If you build it, they will come. Well, not necessarily. Today with the abundance of content being created and pushed out via so many various channels – email, social, etc., it’s just not enough to create good content, you have to distribute it to the right people at the right time, and through the right channels. And it takes focus, diligence and patience to build a strong following and to have actual ROI (meaning leads, a more recognizable brand, more speaking engagements or writing opportunities – and the holy grail – more clients – or whatever you decide that your ROI is) on your content. Here are steps you can take to ensure that the content that you spend the time to create actually gets read. 

I was inspired to write this post by my friend Jay Harrington who wrote a blog post exploring how to build a platform to more effectively distribute your thought leadership content.

He talked about how he ramped up his content distribution efforts in anticipation of the publication of his book (which you really should read), noting:

“I took active steps to make sure that I had a platform in place to get the word out. Some of these steps included:

  • Bulking up my LinkedIn network by adding connections in the legal professional development space
  • Forming a launch team of attorneys and other legal professionals who shared the book with their own networks and wrote reviews on Amazon
  • Actively growing my email list
  • Writing content on my blog, on third-party sites such as Attorney at Work and JD Supra, and on LinkedIn, all for the purpose of introducing concepts from the book
  • Securing podcast interviews
  • Giving away the first chapter of the book to pique interest and gow my email list
  • Sending advance copies to media outlets to obtain coverage and reviews
  • Earning the opportunity to write a monthly expert opinion column on the issue of associate professional development on Law.com
  • Lining up speaking opportunities at conferences focused on attorney professional development”

All of these strategies and tactics are key to providing an effective platform to help market yourself and a new product or launch, such as a book.

So how do you figure out which steps to take to build your platform? Read Jay’s full post to find out specifics, but essentially you need to creat a strategic marketing plan that outlines your goals and tactics, and then also build a targeted email list of propects and clients, make the right connections on social media who will promote your content (Jay and I regularly share each other’s work) and guest post on others’ blogs/websites. Becoming a published author in a third-party publication is also key – it will give you instant credibility and authority. JD Supra is a great content vehicle for this.

This is my friend Jay Harrington – you should follow him!

Time is of the essence with content marketing – there’s always an excuse for why you dont’ have the time to do it or why you could wait on it, but don’t. Jay says, “Don’t wait. Build your platform now. Build it so you’re not at the mercy of other gatekeepers to distribute your content. Build it to lay the groundwork for business development success. Build it because you have ideas inside of you waiting to come out. People are waiting for those ideas. They want to follow what you have to say. But this won’t just happen. You have to make it happen. Build a platform.”

Preach Jay!