December 2013 Featured Article

Your Content Production Machine (That Runs Without You)

istock_000012937008xsmallNow that we've established the importance of content and how to create an effective strategy, I'm going to show you how to get it running smoothly, even without you. While content creation is paramount to your success as a business owner, you should not have to spend all of your time creating it! If your expertise is in relationship coaching, why should you be spending hours on social media and writing your blog posts? The most important thing is creating a system that allows you to be prolific and an “authority” while having the time to do what you are best at – being an expert and helping people. So, today I'm sharing some tricks of the trade with you, on how to get the most out of your content so you get maximum results for the least amount of time investment.

The Machine

We discussed in the previous article that you have to have a strategy for your content. In addition to a calendar of publishing dates for your content, you should know exactly what it will be about, who is creating it, and who is doing the editing and approving. Deciding this in the beginning will prevent confusion down the line. For example, if you are releasing an ebook on effective abdominal workouts, you need to know when the draft will be finished, when the editing needs to get done, and when you want it published. Following that, you need to know how you will be distributing it, the schedule for that, and who will be doing it. This might sound too finely detailed, but it is absolutely necessary to ensure that your machine runs smoothly.

The Art of Repurposing

All it takes is one good idea to have an entire month's worth of content created for you. Let's use the example, again, of an ebook on the most effective abdominal workouts. What other content can we derive from this one idea? You absolutely can get at least four blog posts out of it: The 5 Best Ab Exercises to Do Before Breakfast (which can also be posted to your Facebook page), Why Your Abs Aren't Showing (which can also be your next podcast), The 15 Minute Ab Ripper (can also be your latest blog video) and The Secrets to The Stars' 6-Packs (which you can send out to your newsletter readers). All of these can be broken down from the main idea of your ebook. Going further, you can extract a smaller but intriguing idea into a free lead-generation report, such as “The 3 Best Ab-Blasting Workouts You've Never Done.” Next, looking toward social media content, you can create a poll for Facebook asking prospects and customers what Ab workouts they do, and start linking to other interesting articles about getting 6-pack abs with your opinions included (which is a good example of using curation, sharing other peoples' content with your readers, including your own comments about the content you're sharing). And don't forget to tweet about Ab Month! The list goes on and on, but do you see how much different content you can publish from just one good idea? Many people want to have a 6-pack. And here you have an entire month on how to get one. Repurposing can even include stripping the audio from a video you create for a podcast, or taking audio and slapping an already-made PowerPoint over it to create a video. The possibilities really are endless. But creating all of that content could be very time consuming. Especially considering you might also want to do a podcast, a video series, and perhaps even an interview with a doctor about how Ab muscles work. Well, the good news is you don't have to create it all.

There are many people willing to do it for you.

Outsourcing-Concept-42259180-smallSometimes you just have to delegate. It is challenging for Expertpreneurs™ to do this, but it is absolutely necessary. Especially if you want to actually enjoy your successful business rather than be consumed by it. And outsourcing can be challenging if you don't know how to go about it. I published a full blog post on this subject, but in regards to content, there are a few things in particular you should know: If writing isn't your forte, you really need to consider having people write things for you. Now, it might be tempting to go full-throttle and hire people to write all different kinds of content right away, but you should start with one focus and build from there. For example, let's say you wish to start a blog and a newsletter. These can absolutely be written by the same person. And, like I mention in my blog, you should absolutely “test out” two people to see who does the best. Have them come up with blog post titles and have each write the same piece. Then hire the writer who gives you the best material. Anyway, once you've decided, here's how the process could go: At the beginning of the month, you'll brainstorm a theme or two, and they will create the content you request. That takes about an hour of your time, and everything else is done for you. All you have to do is give final approval on content and have it distributed. Not bad, right? Then the next month, you could add on someone to create podcasts for you. Or perhaps write a short ebook on the topic (this could even be the same writer that does your blogs and newsletters, depending on their availability). Once you've started this process, you can start streamlining it even more. Perhaps instead of you dealing with each freelancer and monitoring edits, you could hire a project manager. They would handle the entire process after your initial meeting, and send you only final products for approval. That makes the process even less hands-on for you. And that's the real beauty of the automated process: All of that work is done for you, and you barely have to use any of your time. Pete Williams, a very successful Australian entrepreneur and time management guru, dictates his ideas to audio recording software for about 10 minutes, sends it out to a key person, and everything gets dealt with from there, using a similar process as the one I just described. Of course, that system took time to get in place, and he has a number of people working on things. But, the result is that he does very little direct work, publishes a lot of content, and a lot gets done. It's the ideal situation.

Distribution

Once you have a system running, you have to get your content out there. Now, we've already talked in the first article about places to distribute your work, but I want to really drive home how important this element is. Not only do you want to utilize different marketing channels, such as social media, email, etc… but different media entirely. You want to have audio not only on your site, but on iTunes. You'll want to post your video on Youtube and create your own branded TV channel. You might also want to use a tool like Traffic Geyser, to send out your content to a bunch of other video sharing sites. Your ebooks can be used as lead magnets on your site, published on ebook sites, and even published as an Amazon Kindle book. Your content can become press releases, that drive people back to your website. Video scripts can become guest blog posts on other people's sites. Then you can also leverage the whole world of print, including magazine articles, white papers, books and newspaper articles… all working hard for you at the same time. And with simple repurposing, you don't have to create individual pieces each and every time. So, to get this aspect automated, you can look towards software that does the distribution for you, such as www.onlywire.com, or outsource to a small team of people who really understand different platforms. There can be substantial learning curves when dealing with new forms of media, so you want to work with someone who knows what they are doing. And absolutely do not waste your own time trying to figure it out.

How to Get the Ball Rolling

With so many moving parts to your content machine, where do you start? Well first, you absolutely need a content calendar. Decide what you want to do, then stick to it. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, remember that you can curate from other websites. For example, if a life coach writes about coping with the loss of a loved one, and they share a technique that you use, write a short paragraph on why you agree with their opinion, and share it on your blog. It validates you being a part of the industry and gives you some extra content that you wouldn't have had otherwise. Once that is settled, decide where you want to distribute your content. Just make sure you start out small, and grow your distribution one step at a time. The key to a successful content strategy machine comes with building on top of something that is already working for you. See how four blog posts a month distributed through social media is working for you. Then once that is running smoothly, add some video and audio content. Perhaps on Youtube and your own branded podcast. You'll be amazed how easy it becomes and how much you are able to create, without having to use your own valuable time. Especially when you have a small team of outsourcers by your side, helping you create and distribute your content every month! Get your strategy and your team together this week. And you'll start enjoying what it feels like to have others do most of the work for you, and become a prolific content publisher!