Sahil Bloom: Building a Creator-Led Holding Company

sahil bloom

“Exploring my curiosity and sharing what I learn along the way.”

This is what helped Sahil build a massive following of 1.9 million followers and later build a creator-led holding company around huge B2B creator names.

TLDRS

  1. Own one thing then move to the next one (Sahil Bloom strategy to build his own audience: Twitter → Newsletter → Podcast → Linkedin → Instagram)
  2. Build a different business in a common world – Sahil didn’t wanted to build a business like any creator wanted, so he came with the idea on creator led holding company 
  3. Partner with someone who is skilled with what you are not.

Who is Sahil Bloom?

Before becoming an inspirational content creator, Sahil was Vice President and Advisor at Altamont Capital Partners, focused on control investments in middle market companies. 

When the pandemic hit, Sahil found himself at home with a lot of free time.

He decided to use that time posting on Twitter and sending a newsletter to his friends and family about his recent readings.

What started as a simple thing to do started to gain traction as Sahil was better and better at creating Twitter threads getting viral.

Over time he perfected his strategy on Twitter, which later used on Instagram and LinkedIn, and managed to create a cumulated audience of 1.9 million people.

Besides being a content creator, Sahil is also a successful entrepreneur and owner of SRB Holdings, his personal holding company.

Plus, he’s the Managing Partner of SRB Ventures, an investment firm committed to invest in and accelerate the most compelling startups in the world. 

Even before launching SRB Ventures in January 2022, Sahil was an early-stage investor in 40+ startups across the technology landscape, including multiple unicorns.

Now let’s have a clean and clear understanding of Sahil’s strategies that let him build his audience and start a business.

What makes Sahil Bloom a B2B creator?

 I’ll divide this into the three steps that build Sahil’s creator personality:

  1. Sahil’s veni, vidi, vici
  2. Focusing attention on present, building for the future
  3. Believe in the power of collaborations.

1. Sahil’s veni, vidi, vici 

I want to talk about how Sahil took his time to conquer audiences on different platforms one by one starting from Twitter, moving to newsletter, podcast, and then LinkedIn and Instagram.

a. Sahil’s Twitter strategy

Even though he created his Twitter account back in 2011, he started to be more intentional with his account during the pandemic. 

When he started posting on Twitter, he had no strategy in mind, but wanted to grow his account.

He started reading blog posts from different bloggers including Ben Thompson, from which he copied the content loop strategy.

This strategy refers to inserting internal links to previously created blog posts or creating blog posts mentioning things they have written before.

This helped him keep his followers on Twitter and engaged with his content.

His content was based around finance, but he realized that if he wanted to grow his account he had to start writing on other topics as well. 

To figure out if his followers were enjoying the content, he used to test different ideas and write multiple posts around it to see if people interacted with the subjects like he did with the topic of luck or paradoxes.

Example for luck:

Example for paradoxes:

To get more followers, he used to post his threads to other Twitter’s accounts, and even if most of these led nowhere, he had a repost from Chamath, who had over 300k followers at the time.

Example

b. Sahil’s early days on newsletter

Sahil Bloom started his newsletter “The Curiosity Chronicle” on Substack back in January 2021 as a weekly newsletter.

He started to write about different thinking techniques like the Feynman Technique about which he wrote a lot on Twitter, about famous people, paradoxes and different principles.

Since he used to end his Twitter threads with a link to his newsletter, he started to gain more and more subscribers there.

He writes bits of what people will find in his newsletter on Twitter and then, and at the end of the thread he asks people to follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his newsletter.

Now you can find Sahil’s newsletter issues on his website where he publishes on Wednesday and on Friday.

You can read the previous newsletter issues based on:

  • The Friday Five – about ideas that spark curiosity
  • Framework and Tools – about different strategies to improve your way of thinking, about how to analyze yourself
  • Learning and Growth – about how to a high-performing, healthy and wealthy life
  • Mindset and Life Lessons – about parables, habits, time, and more.

On Twitter he used to create threads ending with a CTA such as “if you like this, go read this other thread” and linking his threads to other threads.

What he did with his newsletter was another bloggers’ technique of showing at the end of the newsletter other newsletter issues.

Since he first started to write his newsletter, Sahil has now grown his newsletter to 450K subscribers, so he almost hit his goal.

You can also find the audio version on all his newsletter issues on Spotify.

c. What’s Sahil’s tone of voice? Try out podcasting

Even though he started his YouTube account back in November 2021 he decided not to grow it, probably because he focused more on the written content.

But he was a moderator of the Where It Happens Podcast alongside Greg Isenberg, the CEO of Late Checkout.

Their idea of the podcast was to put people in the center of what’s next in business and talk about how hard start ups are, and how people can build businesses together.

Besides this, he started to attend more and more podcasts.

These led him to expand his audience and gain more subscribers on his social platforms and on his newsletter.

Building on LinkedIn

In July 2022, he started posting on LinkedIn and now has over 400k followers there.

He posts almost two times every day and it’s not always the same content he writes on Twitter.

Sahil said in a podcast that LinkedIn is driving the most newsletter signups from social media, probably that’s why he posts so often.

Creating an Instagram following

In September 2022, he started posting on Instagram and now has 324k followers.

He’s been using Instagram to build a relationship with his audience and share more visual content.

But he saw that the engagement on this platform is strongly oriented on reels, so he started publishing more reels instead of Twitter/X snippets and sprinkle now and then photos of his personal life.

2. Focusing attention on present, building for the future

Since he was doing well and growing on Twitter he quit his private equity job and in mid-2021 he created SRB Holdings, a personal holding company composed of majority and minority-owned cash flowing assets.

He has a way of figuring things out to create the next big things.

He put a deep thought into this because he didn’t want to be like the other B2B creators and make money selling courses, products, or sponsorships.

He wanted to build a sustainable enterprise value and cash flow in businesses that were built adjacent to the thing that he was creating. 

Under SRB Holdings you can find Alto Studios, Paperboy Studios, SBloom Advisory, and the most recent one, Assembly which will talk about in detail below.

Now he’s planning to launch a book about helping people break free from the daily grind and build a life of infinite wealth.

He says on his LinkedIn description that the book will be filled with strategies, tactics, and actionable insights.

I’m really excited to read it once it hits the libraries and see if we see a pattern between the strategies mentioned there and his career path.

3. The born of the creator-led holding company

No matter what you want to create you need people to collaborate with and I cannot stress this enough.

All the B2B creators we’ve talked about here on The B2B Creator such as Amanda Goetz, Jonathan Bland, they all put an accent on how important collaborations and partnerships are.

They build your trust and ultimately, they boost your subscribers and followers.

Sahil believes you need to partner with people who are skilled at what you aren’t.

He knows he’s not particularly skilled at managing large teams of people. Instead, he prefers to collaborate with highly skilled individuals who excel in this area.

By focusing on partnering with talented people to handle team management, he knows he can concentrate on his top strengths like creativity, public speaking, and interpersonal interactions.

He once identified a business opportunity based on what he used to spend. 

He was spending $5,000 per month on a service that involved editing video clips and turning them into short-form videos. 

Instead of continuing to refer clients to a random agency providing this service and receiving a $250 referral fee, he recognized the potential for a more direct partnership.

He got the idea of turning cost centers into profit centers from Amazon.

So he proposed the partnership, but the agency seemed hesitant.

This is also a proof of his entrepreneurial mindset seeking opportunities to turn his expenses into profit.

Since this partnership was a failure, Sahil moved on to find new collaborations.

Enter Hunter Hammonds.

Hunter and Sahil were friends for a while and always talked about building something together.

Hunter Hammonds is great at building service companies since he had two successful agency businesses which he exited.

He said in a podcast that he realized that whenever he had a new business idea he would give a lot of thought into building an audience, bringing new customers, getting distribution, and more that used to consume a lot of his time and energy.

So he decided to take a six-month sabbatical to relax and stay away from work hoping to find a new business idea.

When he came back and talked to Sahil, they both had the same idea of a creator led holding company. 

“So we came up with this idea of building effectively a creator led holding company where we build and scale, started with services businesses, but it’ll be much bigger than that eventually, that has sort of a creator that sits on top that is the distribution engine.”

Hunter says their business is not in its final shape right now and says it’s their launch pad, making a reference to Andrew Wilkinson.

Andrew Wilkinson is MetaLab’s CEO and sees his design agency as its launch pad, meaning that before you create the rocket you need to create a stable foundation.

Andrew’s company became one of the most prominent design agencies, and as it grew Andrew Wilkinson started building their own SaaS companies.

Later, alongside Chris Sparling, Andrew created Tiny which is a fund holding company that buys internet companies and grows them. They now have 35 companies.

Why is Sahil & Hunter challenging the creator economy business with a creator-led holding company?

As I mentioned, Sahil analyzes his own spending habits and identifies areas where they consistently spend money. 

The goal is to transform those expenditures into profitable ventures by creating a product or service that caters to a broader audience.

So he was looking for ways to turn personal expenses into business opportunities by recognizing common patterns in consumer behavior.

That’s when he and Hunter came with the idea of a creator led holding company.

They started Assembly with $0 investment and with the thought of raising $0 in this business.

Under Assembly you can find agencies with huge creator names such as:

With Assembly, Hunter and Sahil saw an opportunity to tap into niche verticals and collaborate with creators that have established meaningful brand presence in those verticals.

Why?

Because of the importance of massive distribution through creators.

In launching the creator-led agency, Hunter told us the importance of a strategic approach when deciding on the nature of a new company to develop alongside the next creator.

The foundational principle of this approach is what Bloom refers to as a “flywheel,” consisting of strategy, execution, and amplification.

This conceptual flywheel drives the agency’s operations, ensuring that every new venture not only contributes to the sustained long-term growth of the business but also integrates seamlessly with existing services, thereby laying the groundwork for future expansion.

With a comprehensive suite of services already in place—from product design to branding and marketing solutions—the agency focuses on adding new services that bolster its capacity to effectively launch and market new companies and creators.

Once this synergy is established, the agency carefully selects a creator whose audience is optimally aligned with the business’s vision, thereby setting the stage for a successful collaboration.

If a while back distribution was centralized by TV companies and the ad spaces were owned by ad giants like P&G, now in a permissionless world anyone can have a micro audience and build a service or product around it.

So Assembly uses creators who have gained influence through their content creation for business distribution instead of relying on traditional advertising channels like Facebook or Instagram.

What is the structure of a creator-led holding company?

The creator-led holding company creates agencies around people’s needs in the digital world such as video editing, brand design, and more and hires professionals for each of these categories.

Then, the company searches for creators who have gained a massive audience on social media platforms around the topic they’ve built the agency and makes a business partnership with them.

They are using creators as partners because their audiences play a crucial role in the agencies’ success because they have gained trust and can drive customer acquisition much faster.

The creator then receives a monthly commission and the company receives hundreds of agency clients willing to pay to have nicely-edited videos like Ali Abdaal for example.

This type of company has a long-term vision because it is sustainable, adapts to market changes, and has the ability to capitalize new opportunities.

Now let’s talk a bit about how Assembly gains its customers from agencies such as ViralCuts, Hey Friends, and Off Menu based on Hunter’s latest Twitter/X post.

  1. ViralCuts partnering Codie Sanchez & Sam Parr

Assembly wanted to offer video editing services, so Sahil and Hunter started a short-form clip agency business called ViralCuts.

For this business Assembly partnered with Codie Sanchez and Sam Parr who act like partners, but the business operated behind the scenes. 

Hunter says he considers this to be their first significant business.

Their team recruited great animators for the launch, thinking they were prepared for what’s coming, but they were really wrong.

They had 146 sales calls in 2 weeks, and they were left with a huge waitlist.

So you can say, Codie and Sam’s audiences really boosted ViralCuts’ success.

  1. Hey Friends partnering Ali Abdaal

Hunter says they wanted to expand their services from short-form to long-form videos so they thought of partnering with their friend Ali Abdaal.

Why was this a great idea? Because there were no done-for-you YouTube agencies and Ali has a significant audience interested in creating YouTube videos similar to his own.

The strategy for Hey Friends involves Ali promoting the agency business by saying that if people want to make YouTube videos like him but lack the time, his agency can create beautiful videos for them.

And boom! All it took was a single launch tweet from Ali and that led to over $2 million MRR in leads in the first day. 

  1. Off Menu with Sahil Bloom

Assembly launched Off Menu in late 2022, but never prioritized it because their teams were busy building other brands.

In June, Hunter started recruiting top-notch design talent to give Off Menu the attention it deserved, planning to launch not just one but two agencies. 

The first agency would be a premium-tier subscription service with shorter retention cycles (2-4 months). 

The idea was to then channel these customers to a second subscription service, labeled as “grow with you,” which would be offered at a lower price point. 

This strategy aimed to capture customers at different stages or with varying needs, offering a tiered subscription model to cater to a broader audience.

Off Menu generated $135,000 in the first 30 days and is on track to reach $250,000 per month, charging $15,000 per client. 

And now after 3 months it has generated more than $2 million annualized revenue with only 10+ client projects created by an incredible senior design talent.

What are the benefits of a creator-led holding company?

From the business perspective, this creator led holding company doesn’t need investments, you can start it with $0.

It gets a diversified pool of a bunch of agency businesses depending on the areas you want to extend.

And these agency businesses generate upfront cash and then pay expenses over the course of a month as services are delivered.

The cash flow becomes a valuable resource that can be reinvested in high-upside opportunities.

And, as we already mentioned, this kind of business model is self-sustainable and easily adaptable to the market needs.

In launching their creator-led agency, Hunter and Sahil navigated the unique challenges that come with leveraging the reputation of creators. Their approach was one of careful balance, emphasizing the preservation of integrity and trust associated with the personal brands they partnered with.

They recognized that while running such a company, short-term gains are often overshadowed by the need to maintain the creator’s reputation. The team at their agency was prepared to forgo immediate growth if it meant upholding the long-term respect and trust in their clients’ personal brands.

This was particularly evident in their customer relations strategy; they preferred to endure and resolve difficult situations with customers rather than cutting ties abruptly, which could potentially tarnish the creator’s image.

This thoughtful approach was especially prudent given the increased scrutiny that comes with a prominent public audience.

Why should a creator have an agency in a creator-led holding company?

B2B creators have minimal involvement – they just need to promote the business and drive leads.

They have no operational responsibilities, moreover they get a monthly check which is a great way to make passive income.

And it’s not just about the passive income, it’s also about talking about other businesses they’re part of which is great for their brands’ reputations.

Are creator-led holding companies profitable?

Sahil and Hunter now have actual evidence that their business model is profitable as we’ve seen with ViralCuts and Hey Friends, and as a result they’re attracting inbound interest from potential business partners. 

They’ve built up a reputation for their ability to launch projects quickly, maintain high quality, and effectively serve customers and this created a demand in the market.

What also helped them was their project management skills and having a customer-centric approach delivering solutions to customers’ needs.

Hunter says in his Twitter/X post that “A large portion of our customer base purchases multiple services from us. Some customers even use all of our services.”

This only highlights the fact that their business is successful.

But running these types of businesses at scale is not an easy task. Not many people possess the specific skill set required to manage such operations successfully like Hunter did. 

With smaller scales of revenue, things can work if the person behind it has entrepreneurship and management skills, but the challenges intensify when dealing with larger figures, such as a million dollars a month. 

For Assembly’s ongoing success Sahil and Hunter hired a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Managers (GMs) to handle individual businesses.

Plus, Hunter thinks they’ve only reached 15% of their true potential. I’m curious what will happen next and how far will they take this company.

So the answer is that these creator-led holding companies can be profitable if run by highly skilled people.

Hunter, noted for spearheading a creator-led agency, has shared critical insights into the sustainability of such services in brand building.

According to Hunter,

the concept of creator-led or celebrity-led brands is not a definitive future for building sustainable brands.

He argues that despite the prevalent trend, many of these ventures might not achieve long-term success due to a lack of product-audience fit. Hunter points out that relying solely on the celebrity’s reputation to market products can be an overplayed strategy.

He exemplifies this with Mr. Beast’s frequent mentions of Feastables in his videos, which might make certain processes like customer acquisition appear more accessible but does not necessarily assure sustainable brand growth. Hunter differentiates between B2C and B2B models, noting that in B2B scenarios, achieving product-audience fit is crucial.

In such cases, the agency minimizes market exposure, focusing instead on delivering quality service that fosters brand growth organically through referrals and customer advocacy, rather than relying on continuous advertising or promotional campaigns.

What can B2B creators take from this approach?

  1. Having an audience can help you build a business

Sahil Bloom’s journey shows us the massive role of having an engaged audience in business development. 

Your audience can become a powerful asset, facilitating the launch, promotion, and success of businesses by providing an existing market eager for the creator’s offerings.

This following or community can serve you as a customer base for a new venture.

And if you don’t have business or entrepreneurial skills, associating yourself with a creator-led holding company, gets you out of the stress of building an agency from scratch and creates that passive income for you.

  1. Partner with someone who is skilled with something that you are not

Sahil Bloom’s strategy involves partnering with people who excel in areas where he might lack expertise, in this case Hunter Hammonds who’s brilliant at growing businesses.

What you can learn from this is that by recognizing the value of collaboration and seeking partnerships with individuals possessing complementary skills you can focus on what you are good at and perfect your skills.

  1. Creator-led services are the future in building brands

The traditional agencies aren’t gone, but creater-led holding companies like Assembly suggest that a new business model has appeared and it’s more sustainable and adaptable.

B2B creators should start exploring opportunities in these companies as it’s highly advantageous in boosting their personal brand and for creating a passive income.

It’s a win-win, B2B creators boost their trust and drive business success to the agencies within the creator-led holding companies and the company commissions them.

Final Thoughts

B2B creators should learn from Sahil how you can evolve in this creator economy, the importance of partnership with people with different set skills, and to use their audiences to build something more.

My guess is that more creator-led companies will appear and the creators who will embrace this shift will have a lot to gain.