Establishing and reinforcing your reputation as an expert is an important component of marketing yourself and your practice. Your thought leadership offerings are powerful credibility building tools for prospects and customers, and the search engine algorithms love websites filled with fresh, information rich material.
The tools for this work are plentiful with some combination of blogging, video, podcasting, self-publishing and social media most often used by coaches, consultants and organizations of all sizes. What’s not plentiful is the time needed to create quality content. There always seems to be something jumping in the way of this work. Too often, we push it off vowing to get back to it “later.” We all know what happens to our friend, “later.”
What’s needed are some tricks and shortcuts to simplify your content creation. This article offers seven ideas to help you reduce the time demands and increase the publication frequency of your content publishing. And remember, we live in a world where prospective buyers and search engine rankings all reward those who produce and publish high-quality content regularly. If you’re not out there, you’re going to miss out on opportunities that should be yours.
Seven Ideas to Get Your Thought Leadership Program on Track:
1. Relax your requirements. No, I’m not suggesting you publish poor quality content. I am encouraging you to consider less formal offerings as part of your content mix. Fortunately, we live in a world where videos that lack studio quality standards are the norm and interesting, relevant blog posts are great alternatives to other long-form content.
2. Rethink the book project you’ve been toying with in your mind. A good friend and three-time commercially published author described the work for creating a book as a “not for profit” activity.
Having labored through the hard, time-consuming work of writing and publishing multiple books, I now know what my friend meant. There is absolutely a time and place to pursue a book project (and many great resources to help you make the work easier). However, your marketing cannot wait for the 18-months or more it will take to complete this project.
Work to build your cadence of shorter-form content and plan on working on the book over time and not in one big project.
3. Your inventory of ideas is content gold. I add 5 or more ideas to my idea log every single day. When it’s time to write an article or post, a quick glance at my notebook of ideas (all digital on every device I own via Evernote) always yields a great topic to develop.
4. Short on ideas? If your inventory of ideas is depleted, it’s time to mine for more. I’ve reached the point where I hear ideas in every client conversation or in every article I read. Look and listen for the problems clients or industry participants are facing. Use these as prompters. The same goes for articles you read in the business or industry press. It takes a little practice to fine-tune your idea filter, but once you do, watch out for the flood!
5. Let others create the content for you. My favorite form of letting others do the heavy lifting for content creation comes in the form of podcast interviews. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to recruit great guests to join you for a quick 15 to 20-minute interview. I’m a leadership and management author, and executive coach and just about every author or researcher with something to say about those topics will gladly invest a few minutes to share their ideas and promote their brand. They benefit as do you and your listeners.
6. Lock-in content creation time on your calendar. We’re all married to our calendars, so why not use it for good by booking regular time for content production? One client of ours blocks sixty minutes per week. During the past year, she published 45 great blog posts and five industry articles.
7. Don’t use the need for equipment, software or space as an excuse for not creating content. A blog is an easy addition to most websites. For podcasting, I purchased a $100 USB mic, and I use Garage Band (free on my Apple desktop and notebook) as well as Audacity (free) for all of my podcasting. I use a camera tripod, and I invested $70 in a mounting device and wireless mic for my tablet. I use Skype audio (free) for my interviews. You don’t need expensive equipment or software and dedicated space to get started.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
In the past ten years, I’ve written three books, multiple e-books, and I’ve published over 1,500 blog posts and dozens of articles for other publications. I’ve added podcasting and video to my activities and identified easy, quick ways to deliver quality content without killing my schedule or budget. All of this content works for me in showcasing my interests and expertise, and it contributes to the top and bottom-lines. It’s time to eliminate the excuses and get going!