The Lazy Executive Way To Create Shareable Content

With a few exceptions (one being a broker for ancient classical instruments that I met), every business can use more visibility. These days a popular way to do it is ‘content marketing’, which is talking about what you do and how you do it.

The problem is: writing interesting content is hard work.

Ready to write!

I wrote about writing before (here), and the first draft — which might take hours — is not even half the battle:

  • It needs to be improved with editing (not simple proofreading, but actual work of clarifying ideas, cutting the fat and sometimes complete restructuring)
  • Then possibly pitched to media
  • And further promoted (more about this here).

Still, you have to start with some content. So where to find it?

Leverage Your Existing Ideas

My suggestion is to simply leverage what you’re already routinely saying in meetings, conferences, or during interviews. In other words, if you’re already creating content under other formats, simply reformat it!

  • Record your talks and panels and do transcripts.
  • Keep track of the info you shared with journalists (you can record like they do, or use email).

A typical conference or journalist interview will cover many more topics than you will be quoted for. Even videos recorded at events rarely get much mileage as organizers generally don’t have much reach, and consider their work done once the video has been edited and slapped onto YouTube. Why have this work go to waste? You’re in charge of your own promotion.

Whose line was it anyway?

Re-use, re-cycle, up-cycle

And keep adding to your corpus of content. The more you refine ideas by re-explaining them and enriching them, the clearer and better they become. Standup comedians go through this process to make their material tight. It’s not different.

As an example, I recently had the joy to conduct a long interview with John Chambers, who was the CEO of Cisco for 20 years. I could tell — and so could the audience — that his ideas were very tight. It was quite impressive, in fact. Likely the best interviewee I’ve ever had. The fact that he just published a book (I have the paper, the e-book and the audio — it’s great) probably added another level to the time invested refining ideas for his team, the media and shareholders meetings!

To see him freestyling, watch the video below (it will be worth your time).

And now that I have the content recorded, I’ll be publishing a summary of this event, possibly transcripts and likely pitch it to a tech media too, as a follow-up to this piece I wrote for TechCrunch on startup exits in July. And of course, snippets can be shared on Twitter/Facebook/Whatever the kids use these days.

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