Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

Designing a way for influencers to monetize the massive growth that they have worked hard to generate.

“The team really came through for me. I was able to identify FanBread’s key product features and explore potential roadblocks before building.

At the end of the process, I had mocks, user stories, and the core building blocks to develop with confidence. I highly recommend Ben and the Rootstrap team for any company looking to take an innovative product to market.”

— Karl House, CEO and Founder of FanBread

Goal: Develop a Home for Influencers to Maximize Their Brand Potential

FanBread came to us, quite literally, on the back of a napkin. The now ubiquitous influencer monetization platform began as nothing more than a concept and an accompanying napkin sketch.

FanBread aimed to tackle much more than monetizing the most popular celebrities and influencers. The SoCal-based startup wanted our help in creating a platform for all influencers no matter what the size of their following.

“[PewDiePie’s] making $7 million doing something he’s really passionate about, connecting with people all over the world and I think that’s something that should be really admired. But what is not being told is 5 million other YouTube partners in the ecosystem and a lot of them aren’t making enough money to turn their passion into a full-time job.”

This is where FanBread comes in — Karl aimed to disrupt the current content marketing platform, and he sought our help to validate, test, and design his product.

Strategy and Roadmap

The first week of FanBread’s Rootstrap session was spent identifying the problem and defining the solution. We boiled it down to one governing question:

How might we leverage an influencer’s engaged audience to create sustainable brand value?

Influencers and celebrities have already done the heavy lifting when it comes to increasing exposure and generating a dedicated fan base. On a content platform like YouTube, however, it’s easy to get seen, but it’s hard to make money. In working with FanBread, we developed and refined the user experience and built a development-ready clickable prototype that makes it easy for influencers and celebrities to monetize their content by developing a brand and directing fans to their own personal site.

Solution and Output

To solve the problem of content monetization for influences, we ended up creating an interface for celebrities of any size to set up their own site and begin earning money through the traffic they already receive.

The solution comes through FanBread’s platform. Every aspect of the UX and UI that we developed went towards making it easier for influencers to earn money off of the following they’d already worked hard to build.

Free Site

We designed a site builder for influencers to effortlessly create personalized home pages as a destination for content, advertising, and eCommerce opportunities.

Original Content Production

For influencers, as audience increases, free time decreases. Most influencers are left completely alone to deal with their marketing, content production, management, finances, and just about everything else that a traditional celebrity might hire a media production agency to do.

Consistent, relevant content production is vital to making sure fans have a reason to come back. In an effort to reduce time and stress, we developed a platform for influencers to get custom content from FanBread’s network of professional content producers.

After we identified the key problems influencers faced when trying to monetize, we came up with multiple solutions and began fine tuning UX before moving on to create a development-ready mockup. After FanBread’s two week session with the Rootstrap team, the idea went from napkin sketch to development-ready prototype. In the end, FanBread raised over $3M in VC funding and was acquired by RockYou, one of the largest video ad networks in the world.

Author

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.