At a recent conference in Melbourne, I was asked to speak about “content leveraging” to a group of trainers.
The idea is that you take one idea and repurpose it as much as possible instead of reinventing the wheel. A blog post can become a video or a podcast or a speech – but there are so many more exciting things these days.
I decided to make examples of ways to leverage content, and I even made an app which you can get here for free.
1. Know yourself
The key to successful content leveraging is starting with an original idea.
Then you have to decide what you are most comfortable doing with that idea.
Of course, there is nothing stopping you stepping outside your comfort zone, but people often prefer certain types of activities.
No matter what your preferred modes of work, you can find ways of leveraging your content.
2. The 5 modes of leveraging.
There are 5 main modes for content, and one or two of these may suit you better than others.
The 5 modes are:
3. Choosing your mode(s)
There may well be some of those areas where you do not feel comfortable. You may feel that you aren’t familiar with the technology, and can’t be bothered to learn it, or can’t afford to outsource it.
There may well be other modes where you feel completely comfortable, or are willing to take a chance at learning the technology, or think it’s so sexy or such a good match for your business that it is worthwhile finding the money to outsource.
In any case, you will have to decide which forms of leveraging suit you and will be most useful to you.
At least now you will have a choice.
There are 3 main forms of audio leveraging.
- Podcasting something that you have written (either with you reading it out or someone else reading it.) Set up for this takes about 4 hours, needs a decent microphone and can be done from your computer. This is a great how-to tutorial on podcasting.
- Audio books. These can be made from ebooks or white papers, can be uploaded to itunes, or stored on a site such as amazon S3 and linked to, or can be downloaded and made into CDs. Audio books take about 2 hours to read yourself (depending on the length), or you can outsource them and get someone else to read them. Here’s Joanna Penn’s how-to podcast on audiobooks.
- Teleseminars are online calls which often consist of a block of coaching, followed by a question and answer session. They need a provider and a phone. They take a few hours to prepare because of the coaching segment. Dr Cha-zay Sandhriel teaches how to do a teleseminar, here.
There are a number of visual ways to leverage your information.
- Images with text. These take about 5 minutes to do, and can be made using PowerPoint. They can be added to blog posts, can be shared on facebook and instagram, can be used to attract certain clients and tweeted. These can also be combined into a printed calendar as gifts for clients.instagram tip
- Infographics are easy to learn and are awesome to show statistics and to put in training courses to help the visual learners. They can be made in 30 minutes to an hour, and are free if you use infogr.am. The interactive versions can be embedded in blog posts and interactive white papers, but that costs a bit (about $20 per month.)
- An instructographic is a fancy name for a how-to infographic. It takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours to devise and complete. There is a how-to video here.
- Mind maps are a fun way to illustrate your information and take about 15 to 30 minutes using a tool called freemind.
- A deck of slides is a great way to share information, and can easily be made with PowerPoint. They can be shared on slideshare, uploaded to Amazon 3s, put on your website, used in training or sent to clients. A slide deck would take about 30 minutes to an hour to put together.
- A flow chart is a fun way to illustrate your talks or your content, and is a great leave-behind or aid for clients after training. These can be done on Lucidchart, and take about an hour.
For those who feel comfortable with writing, there are many forms of leveraging from original content.
- A blog post, such as this, is an obvious one. This might take 2 to 4 hours.
- An article, which includes a lot more research and references, might take up to a day.
- A white paper, which is longer, might also take up to a day.
- A workbook to go with a training class might take up to 3 hours to write.
- An ebook might take up to 2 days, but it is very useful as a download for clients, and quite impressive if you upload it to kindle and have it listed as a publication. Nobody cares how long it is, and it can be as short as 30 pages.
- In the same vein, a longer piece of writing, such as a book, can take as long as you like to write. This can be uploaded to kindle, then moved to CreateSpace and printed on demand. Create Space is also a distribution and fulfillment body, so all you have to do is point your clients or trainees in the direction of Amazon and they can buy your book in digital or physical form. You can also buy copies yourself and sell them or give them away.
- Any of the above can be saved as a PDF, which takes less than an hour to prepare, but can include images and hyperlinks, and can be very, very sexy when sent to a client.
- You can devise an assessment tool which can be administered prior to, during or after training, and will add to your credibility as a trainer. This may take a couple of hours to devise and test.
- A quiz is an excellent tool for a training session, or a pre- or post-training session. Quizzes don’t have to be boring, and can include infographics and visual elements as well as writing. They can be constructed in 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- A checklist is a useful tool for self-assessment by clients or trainees and can be drawn up in less than an hour.
- Newsletters can be sections of any other piece of written material, and take 30 minutes to an hour to put together.
- An email series might be several short posts of valuable content which could follow up after training or simply be sent to your list. These might take a couple of hours to set up, using aweber or mailchimp.
- Facebook posts could be written and buffered ahead so they deliver valuable content if your followers are on Facebook.
For those who feel comfortable in several modes, many of the above can be made even sexier by combining visual and or audio content with the written word, or audio with visual content.
There are some content deliveries, however, which are, by their very nature, multimedia.
- Making a video is a great thing to do, either recording yourself or recording your powerpoints using screenflow or camtasia. These can be short and put on websites or facebook, or uploaded to youtube. They can be long and used for webcasts. They take about a day. They can be made into a print-on-demand DVD at a place like Kunaki, and sold or given away.
- Webinars are live PowerPoint presentations over the web. You need a provider, such as gotowebinar, they take days or even weeks to plan, prepare, promote and perform.
- There are a couple of really exciting new multimedia forms such as the multimedia white paper, which might contain visual infographic data, and links to videos. This takes up to a couple of days to prepare because of the various media that are involved.
- An interactive white paper might contain links from questions to mini landing pages on your website which answer the questions. This is not as difficult to set up as you would imagine, and could be done in a day if you understand how to add a page to your website, or can outsource this.
- A really exciting innovation is the app or mobile content. These take about a day to make, but it is a very cool tool to have and to send to your client! Try appmakr.com – it’s a lot of fun!
· Live events
For many trainers, this is the way they prefer to leverage their knowledge.
- The half-day, one-day or two-day workshop is a common way to operate.
- Coaching – either one-on-one, or in groups, in person or on line, is yet another way that you can use your knowledge.
- Speaking events – either at a meeting, or on a stage of your own for a convention is a further way of leveraging your original content.
- Retreats – a great way to give extra value to your clients.
- Masterminds – gathering a group together to maximise input in your area is a powerful way of leveraging.
All these methods can be combined and leveraged from each other. The blog post can be recorded, published as a podcast, added to a slide deck and made into a video, which can be embedded in a multimedia whitepaper and put up on the website or made into a DVD. The possibilities are endless.
4. Summary of how to use your products
- Lumpy mail
- When you first approach your client
- As a lead-up to training
- On training day
- As a leave-behind
- As a follow-up to training
- As a thank-you after training
- As a Christmas present
Which will you choose to do?
What I have been doing.
I spent a few days in Melbourne visiting my parents and speaking about Memoir writing. I was privileged to share some special moments with amazing people.
In the spirit of my presentation, I helped Mum and Dad to record a voice-over to all their old super8 movies that I had edited onto DVD. The experience was deeply moving and well worthwhile.
Is anyone is interested in tips for helping people to write their memoirs? Let me know!
I also attended Brendan Burchard’s Experts Academy in Sydney for 4 days. This was inspiring and energising, and I can’t recommend his work too highly. Look him up and listen to some of his free content. (this is not an affiliate link)
This last month saw a few of my articles appear in Artwear magazines.
1930s Footnotes, an article on shoes of the 1930s in Vintage Made, An Ultimate Guide to Silk in Embellish, and an interview with Textile Artist Jade Pegler, Jade Pegler’s Quirky Little Monsters, in Textile! If you are interested in art and craft, the magazines are very worthwhile seeking out.
You can still watch the video on my home page, with tips about what should go on your home page. It suggests what is up-to-the-minute best practice in terms of web copy. If you want your website to be useful for your business and not just a vanity site, it might be worth checking out the tips
There is a free home page checklist that you can download, too.
Dr Rie Natalenko is the director and principal trainer at The Write Impression.