Empowering 1 BILLION creatives to make a living from what they love without losing their soul.
This is the bold mission at the heart of The Futur, a private art school founded by Chris Do.
The Futur is dedicated to redefine the future of learning by tearing down the physical walls of classrooms and the old norms. It connects students with a global network of top-notch teachers, while creating a vibrant community and a safe space to share, discuss and learn.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I truly believe that embracing this type of radical thinking is the quintessence to kickstart a journey towards such a massive goal.
It requires agility, fresh perspectives, dynamic strategies and a great deal of adaptability.
And these are some skills B2B Creators have these days.
That’s why today we will discuss why Chris Do is simply an expert of that and what marketers and founders can learn from him.
But first, let’s see who Chris is.
Who Is Chris Do and What Is His Story?
Chris Do is an Emmy award-winning designer, entrepreneur, public speaker, teacher, advisor and content creator (you name it!), who has been in the biz for more than 27 years.
Let’s focus on his entrepreneurial journey for a sec.
Initially, Chris was running his own design firm, Blind, where he candidly admits in an interview to making every possible mistake while trying to secure clients.
During this time, Chris was also a teacher. Once, he invited his wife to one of his lectures and little did he realize that the car ride back home after that lecture would mark a pivotal moment in his career.
Chris’s wife challenged him, asking whether he intended to continue teaching the same material to a limited number of students or he wanted to expand his impact.
This conversation ignited a process of self-discovery for Chris, prompting him to explore new horizons.
Another pivotal moment in Chris’s journey involved partnering with his old friend, Jose Caballer, to create The Skool—an education company.
It was during this phase that Chris produced his first YouTube video, where he began to realize the platform’s potential for spreading ideas, educating people, and making a real change in their lives.
The Skool’s existence was relatively brief due to creative differences, but he soon started thinking of a new company. This marked the birth of…drumroll… The Futur!
What Makes Chris Do a B2B Content Creator?
A teacher, a creator, a business builder and a mentor – that’s Chris Do. And he is paving the path to show others how he is doing it.
1. Teaches those in need
When he realized that so many artists fail to scale their business due to the lack of business skills, he decided to help them thrive in the business world.
He built The Futur and offered access to courses, templates, and guides to all the designers in the world in The Futur’s shop.
2. He constantly creates
From when he was as little as 15 years old he knew his passion was to create. That’s actually the age when he started working for $3.35/hr.
Throughout the years he taught himself everything he now knows and he was not alone. He trusted the people around him and listened to their advice.
He perfected his public speaking skills and started to create content on YouTube. He constantly pushed himself forward to learn more which led him to become an experienced content creator.
He creates content both on stage and online on YouTube, Instagram, and on podcasts as host, but also as a guest. He shares his expertise in a digestible and engaging way.
3. He has a builder mindset
Owning your audience and not depending on social platforms is something that B2B Creators know very well.
Even though Chris has a constant presence online on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, he attracts his audience on his website where he created a massive community of like-minded creatives on his website.
In this community he offers expert advice, learning resources, and accountability. Its members can benefit from 24/7 help from CoachBot, have one on one sessions with Chris, and have an entire library of more than 600 hours of exclusive teachings, frameworks, learning modules.
4. Offers non-stop support
He is a coach and advisor, helping businesses or individuals on their creative journeys, providing personalized guidance tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of his clients.
In essence, Chris represents his business, The Futur, through his content and empowers others to thrive creatively and professionally.
So, How Did He Use the Audience First, Product Next Framework to Build His Private Art School?
TheFutur is a testament to Chris’s commitment to helping creatives thrive in the business world.
It is not just a business; it’s a platform dedicated to assisting creatives at any stage in their journey toward building successful and fulfilling creative businesses.
Step 1: Listen to the people who care about you
As mentioned previously, there were two important people in his life at the beginning of his career, who challenged him and had an impact on his professional life:
- His wife – challenging him with three big questions:
- How many times have you given this lecture?
- How many more times do you want to give the same lecture?
- And what about all the students that are outside of this classroom?
- His friend, Jose Caballer who told him ”Chris, let’s get on YouTube. I want you to get on camera and let’s make content together”. That’s how the first video was born and published in 2014.
Sometimes, you gotta listen to the people who see your potential.
Step 2: Find the perfect intersection
Finding the perfect intersection between what you are really passionate about and the type of content you love to create is key for building an audience which resonates with your work.
For example, Chris was really passionate about creativity, art, and design, and he looooved to teach.
So, he started his YouTube channel, where he was teaching all the topics mentioned above.
Step 3: Define who is your audience
I see three different segments of the same niche in Chris’s audience:
- Beginners in design, creativity, and art looking to level up their design skills and creativity for which he creates videos talking about personal branding for example.
- Intermediates in design and business aspiring to become entrepreneurs talking about what it takes to run a profitable business.
- Advanced professionals in design and business aiming to secure larger clients and undertake more substantial projects.
These three segments have allowed Chris to tailor his content to address the specific needs and interests of each category.
By acknowledging and catering to these groups, Chris ensured that his content genuinely connects with what his audience members prefer and what they want to achieve.
Step 4: How Chris chose the right platform to build his audience
Chris understood the preferences of his audience which led him recognize key platforms where his followers were most active and engaged:
- YouTube: for learning fresh design and creative skills. The Futur’s YouTube channel is a treasure trove of top-notch content, serving as a super valuable resource for those eager to up their creative game.
- Instagram: for finding new designs and creative ideas. Chris’s presence on this platform allows his audience to dive headfirst into a world of innovative concepts and inspiration.
- Podcast: for getting new designs and creative inspiration. Listeners tune in to his podcasts to kickstart their creativity and explore a realm brimming with new ideas.
The power of attention
Let’s not forget the secret sauce that makes Chris’s approach so effective – the power of attention, sprinkled across his content:
→ Attract Attention: Chris grabs the attention of his audience by offering free, top-notch content. This content not only serves as a valuable resource but also entices viewers and listeners with its quality.
→ Maintain Attention: Keeping folks engaged is no easy task, but Chris manages to masterfully do that. He dishes out content that’s not just interesting but tailored to what his audience is interested in.
→ Content Attention: Chris delivers valuable contextual content, further cementing his position as a trusted authority. By addressing specific issues and providing insightful guidance, he retains the attention of his audience and establishes a meaningful connection with it.
The Type of Content Chris is Producing:
- Video – Main: Video content takes the top spot in Chris’s content strategy. Whether it’s in-depth long-form discussions, engaging webinars, quick and snappy shorts, insightful interviews, or even documentaries, video is his primary medium. It allows him to connect with his audience visually and dive deep into topics. Sometimes these videos are repurposed as an audio for their podcast.
Even the short form videos are full of insights like this YouTube short where he talks about how to ask better questions.
- Visuals – Secondary: Visual content plays a supporting role. Graphics, carousels, and slides enhance his video content and other platforms. They provide supplementary information, highlight key points, and make complex concepts more digestible.
Such an example is this abstract design for this Instagram carousel around the idea of the 3Ms: mastery, media, and monetization. Talking about how people need to learn and perfect a skill, then amplify it through media, and ultimately monetize it.
- Text – Secondary: While text content isn’t the primary focus, it serves as valuable companion material. Podcast show notes offer detailed summaries and references for his audio content. Tweets and Instagram descriptions provide bite-sized insights and updates, complementing his video and visual content.
Even though on X he shares updates of his last podcasts or events he’s invited to, he sometimes takes his time to write about his personal life talking about the importance of being aligned with everything in your life.
Step 5: Building a product to solve the audience’s problem
If you’re wondering what he did with all the audiences he created on Instagram, YouTube and through podcasts?
The answer is simple.
He created solutions for each category and brought the audiences to The Futur website. Now every designer no matter the skills or business level can find the perfect courses fit for their needs.
And when it comes to crafting the perfect products to address his audience’s needs, Chris Do has a knack for tailoring his offerings based on his audience’s characteristics:
- Beginners → Level-Up Your Design Skills: Start Your Design Career
- Intermediates → Launch Your Creative Business: Start Your Design Business
- Advanced → Skyrocket Your Agency: Grow Your Business
Types of products:
Courses: The Futur’s courses are more than just educational materials; they are a gateway to personal and professional growth.
Digital Products: Complementing the courses, Chris offers a range of digital products designed to streamline and enhance the creative process. These resources include templates, guides, and tools.
Speaking Gigs: As a dynamic and influential speaker, Chris takes the stage at speaking engagements worldwide. His talks are a source of inspiration and motivation, fueling audiences with insights, strategies, and the passion to pursue their creative dreams.
Sponsorship: Collaborating with sponsors, Chris extends the reach of his mission. These partnerships enable him to continue delivering high-quality content and resources to his audience while also introducing innovative products and services that align with his vision.
Community: Chris Do has cultivated a vibrant community that serves as a hub for creatives to connect, collaborate, and learn together (The Futur Pro).
The Book: Chris has also wrote a book, Pocket full of Do, which encapsulates over two decades of reflections and observations on entrepreneurship, creativity, philosophy, and more.
Step 6: Last but not least, everything is centered around one big mission
Having a clear goal is like having a North Star that guides you and provides you with direction and purpose, allowing you to focus your energy and efforts in an efficient way.
For Chris Do, that goal is nothing short of transformative – to help 1 billion people do what they love, without losing their soul. This massive mission serves as the driving force behind his online presence.
With over 2 million subscribers on YouTube, over 1 million Instagram followers, more than 170K Twitter followers, and over 429K LinkedIn followers across various platforms (Chris Do + The Futur), Chris has used social media to spread his message and connect with people all around the world.
What Lessons Can You Learn From Chris Do?
- Trust the people that care about you
Chris’ life path took a different turn because he trusted his wife when she challenged him to do more, and the same happened to him again when his partner told him to start a YouTube channel.
Sometimes you must remember that the people who care about you want to lift you higher so trust them and embrace the opportunities they present even if you don’t believe in yourself at first.
- Find what you love to do
Chris loves designing, creating, and teaching, so he followed his passions and turned them into a successful career.
So find what you love and, as the quote says “you’ll never work again” because you will be filled with determination and satisfaction.
But the journey of turning your passions into a career has its challenges and uncertainties. It requires determination, strategic planning, and often stepping outside of your comfort zone.
- Give back to the community
Making a living out of being an artist is not always as easy as it may seem.
Chris wants to give back to 1 billion people. He saw how hard it is for artists to create a business with no experience and he used his skills in design, business, marketing, and sales to help them.
To help them build a thriving creative business and make a living doing what they love as he says on his website page.
If you’re good at creating content, closing sales, coaching or anything, don’t hesitate to help those around you with free advice.
Just like Chris helped me do this interview for Creatopy.
What I find super inspiring about Chris Do is the fact that he successfully managed to level up the creative industry and to have an impact on countless creatives.
He has a very strong sense of purpose, and he connects easily with so many people because he cares deeply about his mission.
I mean, showing everyone how to follow their dreams and be awesome at what they love doesn’t only improve people’s professional life but also their lives overall.