Say what now? Yes, it’s true–your editors and content creators can be your next revenue rockstars.
The most under-utilized asset in a publisher’s portfolio is the editorial talent they employ. The publishers who have embraced the new mindset that bylines are now brands have realized new revenue streams, created new events, launched new web properties, even spun-off new lines of business. The future of the publishing industry isn’t in expanding your masthead brand, it’s in elevating your talent.
We recently interviewed Andrew Davis, an author, former television producer and dynamic speaker around the globe, who wants to challenge niche publishers to embrace a new breed of editorial talent (and one that doesn’t end with a byline.)
NMHQ: First, why should niche publishers view their editorial talent in new ways? What are some good guidelines for publishers to keep in mind when developing their editorial talent plan?
“There are three basic reasons why niche publishers need to shake up the way they view their talent.
- We live in a social world. This means we have the ability to leverage editorial talent to drive new revenue and deeper niches in an inherently social way. Your audience is more likely to engage through social media channels and this enables you to micro-target by what and whom your audience is friending and following, for example.
- Leverage your talent. Talent drives success by providing original, thoughtful, better content to the audience—and this allows you to gain an even deeper trust from your audience.
- Elevate your talent. You can open up even more new revenue opportunities by understanding what direction(s) your talent wants to grow.”
NMHQ: Can you give us a couple of real world examples of how elevating and inspiring your staff can expand revenue potential?
“First, publishers must create a culture of aspiration. What I mean by that is you need to discover and encourage the hopes and dreams of the talent you’ve hired.
Find talent with ambition beyond the skills they bring to the table today. You want people who want to grow, not just fit in the designated job title. For example, your writers may not have had the ultimate life-goal of working for Manure Magazine or Backyard Poultry. Find out and explore what their passions are beyond your niche. You will create new opportunities that can be valuable for them and for you.
Publishers also need to be open to looking for talent outside their niche. Look for possible intersections to grow your audience. A quilting magazine might hire someone from a scrapbooking background who has a fresh, crafty perspective and can broaden the current quilting horizon in new ways.
Daniel Vaughn of TM BBQ is one of the best examples of what I’m talking about. Daniel was a blogger for Texas Monthly who was passionate about barbecue. Texas Monthly chose to see Daniel beyond just a writer. What happened next? They expanded their opportunities with Daniel to wildly successful results. He has now grown to become one of the biggest BBQ experts in the world and has grown their existing brand by creating a huge, multi-platform BBQ community that includes tours, events, more niched magazines, apps, a NYT best-seller and over 20,000 followers.”
NMHQ: What new editorial trends do you see on the horizon for niche publishers?
“Exactly what I’ve been talking about here—and these aren’t really future trends anymore, these new talent opportunities are what publishers need to be exploring right now. Frankly, we haven’t been doing a good enough job of empowering our brands. If you think like a talent agent when hiring the right people, you can leverage and elevate your talent’s passions to drive new revenue opportunities for your brand. And then, after we re-think the talent model, the next step will be to re-think our revenue models….”
More about Andrew Davis: As Founder of Monumental Shift, Andrew Davis is leading the charge to change the way publishers think and how brands market their products in a digital world. His latest book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, hit shelves in September of 2012 and is now an Amazon bestseller.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau–Niche Media’s Grand Poobah–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!