Don’t Become a Full-Time Content Creator

My new book, The Content Entrepreneur, will be available April 9th. This book was written in collaboration with 32 amazing individuals to help content creators think and act more like content entrepreneurs.

We are going to have a signing party in Cleveland at Content Entrepreneur Expo (CEX). Please join me and use code JP100 to save $100 when you register for an in-person pass.

I’ve decided (with the blessing of the other authors) that we are only going to sell the book directly. This means the book won’t be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or anywhere else other than our websites.

This is a big experiment for me. But it’s important. I believe more authors need to start selling directly, keeping the revenue and data to grow their content businesses.

Oh…and all profits for the book go to Orange Effect Foundation.

More to come.

Finding Your True Self

I’m listening to the book From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks. The TLDR – the book is about finding purpose in life as we age. So far…thumbs up.

In chapter four, the author is talking about interpreting art from an eastern versus a western viewpoint. If you ask someone from the west about a piece of art that hasn’t begun yet, they will think of a blank canvas. If you ask someone from the east the same question, they will envision a hunk of stone or marble, where the art is already finished but the outside needs to be stripped away by the artist first.

For some reason this really hit home.

What if we are perfect just the way we are? What if everything we need for success or happiness is already inside of us, but we need to clear away the clutter to get at it?

When I talk to content creators, we often find this when searching for their content niche. The creator generally feels they always need to add more. Add different topics. Learn new skills. Make things more complex.

But most often, we find success when we strip away. A more focused topic. A smaller audience target. Fewer, but more impactful shows.

Give it some thought. Maybe your success formula is already there, but we need to start stripping away to find your true self.

Losing Trust

“I listened to this podcast” or “I read this article” are common opening lines you would hear if you were listening to a conversation between my wife and me.

It might be followed by her rolling her eyes as I start the sentence. This, however, is how I consume my information. I have a few sources I trust, like Pivot and The Prof G ShowThe New York Times and Morning Brew for example. These sources are consistently reliable, based on research that I trust, and I rely on them.

If the information is sensitive or of critical nature, I try to find at least three sources that I believe are reliable before I share it with anyone.

The other day someone in passing said that they were doing a reboot of The Golden Girls starring Tina Fey. I said something like “that seems incredibly odd” but left it at that. Turns out, it’s not true.

Whether it’s a photo of Princess Kate or whether the Cleveland Browns are moving again, it’s our responsibility not to share until we know.

I have a family member that I’m connected to on Facebook that shares incredibly wacky stories from websites I’ve never heard of. He states that he believes all these stories, and then has other friends and family that pile on. It’s hard to take seeing that, and also knowing how many people are doing this simultaneously.

Whether in your personal life or your business communication, trust is, perhaps, the most important thing. Break that trust once, you might never get it back.

For you, for your job, in your content, when talking to your family:

  • Fact check everything before you share it. Find at least three reliable sources of information.
  • Be ready to share your sources.
  • Understand and tell both sides of the story.
  • It’s generally better to share without adding your own bias (at least at first). Especially if you’d like to have a real conversation with people.

Good luck!

Don’t Become a Full-Time Creator

With Content Entrepreneur Expo just five weeks away, I’m working on all the things. Finalizing the agenda, marketing to get more attendees, and working on my opening keynote.

In that respect, I put out a note on LinkedIn and asked for advice from my LinkedIn community that I could use in my CEX opening keynote. That’s kind of weird to say, my LinkedIn community. It’s not really mine, but I digress.

I asked what their advice would be for a content creator who wants to go full-time. This could be about operations, revenue, audience building, social channels…what’s the one thing that you think is the most critical for their content business model to succeed?

So far, as of a few days ago, I received 68 comments, which was wonderful.

There were dozens of amazing comments that I will be integrating into the presentation, but one stood out…and it happened to be from one of my best friends, Robert Rose, who is also my co-host on the This Old Marketing podcast.

Robert says:

After you open your talk with the question you asked here – I would start with one slide. With one word on it.


And then proceed to list all the things that they will need to be willing to do in order to be a “full-time content creator” – ending with the inevitable conclusion. There’s no such thing as a full-time content creator. As a Content Entrepreneur you are the CEO of a media company (no matter how big) – and thus wear many hats – from sales, to marketing, to accounting, to customer experience, to analyst. Thus, if you’re a full-time content creator – you’re actually NOT a content entrepreneur.

I had to read this a few times to take in the impact. As content creators, we focus so much of our strategy on content creation. But is that right? According to Robert, it is not.

When I was with Content Marketing Institute, I was often asked how much time a content marketer should spend on creating content. My answer then, as it is now, is 25 percent just creating content. All the other stuff, strategy, distribution plan, measurement, integration is 75 percent.

And now that I’m on the other side, I’m wondering, would my answer about content creation be 25 percent? Maybe. Actually, it might be less.

When I started my first media company, it was just me. I’d say that my time spent on creating content was probably 10 percent. That might even be high.

Maybe we are doing a disservice by treating the content business as so different from doing the incredibly hard thing of launching and growing just a business.

Short- and long-term strategy, defining the content brand, creating the personal brand, promotion, distribution, sales, product choice, traveling and speaking at events, accounting and the list goes on.

I guess the point of this is…maybe, just maybe, we are focusing too much on content creation.

A final example…I have a friend of mine. They’re one of the best musicians around. Simply amazing. But they weren’t finding the success they wanted. What were they doing? They were always writing, composing and practicing music.

The problem? No one knew. He was always making and practicing music. It was plain to see that, to be successful, he’d need to take at least half his time and work on the business of being a musician.

So how about you? Do you need to look at your time and redistribute?

I know I do.

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