Hello everyone, welcome back to idol Weekly. I'm sorry I've taken a break from updating this blog, as the workload became too difficult for me to find a window for writing this blog. I'm happy, though, to be back and to bring you this week's edition. I'll do my best to be consistent, and before I start, I would like to thank you guys for all the positive messages. I'm glad to see this weekly blog provides value to the community and you enjoy reading it.
During these two months without weekly updates, idol has gone through many changes. We've had successes and faced failures, at times meeting or even exceeding your expectations, and at others, not quite reaching them. These two months have brought a lot of value to our company and shaped us better. They've made us realize that we aren't unstoppable and sometimes, it's better to 'take one step at a time'.
However, I would like to highlight one achievement we're particularly proud of - our second English generation! They've not only met our expectations but have far exceeded them, delivering absolutely phenomenal debuts at the highest professional level. Their dedication and talent continue to shape idol into what it is today, through their incredibly entertaining, creative and passionate content creation.
idol is what it is today, thanks largely to our talents, so I would like to thank them once more!
The Challenges and Risks of Running VTuber Agencies
So today, I'd like to dedicate our weekly discussion to the challenges and risks associated with running VTuber agencies. I often receive questions on Marshmallow about this topic, and I understand there's considerable interest in understanding the process of setting up a VTuber agency.
I'll talk about the bumps in the road, the risks, and the hurdles that come along with running a VTuber agency. I'll try to make some sense of it all and hopefully give you a better understanding of what's going on behind the scenes.
Adapting to Audience Feedback
The initial step for VTuber agencies often involves setting the tone for what will distinguish the agency from the rest. It requires defining the type of content creators the agency will work with and identifying the primary target market. There are many unexplored and exciting niches within the VTuber industry, and it's common for Agencies to adjust their tone and direction as they respond to market reactions. However, a potential pitfall, particularly for smaller agencies, is establishing a tone or goal that doesn't resonate with the audience or falls short of their expectations.
Most small agencies need to pay close attention to community feedback. While it's important to maintain core values and mission, they should also be ready to adapt quickly if they want to expand their audience and retain their existing one. We've made it a priority to closely monitor community feedback and use it to mold idol into what it is today. Most VTuber agencies start with no prior experience in this industry, and Idol was no different. Therefore, utilizing real-time feedback to guide the development of the company is critical for long-term success. I believe this strategy has greatly helped us during times when we felt lost.
The Importance of the Right Team
Putting together the right team is, as I see it, key to the success of VTuber agencies. The core team that runs a VTuber agency should have a deep understanding of VTubers, the VTuber community, content creation, startup management, fundraising, marketing, and finance. Without these elements, I believe a VTuber agency won't be able to succeed.
As the CEO of idol, my background includes content creation, consulting content creators, and marketing. I've founded two marketing companies and have over 8 years of experience in performance marketing. Working with big brands on their marketing campaigns and managing large teams has given me the experience I needed to build the right team and support our talents at idol. However, all of this experience would have been meaningless if I hadn't been a consumer of VTuber content and followed the VTuber community for years. Without a good understanding of this niche, it's really hard to know what the audience wants.
Still, my own experience wasn't enough. I was lucky to build a team of skilled individuals who are as passionate as I am. When I look for team members, I focus on finding people who can bring different perspectives and who have a similar level of experience. When building our management team, I looked specifically for people with experience in content creation and art. This makes it easier for them to understand our talents.
The Financial Management Strategy
To illustrate this point, let me tell you a story. When I was starting out in marketing, I met the CEO of a major makeup brand and wanted to offer him my services. During my sales pitch, I asked him, as usual, what his ROI (Return on Investment) was. Surprisingly, he told me he was breaking even - in other words, he wasn't making any profit from marketing his products. So, I said that I believed I could increase his ROI and make him profitable. But instead of being pleased, he got angry and told me he would fire me on the spot if I did that.
What he said next forever shaped my approach and how I run idol. He explained that if he was making a profit, it meant there was more money that should be spent on marketing. He wasn't interested in profit, but rather in making his brand as successful as possible.
Most VTuber agencies fail due to poor financial management, such as mishandling funds, investing their own money, or trying to make a quick profit. At idol, we understand that by reinvesting our profits back into the agency, we can grow faster and support our talents better. This has been our approach from the very start and it's what allows us to continue expanding and doing what we do.
I've spoken about idol's finances in a previous weekly post, but I'd like to add that idol's financial status has improved significantly, far more than our initial plans anticipated. We've successfully completed our seed funding stage, and we now have resources we didn't have in the past. All of this is being reinvested back into content development, projects, and supporting our talents. We want idol to keep growing and to be the best place for talents. So, know that when you support our talents, you're supporting them twice, both directly and indirectly.
I hope you found this idol weekly interesting. There's so much more to discuss on this topic that I've decided to split it into two parts. I'll continue talking about this subject in the next weekly. Thank you for your time, and I hope you're looking forward to that!