Today’s episode is going to be a solocast — if you’ve been listening to Onward Nation for a while now — you know that every 4 to 5 weeks — I sit down and record a conversation where it’s just you and me exploring a topic with some real depth. And for today — I thought it might be helpful if I took the cornerstone content slicing and dicing topic that I covered briefly in a recent YouTube video a bit deeper.
If you watched that video — and you dropped me a line with feedback and questions — thank you. My Predictive ROI team and I love all of the emails, social posts, and messages because that’s how we know that taking a topic deeper will be helpful to you and your team as you look to double down in 2019 — just like my Predictive ROI team has committed to do.
And one of the best strategies for doubling down on your business is to double down on being helpful to your audience – to your clients – to your customers – and to your other stakeholders by sharing your insights and wisdom – your thought leadership — and as a result — their business grows and so does your reputation.
But — how in the world will you have time to create that much cornerstone content. Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, podcast episodes, videos, blog posts — seriously…write a book? Yeah, okay — come on, you have a business to run.
Yet — you see it every day — business owners out there making a difference, having impact, and adding value to their audience. How can they be doubling down…and you feel stuck?
Well — the secret is all in the slicing and dicing — being able to take one piece of what my team and I like to call cornerstone content…and then transform it into many smaller pieces, and share it with your audience in a channel-agnostic way, which helps you double down on your audience by being helpful to more people — and — it gives the visual impression that you are everywhere…when in reality…you created one cornerstone content each week.
So that’s what we’re going to cover today. How you can slice and dice your cornerstone content — some of which you may already be creating and not knowing it — and then leverage it to it’s the fullest extent.
Slicing and Dicing
Okay, Onward Nation – let’s dive into slicing and dicing. I’m going to give you a framework – a recipe you can use to get as much leverage as possible out of your cornerstone content.
But first – I feel like you and I need to have a conversation around content you’re already creating and might not even realize it.
Here’s what I mean:
- How often do you get invited to speak at an industry event?
- How often do you get invited to speak at a chamber of commerce event or regional economic development session?
- How often does someone at your local university reach out and ask you to be a guest speaker for an undergrad business class?
- How often are you making presentations to clients?
- How often are you teaching and sharing your expertise with your teammates in a bag lunch – workshop session?
- How often are you mentoring interns or meeting with someone to share your industry knowledge?
My point is – you are likely doing many of these things – and more – often. And the reason you are getting those invitations is because you know your stuff – and have likely built a reputation for being helpful within your community.
The potential problem is – all of that great knowledge and wisdom – once transferred – vanishes into the ether.
But – if someone on your team took your handy iPhone or Galaxy phone – place it on a simple tripod in the corner of the room – and recorded you sharing your insights – now you have a piece of cornerstone content that can be sliced and diced.
Yes – I get it…it’s an iPhone video. But you know what? Your audience won’t care – and eventually you can upgrade your camera – but for now – use your iPhone – it’s a multi-media studio in your pocket – and available for you to begin recording all of the instances when you are sharing your smarts, being helpful, encouraging others, and demonstrating how to do what it is that you do.
So every time you’re invited to share your thoughts someplace…record it. If your invited to the radio station for an interview…record it. If a reporter for the newspaper wants to stop by for a quote for an article…record the meeting.
If you are throwing an office party celebrating a new client win…record it.
Because all of that content is cornerstone content that you can share in one big helpful chunk each week…and then slice and dice it…to get a ton of value out of it.
And I promise you — if you and your team are successful with the execution of the framework in this solocast, you will create a significant distinction between you and the other businesses you compete against.
In his 1925 book, The Laws of Success, Napoleon Hill wrote, “Mere knowledge, within itself, is no more powerful than the steam that is compressed in the boiler. Neither is beneficial until released through intelligently directed ACTION.”
So take action, Onward Nation.
If you follow the plan I’ve mapped out for you, you’ll create the impression you’re EVERYWHERE with your content — when in actuality — you recorded one thing – and then got really smart.
And as long as you’re slicing and dicing your cornerstone, the helpfulness of your message will come through loud and clear. You’ll never be creating content just for the sake of creating content.
Remember, the amount of your cornerstone content you produce is NOT an indicator as to how helpful you are.
Being helpful is the indicator of being helpful.
Okay — with that said — when I was prepping for this solocast…I thought it might be good to use some of the earlier content examples as slice and dice examples…and then blend that with a comprehensive example or two just in case you happen to already have a book or perhaps you host a weekly podcast series.
Cornerstone Content Example: Podcast Weekly Series
So let’s say you get invited to be a guest speaker for an undergraduate finance class at a university in your area. Awesome! And — you happen to be the owner of a CPA firm with a team of 10-20 people and some of your employees are alums of the university.
So you get the invitation and you’ve said yes…because you’re awesome! Now what?
First — loop back to the person who invited you and ask permission to bring along one of your teammates to record the session on video. And let the point person for the university know that the member of your team is excited to be back on campus and you are excited to be able to hire alums.
Second — prepare your presentation about trends you’re seeing across the industries you firm serves. For example, let’s say you and your team have a specialty in healthcare, medical devices, and life sciences companies. Sweet.
So you ought to prepare an industry trends section that focuses on each industry individually. Because with some editing – you now have three videos…one for each industry. Awesomeness. And we are just getting started.
Next — with the university’s permission — stand outside the building where you will be speaking and record a short 90-second introduction for each of the three industry segments. So now the segments will be that much more professional when you share them with your specific prospects in healthcare, medical, and life sciences.
Next — be sure to record all of the Q&A with the students in the classroom following the industry segments. The Q&A section could end up being a standalone video that shows you supporting and helping the next generation of industry leaders grow.
Be sure to record all of the interactions with the students, faculty, walking up and down the halls, etc. because all of that footage will make excellent B-roll for later videos.
Next – ask your teammate who recorded the videos to do some basic iMovie editing to get your three industry segments and then send them to Rev.com for written transcripts.
With the transcripts…you now have all of the written content to cut up into blogs, social media posts, articles, industry white papers, etc.
So by strategically planning a 60-minute presentation – and dividing it into three 20-minute sections – you will likely have enough content for 40, 50, or even 60 smaller pieces of content once it is all sliced and diced.
Okay – so how does all of that feel so far? Good?
Cornerstone Content Example: Book
Alright – next – I’m going to make the assumption that you have also written a book – but finding new ways to leverage the content would be super helpful. So here we go…
The word count for a typical paperback business book ranges from 50,000 to 60,000 words stretched over 10 to 12-chapters. Or — about 5,000 to 6,000 words per chapter.
That’s a lot of content that can be sliced and diced into a channel-agnostic strategy.
For example…you could slice and dice each 5,000 word chapter into five or six 1,000 word blog posts for your website.
If you did that for the entire book — you would likely have 60 super helpful blog posts for your website that could be optimized for search.
And then post one new blog post per week for the next 12-months and you will have all of the content for you blog created — and — it is entirely in sync with the point of view in your book.
Or, how about slicing and dicing your book into content for a YouTube series? How would you go about doing that?
You could take the 60 blog posts that you just created for your website and slice them down into 3-4 talking points and then record a short 3-4 minute video of you covering the highlights.
Then post one new video each week on YouTube — and — embed the video inside the corresponding blog post on your website to further boost your SEO opportunity.
And don’t forget to optimize the title, description, keywords, and closed captioning for the actual video on YouTube, too in order to drive organic traffic through YouTube.
And let’s say you wanted to boost the helpfulness of the content you have been sharing through email.
You could take the 60 videos you recorded for YouTube and upload them into Temi.com to get the transcript.
Then transform each transcript into content for a weekly email to your prospects and customers. Link each email to the corresponding blog post on your business’s website. And now you have a year’s worth of email campaigns mapped out.
Okay, Stephen…but what about LinkedIn videos?
How about this?
Write a short form post that summarizes the 3-4 highlights for each of the videos you just recorded for YouTube. Then post the short text when you upload the video directly into LinkedIn. Don’t post the summary text and link to YouTube because LinkedIn does not want its audience leaving so they can consume your content on a different channel.
So be sure to upload the content directly to LinkedIn and now you have weekly posts mapped out. Awesome.
But what if you wanted to create long form LinkedIn posts – instead of video posts? Rock solid – here’s how you could do that.
Just distill each of the 60-blog posts that you created earlier into 1,300 characters (not words) and then post them onto LinkedIn as a long form “status update.”
So let’s say you wanted to share some of the top insights of your book in the form of a downloadable eBook in exchange for someone’s email address so you can expand the size of your addressable market.
Okay — then I recommend you consolidate the 60 blog posts that you would have already written into three main topics and edit together the content into three short-form eBooks of about 3,000 to 5,000 words each.
Then offer the eBooks for download of your website in exchange for an email address — or — provide the content exclusively to your clients as part of your “Inner Circle” strategy.
You could also expand the size of your addressable market by slicing and dicing the book you have written into webinar content.
Just take the content of the book and break it into four sections and use that content to form the foundation of curriculum you would teach during a quarterly webinar series.
One could argue that your webinars may also be cornerstone pieces of content that could be sliced and diced into SlideShare files, social media posts, email campaigns, etc.
All totaled — you can slice and dice your book into hundreds of separate pieces of additional content that can be shared with customers and prospects in a channel-agnostic way.
Okay – I know that was a lot – but let’s keep pushing forward because I want to share another example with you…just in case you happen to host your own podcast. But my guess – now that we are digging deeper and deeper – your own creativity is likely kicking in and you are thinking of slicing and dicing ideas that I’ve never thought of.
So drop me a line – I’d love to hear your ideas, too.
Next – let’s say you have a podcast – what opportunities do you have?
Let’s assume you have a weekly show. At a minimum – you could likely slice and dice 104 blog posts out of your 52 episodes that could be optimized for search and attract more traffic to your website.
Upload each of your weekly episodes to Temi.com and order transcripts.
Then split the content of each episode into two blog posts for your website: 1) “Show Notes” which essentially highlights/promotes the lessons within the episode to encourage someone to download it and listen and 2) a long-form post that shares the depth of 2-3 core lessons from the episode.
Now – how about 52 email campaigns?
Just transform the Show Notes that you’ve already written into a weekly email campaign that links to your website where subscribers can download the episode.
How about videos for your YouTube series and social?
If you record your podcast episodes with your guest using Zoom — experiment by turning your computer’s camera on and encourage your guest to do the same so you can record both audio and video.
Then ask your team to select clips of the two best highlights and share them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and link back to your website so visitors can download the full episode.
And / or – you could find some stock video that matches really well with your guest’s audio – and boom…you have an awesome video for YouTube.
That was the inspiration behind our newest YouTube Series that we are calling Motivational Monday – and it has been awesome.
How about 520 Tweets? What? Yep, just ask your team to pull 10 tweets out of the transcript from each episode that highlights one key nugget for listeners within each tweet…and now all of sudden you have a super awesome library of Tweets that will be helpful to your audience.
Or, how about 156 Facebook posts? Each of your weekly episodes will likely provide 2-3 golden nuggets where you could create one Facebook post to share each nugget with your audience. Each episode of your podcast could provide you with enough content for a week’s worth of posts depending on the social media calendar at your business. Include a link back to the Show Notes on your website.
How about 156 LinkedIn posts? Similar to Facebook and include a link back to the Show Notes on your website.
How about 52 long-form LinkedIn posts? Just take the long-form blog post you already created and cut it down to 1,300 characters (not words but characters) and post it to your LinkedIn profile for each podcast episode.
How about 156 Instagram quote graphics? Select 2-3 quotes from the content your guest shared during the interviews — or from your solocast episodes (you without a guest) and convert them into a “quote graphic,” which is mostly text layered over top an appropriately sized graphic for the branding of your show.
How about a quarterly webinars? No matter which monetization strategy you decided to implement for your overall thought leadership, having guests join you to share their insights and wisdom with your audience is an excellent strategy.
With that said, you should reserve every 4th or 5th episode as a “solocast,” which is an episode where you fly solo. Your solocast is just you and your audience exploring one particular topic with some real depth. I encourage you to approach your solocasts with some real intentionality because this is your opportunity to teach and share something significant with your audience.
Well, what if at the beginning of each New Year, you were to map out your 12 solocasts for the year in an “Editorial Calendar” and group the 12 topics into four categories, or buckets. And then have the three episodes in each bucket transcribed.
Then blend the transcripts into a seamless webinar script.
So your solocasts would, in essence, become the foundation for your teaching curriculum that you deliver via webinar to your niche.
How about four lead magnet pieces of content (eBook)? Just take the webinar script(s) you just created, along with portions of the slide deck from the webinars, and create a promotional eBook that can be used to build your distribution list with an email opt-in, or shared with your current clients as “Inner Circle” content, or as part of the promotional strategy for the webinar.
And – let’s say you have always wanted to write a book but have absolutely no desire to sit down at the keyboard and stare at the flashing cursor. I get it. So then do this. The transcript from a 30- to 45-minute solocast is typically 3,000 to 4,000 words, which is very similar in length to a book chapter.
Again, getting strategic about your 12 solocasts per year could give you ample cornerstone content to write one new book per year if you were to use your solocasts as the cornerstone content to make it happen. And once your book is done, you could slice and dice the content using the steps that I just covered a few minutes ago.
So guess what, Onward Nation? That’s a total of 1,361 separate pieces of content.
By now — you’ve probably spotted the recurring patterns in the slicing and dicing strategy, which can be applied to any form of cornerstone content…the key is…you just need to create it…and my guess is…you are already doing a fair amount of content sharing…you just may not be recording it.
So my hope is that this solocast helped shine a spotlight on this incredible opportunity you have to double down on being helpful to your audience, on being helpful to your clients, your prospects, and your team. You have so much talent – you are way more incredible, special, smart, and courageous than you likely give yourself credit for. Get out there – play big – be brave – and share the abundance of God-given talent…and build and scale the company you have always wanted.
Okay — with that said – and before we close out and say goodbye, Onward Nation — I want to give you a very big thank you.
There’s absolutely no way that we would be approaching 1,000 episodes without your ongoing support, your encouragement, and your feedback.
You help us get better each day, Onward Nation.
We appreciate all of the ratings, all of the reviews, and all of the emails – thank you very much.
And if you haven’t left us a review on iTunes…we would appreciate it if you took a couple of minutes and did…so we added a link to today’s show notes to make it as efficient as possible.