FEBRUARY 28, 2023

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

full tilt

Speaking Gig Start

Speaking engagements can be great for business. They work well for elevating your brand and reaching new audiences to grow your own. Plus, they become another revenue stream. More than 20% of full-time content entrepreneurs earn revenue from speaking gigs, according to The Tilt’s annual research.

But before speaking gigs can become a great revenue stream, you need to build your bona fides – your credentials – to show what you can do.

Find speaking engagements: Before you figure out exactly what you’ll talk about, research the organizations, businesses, and creators who have audiences you want to reach. Create a spreadsheet listing each target, its website, social platforms, etc. (If you already researched guest outreach opportunities, you can save yourself some time and use that as a starting point.)

Research local opportunities even if they don’t have your ideal audience to gain in-person experience. Perhaps a chamber of commerce hosts a monthly speaker or your local library would be willing to give you space to do a presentation. Community and professional groups also may have in-person meetings with designated time for presentations.

Develop presentation ideas: Now that you have a better understanding of who might be interested in your presentation, brainstorm purposes and topics. Do you want to inspire your audience? Do you want to teach them how to do something? Do you want them to learn something they didn’t know?

Once you have your purpose, you can evaluate the potential topics and pick one or two to make your standard presentation offering.

I find having a go-to presentation works well. It makes it easier for your prospective hosts to easily understand what you offer. It also means you don’t have to spend the time to create a custom presentation for every gig. (More than once, I customized my go-to presentation by swapping out the example with one that closely fits their audience.)

Pitch your presentations: Securing speaking engagements usually falls into two paths – applying online through a speaker platform (often used for conferences with many presenters) and reaching out directly to the organization to pitch your appearance.

In the online application, most organizers want to know your presentation title, description, and learning outcomes (usually three to five). Spend some time to come up with a catchy title that will attract reviewers’ attention as well as their customers’ interest at the event. Be clear and succinct in your description and learning outcomes. (Stay away from anything promotional – most event organizers don’t want you on their stage talking about your services and products.)

In the direct pitch, use your creativity to entice the reviewer to consider your request. Focus on the presentation topic and outcomes first, then explain why you are the person to do it.

In many cases (online applications and direct pitches), you may be asked for a video clip so they can see you in action. If you’re new to the scene, don’t worry. Host a digital presentation, ask a few members of your community to attend to give you feedback, and record it. Now you have a clip to share.

– Ann Gynn

To learn what should go into your speaking agreement and more, read the full story.

content entrepreneur spotlight

Entrepreneur: Amy Suto

Biz: Sutoscience

Tilt: Freelance writer and digital nomad life

Primary Channels: Website, blog, newsletter, TikTok (48K)

Other Channels: Instagram (1.7K), Twitter (2.5K), LinkedIn (1.8K)

Time to First Dollar: She earned her first affiliate dollars from her high school blog. With this business, it took about 18 months for the first sponsorship revenue.

Rev Streams: Affiliate links, sponsorships, digital downloads, online course sales, coaching (ghostwriting and copywriting are her main income source)

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Don’t stress about perfection: Amy says you don’t have to be an expert, but you do have to know your subject matter, be passionate about the work, and consistently create content.
  • Let your audience help you create content: Amy started her business after she found herself answering question after question from her friends and families about how she created her dream career. Now she answers her audience’s questions in TikTok videos.
  • Give them a free taste: Amy is writing a novel in public, publishing the chapters on her Substack platform. People can read the first five chapters for free, then become paid subscribers to finish the book. (She used the more traditional publishing model with her non-fiction book, Six-Figure Freelance Writer, which comes out March 31.)

– Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

All the Story: To learn more about Amy Soto, check out the longer story.

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

things to know

  • Revenue boost: For creators to go from amateur to professional, Web3 money-making tools (tokens, NFTs, and other digital assets) need to be more accessible and easier to use. (Bookoo.io)
    Tilt Take: We agree. Until then, creators will be more likely to use Web 2.0 revenue streams – subscriptions, tipping, and merch sales.
  • Global gift: YouTube now lets creators dub your content in other languages with its new feature. (NBC News)
    Tilt Take: A great assist to expand your content to a truly global audience.
  • Good still matters: Instagram’s head says Meta Verified won’t hurt amazing content from creators who don’t pay for verification. “It’s in our interest to get that content to as many people as possible because doing so means more people will use Instagram more and then we can advertise against it elsewhere,” he says. (Insider)
    Tilt Take: We buy his argument (even if we haven’t bought Meta Verified), but that’s likely the case for only the most super popular great content.
Tech and Tools
  • Free help: Amazon’s Small Business Academy has updated the experience with three self-service tracks – Start, Build, and Launch. This free resource helps early-stage entrepreneurs with tools, resources, and networking opportunities. (Amazon)
    Tilt Take: It touches on both soft and hard skills needed by any entrepreneur.
  • Real help: One thing in the finer print of the Meta Verified news – paid verification may give you a direct line to customer service. They’re testing whether people will pay for higher-touch live chat support. (Insider)
    Tilt Take: That alone may be worth the price. Or at least it will prompt creators to pay for Meta Verified when they need Instagram’s help that’s so hard to get now.
And Finally
  • Tok ban talk: The United Kingdom is the next nation to call for bans of the TikTok app on government-issued devices. (Social Media Today)
    Tilt Take: We don’t expect the concerns about TikTok to end any time soon.

the business of content

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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 Sarah Lindenfeld Hall.