Home' Border Enterprise : Summer-Autumn 2011-2012 Contents 31
Vol 5. Summer/Autumn
pomeranians, upload photos to Flickr of the
sheepdog you clipped today, post YouTube
videos on how to professionally cut the hair of a
West Highland terrier and record weekly audio
podcasts with other dog professionals such as
vets, trainers and dog walkers.
Handley and Chapman write: "Everyone is
the media. Everyone is a publisher". They say
that creating content should be a cornerstone
of your marketing and that you should embrace
being a publisher.
That means you should be creating content -
which is typically published online - to position
yourself as an expert in this area and, quite
simply, so that there is enough of your material
online that people can find you in multiple
places/websites when they are searching for a
The beauty is that the cost of publishing is
next to nothing. YouTube, Flickr, most blogging
platforms - free, free, free. Ten years ago, you
would have had to invest big bucks in fancy
technology to publish what you can today for
nothing. That's the good news.
But while the actual cost of publishing may be
free, the creation of content can take a hell of a
lot of time. Most people can't whip up an online
article in a few minutes or produce a quality
podcast series or remember to take photos to
share on Facebook or Flickr. Because ... wait
... oh yes ... they have a business to run - one
that already takes up most of their waking
hours! Creating content seems like the creation
of a whole other business that needs constant
feeding and attention.
Handley and Chapman say: "Embrace being
a publisher". Of course, that's easier said than
done. Like those motivational speakers who
hype you up to change your life and follow your
dreams, it's easy to embrace the concept of
being a publisher - but hard to maintain the
momentum. Because once you start publishing
content, it won't be a good look if you stop.
Imagine if your customers come to your blog
and discover your last post was eight months
ago. They may assume you've gone out of
business, that you don't finish what you start, or
that you simply don't care.
Is this realistic?
I must admit, I devoured this book. As a
journalist and avid content creator, this is all in a
day's work for me. But by the time I finished the
book, I was exhausted.
After all, running webinars, getting talent
for podcasts, filming videos and writing blog
posts is practically a full-time job. Most small
business owners simply don't have the time to
do it. Having said that, I agree with Handley and
Chapman 100 per cent.
As the world - that is, your customers and
prospects - increasingly research, interact and
live online, you need to cultivate your business'
online presence. And that goes way beyond
simply having a website.
It means having multiple ways for people to
find you, whether that's through informative
articles you've submitted to industry portals,
strong opinions you've posted on your own
blog, "how to" videos on YouTube or pithy daily
tips on Twitter.
I know there's a proportion of readers who will
shut down any ideas about creating content.
You're not a publisher. You've never wanted to
be. And you have no interest in becoming one.
Fair enough. I get it. But consider this: if your
key competitors are getting busy communicating
with your customers by publishing useful
information, you may well get left behind.
Good content is a competitive advantage
The authors say that good content is a
competitive advantage and provide a case
study of a US business called River Pools. Co-
owner Marcus Sheridan says: "I used to see my
company as a 'pool company.' [We] installed
lots of swimming pools and therefore we were
a pool company. In hindsight, though, this
mentality was all wrong. Today, I see myself as a
content marketing company. In other words, my
entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful and
remarkable content to consumers than anyone
else in my field, which will in turn lead to more
ASSETS that your business owns are not
limited to property, equipment, staff and
cash. Intellectual property (IP), including
unique inventions, designs, logos,
documents and processes that you or
your business have developed, can be
just as important for generating revenue.
The Intellectual Property Explorer
is an online tool developed to assist
businesses in identifying and protecting
their IP assets. Once registered, users
are guided through an interactive
process designed to help identify IP in
their business and create strategies to
secure these assets.
For more information on the online
tool, or to register, visit the Intellectual
Property Explorer website.
See the intellectual property business
topic for more information about IP and
how it may apply to you.
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