Content is king, right? As a business owner, it seems like everyone is asking me to churn out high quality content, and I want to do it all. I want to be on every podcast, take every stage and contribute every article I can. But my biggest mistake is trying to come up with something unique every time. 

It's like each time I sit down to write a blog post or create a slide deck, it's my Sistine Chapel. And if the thing I'm working on isn't destined for greatness, I quickly lose interest, and it collects dust on my to-do list

But, there's a reason that artists sell replicas of their work instead of making an original each time. Those replicas have value too. Each time we come up with an idea or a message, it's our job to maximize the value we create from it. 

So how can you make the most of your content without burning yourself out in the process? Repurposing content again and again is key to getting the most mileage out of your best ideas, and yet entrepreneurs aren't doing it nearly enough.

Repurposing Content to Drive Your Business Forward

The realization of repurposing content hit me as I was reading Jerry Seinfeld's children's book, Halloween, to my son at bedtime.

As I read it aloud, I realized this was not just based on his act from years ago -- it basically was his act, word for word. Genius.

If Seinfeld can take his standup act from stages to pages, there's no reason we shouldn't be taking our Instagram Stories to blog posts, podcasts, ads, and everywhere else. In many cases it's not a matter of not having the right content to repurpose, but simply not thinking it has value in another context.

Changing Your Mindset to Better Leverage Content

Creating entirely original content for every one of your channels with no crossover is a wholly inefficient and ineffective strategy. Between articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, webinars, ads, social posts, white papers, newsletters, slide decks, guides and more, there are endless combinations for repackaging content.

Think about this way, when you cross post a piece of content or reimagine it for multiple platforms, you're essentially syndicating it out and increasing the chances your target audience will see it, engage with it and eventually look to you or your brand as a trusted resource. And it all starts with with just one idea.

Take my IGTV videos. Each video is a brief, off-the-cuff recording of me stumbling through lessons from everyday life and applying them to business. These videos often inspire blog posts, newsletter topics and even articles for this Inc. column.

Depending on what we produce, my team will create social posts and ads that link back to that content. It creates a ripple effect, taking our strongest ideas and insights, and slicing, dicing and molding them in various combinations and formats to reach a spectrum of audiences where they are in the ways they like to consume content.

What Content to Repurpose

A word of caution -- Not all content is worth repurposing. Not every message that you produce is going to resonate the same with your audience, so you should be selective about deciding what to re-share. When it comes to creating and repurposing content, avoid spending time on the content that has already fallen flat.  

For starters, take a look at your Google Analytics or your email newsletter reports to see which posts are getting the most traffic or the most opens. From there, shortlist the messages that you want to recycle, and brainstorm the ways you can give it new life.

Where to Source Ideas for New Content

A few weeks ago, I hosted a friend's daughter at my office. She's selecting her college major and thinking about whether a SaaS company like Trainual might fit into her future. Being an Ivy Leaguer, naturally she came prepared with dozens of questions about my history, the industry, and the path we've taken.

As we started chatting, it hit me -- Every one of my answers to her was a separate story or piece of advice. It was great content.

She left our office, and I took a few minutes to write down some of those questions and jotted notes on how I planned to repurpose them. 

Your digital interactions could be leveraged in the same way. Some of my best content has come from responding to comments or questions posted on our social posts or blog posts.

There's no question that regularly producing content drives value for your business. So make it a little easier on yourself, and replay your greatest hits while you work on your next masterpeice.

Published on: Mar 15, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.