AUGUST 2, 2022

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs.

In This Issue: Explore how to use others’ communities to build your business. We stan for Dasha Kennedy, creator of The Broke Black Girl. Insta does a flip-flop and simple advice to encourage outreach.

full tilt

Shorten Your Content Business Takeoff By Joining Communities

Did you ever watch the launch of a space rocket?

In the first few moments, it moves slowly (or so it appears). These are dreadful moments. Most fatal threats hide in the takeoff and landing phases. But gradually, speed increases. After the rocket finally unshackles itself from gravity’s chains, it’s smooth sailing (more or less).

Launching a content business is like that. The takeoff phase takes months (17 months on average to support one person, according to The Tilt research). The audience grows at a snail’s pace. It can feel deflating compared to the explosive success of your content entrepreneur heroes.

But to give your content business a quicker boost, you have an ethical shortcut to accelerate early growth – investing some of your time in communities where your audience lives and discusses topics related to your content tilt.

The strategy is simple but not easy:

  • Find and join communities related to your topics.
  • Be helpful.
  • Build authority and trust within those communities.
  • Turn authority and trust into visits, subscriptions, and sales.

Benefits of community marketing strategy: Using communities as a marketing strategy for your content business does NOT mean joining other communities and posting all your links and publishing calls to action (CTA) related to your business. This marketing opportunity is a content marketing opportunity – where you provide valuable and relevant content for the audience. As you read above, you must be helpful.

You can build good relationships and find fans, clients, collaborators, or business partners. You can amplify your content. You also have a new stage to share your best (and most relevant) content and likely get some early, engaged views.

But getting involved in communities isn’t just about promoting your content. It’s also about showing yourself as a person. Fellow community members want to get to know you – to trust you (and your content.) You also get a bonus benefit – actively interacting with an engaged audience can provide new content ideas.

Authority building: You have limited time to interact inside communities. Thus, you should pick no more than two that deliver the biggest value to you and your content business. How do you do that? Evaluate the quantity and quality of existing discussions.

Start engaging: You need at least a month of regular interactions to understand whether a community can work for you. How do you engage? You’re a creator. You know what to do.

On your channels, you usually publish content based on your ideas and research. In a community, you share your ideas in replies to other people’s questions. Or you publish your insights based on shared interests and problems.

To maximize your presence in the community:

  • Complete your profile with your primary URL or possibly a lead magnet.
  • Scroll through questions every day and generously answer the most relevant ones.
  • Share your difficulties and quirks. Let people know you are human.
  • Promote your content business only when and where you are allowed (many communities have sections, threads, or events dedicated to member self-promotion.)

Re-evaluate: After a month – and regularly thereafter – evaluate if your participation is bringing the expected results and if you are having fun. Communities can change. You change, too. Don’t be afraid to sail for better land.

Get started today. You just need to do the initial research and then 15 to 30 minutes each day to engage and give your business a much-needed rocket boost.

– Alberto Cabas Vidani

Review the community types and how to find relevant ones in the longer story.

We Stan for Dasha Kennedy

Entrepreneur: Dasha Kennedy

Biz: The Broke Black Girl

Tilt: Go-to financial literacy expert for Black women

Scene: Website, Instagram (196K), Facebook (80.2K), Twitter (8.4K)

Snack Bites:

  • A former accountant, Dasha Kennedy, launched The Broke Black Girl as a popular Facebook group and drew 60K followers in its first year.
  • Blogging, refreshingly honest posts on social media, and ebooks are among her content products.
  • Dasha’s advice is informed by over a decade of professional experience in finance and her own experiences as a young Black woman. Clients and followers connect to her brand because of its authenticity.

Why We Stan:

Dasha shares her financial knowledge with Black women who are not regularly exposed to the topic. She can reach her peers and other young Black millennials by using four different platforms. She creates content she would have consumed over a decade ago when searching for advice on investing, budgeting, and other related topics.

– Leo Bonacci

All the Story: Learn how Dana got to be a successful content entrepreneur.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us. Or email [email protected].

things to know

  • Snap hums: Snapchat’s new Sounds Creator Fund provides monthly grants (up to $100K) to Sounds creators who distribute music on the platform via DistroKid. (Snap)
    Tilt Take: Social media companies should reward creators whose creations are used on their platforms by others.
  • No-ad model: When Substack launched, it bucked the “ad-peddling model that dominates the internet and hijacks our minds” as too high a price for free. But maintaining a subscriber model is hard, and advertising demand is up. Is it time to change or at least add an ad component to Substack? (Simon Owens)
    Tilt Take: Simon’s on the right track. Creators with paid subscriber models might want to consider how to incorporate ad revenue to sustain and grow their businesses.
  • Profile update: “Here to make friends. DMs open.” in the Twitter bio has opened up a wealth of opportunities for this solo entrepreneur. (Jakob Greenfeld; h/t For The Interested)
    Tilt Take: It’s a simple invite all creators should consider.
  • Breaking Beast: MrBeast is the second YouTuber to hit 100M subscribers. He got to the mark 10 years after launching his channel, and he says he feels like this is just the beginning. (tubefilter)
    Tilt Take: While MrBeast has built a content empire, he’s always remained committed to his original and primary channel. That authenticity is important to forging long-term connections with your audience.
Tech and Tools
  • Reverse Instagram: Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and other Instagram influencers motivated Meta to pause plans to go all TikTok by changing to all full-screen photo and video posts. (The New York Times; h/t The Publish Press)
    Tilt Take: When modifying your core product, make sure your audience (or at least your superfans) are on board.
  • AI at 30: Mark Zuckerberg says he wants AI to drive 30% of content in your social feeds on Facebook and Instagram by the end of 2023. It’s at 15% now. (Social Media Today)
    Tilt Take: As the article points out, Meta’s platforms are forgoing the social aspect (friends and follower-based recommendations) in favor of artificial intelligence. It diminishes the value of your audiences’ role in promoting your content.
And Finally
  • Higher frequency: Media brand Slate is updating its podcast strategy to bump the frequency of popular shows, expanding to multiple seasons in a year and making weekly podcasts biweekly. (Digiday)
    Tilt Take: Think about what benchmark you need to reach before you expand publishing frequency.
  • Let’s get together: Twitter Communities now displays the top hashtags used in each community that links to relevant tweets on those topics. (Social Media Today; h/t tl;drMarketing)
    Tilt Take: Any discovery feature is only as good if people use it. We’re not sure what demand might be like.

the business of content

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Pam Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Alberto Cabas Vidani and Leo Bonacci.