As a professional, you know how important it is to be known as a thought leader. So you work hard to create a blog or online article, distribute an e-newsletter to your clients or create a podcast or video.
But before you pat yourself on the back, you should know that you haven't realized the potential of that insightful piece of content, says Michael Katz, marketing coach and founder of Blue Penguin Development. Sure, your mom noticed, sending you a supportive text (complete with heart emojis).
But, by sharing your content only once, you've missed a wide universe of people who would benefit from your thinking--including people who could become potential clients.
Today more than ever, advises Katz, you need to leverage your work-- to take advantage of multiple platforms by using the same content in as many ways as possible.
As Katz explains it: "The big idea is this: Write once, publish often."
Why is this idea so important? Four reasons:
- Even loyal customers miss the content you share with them. An email newsletter is typically opened by only about 20 percent of subscribers. So most of the people you care most about didn't see your stuff.
- You'd like people you don't know to experience your smart thinking. So spreading the love across different venues will help expand your universe.
- Prospective customers (and others) who find out about you may be intrigued enough to pay you (well, your website, a visit). They will then learn more about you.
- Your new admirers may then be encouraged to sign up for your e-newsletter or some of the other helpful content you have to offer.
And there's one more reason to leverage everything you create. "People say to me, 'Your stuff is everywhere,'" explains Katz. "And it's true that I do produce content regularly. But what I do produce is amplified by the fact that it shows up in multiple places. So my reputation grows while the effort required is manageable."
Now that you're convinced of the power of leveraging your content, how do you do so? There are many possibilities, of course. Here are those that Katz recommends for most professionals or small firms:
Send a newsletter. If your content started as an e-newsletter, bravo! You're using a format that works well for prospective business customers, since the newsletter arrives via email right in that potential client's inbox. But if your content was first shared somewhere else (like in a blog), consider packaging it into a newsletter as well.
Post a blog. Katz believes that a newsletter is the best foundation channel for most professional service firms or sole practitioners. But the problem, as explained before, is that not everyone reads each issue. And newsletters quickly disappear into the depths of unread emails. So by posting that same content as a blog on your website, you give your good stuff a permanent home.
Share short mentions on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Once you've posted your blog, announce it on social media--and link back to where it lives. And just because you've shared once doesn't mean you're out of chances. One technique that Katz uses is to create "pull quotes"--interesting sentences or observations from the original article. He'll use those pull quotes as tweets and updates to share over time to link back to the blog post.
Re-publish content as an article/blog on LinkedIn. Doing so gives your piece a second home, since people who visit you on this platform can wander around and see what you've got to say--"Oh, wait, what's this interesting advice?"
Record it as a podcast. Katz finds that his audience members appreciate the podcast format, since they can listen to the content while driving or jogging.
Offer your content to other websites, aggregators or publications who are looking to add to their library. Search for people/groups/companies/associations that target the same clients as you (but who don't sell the same thing). The deal is that you give them content; they give you distribution.
Turn a collection of your best pieces into a physical book to give away or sell. These books become your greatest hits that provide solid evidence of the advice and insights you have to offer. For example, here is Katz's latest book--and here's one of mine.
If this seems like a lot, don't worry about doing everything--or being perfect. You're simply looking for any opportunity to multiply your impact. So every little bit truly helps.