Setting the stage for protecting personal brands.  Today, regardless of the space you’re working in, you’re likely to find several creators vying for the spot of top influencer in the space. This thriving creator ecosystem has opened the doors of accessibility. And with it, it brought in a whole new generation of creators.  But with individuality so fiercely valued, how do we protect what’s ours? We sat down with Joel Rasquinha, Associate Director – Strategic Partnerships at Radix, for his views on safeguarding a personal brand in today’s booming creator economy. Here are his thoughts, 

Q: What are the significant changes you see in the online creator ecosystem, and what impact do you foresee?

Joel: Quite a few fundamental changes have been brought on by the rapid growth and expansion in the creator ecosystem in the last few years. Today, several good tools and platforms help you put out creative content.  The single most impactful change has been the increased number of monetization opportunities for creatives today. They are no longer solely reliant on platform-based advertising or brand partnerships today. They can form newsletter subscriptions, exclusive content memberships, merch stores, etc.  This increased independence has helped them focus more on their content, which is critical to building a thriving user base. They don’t have to focus on tailoring their approach to cater to platform interests or advertiser needs; they can focus solely on the content.  Lastly, with the increasing number of platforms coming in and out of vogue, it’s becoming increasingly important for creators to own access to their base while constantly figuring out ways to keep them engaged. 

Q: Some creators still focus on one platform, like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. Do you anticipate changes to this approach?

Joel: The rise of content in platforms like TikTok has dramatically accelerated this trend. When you see a large section of your audience focused on multiple platforms, it becomes essential to look into it. The sheer scale of these platforms today means that a small change outside the individual’s control could have a significant impact. Think about the Facebook outage last year and Tiktok being banned by certain governments. Being limited to just one platform is simply too risky because creators know their biggest asset is their audience. Smart creators look to adapt their content to fit multiple platforms. The smartest ones are finding ways to bring it all home and consolidating their bases across platforms. That means truly owning the channels that they have.

Q: How can content creators find value in registering their domain identity?

Joel: It comes down to the individual’s desire to start and grow a brand. A domain name is one of the most fundamental ways to create an online brand. And it’s an excellent way to consolidate your base across platforms.  For example, let’s assume I’m an individual that creates content about investing. I started with a couple of LinkedIn posts and saw traction there. So I set up a Twitter account and grew a following there. I go on to do regular Twitter Spaces. I now have these pockets of audiences across different formats and platforms. And I want to take this one step further.  If I had a domain name, I could direct people there and upsell them other opportunities or provide more experiences for them. I could start a newsletter to increase my email database. I could have merch, specific experiences, and maybe a course that I can offer. The possibilities are endless.  So a domain name is a good starting point to explore multiple opportunities you can provide to your audience.

Q: As the largest nTLD Registry, what are Radix’s initiatives to raise awareness and encourage people to own their online presence completely?

Joel: We do a lot of end-customer-focused marketing, particularly on initiatives that help individuals get out there, start something, and bring those ideas to reality. In Q4 of 2021, we had a pretty high spend campaign, #IdeaToStore, which focused on e-commerce entrepreneurs taking their idea to reality. We ran it on Instagram and had more than 5,000 submissions, and these are real people with ideas who have not taken that step to build.  Many of our initiatives are focused on this segment, getting people aware and equipping them to take their ideas, go out there, and build these brands.

Q: What’s your take on the future of domains? What do the next 10 years hold for individuals and content creators alike?

Joel: The power of a brand is timeless. So in many ways, I don’t expect anything to change, particularly when it comes to domain names and their importance. There have been tons of doomsday predictors for a while now; they talk about the significance of websites – is everyone just going to move to platfoms? And I think we’ve seen that play out over time. Platforms have their advantages, but it’s nearly impossible not to own your brand.  In some ways, this whole concept about ownership that people have about Web 3, well, the domain name was the original way to own your online presence.  It’s the part of the internet that you truly own and truly have access to. So it’s going to be really interesting to see how the next couple of years evolve. I think Web 3 has significant opportunities for creators and the community. So it’s interesting to see how domains will adapt to that opportunity and how things will move forward. But all in all, I think the importance of a brand and owning a domain name that signifies the brand would mainly remain unchanged in the next couple of years. Here’s to enabling and empowering more comprehensive and more protected personal brands. One domain name at a time!  We’d love to hear your thoughts on protecting personal brands in today’s creator economy. Share them in the comments below.