What Is a Growth Operator? Business Model Explained

July 10, 2024

A growth operator is a professional who partners with content creators to help monetize their online influence. They specialize in identifying opportunities for financial growth in social media. Growth operators use their knowledge of digital marketing and audience behavior to increase a creator's revenue potential.

A growth operator handles backend tasks so creators can concentrate on audience-facing activities. One of their main jobs is to set up and manage paid communities. They use this platform to sell digital products or merch on behalf of the creator. This system allows the creator to generate income from their audience without doing the technical work themselves.

Ben Bader on YouTube has earned over $100,000 per month as a growth operator. He partners with influencers who sell information online. These include creators like Flips4Miles and KT Hustles. Ben says that growth operating has high income potential through revenue sharing and service fees. But, he says that the role comes with challenges. You need diverse skills like copywriting and ad management. Securing clients often demands proven experience and credibility. 

A growth operator business model is also challenging. It requires finding creators who are willing to share their earnings and trust you with their branding. Maintaining ongoing revenue after setting up monetization channels can be difficult. You need continuous innovation and effort to sustain profitability.

In this article, I’ll explain what exactly is the growth operator business model. I’ll also mention 3 ways to help monetize an influencer as a growth operator. At the end of the article, I’ll introduce a different and more lucrative business model.

Growth Operator Business Model Explained

A growth operator business model works by becoming a strategic backend partner for content creators. Influencer Marketing Hub says that 70% of creators see improved engagement metrics with the help of growth operators. Operating the business involves setting up systems to help creators earn more from their audience. Growth operators handle tasks like developing paid communities. They also create and sell digital products and manage merchandise lines. This partnership model leverages the strengths of both parties. Creators maintain their brand while the growth operator drives profitability.

3 Ways To Help Monetize An Influencer As A Growth Operator

1. Paid Communities

Paid communities are the main way that growth operators make money. They monetize an influencer's audience. According to a report by Mighty Networks, creators with paid communities can earn an average of $10,000 per month. By handling the backend operations, growth operators can manage membership platforms. They can also manage the content planning and engagement strategies. Platforms like Skook and Podia offer tools to help. These tools can create, manage, and grow these communities. 

Growth operators can set up subscription models, exclusive content access, and interactive features. This ensures high member retention and satisfaction. It also allows influencers to focus on creating valuable content. The growth operator maximizes the community’s profitability and engagement.

2. Digital Products

Digital products provide an extra revenue channel for growth operators. This can include online courses and premade templates. These products complement a paid community by offering valuable resources and educational content. Growth operators handle the creation, marketing, and sales of these digital products. They ensure they align with the influencer's brand and audience needs. This diversifies the income streams. It also enhances the value provided to the community, driving engagement and satisfaction. Growth operators can automate sales and distribution. This allows them to reach a global audience and increase revenue by up to 40%, as reported by Gumroad.

3. Merch

Helping a creator plan and sell physical merchandise can also monetize an audience. According to Printful, creators who launch merch lines can see profit margins of 20-30% on each item sold. Growth operators handle the logistics. They are responsible for designing, producing, and fulfilling orders. This allows the creator to focus on promoting the merch to their audience. This includes selecting popular items. Some include apparel, accessories, and home goods that resonate with the creator's brand. Growth operators can cut upfront costs and risks. This ensures a profitable and scalable merchandise operation.

3 Growth Operator Examples

Eddie Cumberbatch

Eddie Cumberbatch is a growth operator and the founder of GrowthOperator.com. He partners with content creators to build and monetize paid informational communities. His main strategy is to create subscription-based communities. Here, members get exclusive content and can interact with creators. By managing the technical and operational side, Eddie lets creators focus on making content. This keeps the community engaged.

This monetization strategy relies on monthly subscriptions, which have proven very profitable. Eddie scales memberships by boosting monthly and annual revenues. He does this by improving the community's value and keeping content relevant.

Eddie generated $263,133 in a single year as a growth operator. He did this through partnerships with content creators to establish paid information communities. This success scaled up to a monthly revenue of over $50,000. It translated to an annual income of approximately $600,000.

The creators Eddie works with are usually experts in popular niches like reselling. Their expertise builds trust and credibility. It also adds value to the community and justifying the subscription cost. This generates income for Eddie and the creators. It shows a the scalability potential.

Mr. Money

Mr. Money is a growth operator who leverages the growing content economy. He partners with content creators who have large but under-monetized audiences. His core strategy is to introduce and manage scalable digital products. This includes information products and paid communities. These need less overhead compared to physical goods. This approach capitalizes on the creator's influence. So, you can generate revenue through direct sales to fans.

Mr. Money targets the 98% of content creators who don't effectively monetize their followers. These creators, often on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, have large followings. But, they lack the business infrastructure for monetization. Mr. Money creates a sustainable revenue stream that requires minimal input. He sets up paid communities or sells information products like online courses.

Using the "1% rule," even a modest conversion rate from a large audience can yield a large revenue. For example, if a creator with 100,000 followers converts 1% into paying community members at $50 per month, this results in $50,000 monthly revenue. A large part will go to Mr. Money. This model provides a large income. It also establishes a sustainable business partnership. The creator and the operator can both benefit from the ongoing community engagement and product sales.

Tim Yoon

Tim Yoon is a young entrepreneur and freshman in college, explains his role as a "growth operator." He partners with content creators who excel in educational or informational content. Tim handles business operations. This includes building marketing funnels. He also enhances product offerings like courses or community memberships. He optimizes the business backend. Tim facilitates the business side, aiming for a beneficial revenue share model.

Tim identifies creators who are great at content creation but not at monetizing it. Tim steps in, handling these aspects for a $1,500 initial payment plus a 30% revenue share. Tim claims that his best month generated $337,000 in revenue. This shows a scalable approach to leveraging the digital information products market.

Where Can You Find Creators To Pitch Growth Operator Services?

Instagram. Engage with influencers who have a large following. You can comment on their posts or send direct messages. Use Instagram's search and explore features to find creators in specific niches. Look for those who post high-quality content and have active, engaged audiences.

YouTube. Identify popular channels in various niches. Search for keywords related to your target market. Reach out via email or YouTube's messaging system. Focus on creators who  post content and have a dedicated subscriber base.

Twitch. Connect with streamers who have active communities. Take part in their streams and engage in chat. Send direct messages or use Twitch's social media links to contact them. Look for streamers with a consistent schedule and loyal viewers.

Twitter. Look for influencers with a large and engaged audience. Start by searching for relevant hashtags and topics. Follow and interact with their tweets to build a relationship. Direct message them to pitch your services.

TikTok. Reach out to creators with viral content and large followers. Comment on their videos or send direct messages. Use TikTok's search feature to find creators in your desired niche. Focus on those who post and have high engagement rates.

FindCreators.io. Use this platform to discover and connect with content creators. Search for specific criteria such as niche, follower count, and engagement rate. Browse profiles to find potential partners. Contact them through the platform's messaging system.

How To Pitch A Creator On Growth Operator Services?

  • Send a Personalized Message. Craft a unique message tailored to the creator's content and audience. A video message works best for a more personal touch.
  • Explain Your Strategy. Outline a comprehensive strategy to help them monetize. Highlight your unique approach to set yourself apart from other messages they receive.
  • Provide Testimonials or Examples. If possible, share previous customer testimonials. You can also share examples of your success to build credibility.
  • Agree on Terms. Discuss and agree on revenue share and pricing models. It's usually best to accept a lower revenue share (10% to 20%) for your first client. You can then upgrade to 50% once you have a proven service to offer.
  • Highlight Potential Benefits. Emphasize the financial and audience growth benefits your services can provide. Show how your strategy can increase their income and expand their reach.
  • Showcase Your Expertise. Show your knowledge in their niche. Share insights or quick tips to show you understand their audience and content.
  • Follow Up. Send a follow-up message if you don't receive a response. Keep it polite and reiterate your interest in collaborating with them.

What Are The Potential Challenges Of Becoming A Growth Operator?

Finding Willing Creators. It's difficult to find creators who are open to sharing part of their earnings. Many creators are protective of their revenue streams, so they're hesitant to partner with others. 

Building Trust. Convincing creators to trust you with their branding and business operations is hard. Creators are often wary of handing over control to someone else. Show your expertise and reliability through testimonials and case studies.

Ongoing Revenue Generation. Growing revenue streams after initial monetization channels are set up requires effort. The initial setup might bring in a surge of income. But, sustaining it demands regular updates and strategic adjustments. Ensuring long-term profitability involves constant innovation and audience engagement.

Market Competition. Standing out in a crowded market with other growth operators can be tough. The digital landscape has professionals offering similar services. This makes it hard to differentiate yourself. Building a unique value proposition and showcasing your distinct strengths can help. Standing out in a crowded market with other growth operators can be tough. Other professionals are also offering similar services, so it's hard to differentiate yourself. 

Proving ROI. Showing a clear return on investment to creators to justify your services is crucial. Creators need to see tangible results from your efforts. This will help them feel confident in the partnership. Providing detailed performance reports and evidence of growth can help reassure creators.

Should You Start A Growth Operator Business?

You shouldn't start a growth operator business because it's an unproven model. It also requires significant effort to find creators willing to share their earnings and trust you with their branding. Maintaining ongoing revenue after setting up monetization channels can be challenging. This path involves high competition. It also needs constant innovation to sustain profitability, making it risky for newcomers.


Local lead generation is a more reliable and established business model. Local lead generation involves creating and optimizing websites. You then rank these websites and capture leads for local businesses. It has lower competition and offers a steady stream of passive income. You'll be connecting businesses with potential customers in their area. This model is simpler to manage. This makes it a more attractive option for those looking to build a sustainable online business.

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Ippei Kanehara

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