NOVEMBER 12, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs. Each edition is packed with the latest news, strategies, and tactics, plus inspiring creator stories and exclusive education, all to help you create, grow, and monetize better.

Features in this issue (view online):

full tilt

Podcast Plus: How Creators Can Get the Interview Right for Their Guest and Listeners

Successful podcasts require more than quality microphones and great production.

With interview-based podcasts, success comes from the guests – who they are, what they have to say, and how well they say it. And that requires a host or producer who knows how to get the best guests who will deliver audio gold.

Bernie Borges interviewed people over 299 episodes of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast that concluded its run earlier this year. A few months ago, he launched another interview-based podcast, Digitally Irresistible, that he hosts on behalf of his employer, iQor.

With all that experience, Bernie says he’s found a process that can work for any podcast that relies on interviews. Earlier this fall, he shared it at Content Marketing World 2021. Whether you’re new to podcasting or have been hitting the record button for a while, we know you’ll learn something new to help your content business.

One more thing, if you do interview-based content of any type, you’ll want to read on.

Tilt Advice

Here are some tips from Bernie:

Find guests who have something to say: Look for people who shine in your industry or topic. Who’s doing something creative? Who’s taken a risk? They likely will have stories to share that will engage an audience. Listeners will want to hear how they worked out a challenge, overcame a hurdle, etc.

Make it all about the interviewee: Give them a platform to showcase their expertise, success, etc. It starts with your first outreach to connect with them. As Bernie explains: “Don’t say, ‘I would like to interview you for (title) podcast.’ Say, ‘I want to feature you …’ or ‘I want to showcase you …’”

Do a prep call: “Always, always, always, always have a prep call with the person you’re going to interview,” Bernie says. (Given how many times Bernie used “always,” we knew this was the most important tip.)

Schedule the call at least one to two days, ideally three to seven, before the record date. That will give you time to process and synthesize your takeaways for recording day.

Before the call, do your research. Look up their online profiles. Talk to a person or two who know them.

During the call, set up everything that will be needed for the interview. Ultimately, the goal is to clearly communicate the vision of content you plan to produce and make sure they’re aligned with it.

Ask questions and take notes. Bernie always asks this: “Please tell me the story. How do you get to be known for (topic)?”

Then, sit back and listen with minimal interruption. If they aren’t explaining sufficiently, draw the story out of them with questions like: Why did you do that? What problems did you encounter?

At the end of the prep interview, recap what you heard and plan to use so the guest can indicate if they agree with where you’re going. As you reflect and refine the story to tell on the podcast in the following days, make sure the guest agrees.

“If they say, ‘Yes, that’s the story I want us to tell,’ they’re more invested and enthusiastic,” Bernie says.

– Ann Gynn

To get expert advice on what to do on recording day, why you need to take charge, and other tips, read the longer story.

content entrepreneur spotlight

YouTuber Sharon Cancio Didn’t Realize the Value of Her Content to Brands

Entrepreneur: Sharon Cancio

Biz: Just Sharon

Tilt: Secrets revealed by anonymous subscribers; girl talk you’re too afraid to have with mom

Primary Channel: YouTube (530K)

Other Primary Channels: Instagram (55.5K), TikTok (40.2K), Twitter (22.8K)

Time to First Dollar: 4 years after channel launch

Rev Streams: Google AdSense, brand partnerships

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Use your creator skills elsewhere: Sharon used her video creation skills to win a $30K college scholarship in a Taco Bell contest.
  • Adjust your tilt: Copyrighted music lyrics prompted Sharon to shift her content to focus on confessional videos inspired by teen magazines.
  • Know your brand’s worth: Sharon worked with an agency, but wasn’t making any money. So, she asked for referrals and found a new agency that helped her realize her true worth to brands.

– Bonnie Azoulay

To learn more about Sharon’s story, including her per-minute rate for brand content, check out the longer story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us or reply to this email.

quick talk

Caught on … Twitter

I have to write 1,000 words before I can write 100 words.” – Amanda Natividad

things to know

  • Shop and watch: YouTube’s star creators will appear in its weeklong Holiday Stream and Shop event. But this isn’t a one-time thing; it’s an introduction to the platform’s new shopping verticals. Soon, YouTube will allow product pop-ups and share an interface that lets viewers shop while they watch. (tubefilter)
    Tilt Take: Authenticity still matters. If shopping isn’t an organic fit for your videos, you may not care about shopping options. We also await word on how the financial arrangements will work.
  • Tip from listeners: Podcast player and discovery app Goodpods has added a new option to let listeners tip their favorite podcasts via Paypal, Patreon, or Venmo. (Goodpods email)
    Tilt Take: Podcasters, take note. You have to claim your podcast on the app before you can get any tip money.
  • Break up: Segmenting your audience allows you to deliver content that’s more relevant to each group. But you can’t just use demographics to divide them. Add psychographics and lifestyle into the equation. (Marketing Dive)
    Tilt Take: We’ll paraphrase the author: “(Content) brands should be extraordinary for some rather than mediocre for many.”
  • Roll out the welcome: Welcome emails have average open rates hovering around 80%. Send them to all new subscribers and make the most of the content. Specifically, set the expectations of what they will receive. (Business 2 Community)
    Tilt Take: We’ll add one more thing. Welcome them to get involved in your community, from contributing ideas to connecting with others.
Tech and Tools
  • Down thumbs: YouTube is gradually removing public dislikes from videos on the platform. They’re doing it to impede “dislike attack” harassment campaigns. (CNET)
    Tilt Take: Viewers can still voice their displeasure to the creators in the comments, but that requires more work. And a lot of button-tapping critics won’t take the time.
  • Live later: Built as a live audio platform, Clubhouse is changing things up. It’s added a Replay feature so users can record the chat and save it to a club or profile for later listening. They also can be downloaded and shared. (Engadget; h/t The Created Economy)
    Tilt Take: Helpful for creators to build audio libraries and easier for listeners, but it’s moving away from what distinguished the audio app to begin with.
And Finally
  • Bright blue: Twitter Blue is now available for $2.99 a month. Among its features: reviewing and undoing tweets in the 60 seconds before they go live, transforming long threads into a better reading experience, adding bookmark folders, and more. (Twitter; h/t Cory Cachola)
    Tilt Take: We’d be willing to pay that if it had an edit-tweet feature, but the new benefits also have merit (particularly given all the threads being sewn lately).
  • B2B creators: Workweek launched this week to give B2B content creators a unique work and publishing environment. They can get full-time support (salary, benefits, etc.), work independently, and may be eligible for a share of the revenue streams – newsletter subscriptions, events, e-commerce. Health care, cannabis, money, and financial tech are the first topics. (Axios)
    Tilt Take: We were intrigued by Workweek’s plans to invest in the startups of creators after they have been there at least three years.

we’re a stan for Yolanda Gampp

A judge on the hit reality show Crime Scene Kitchen, Yolanda Gampp created How To Cake It to help bakers take their culinary skills to the next level.

The YouTuber (4.34M) and Instagrammer (2.7M) teaches how to build cakes in the form of waffle cakes, as an homage to Eleven from Stranger Things, takeout boxes with fried rice, and a 10-pound Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.

She created a separate channel, How to Cake It Step by Step, where fans can watch without Yolanda’s commentary.

Why we’re a Stan: When Yolanda learned a subgroup of her audience preferred to learn without her explanations, she created a second channel catering to their preferred method without creating new content.

– Shameyka McCalman

the business of content

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Bonnie Azoulay, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.