyond transactional interactions. It’s about confidence. For Jay, trust is rooted in understanding a customer’s needs, actively listening, and proposing solutions that feel like magic to them. This delicate balance ensures that the customer feels valued rather than cared for, and promotes a collaborative environment.
Jay’s journey as a successful creative entrepreneur offers invaluable lessons for aspiring creators in various fields. The cornerstones of building trust, adopting a dependable personal communication style, and mastering the art of persuasion are all essential on this journey. By aligning incentives, nurturing authentic relationships, and effectively communicating value, creative entrepreneurs can thrive in an ever-competitive landscape.