Entrepreneur: Maayan Gordon

Biz: MG Media

Tilt: Helping businesses recognize the value of their employees

Primary Channel: Website

Other Channels: TikTok (2.3M), Instagram (35.3K), LinkedIn (38.1K), newsletter

Time to First Dollar: 3 months

Rev Streams: Consulting services, freelance writing

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Do what you like doing: Maayan went down several entrepreneurial paths before she found she enjoyed consulting with businesses the best.
  • Don’t build on rented land: A glass-blowing art business became victim to Instagram’s whims, dramatically decreasing views to Maayan’s primary sales channel.
  • Thwart scope creep: Make sure consulting clients understand the terms and scope of work in the contract. Then, stick to those terms. If they want another call, for example, let them know the additional charge to do it.

The Story of Maayan Gordon

Maayan Gordon’s been an entrepreneur since third grade. She sold Hot Wheels cars for 50 cents to her classmates so she could buy candy. When her parents and the school found out, she got in trouble, but the entrepreneurial itch had its grasp.

As a teen, she sold items on eBay. She even developed a system to bid against other bidders to inflate the price, which was against the rules. eBay caught on. She got into trouble and had to stop. These early business failures drove her work ethic as an entrepreneur.

In college, Maayan Gordon identified a skill she possessed that she could monetize quickly. She searched Craigslist for writing jobs and found people willing to pay for product descriptions and landing page copy. She earned $20 to $40 per job.

One of those clients opened Maayan’s eyes to the possibilities of making a living as a content entrepreneur. He sold digital products through affiliate marketing on ClickBank. He taught her about the psychology behind search keywords in the digital marketing and products world. 

“It opened a whole new world of existence to me. Words are more than their definitions,” Maayan tells The Tilt. “They have meaning and intentions, and we’re communicating more than just the definition. We’re communicating our own desire and world view in the words we choose.” 

Psychology behind her content

Learning about the psychology behind marketing content, Maayan made about $800 to $1K a week doing email copywriting. She tasted the freedom being an entrepreneur could provide, but that conflicted with the expectations on her to finish college and get a “real” job as a veterinarian. During finals week of her third semester, she cried every day because she couldn’t decide between the two worlds.

Her boyfriend Ben (now her husband) told her, “Anything that makes you this miserable and cry like this is not the right choice for you, no matter what happens.” He invited her to move in with him and reminded her she could support herself because she made more money than most of their friends. In 2010, Maayan dropped out of college and went into copywriting full time.

Just when she began to thrive, Mayaan and her boyfriend suffered a gas explosion in their apartment. That trauma prevented her from having her head and emotions in the correct place to write effectively. Landing copywriting gigs became harder. 

Multiple stops on entrepreneurial path

Broke and living in an RV with her husband, Maayan knew she wanted to have a business. Even though she had success as a freelance writer, she still believed being an entrepreneur required selling a physical product.

The couple sold bead diffusers but abandoned that business when they couldn’t sustain it themselves. They started a sticker and T-shirt business but abandoned it when its growth required a huge investment in equipment.

The sticker business led Maayan to glass-blowing, which she loved. She posted her glass pieces on Instagram without plans to sell them. To her surprise, she received messages from people asking about the prices of her practice pieces. One explained they saw her imperfect art as a way to afford art in a medium that others charged $120 to $200 per piece.

Maayan worked to fill a market gap with her imperfect glass pieces at affordable prices. “It was great because I got to practice my craft, make money, and build my audience base,” Maayan says.

She hosted auctions for the pieces on Instagram, where people bid in the comments. She earned $150K in revenue that first year, $250K in the second, and $320K in the third year. 

In 2018, Maayan Gordon felt the effects of building on Instagram’s rented land. Her organic reach dropped from 40K to 50K new followers a month to 100 to 200, and she lost 50% of her business in two months. 

Becoming a content entrepreneur 

Maayan turned to TikTok and LinkedIn in 2019. On LinkedIn, she met and formed friendships with other entrepreneurs. “I found out that a lot of people did not know about marketing or how to run and grow a business. I started sharing my experiences, what I learned, and my knowledge of language analysis as a value add to the relationship,” she explains.

This realization led Maayan down the path to consulting. At first, she consulted on influencer marketing. Then, she met Jesse Johnson, who asked to coach her to become a content entrepreneur. “I was like, yeah, I would freaking love someone to teach me stuff. But I don’t have any money right now for a coach because we are actively losing money on the glass-blowing venture,” Maayan recalls.

Jesse replied he didn’t expect payment because his goal was to transform a million people into leaders in his lifetime. He taught her how to construct a coaching package and walked her through how to get her first coaching clients. 

Three months later, Maayan made her first dollar as a content entrepreneur. But she soon realized she hated the hand-holding and therapy required in her coaching sessions. She turned to consulting.

She formed MG Media as the umbrella company for her consulting business, focusing on marketing, systems, and operations. She targets her services to companies with at least 50 employees and helps them understand the importance and value of their people. She does in-person training, virtual presentations, and keynote speeches. On average, she works with one to three clients at a time and has increased her fees so one client provides enough revenue to sustain her full time.

“As long as my bills are getting paid, I have enough money to put some into investments and then enough left over to do fun things that I enjoy. Why do I need more money? Everyone needs more joy and human connection. So I have that freedom now to add more value to my life,” she says.

Maayan also consults with creators and brands about growing their TikTok audiences based on what she learned growing her glass-blowing TikTok audience to over 2.3M. 

Maayan uses her social media now as a marketing tool, posting content that demonstrates who she is as a human being and what she has learned throughout her life. Most of her clients come through her TikTok and LinkedIn audiences. 

Maayan publishes a monthly newsletter to about 350, many of whom are previous or potential clients. She has an open rate of 70% and a click-through rate of 12%. Maayan prefers to have this small but engaged audience as it serves her purpose of providing value more effectively. 

Advice for content entrepreneurs

Content entrepreneurs who provide consulting services should pay attention to potential scope creep – when the client requests services outside the parameters of the contract. Maayan says the initial contract terms and scope of work should be communicated. You also should adhere to them. If you are doing a once-a-week Zoom call, do not offer or agree to any additional calls throughout the week unless you explain and get their acceptance of the additional charge.

Maayan Gordon also believes authenticity is essential. Pay attention to how you speak and think about your projects and content. Don’t use language that tricks your target audience into thinking you want to help them when you just want to sell something. Use language that reflects your values and your purpose or mission for your content business. 

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About the author

Marc Maxhimer is the director of growth and partnerships at The Tilt. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and mathematics education and a master’s degree in educational administration.  He previously taught middle school for 16 years.  Marc lives in (and loves all things) Cleveland with his wife, two daughters, and dog.