Imagine you move and nail this note to the door:

Thanks for stopping by. I treasure your friendship. I no longer reside here. To reach me, please visit 123 Main St., City, Country. I look forward to connecting again.

At The Tilt, we often preach the need to move from rented land – relying primarily on third-party platforms to reach your audience. But how do you build an “address book” before your departure, so you don’t have to just post a note to your rented door (that could be removed at any moment by the landlord?

Before your creator business departs or expands from rented land, make sure to build an address book, says @AnnGynn. #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

As a content creator, you must attract your audience so they’ll give their more permanent contact information – an email address or mobile phone number. Why not try a technique used by marketers looking to convert prospective customers into “leads” for their sales team? They call them “lead magnets.” For you who wants to convert social media followers, call it “contact conversions.”

The must-attend business event for content creators. May 1-3, 2023 at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Bonus content

Think about what content your audience might find useful that relates to your content tilt. Is there some content topic or type that doesn’t fit in your normal format they would find valuable? 

Erika Kullberg, attorney and personal finance expert, has a multitude of downloadable content that requires an email address (and mobile number in some cases). At the bottom of her home page, she promotes three of them. Two of those are spreadsheets that creators can complete on their own – a budget and expense sheet and a net worth tracker. 

Though Erika built her business on YouTube, where she now has over 1M subscribers, she makes a concerted effort to grow her email list with this and other free content opportunities.

@ErikaKullberg uses bonus content, such as a budget and expense template, to convert her @YouTube viewers into her #Email database. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

If you prefer video and audio content, consider offering exclusive bonus episodes that require the viewer or listener to share their email address to get access.


Bigger than bonus content, ebooks allow you to provide a deeper exploration of a relevant topic to your audience. They don’t have to be novel length – a few thousand words or a designed-heavy dozen or so pages might be enough. The point is that your audience finds significant value in it.

If you think an ebook can seem like a big challenge, online course creator and bestselling author Dorie Clark has a thought: “They can be done the easy way or the hard way.”

Since you already create content, you don’t necessarily need a new topic. Look through your blog articles, Instagram posts, online courses, podcast episodes, etc. What could you pull together into an ebook? What content could be curated with a little original content thrown in to tie it into a cohesive reading experience?

For Dorie, it was the questions at the end of her book chapters that were converted into ebooks.

“They are fleshed out to create a short narrative arc and walk people through the process of thinking through these questions,” she says.

If you opt for a direct landing page (always a good idea), make it an easy-to-spell URL ( so it’s easy for you to say (particularly in audio and video) so you can convert social media followers and other audiences.

@DorieClark suggests creators develop ebooks to attract email conversions by pulling from content they already published or shared. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet


What could you give your audience that will prompt them to give their email address to enter? The key to that question (and answer) is your audience. Suppose the prize is so great that everybody in the world would want to enter. In that case, the resulting email list will be less effective because many would hand over their email address without any interest in your business.

You don’t have to have a big budget (or any budget for that matter) to offer an incentive or prize your audience would want. Sure, a Starbucks gift card is a nice idea, but the point is, what can you offer that few others could? Perhaps it’s a free one-hour consulting or AMA session. It could be complimentary admission to a course. Maybe, it’s an item from your merch store. Perhaps, the prize could be a shoutout on an upcoming video.

Get creative and keep your eye on your prize – collecting email addresses. Then, put together the sweepstakes details, including entry requirements, start and end dates, entry methods, and winner selection process.

And make sure to follow the laws in your jurisdiction and platforms.


If you interview people for your content or create how-to videos, consider hosting webinars to attract email conversions. They have a longer lifespan than a livestream. You can host the live version that enables the audience to ask questions or share their perspectives, too. Then, you can use it for on-demand viewing later.

Rock Content hosts a webinar series – Jam Sessions – that requires viewers to register to watch. They create a landing page for each episode as they did for this webinar with The Tilt founder Joe Pulizzi. On the page, they explain who Joe is and outlines a handful of points the two will discuss. 

Community gathering

If you have a community who checks in or regularly interacts with you and/or others in the audience, host a virtual get-together. Set up a video conference with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another vehicle of your choice (just make sure it’s easy to use for most people). Then, invite your community on your social platforms. 

While you could just show up for the gathering, an agenda will be helpful to guide the conversation. Share it with potential participants beforehand so they have an idea of what to expect and, if necessary, prepare.

1 more thing

When you convert social media followers and grow your email list, don’t forget to use it. That’s easy to do if you have a regularly distributed content product like a newsletter or podcast episode promotion. But if you don’t have that, consider reaching out at least quarterly to remind your audience that you and your content business exist. Write a note to explain what you’ve been doing that they might find interesting or useful. Include links to your most recent content. Craft the email around a theme, sharing relevant links, tips, and more.

As you move or expand to owned land, always keep this question at the forefront of your mind: How do I invite my audience to come along? After all, no one wants to show up at your rented home only to find a note with your forwarding address.


About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.