I have learned over the last two years that I love content creators. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and they are generous with their time and talents. Take that even one step further; I really love content entrepreneurs. After all, I am married to one, but besides that, I love the ambition and work ethic of this group of people.
It’s no secret I wasn’t totally on board with starting a new company (The Tilt). But I knew what I got myself into when I married a serial entrepreneur. But I saw more content creators just like him, and I got more interested in the prospect of helping them become content entrepreneurs.
Additionally, in the last two years, I have learned that these unique beings are really good at the big picture stuff. As a completely random (ahem) example, a creator might say, “Oh, a social token, how cool, let’s start one.” Or, again, completely random, one might say, “Let’s do an event!”#ContentEntrepreneurs are really good at the big picture stuff, says Pam Pulizzi (@PamKozelka). And that's why every creator needs a #Pam. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
What I think every creator needs is a Pam. Yes, I’m Pam (waving). I work, live, and have kids with The Tilt founder and content entrepreneur Joe Pulizzi. I sincerely love working with Joe. We have great balance in our skillsets as well as keeping work and the rest of life separate. What Joe has in seeing the futures of industries, I have in organization and execution. A great team.
What I want to share today is how a content entrepreneur is viewed externally – a bit of what it is like to work with someone like you – and why every content entrepreneur needs a Pam and help for their content business. (Admittedly, my experience is a little different from most since I live with my content entrepreneur, but I suspect you’ll get the point.)
Working with a content entrepreneur (and why you need help for your content business)
I start my day with a diet soda and sit at my computer, ready to dive in. Before Joe journeys to his office, he reads a few of his favorite newsletters that arrived in his inbox that morning. As I reply to an email in my inbox, a voice interrupts:
- Joe: Hey, do you have a sec?
- Pam: (Sigh.) Sure.
- Joe: I just read an article by XYZ, and I think we should try this super cool new thing.
- Pam: OK, I’ll check it out.
- Joe: OK, I’m going to my office now.
About 30 minutes, one of two things happens. 1. Joe needs a coffee refill, or 2. Joe needs to get on a call and wants to remind me – the one who scheduled it for him – that he has a call. Either of these results in a visit near the vicinity of my office:
- Joe: Hey
- Pam: (Sigh.) Hey
- Joe: Do you have a sec?
- Pam: Sure.
- Joe: I just saw on Facebook that so and so is doing XYZ. What do you think?
- Pam: Super cool. I’ll check it out.
One hour later:
- Joe: Hey, how’s it going?
- Pam: OK.
- Joe: Do you have a sec?
- Pam: (A raised eyebrow gives the nonverbal cue for him to proceed.)
- Joe: I just got off the phone with XYZ, and they had a great idea.
Now that you have had a glimpse of my day, I want to reassure you that I meant what I said about loving content entrepreneurs. But hopefully, you also see why content entrepreneurs need someone to help manage day-to-day tasks.
In The Tilt’s 2022 Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Research, the average time before someone hires full-time help is 25 months. It also falls in what we’ve determined is the second stage – building – of running a content business.
Now, the report also says hiring someone else helps reduce stress or burnout. I agree, but I would add one more thing – the assistance of another person with different skillsets likely will help you build the business more quickly. And that’s why I encourage content entrepreneurs to think about working with someone else as soon as possible – even if you’re not ready to have full-time help.On average, a content entrepreneur takes 25 months before hiring full-time help, according to @TheTiltNews 2022 benchmark research. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Leaving money on the table
We had some kick-butt content entrepreneurs speak at the inaugural Creator Economy Expo in May. They exceeded expectations on stage. But they weren’t about getting their photo and bio to me or signing their speaker agreement. And just try getting them to turn in their presentation before the event. Heck, even getting a reply to an email was a challenge. Content entrepreneurs are busy. I get it.
According to our recent research, they spend half their time creating content. They are all over social media. I really get it. Time is precious. But time is also money.
Many content entrepreneurs are losing money because they don’t have a Pam. Who is Pam? It could be a virtual assistant, a calendar-scheduling tool, or maybe an editor. Perhaps it’s a combination of several things. It should depend on the content entrepreneur’s strengths (and weaknesses.) I promise getting help for your content business will be worth the investment. It will pay for itself in no time.Content creators leave money on the table when they don't enlist help to aid them in the non-creative work, says @PamKozelka. #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet
How do I know? Many of the content entrepreneurs who spoke at the Creator Economy Expo still haven’t sent invoices to be reimbursed for their travel expenses. They haven’t collected hundreds of dollars owed to them. A Pam would not let this happen.
CEX speaker and content entrepreneur Jordan Harbinger has a Pam. Her name is Jen. Jen managed all the event-related materials for Jordan. She familiarized herself with the details of the speaker agreement, booked his travel, and sent a very timely invoice. Jordan spent his time doing what he does best – creating his podcast.
Pams (and Jens) can act as your gatekeeper. They could do the research to see if that request to speak at an event is beneficial to your business. They read the fine print. They could identify problematic proposal terms and rule out the deals that will never have to cross your virtual desk.
Pams help you hit deadlines, help you be prepared for meetings, help you execute ideas that you shouldn’t spend your time, etc. The possibilities are limitless.
I hope this article motivates you. I hope it encourages you to build on the things you are good at and find help for the things that need to get done that don’t fall under your skillset or always end up at the bottom of your to-list.
While hiring someone often is the best way to go, you may not have the money to do that just yet. But don’t let that stop you. Maybe you could find someone willing to trade services. Maybe you could look into some automation tools that could help a little. The goal now is to find your first Pam to help grow your content business in ways you didn’t realize.
On a side note, Joe walked into my office no less than three times as I tried to write this post. So I realize a content entrepreneur’s mind never sleeps, but a Pam can help it rest a little easier.
Be sure to check out the rest of the findings about what it takes to be a content entrepreneur in our Creator Next Door report.
*top illustration courtesy of Joseph “JK” Kalinowski
About the author
Pam has a background in working with non-profit organizations to build employee moral and community awareness. She led operations at Content Marketing Institute for 10 years and is now using those skills to help build a new community, The Tilt.