Content should not be free. Unfortunately, the rise of digital properties led to the cannibalization of content. While this buzzwordy phrase is currently making the rounds on social, we’re losing valuable opportunities to create content that truly matters and that is why, if you’re using content, you have to find a way to pay the writer in one way or another.
I am a Huff Post contributor but don’t agree with their model. Why? Because not everyone knows how to maximize the exposure they get from contributing this content. Not everyone knows to syndicate their blog posts to Huff Post for traffic, social brand awareness and more. (Well, if you’re reading this, now YOU do). And that, my dear readers, is BS.
Content makes brands, entrepreneurs and influencers MILLIONS, if not Billions, of dollars every year. Many creators — that is people who write, post and MAKE images, videos, photos and more — never see a dime of that OR even see any social currency and follower growth.
There is a better way
I understand the business logistics of paying every single creator for every piece of content. I understand that it is not a model for every business, HOWEVER, there are ways to pay your writers without actually exchanging any cash.
If YOU want to use free content, here are a few things you can do to contribute to the solution rather than continue the plague.
Giving link love back on social media is a tag or mention, on a website, it’s about linking to their website and articles. It’s about using SOME of your digital klout to mention others and help them increase THEIR influence. An easy way for all brands to do this is to give every contributor at least 1 tag per platform per mention. It could be over the span of 12 months, hell, it could be over the span of 5 years. As long as credit is given, it helps decrease the use of free content
Linking back and link love is great but you can also simple RESHARE a post, giving the author/creator proper attribution from the start. This is very important for videos on social. As videos and vemes become more popular, it is important to share a mention of where you found it and to actually site the creator, not just the source.
If you’re including my contributor article in a newsletter that will net you a profit, some of that profit should be distributed to the writers. This is something that many brands have not started to get into but do need to consider as influencer marketing and content marketing continues to grow.
If you’re ready to use your audience and influence to build your business and your bank account without taking advantage of the creators, let’s talk and figure out ways to syndicate the best creators for YOUR brand objectives.
Alpha is often something we hear when we’re talking about pack mentality, dog training and fraternity spats. Life makes up so much of what we create in this world for ourselves, in our businesses and our personal lives, so it’s important to think about how you interact with your clients and how you can support them in their endeavors.
The Alpha is the leader of the pack. I definitely have an Alpha, Type-A personality. I’m a fixer (or a “Vixer”), always looking for the way through so that we can all come out on top and have ALL OF THE THINGS.
I’ve always been this way; even as a child, I found ways to “fix” things for the ones I loved and it definitely carried into my professional career.
I was (and am) the woman that could get it done against all odds.
As a consultant, coach or trainer, you have a 1:1 relationship with your clients that is unique and special. The same goes for your digital audience. Your audience looks to you as the authority in your zone of genius and they want YOU to guide them through a path that, for them, can be quite challenging at times.
That’s your value proposition — your unique ability to move your clients forward over their challenges to help them build their business and their bank account.
And that is something you should never take for granted.
Clearly, you don’t, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog!
So how do you do it? How do you BE the Alpha when you’re still learning, growing and moving forward? No one has ALL of the answers but everyone has the ability to curate sources, share, grow and connect with the right people at the right time.
Here are 3 more ways to be the Alpha Your Clients — And Audience — Need You To Be:
Sharing, Not Preaching
When we’re sharing ideas, it’s important to remember that some of the content, methods and tools we rely on today could disappear in a month. The world moves so quickly and being an Alpha means that you’re ahead of the curve while acknowledging that you may have to go back ad update a recommendation. Nothing is black and white, especially in the world of digital media, so if you’re loving Snapchat today, you may be ALL about InstaStories tomorrow — and that’s totally ok! Just think about this when you’re sharing your methods and hard and fast rules in your zone of genius too.
Stay Current and Be Conscious of Zeitgeist
The dominant set of ideas that motivate the actions of members of a society — the Zeitgeist — must be taken into account if you want to be the Alpha to your audience. Alphas don’t follow trends, they set them. They are the early adopters who make recommendations based on data and tests, not on feelings. You can, of course, have a hunch, but you must also have a sense of what is a passing fad and what’s here to stay.
Keep Learning — And Take Your Audience With You
A true Alpha, as I mentioned above, knows that they don’t know everything there is to know. There is always something new to discover and being an Alpha to your clients and audience means that you’re there to discover it for them. You don’t have to be the Alpha in every, single area, but you are the one in your zone (or zones) of genius bringing what’s hot and fresh to your audience each and every day. (In a blog or newsletter; and if you’re looking for a social media alpha, I’m your woman!)
All in all, it requires a lot of patience with YOURSELF to be the Alpha your audience and clients need you to be… patience and practice.
Finding extra hours in the day for social media management and engagement can seem like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. This post shares simply ways and tools to find extra hours in your day plus a downloadable calendar to make it work for you.
Managing your business takes time. Promoting your business also takes time. So how do you decide where to spend your valuable hours each day? Well, you have to do everything but not all at once.
When I started managing social media profiles, I was still in college. I spent my days following trends, building my personal portfolio and making the valuable connections I knew I would need to succeed.
I had A LOT more time back then, even though I didn’t realize it.
And I also began developing the system I use today.
February is the month of love and loving yourself means loving the work you do. To bring more of what you love into your life, your digital brand might need a small refresh. Here are some ways to do that quickly and efficiently to call into your life the work you want and truly DIY your digital empire.
DIY Your Digital Empire. In case you didn’t know, I am slightly obsessed with all things do-it-yourself. From homemade stress balls to paleo breakfast items, DIY is a movement I can get behind.
When it comes to your digital footprint, you should constantly be looking for ways to optimize and improve. Just because February is almost over doesn’t mean the love stops here!
Photos are, for all social media and Web platforms, VERY important. Taking great photos is an art, but if you haven’t mastered that are, Unsplash.com is a great resource for free, photos that ARE licensed for commercial use.
I still struggle with squeezing ALL of the things I do (and, more importantly, all of the things I want to do) in my digital biography. That’s why I built a personal blog site. Having a personal site allows you to share all of the things you can’t fit into an About on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but that doesn’t mean your digital about shouldn’t be full of as many positive items as you can fit into the character count. If you’re job-hunting or looking for new opportunities, that should always be front and center. And you content should focus on that about every 4th or 5th post, depending on how many times per day and week you actually post new content.
What is your brand identity? What is your brand voice? Color scheme? Preferred font? All of these things are part of your visual brand and, on social media, that’s what your audience and contacts see (and react to) before anything else. Do a bit of a Pinterest deep-dive into what kind of content you respond to and then start thinking about what colors make YOU feel good. In the beginning, this will be a lot of trial and error — your audience may not always respond to everything you like — but it will give you somewhere to start.
The most important thing about a visual reboot is to remember that YOU know your industry and your successes better than anyone else which is a good and a bad thing. It’s good because you’re able to create real results but it’s bad because you also may have (as I do!) a hard time getting out of the facts those IN your industry take for granted as truths and facts.
Take a little time to get out of your own head and you’ll be surprised by the content you’re able to create. And remember, you were a newbie once, so write for THAT version of you and watch your brand blossom.