As experts in so many different fields, AdThrivers are often invited to share their work via interview segments on local and national television broadcasts. But if you’re used to sharing your work from behind a computer screen, how do you translate that to a live demonstration?
That’s where Amy Latta comes in! Founder of Amy Latta Creations and a seasoned veteran at presenting her hand lettering, decor, and creative arts on television, Amy has elevated her brand to the next level by taking her craft on the road and sharing it in front of the camera.
We interviewed Amy to learn more on how she got started making television appearances, and her best advice for publishers prepping to present their work live!
Can you share a little bit about how you became an online content creator?
I started my first blog, then called One Artsy Mama, in March 2011. I had walked away from my careers as a teacher and a ballroom dance instructor to be a stay-at-home mom to my two-year-old son. While I loved being home, I was desperate for opportunities to connect with other adults. I stumbled on a craft blog while looking for a St. Patrick’s Day project to do with my son, and immediately I wanted to create one of my own. I have always loved doing all types of art and crafts, and I thought this would be a perfect way to share some of the creative things we were doing with other moms.
Over time, as my kids have grown, the focus of the site shifted to fewer kids crafts and more DIY projects anyone can create. I also re-branded, becoming Amy Latta Creations, to reflect that shift.
In 2015, I taught myself how to do brush lettering/modern calligraphy and shared it with my readers. It was one of those “right place at the right time” moments, and before I knew it, I had become a go-to source for easy to understand hand lettering tutorials. That led to a book deal, and four books later, here I am!
What part do ads play in your monetization strategy for your business?
I’m embarrassed to say that for a long time I missed out on a ton of potential revenue by not seeking to place ads on my site. I had tried one company and it didn’t go well, so I stopped using ads altogether.
Then, in 2018, I was at a conference with some other bloggers who were talking all about AdThrive and how vital it was to their businesses. I started asking questions and found out that I was missing out on thousands of dollars of revenue by not running ads.
I remember sitting in the airport on the way home from the event and filling out my AdThrive application. It was a real game-changer for me! I’m particularly grateful for how AdThrive handles everything because I am terrible with everything on the coding/back end of the site.
How did you connect with talk shows and broadcast companies to book appearances?
My first television appearance was going on a local morning news show to promote my second book. I had emailed the producer several times asking if there might be an opportunity to share about it because I was trying to generate book sales in whatever ways I could. Finally, I got a “yes” and did the interview.
It went well, and I loved doing it, so I followed up with an email asking if I might be able to come back to share a quick craft project. The producer agreed, and eventually it turned into a semi-regular spot.
After I had appeared on one station, I had clips of myself to show other potential shows, so I reached out (over and over) to other networks with my pitch as well as links where they could see me on air. This helped me secure a segment on another news station as well as lifestyle shows in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
After my first appearance on Good Day PA, I asked the host/producer about coming back to share a craft, and they enjoyed what I do so much that they gave me a regular monthly segment called Getting Crafty!
As for Hallmark, Larissa Wohl, who is the pet rescue expert on Home & Family, organically shared about my first book a few months ago during a segment about ideas for de-stressing. Once that happened, my publisher’s PR agent reached out and spoke to the booking department at Home & Family.
Because I had clips of local segments that they could view and some television experience, they were willing to take a chance on me and allowed me to film a segment on hand lettering and my newest book, Hand Lettering for Faith. It was an incredible opportunity and I absolutely loved it!
Have you always felt comfortable in front of the camera, or has that been an acquired skill along the way?
I have always enjoyed public speaking; even as a child, I liked competing in the 4-H program’s Public Speaking Contest. As an adult, I was a classroom teacher in addition to now teaching lettering workshops, so being in front of people doesn’t bother me.
In fact, when I’m filming in a TV studio, there are usually very few people around; just the hosts and a few camera people. It actually feels very intimate, so if I focus on chatting with and teaching the host, I can sometimes forget there’s a camera at all. It’s truly less intimidating than when I teach classes at the Pinners conference, which sometimes have as many as 250 students!
My best advice for someone when going on camera is to have a conversation with the host(s) and talk to them just like you would to a friend or a stranger who asked about your business. Make eye contact with them, and don’t forget to smile! You are the expert, and it’s your time to shine.
How have your television appearances helped you build your business and what has been the most rewarding aspect?
My site traffic always gets a boost after a television appearance… in fact, my pageviews nearly tripled the day my Hallmark segment aired. I also see it translate to more book sales, just based on what I can view from Amazon rankings, etc.
I definitely think it helps with brand awareness and recognition too. I’ve had strangers recognize me and ask if I’m the one they saw on TV or say, “Hey, you’re the Getting Crafty girl.” I think each opportunity opens the door for the possibility of another, whether it’s a repeat visit on that show or on a different one. Certainly, all my local work led to the producers at Hallmark being willing to let me do a national spot.
I don’t really know where it will lead next, but I’m excited to find out. I love having a platform to share craft projects and lettering with as many people as possible, because the whole goal of what I do (my website, my books, etc.) is to help even people who feel like they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies realize that they truly can make beautiful things!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Amy! This type of first-hand experience is truly inspiring, and we hope it helps other publishers feel more confident and comfortable presenting their work on camera. Want to see Amy’s interview skills in action? Check out this round up of her latest appearances right here!