I’m back with the second way I keep my thought leadership running strong as a time-crunched CEO. This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get from other executives, and it felt like it was time to go deep on how we can all get this done. If you haven’t checked out Part One on how enlisting a writer can save you hours, energy, and the mental agony of a blank page, I welcome you to start there.
My next tip is about realizing you probably already have a ton of thought leadership out there to start from. And a quick way to jumpstart your written thought leadership quest is by taking full advantage of the other thought leadership you’ve already created. Because who doesn’t love discovering they’re halfway to their content goals before they’ve even started?
“Say something once. Why say it again?”
Creating content is hard enough the first time. Give yourself a break and do it in whatever form works best for you.
For me, I love podcasts, panels and webinars. My thoughts flow freely and it’s effortless. Video makes me feel like I need to be too perfect. And written content with no starting point feels like I’m about to climb a Rocky Mountain fourteener while wearing flip-flops and a kiddy flotation raft around my waist.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and Repurpose
Fortunately for all of us, repurposed materials aren’t only good for the environment. They’re also great for putting out “new” content that isn’t actually new at all.
In their book Sell with Authority, content gurus Drew McLellan and Stephen Woessner guide thought leaders to focus on the medium we’re most comfortable communicating through—written, verbal or video—and then using easily accessible processes to transfer your strongest medium to the other two.
Rather than thinking about writing as an entirely separate medium—and accepting inevitable defeat at the hand of the written word—I can turn my talks into posts that boil down the most valuable insights for my audience. Add in a sprinkle of SEO, my standard bizarre references about the Mongolian Empire and Brazilian MPB music, a splash of structure, and voila!—I’ve got a useful, standalone piece that provides more value to my readers than any transcription ever could.
My voice is out in the world again, I’m reaching a different audience through a different medium, I’m living my top five goals, and I didn’t have to face my nemesis: the dreaded blinking cursor on a blank page.
If you have a steady stream of appearances on interviews and podcasts, congratulations—you have a treasure trove of potential thought leadership content. Moreover, these summaries allow you to promote the original content again to an audience who may prefer reading to listening or watching a video, extending the conversation’s reach for both you and whomever you were talking with. Good karma for you, more traffic for them. Win-win.
Be Fruitful and Multiply
Another great thing about repurposing content? It doesn’t need to have a 1:1 conversion rate. If you’re on a podcast and the verbal juices are flowing, odds are good you’re going to have enough material and distinct ideas for multiple written articles. Turn a great podcast into a pillar piece with ten supporting blog posts. This is how you will get noticed.
After all, you’re not just doing this to get marketing off your back. By building an arsenal of high-quality written content—and more comprehensive pieces for your audience—you’re giving your company valuable SEO opportunities and a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Who knows, you could even be laying the foundations for a book, as Andy Crestodina—director of Orbit Media Studios and author of the content marketing bible Content Chemistry—urged marketers on our podcast. It all starts with building your portfolio of content.
Enlist Help from Some Pros
Finally, I like repurposing my content because it makes it easier to hand the writing reins to someone else. While trusting someone else with crafting your thought leadership can be a scary thing, it’s easier when you can give them your voice (literally) to work from. A professional writer will be able to craft a cohesive narrative from your hodgepodge of spoken ideas, while retaining your style and saving you time.
I’m not just speculating here: Check out my conversation with Matt Wolach and then read the summary that I published with the help of one of our very own Verblio writers. Or my podcast appearance with Clodagh Higgins, and the subsequent Verblio community-supplied blog post.
It’s true. I drink my own
champagne Manhattans. Sometimes too much. In fact, when I’m repurposing a podcast appearance, my writer often has enough of my voice and relevant ideas that the 70 percent draft I talked about in Part One can look more like an 80 or 90 percent draft…which means I just got back 10 or 20 percent of the time I would have spent writing the piece.
If you’re a company exec like me and find yourself constantly struggling to publish your own thought leadership, stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of the content you’ve already made and start getting double—or triple, or quadruple—the value from your podcasts and interviews. You don’t even have to do it alone.
And stay tuned for the final part of this series, in which we discuss how you can get closer to the Spock mindmeld of painlessly extracting and sharing the hidden thought leadership in your head (and your team’s) so that a talented writer can bring it to life.