With the rise of the creator economy, it is now time for improved all-in-one creator platforms to help today’s creators implement better processes and partnerships; João Pedro Resende, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at Hotmart weighs in with some thoughts:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat João, tell us more about yourself and your journey to your role as CEO and Co-founder at Hotmart?
I met Mateus Bicalho, cofounder of Hotmart, in a computer science course at university in Minas Gerais, Brazil. After we graduated, in 2004, we founded Mobworks, our first startup. It was a company which developed mobile apps. It did not work as we planned, and we closed in 2006. We then joined different companies and developed our software development careers.
By that time, I was an online gamer community administrator, and became responsible for marketing and sales. Therefore, I started studying about digital marketing, SEO tools and learned how promotion and user traffic work. It wasn’t too long until other people started asking me for tips on those topics and, to make it easier, I decided to put it all together in a PDF document.
I created an ebook, but I couldn’t think of any way to direct this material at potential clients . If that solution didn’t exist, why not come up with my own? So, in 2011, Matheus Bicalho and I got together one more time to start developing the first glimpse of Hotmart, which offered only PDF downloads and online payments. Then, the clients started showing up and two months later we were able to raise R$ 182 (about $40). We knew right there that we had a high potential company in our hands.
Matheus and I resigned from our jobs and, since then, have been working together to shape that idea and allow more and more people to create their own content on topics they like, or as we like to say, allow people to live off their passions.
When Hotmart turned 10 years old, in 2021, it became one of the biggest companies in the world in the Creator Economy. The company is based in Amsterdam and has employees in Brazil, Spain, Colombia, Mexico, the USA, France and the UK. We offer the whole ecosystem for content creators to turn their knowledge into digital products, such as online courses, ebooks, podcasts, among other formats. We have more than 30 million users, 490 thousand registered products and sales in 188 countries.
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How is the Hotmart platform enabling the efforts of online creators across industries?
Our all-in-one platform has all that is necessary to create, sell, promote a digital product, connecting creators with buyers. It is a service specially designed so that content creators have the full flexibility necessary to carry out successful sales strategies. We offer all the infrastructure in one place for storage, payment, distribution and management of digital products such as online courses, e-books, subscriptions, podcasts, among other formats. With 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 we have more than 30 million users globally.
Every few months we launch new solutions or updates to our features. Recently we announced a global partnership with WhatsApp, and a subscription package which offers additional page editing tools, email marketing and webinar solutions, integrated with the Hotmart platform.
In what ways are you seeing online enablement platforms like Hotmart (around the world) change the game for regional/global creators and how do you feel this trend will evolve in future?
Most professional creators today are monetizing their work only through brand deals, sponsorships or social media payments. It means that they depend on decisions of third parties in order to generate revenue – which is unpredictable. What Hotmart offers is a complete platform to help creators depend only on their audience to monetize their content, create paid products (as communities, newsletters, podcasts or online courses, for example) and build a real online business. We also provide knowledge, support and several in-person and online events to the creator community in order to foster experience exchange among them, helping a more sustainable and faster growth of the market.
For those people or companies that are willing to join the creator economy, Hotmart also offers online introductory courses to help them to start building their audiences and products.
The creator economy continues to expand and we believe that this trend is only beginning. While the USA, Brazil, some countries in Latin America and Asia have already developed a creator community, there are several markets in which consumers and creators are still learning about the huge opportunities it brings. We believe that these changes around the digital environment have come to stay, and the physical barriers are no longer an impediment for creators to undertake and scale sales of their products. Therefore, we are focused on improving and expanding our services and reach, so that we continue to be the best ally of those who want to get into the digital environment, anywhere in the world.
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What are your thoughts on the global creator economy? Why will this space always be important in the online world from now on?
The creator’s economy is just the beginning. Today, around 50 million people around the world consider themselves digital content creators, according to Signal Fire. But only about 2 million are professional creators, who are 100% dedicated to the business. 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 the company First Choice, three-quarters of children say they consider some type of career in online videos. In the same survey, nearly a quarter of young people between the ages of 6 and 17 said that the creativity of making great videos was their biggest motivation. They prefer to learn media studies and how to use video editing software than traditional subjects, the study shows.
And the young generation has a lot of potential. Research from the Lego Foundation showed that 58% of the children surveyed can create digital content on their own. With this, we can say that the creator economy is just getting started, and we can expect much more innovation and disruption in this space 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 where we are already present, in Brazil, Spain, United States, Colombia and Mexico, and we are looking to acquire tools and companies that can complement our platform, as well as entering new markets. We can expect much more innovation and disruption in the creator economy in the coming months and years.
Can you share a few thoughts on what it takes to drive success as a creator today?
First of all, creators must be aware that their talent and knowledge can indeed be a profitable business and, therefore, the activity must be faced as a profession. However, a lot of study is necessary, also dedication and constant updating for people to understand all the dynamics, tools and strategies of working with digital products.
Long-term planning is essential and, for the business to become scalable, they must at least know the principles of sales strategy, marketing funnel, copywriting, social media management, online traffic, content creation, storytelling and data analytics. These are the most important elements to be successful in this business. Obviously, it is very difficult for only one professional to master all those skills. People tend to specialize in one or two of those and build teams or agencies that serve creators (or are hired by them). This is another opportunity for those who are not creators, but can serve the community, as social media specialists, copywriters, video makers and designers, among other professionals.
Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital martech / creator tips and best practices before we wrap up!
The first thing digital entrepreneurs should focus on is defining the niche in which you will operate. Choosing a market niche is a key factor for the success or failure of a digital product, besides being an important strategy for the whole development of your action plan.
Understanding the needs and difficulties from the audience is also of importance. The main role of an entrepreneur is to analyze problems that are around them and find an opportunity in those problems. That being done, it’s possible to explore those issues by building something that will be valuable for people who need the solutions provided. Overall, the real entrepreneur is the one who starts something from scratch as a means of solving other people’s problems and generating an impact on their lives.
The next step is to know exactly who your buyers are. Knowing and understanding who buys or will buy your products is essential to optimize your results and create effective content. A great way of doing content marketing is to study the best strategies for people to get to know your product. And one of them is defining really well who your target audience is to create useful content from there. In order to understand what the wishes or objections of buyers are, many companies come up with a unique buyer profile: the so-called buyer persona (sometimes referred to as customer avatar). These semi-fictitious characters who were created based on research on real people, will assist you in your decision-making process in marketing and illustrate who your real buyer is.
It is also important to focus on making the best product possible and offering free content is a good growth strategy. This way, it is possible to provide introductory content of your product so that anyone can have an overview of your work, seeing the results and changes proposed.
With the free content validated, create your Hotmart account, then the paid product, register it and count on all the solutions of our platform tools to make your digital business expand.
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Founded in 2011, Hotmart is one of the world leaders in the digital products market. The company has over 1,500 employees and provides all the necessary ecosystem to create and sell digital content, such as online courses, ebooks, podcasts, among others. It forms part of the Hotmart Company group and accounts for more than 30 million users, more than 490,000 registered products and sales in more than 18 countries.
João Pedro Resende is the CEO and co-founder of Hotmart, a global technology company focused on the Creator Economy. Leading the company since its creation, João Pedro is also CEO of the Hotmart Company, a group of enterprises that include Klickpages, Teachable and Sparkle, in addition to Hotmart itself.
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