people, content, post, repurposing, linkedin, distribution, create, talk, audience, batching, consistently, niche, blog, cornerstone, day, important, idea, social, pieces, writing
Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Justin Simon
Justin Simon 00:00
Talk about that one thing consistently, and then do that in a way where people can envision themselves being a better version of themselves. So transformation. And so what that means is talking about talking about where somebody is at now, versus where they will get.
Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact, and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.
Alastair McDermott 00:35
Before we get into today’s episode, I just want to briefly let you know about a free email course that is available at TheRecognizedAuthority.com. It’s a free seven day email course on how to become a recognized authority. You can subscribe to that just by visiting TheRecognizedAuthority.com homepage. So today, my guest is Justin Simon. And Justin is a content marketer who specializes in content distribution. And distribution is something I’ve been thinking a lot about repurposing as well. He leads Content Marketing at Metadata, and he has a full content repurposing course and a weekly newsletter as well. Justin, welcome to the show.
Justin Simon 01:13
Awesome. Thanks for having me.
Alastair McDermott 01:14
So I’m really interested in content, repurposing, and distribution, because I’m creating a podcast and it tends to create a lot of content that way. And I think that as somebody, you know, creating content and advising other consultants and experts to create content, the distribution part, I think, sometimes is doesn’t get so much of the focus, it doesn’t tend to get the spotlight, the content creation part tends to get a lot of the spotlight. Can you talk to me a bit about the importance of of getting the distribution part, right, and what you think about that?
Justin Simon 01:45
Yeah, absolutely. I think I think you’re spot on with most people focus on creation, whether you’re an individual creator, or you, you know, run a run a team like I do, or have in the past. And so I think the key thing to remember is, the whole point of creating that content is, so somebody sees it interacts with it, likes it, enjoys it, and then eventually wants to buy from you, or does that over and over and over and over again. And I think what people don’t realize is, they don’t put themselves into the shoes of the consumer, and to say, How often do you actually go out to any blog, right now, probably pretty rare that you actually type in a company’s website, check out their blog, or curious what they’ve got going on. Or even, I mean, honestly, even like typing in a particular YouTube video, you might subscribe, and so it just pops up in your feed, but you’re just going to, you’re just going to watch whatever pops up in your feed, you’re not necessarily gonna go search that out. And so it’s this difference in user behavior. And I think the goal of distribution is to try to have as many at bats if you will, as possible. And so you want to be consistent and getting that content out. Because just because you put it out there once doesn’t mean people actually saw it or interacted with it. And it’s the old adage of people need to see the same message, the same topic, the same ideas over and over and over again, before they actually understand like, oh, I should be doing that. Oh, that’s what they mean. Or oh, now I now I can see I’m finally at this point where I’m ready to take action on that. So I think that’s the key of distribution. And why it’s important is because just because you create that thing does not mean anybody’s actually going to see it, especially if SEO isn’t involved, because nobody’s actually going to be searching out what you just created.
Alastair McDermott 03:37
Right? So okay, so we want to get, we want to get that same message. And I know that one thing that people are sometimes concerned about is, you know, repeating the same thing over and over again. But actually, sometimes it can be, it can be good to be that broken record, because either people need to hear that same message more than once. Or sometimes they didn’t see it the first time.
Justin Simon 03:56
Yeah, and I think, I mean, I’ve said this several times, I know other people have as well. But when you when you start to feel like you’re sick of saying the same thing, or you internally start to feel like you’re over, you’re probably right at the beginning point for your audience. So, so like that feeling of like, Oh, I’m repeating myself, or oh, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Like your audience is just now catching on to what that is because you have this, you know, you sort of have this this curse of knowledge. I’ve heard it described as we’re like, you are the expert in what you have. So you’re at like a level 10 Your audience is probably at a level two. And so by the, you know, you need to repeat those messages to get them up the levels to work them up there to where maybe they’re at a six or a seven, but they’ll never get there. If you just say that one thing one time.
Alastair McDermott 04:47
Okay, so, so we’re not so much worried about sounding like a broken record then. But what about the actual distribution part like what does that actually look like? Because a lot of people particularly starting out, they don’t have a big audience. So that they don’t have a huge following on social media. But you’re saying, you know, you’ve got to distribute it. So can you talk about what that actually means in kind of real terms?
Justin Simon 05:07
Yeah, I think if you if you don’t have an audience that’s really core to distribution, whether that’s a social audience and email list, you know, even even a community you’re involved in, where you’re not the lead person, but maybe you’re active in a, in a Slack community or something like that, where you’re posting answers, and being able to do do different things like that. But building audience is key for a lot of people. But I think distribution can kind of play hand in hand in that. Whereas if you’re, if most people are not active, you might think most people are but most people like take LinkedIn, like, it’s probably like 1% of people who are active users on LinkedIn, or get on there that actually post content. And so like, you have such an advantage, if you just post five days a week, on LinkedIn, or post actively on on a channel, it could be Twitter, it could be you know, whatever, Instagram, whatever your fits for your business. But I think what I always say is like, pick one channel, and lean into that and figure out what that looks like. Because I think a lot of times too, with distribution. There are endless possibilities, you know, should I do? Korra? Should I do Twitter? Should I do Facebook? Should I do LinkedIn? Should I do YouTube? I’ll I guess I’ll try to do them all. You do them all for like, two days, then you’re burnout because you just can’t do it, especially if you’re a single, you know, kind of solopreneur entrepreneur, like you can’t do all that, like unless you have a team around you. You know, I think people see like, like people like Gary Vee and think he does it all. And it’s like, no, he’s got a team of like, 20 or 30 people doing all that stuff for him, like getting his stuff out on all those channels. So pick one channel, really start to understand and be active in that one channel, get your content out consistently. I even like consistent times, like I post on LinkedIn, every morning between eight o’clock and 8:10 Eastern, and five days a week. And that’s my goal.
Alastair McDermott 06:59
Okay, so one thing that you mentioned there is having helped. And this is a drum I’ve been brewing for a while, I think it’s really important for people who consider themselves independent solopreneur, or independent consultants, people working on their own, I actually think it’s important to have an assistance of some kind a VA, an EA, a PA, whatever you call your assistant, and then whether they’re remote, or whether they’re local to you, whether it’s full time or part time, I just think it’s really important to have somebody to help with some of the heavy lifting, particularly some of the stuff away from the content creation, because usually you need to be the expert to create the content, but you can certainly have people distribute and, and you know, edit and do various bits and pieces like that, that’s really important.
Justin Simon 07:45
Yeah, and you can I mean, you can outsource whatever work you don’t, you don’t want to do so I think and I think that’s a key to that is where, if you are the expert, yeah, I would, I would not outsource the creation necessarily of that content, or like the written word or that type of stuff, like you are going to be able to say that better than anybody, maybe you need some help with formatting or trying to figure that out. But you, you know what you’re talking about better than better than a VA would. But you could outsource other tasks to your VA, and then that allows you to free up time to actually spend the time to like, sit down and write a bunch of social content for the next week. So that’s what I also advise is batching your content. So it’s really difficult to show up every day, at you know, in the morning and try to write something, you know, I’m going to just be inspired to write, that’s really, really hard. And so what I like to do is actually take like a Saturday or a Sunday, and you know, spend an hour or you know, two hours with a cup of coffee and just, you know, crunch out as many social posts, I can load them up in a in a Buffer or a tool like that. And then they just go out. And I repeat the process.
Alastair McDermott 09:00
I love that. And that’s something I was talking a few episodes ago with with Nina Froriep, about video marketing. And she suggests batching as well for video creation, I think it’s it’s more important even when you’re doing video because, you know, you’ve just set up other things like lights and the camera, and your microphone and all that kind of setup. So if you do batching there, it really helps. But yeah, I think batching is a really good idea. So okay, so just to kind of summarize what we’re talking about here, we’re talking about at the start picking one channel and leaning into it, trying to be really consistent using batching and getting help when you can to like for the additional tasks around the distribution part and also doing things like scheduling. Is that that is that a good summary? I mean, is there more to it than that, or is that is that effectively the kind of the the main thrust of it?
Justin Simon 09:53
Yeah, I think so. It’s to me, it’s just making it a priority. I mean, it hat like that’s one of the biggest things that I talked to other other folks about this is like, the biggest issue for people is time. They say time, I don’t have time to do it, I, you know, I can’t, I can’t find time to do it. And so
Alastair McDermott 10:11
Can we dig into that a little bit? Like why should it be a priority? Why do you think it should be a priority for people?
Justin Simon 10:16
I mean, I think at the beginning, like we said, with, at the very weak sort of opening of the show, if you don’t have a plan, to get your content that you’re spending all this time and effort on in front of the people who actually are going to be potential customers or potential, you know, people in your audience are doing it, it’s pointless, because it’s literally just gonna sit on your website or sit, you know, on a on an old page somewhere and just collect dust and rot. Whereas in so we spend all this time and creating, creating, creating were literally sort of the framework that I’ve built out. And when I talk a lot about in my newsletter, and in my course, as well as like, you can, you could generate an entire month’s worth of social content, if you had like four blogs, and you if you properly like format, our four podcast episodes, you don’t need to have like, multiple pieces of content, original stuff that you’re creating all the time, if you get it right at the top. And that’s why I say like prioritizing distribution is so key, because we prioritize time to create content without blinking an eye, or we prioritize other things without, you know, blinking an eye. But when we think about distribution, it’s almost always an afterthought. It’s almost always a, okay, we have this thing now, what do we do with it. Whereas what I always say is, before you even create that thing, create a plan for what you’re going to do with it. So as soon as that, you know, podcast episode drops, you know, it’s going here, here, here, here’s what’s going to get pulled out of it, this is what we’re going to do. So you have a plan. So it’s not stressful after the fact, it’s just built into the entire process.
Alastair McDermott 11:52
Yeah, I think that, that for me that the process is really key part of it. Because if you have a process, if you have some kind of workflow, a checklist, I sometimes I use a lot of Google Spreadsheets, and I just have my checklist or my process in there. But having something that’s repeatable, that you can follow that that takes away, it takes away a lot of the kind of the cognitive load of trying to figure out how to do things in a repeatable way. And I think that makes it a lot easier. Can you can you go go a little bit deeper on what you were talking about there? Like you said, you know, there’s plenty of content in you know, four episodes a month, or, or four blog posts a month, can you can you, like just break that down for us so that so that we we get a picture of what you’re talking about there? You know, in terms of real content.
Justin Simon 12:39
Absolutely. So I think what I like to do is think about where so when you talk about distribution, think about start with the end in mind. So where do you want this thing to eventually live, if you’re in sort of the LinkedIn world, so maybe you want to get a bunch of sort of like social, if it’s a blog, maybe you want to get some written content, if it’s a podcast episode, where you’re shooting video like this, maybe you want to get the videos cut, and you want a certain amount out of that. So understanding the end of mind in terms of what channel you’re gonna be on versus like, if you’re gonna go heavy on YouTube, you know, you need something different, or Instagram, you need something different out of that. So understand what you want, and tie that medium to what you want to cut off of what channel you’re going to be on. But then also really understanding where really understanding how you’re going to take that particular piece and make it fit. Because I think that’s something that people don’t always do. They think, Oh, I’ve got to take, I’ve got to take this. And I could make a carousel, I could make a LinkedIn post, I could do this. And I think when you have all those different options, it becomes really overwhelming. So I think simplifying down your system, in terms of what you want is really, really key there.
Alastair McDermott 13:50
One thing that you talk about is Cornerstone content. Can you talk a little bit about what that means to you?
Justin Simon 13:57
Yeah, Cornerstone content, to me is the the big, ultimate big stuff that you do in a year. So examples that I always use are like original research pieces, those could be surveys you’re doing those could be, you know, a course like for me in my personal life. And on the personal sort of side, like I built this course. And that’s really a cornerstone piece to where I can take now the content out of that and really cut it up into different things. It could be a video series. It could be a podcast, but I think what I call a podcast and a blog and stuff like that is more core content. These are the things that you’re just creating more consistently on a consistent basis. Whereas Cornerstone is really the stuff you’re going to do every quarter every half once a year type situation. But those are the things you know, if you have a really, really good piece of Cornerstone content where the message is great at the top, the odd it fits with your audience, you know, this is a good thing. You’re doing yourself a disservice So if you’re not cutting that up into the different layers and levels of content, so if you just, if you have a course, you could take each section of that course, and create a specific blog post about that, or a specific podcast episode about that. So it goes from cornerstone to core content. And then, and then I also talked about content, which is all that social, all that email stuff. So then you could take each one of those blog posts, and cut five pieces of content out of that. And you can just see how it’s sort of like a Russian nesting doll of, of content pieces and content options. But that’s why I love using Cornerstone content, because I can create this one against take a little bit of effort a little bit of time, create this one thing, and then from there, just understand all the other stuff that can come out of it.
Alastair McDermott 15:44
Yeah, and so I’m, I’m in this place where I have a lot of that type of content. And when I look back at the creation of that, it’s really messy. It’s not, it’s not straightforward. It’s not, you know, I created these Cornerstone content pieces, like you talked about, and then and then create the core, the core contents afterwards. It’s actually much messier than that. It’s like, I did one thing, and I learned a bit from that I learned a bit from talking to working with my coaching clients, and, and so then I go back, and I add bits, bolt bits on the front. And it’s much messier in reality, I think, to create this content than it looks when you when you kind of clean it up into a nice model. So how do you approach that? Like, like, is there anything that you can do about that? Or do you just start?
Justin Simon 16:35
Yeah, I mean, for me, I’m a big proponent of just starting and seeing from there, I think, you know, I was talking to somebody else last week about this, it’s all messier than than we make it seem right. So like a model is just a model until something breaks, you know, a formula or a framework is just a framework, but part of that is making it your own. And part of that is like being able to make that work for you. Even with a checklist stuff, you know, somebody could give you a checklist, and you might take 80% of it. And it might be really helpful. But that doesn’t mean you’re using all of it in the exact framework that they’re using. So I think like, those things are great for like, getting started. But I also think, like, don’t let this sort of, oh, it’s going to be messy or complicated or too complex. That’s why I like to boil those things down. Because I want to try to force people to start I want to force people to be like, what does it like, just take one blog post, and try it like, this is what I’ve been talking about, take one thing, take one blog post one podcast episode, something like, not as massive as like this cornerstone content, take something small, and just try to repurpose it five times, like in share that out, like get those muscles kind of built. I always use the gym analogy, if you try to go to the gym, right off the bat, and just like you’re lifting weights, and you’re doing a bunch of weight, and then you’re running cardio, you’re gonna get burnout, because you’re not setting yourself up for success versus just like small incremental gains.
Alastair McDermott 17:57
Yeah, I 100% agree with that. And I think, you know, there’s only so much listening to podcasts like this one, and reading about it. But at some point, like if the analogy I use is if you want to learn how to swim, at some point, you have to stop reading books, and you have to get in the water. And so I really do encourage people, you know, just start creating content. And like you’re talking about here, just start chopping it up into those smaller pieces. Can you talk about the actual mechanics of cutting up because I know that you’re talking about like, how to how to turn a blog post and repurpose that into social media content and things like that. Can can you talk about, like what you actually do?
Justin Simon 18:36
Yeah, so I and I go really in depth on some of the stuff in the course, but I can definitely give high level stuff here. So I use like a dead simple, I call it a distribution doc, distribution document. And basically, all that ends up being our for a blog, in particular is like I’m just taking the headlines out of the blog. And I’m writing a post that specific about that section of the blog. So and what that does is it just is a very easy framework, there might be more things if the section is really long, but it just gives you an easy framework to say, Okay, this is like, because most time when you’re writing a blog, you are you’re framing it up with different ideas, core ideas, that’s why you put a header in there to separate your ideas. And so just taking those ideas and and reworking that into like a piece of content for social media. So rather than having three paragraphs, you’re sort of tuning that down. If it’s for Twitter, you’re tuning that down into like, a one or two liner, or maybe you’re taking that and turning into like a Twitter thread on LinkedIn, maybe you’re just gonna clean up some of the ancillary words and make it a little bit more to the point and quick. But what that does is it allows you to just take each one of those sections and sort of frame it up as one thing and again, just for simplicity sake, so if you have four sections in your blog, you have the, you have the potential, just very quickly getting four social posts out of each one of those things. And the same thing can be true of like, a slide presentation, you know, take the core elements of each slide, and talk about them on social media, it’s just rethinking about those ideas where you don’t have to talk about the whole thing, because I think that’s sometimes part of it, too, is like, I have to promote my webinar. No, you don’t actually have to promote your webinar, to repurpose the content, you have to take the ideas that are in that webinar, and repurpose them and get them out. And then from there, you can just say, Hey, you want to learn more about this larger topic, like, Hey, I did do an in depth thing about this, and you can check it out here. But that’s not the goal, the goal is just to get them in the feed.
Alastair McDermott 20:42
I love that idea. I love that kind of reframing of how to approach it. And you know, rather than promotion, say, Hey, this is just, this is just part of what of the whole? One thing I know that you talked about is which kind of content that people should focus on what people should be ignoring. Can you talk about how, like, what’s really important to focus on?
Justin Simon 21:01
Yeah, I think, for it’s different for everybody. But what’s important to focus on is those core messages. So understanding, you know, what are the core things in the next year that you want your audience to get better at? And I would say, like, start with three like max, because again, that’s probably all your brain can handle, especially if you’re sort of a single, you know, operation. But I think like, figure out what are those key themes. Are those key topics that you want to talk about? And then just repeat those? Like, we talked about the repetition, repeat those. What, okay, those are the three what are the subtopics? Or what are the sub ideas under that? And then, and then what are the format’s that I can share that out on so you can take one idea like one even sub topic, and it can be a webinar, a podcast episode, a blog post, Twitter thread, like it can be multiple things, just off that one idea. I did this recently, just sort of as like, I’m always testing these things and trying to stretch myself with it, too. So recently, I took a, like a bulleted list of LinkedIn posts. And then I expanded on it in my newsletter and took each bullet point and just expand it gave more context. And I took each bullet point on that, and also turned it into a carousel using Canva that I posted on LinkedIn later, exact same content, not even not even a change in like the ideas of the exact same bullet point one through 10. And I just reframed it in a different way. And it’s interesting, because nobody’s like, Oh, you’re repeating the same idea is like, yeah, no, I love this. You know, I love this format. I love that you expanded on it, I love that you’re, you know, taking it a different way. Because I think you people get way more bored of their own content of their own idea than their audience does.
Alastair McDermott 22:51
Yeah, I’m gonna just share very specific details. I did this myself, just in the last week. In fact, a week ago, I posted a text post. And I’m just looking at it here. And it has five likes, and it has 340 views at the text version. And then yesterday, I posted exactly the same thing, but formatted in a nice graphic that my designer did in in Canva as a carousel, and it has 12 likes, and it has 670 views. So it’s basically doing about approximately twice as well. And so that’s, that’s exactly the same content. So it’s interesting to see just how you know how that resonates. And you know, I’m sure if I post that again, in six months time, nobody’s ever going to remember that I posted this. So…
Justin Simon 23:40
You really you might be in Yeah, you might be able to post it like six weeks time, you know, like, it’s like,
Alastair McDermott 23:45
Justin Simon 23:46
That’s the thing with social too, that people don’t understand is like, it moves so fast. And if you’re growing an audience, if you had, I don’t know, if you had five, it will go low. If you have 500 people in your audience, and then in six months time you have 1000 Well, you’ve doubled your audience, there’s 500 people there who never saw the stuff you were posting six months ago, that’s a great opportunity to go back in your feed, and just copy the stuff maybe reformat it, maybe you’ve changed sort of your voice and tone a little bit, but reshare that stuff out, because there’s a whole host of people that never saw it.
Alastair McDermott 24:18
So one thing that we’re talking about here is growing the audience. And unlike in content distribution, obviously growing your audience, that that helps a lot. I mean, that’s, that’s a major part of it. Can you talk about like, because I know that people, the advice is, you know, if you post great, great content that will grow your audience, but I feel like there’s got to be more to it than than just posting great content. Like is there anything else kind of tactically that you would do to help people grow their audience?
Justin Simon 24:47
I think doing things like this is is great. So you know, anytime you’re given an opportunity, even if you’re, you know, free stuff, you know, doing work for free, just getting, getting connections, I think that’s the thing with social media is, especially like I’m most active on on LinkedIn. And I think, historically, that was just a pure like networking, like I’m gonna, you know, from a old school networking perspective. But now what’s been cool that I’ve been doing it for, you know, two years, basically pretty consistently, but really, in the last this year alone, like, I really started to say, Okay, I’m gonna post five days a week, consistently at the same time, and I’m gonna start doing that the growth has been so awesome, just by doing that alone. So if somebody if somebody you’re seeing somebody actively, like comment, or like your stuff every single day, make sure you’re going to their, you know, their posts and your liking and commenting on their stuff, or just shoot them a DM on on LinkedIn and pretty like, shoot them a DM and say, hey, just thanks for interacting with me, like, you know, I’d love to love to know more, like have a conversation with him. Like it’s supposed to be social. And those, like those few relationships that I’ve sort of built through LinkedIn have been amazing. It’s not necessarily that you have to have like, 1000, like really close relationships, at least in my experience, like, you know, five to 10 really, really close people that can help promote your stuff is has been huge. So I would say, one, be consistent, and actually be active, that I think there’s different people do a whole different bunch of stuff, you know, they’ll give you all sorts of tactics and things like that in terms of like, comment on, you know, a big person’s post, and that will give you reach, there’s, there’s probably some viability there. But for me, it’s like, consistency for me, is posting consistently, because if you learn to post consistently, when you’ve got, when you get two likes, you’ll know how to post consistently when you get 200 likes. And so there’s that, but then also, like, interact with everybody who comments and interacts with your stuff.
Alastair McDermott 26:53
Okay, so posting great content, daily posting, or at least very consistent posting,
Justin Simon 26:59
Because I would say that, right, like, I would actually say like, great content is eye of the beholder, like posting, like most people, like posting content is important. Like, you will learn what it means to like, create a good post, and what that means for your audience, because, but you’ll only know by doing that, like I’ve learned what my audience likes, and what they don’t like, by posting. And I’ve tried different formats and different things. And I kind of like have learned my voice. But I was only able to do that by posting consistently. And my, my voice with the type of content I make is totally different than what somebody else might make. And that’s okay. Like, I think that’s part of it, too. So I don’t even think it’s like, necessarily that has to be like, great or like, you know, anything like that. Like, I honestly think consistency matters way more than like trying to opine something that’s fantastic and never been heard before.
Alastair McDermott 27:56
Right? Yeah, yeah, I’m, I’m kind of coming around to that view, as well. And just that that showing up regularly, and you’re going to improve naturally, like, it’s kind of like you’re putting in the reps, it’s like, you know, you can go, you could go to the gym once every three months. And you know, do everything, do every machine in the gym, and spend all day there. Or you can go twice a week and and do like 45 minutes, and you’re gonna see way more results from from that consistent short amount over time than you would do from you know, from from just doing it all in one go. So I think that regular, regular approach to it. And then the other thing we talked about, was just that idea of guessing and like you’re guessing on my show here, I guess regularly on other people’s shows. And and it’s one of the reasons why also, I have an interview show is because there is a network effect of when you have a guest on that they will share the show afterwards. And so you’re kind of like, it’s almost like you’re borrowing an audience you’re getting in front of other people. And guessing on other people’s podcasts is really great for that.
Justin Simon 28:58
I’ll say to you like real quick, like even the time in with the repurposing stuff because I was having this conversation with somebody a couple weeks ago, that I worked with, and then they had never even thought of it. So if you if you guest on a podcast, like I always ask for the recording. And I always asked for the transcript because now you have 30 to 50 minutes of content that you can just pull from. So if you said something really, really smart, take the transcript piece of it don’t obviously post the transcript, but like, format that idea because I think sometimes it’s like, oh, I have all these ideas, but I don’t know. I don’t know necessarily how I how I said them or how I frame them. But if you take the transcript part you already have like natural language that you can pull out like of how you actually said that thing. And you can just quickly format that. And if you have a 50 minute pot, I mean, there’s probably 15 or 20 things that you can pull out of there.
Alastair McDermott 29:46
Oh, yeah, absolutely. 100% agree with that. And you can even record a local copy if you want to do that. You know, and depending on what way the podcaster records their like we’re using a service called Riverside which record Words that client side both sides, but sometimes people just use Zoom. And if you send them your local recording, that gives them a better a better, higher quality version to use. So that could be nice, too, as a podcaster. I appreciate when people offer to give me a local recording. So anyway, that’s getting a little bit into their kind of the weeds of the technical details on that. But yeah, so one thing I just want to ask you about, like what what mistakes you see people commonly making when they start to approach this?
Justin Simon 30:26
Oh, trying to do too much at once, trying to do too much at once. And it’s either it’s an all or nothing proposition with a lot of people with distribution and with repurposing, so I’ve either got to repurpose everything I currently have, and not create anything new, which, you know, it’s this pendulum swing, or I’ve got to do all the things at once I saw this checklist, and now I’ve got to do you know, oh, man, I’ve got to be in the slack communities, and I’ve got to be on core, and I’ve got to be answering on Twitter, and I’ve got to be here, it’s, it doesn’t have to be that way. Like I’m, I’m so confident that people have to figure out one channel before they can figure out all the channels, especially if you’re working on your own, like, if you’re running your own business, you don’t have time, like I talked to people all the time, you don’t have time to like, understand all these channels, because your goal is not it really isn’t distribution, you’re trying to grow your business, in a lot of cases, you know, so you either, especially if you’re trying to do it all on your own, like, start small, you do not have to do all this stuff at once. And then even from a larger perspective, I think a main mistake is is not doing it at all, a lot of people just they they’re very comfortable to just keep creating and creating new stuff and creating new stuff. And literally, I mean, this is just a natural progression. But if you went to most probably I’m in b2b SaaS. But if you went to most like websites, you probably see this exact graph where you post something new, you get a spike of content when you share it out. And then it’s just this dead zone of nothingness because nobody knows it exists after you post it, because it’s not getting any traffic. And so you’re just constantly living on these like spikes of new content. And getting that out there versus like, actually re sharing those ideas consistently.
Alastair McDermott 32:14
This isn’t something that that we talked about before, but I’m just wondering what your thoughts are about the acceleration effect of you know, posting more frequently? Is that something you think about?
Justin Simon 32:25
Yeah, I think I’ve tested it out a little bit. And it’s all depends on platform. So for instance, if you’re, if you’re running on a platform like Twitter, you can post all day every day, and it doesn’t matter. Because that feed just consistently turns out LinkedIn is a little weird in terms of like how they, they pull their their content out. And so but I do think, you know, I just saw something yesterday, I think people are starting to experiment a little more, I know, we like it, metadata, we’ve started to post twice a day, like once a morning, once evening, just to hit different time zones, different people at different times of the day, and be able to post different pieces of content. But for most, for most people, it’s a struggle the post once a day. So again, it’s like, I would much rather have you tried to again, don’t try to like, eat that whole elephant at once you know what I mean? Or whatever the phrase is, don’t try to don’t try to do all that, you know, if once you once you’ve, if you can post five days a week, and I’m kind of hitting this point, now, if you can hit if you can learn how to post consistently five days a week, once a day, for three months, then start to worry about what you’re going to do next, are you going to add on a new channel and go and go over there? Are you going to double up your posting, you know, then you can start to think about that volume increase. But I think most people, you’re much, much better to sort of build that habit. And that’s exactly what it is. It’s a habit, you have to build that muscle in that routine, to be able to do it. It’s not, it’s not sitting down with, you know, in with a cup of coffee and waiting for inspiration. It’s you’ll fail if you try that.
Alastair McDermott 34:01
Yeah. And you know, like, I know, the resistance that comes when you say something like, you know, post five days a week for three months. Like I know, I’ve personally encountered that. And I know that when I’m talking to coaching clients, I know that they feel that resistance. And there’s two things I say so. So one thing is about time management. And this is something I’ve talked with a couple of guests, Heather Chavin, and Faheem Moosa on the show recently, just about time management and feeling more productive. But the other thing is, if you think about posting five, five days a week, that can actually be once every two weeks, taking an afternoon and writing 20 posts. And and you know, maybe that’s taking the full day if that’s what you need. But, you know, you can batch it up like that. So you’re spending two days a month, rather than, you know, every single day doing it. And that’s just something to think about. That plus outlining. I think that outlining is really important to me in content creation, and taking the time to create the outline and and creating the actual content is so much easier once you’ve got a good outline. So those are two things, just kind of more tactical ways to approach it.
Justin Simon 35:07
Yeah, I would agree. And that’s why, like with my distribution doc stuff, like I, I tell people start with copy and paste, like, take the main pits of that section that are in that blog and literally paste them in to this other distribution doc, and then edit from there. Because now you’re not staring at a blank screen. Now you have four sections of social content that you can edit and play with, because I think that’s part of it, too, is like, you know, the idea of staring at a blank screen and not knowing what to write about, like, you could give people two weeks to say, that’s all you have to do. And you just see this cursor blinking there, and you have no idea what to create. That’s why I like the repurposing stuff. Because I can go in and I’ll say, Okay, I’ve written five blog posts, like I’ll go in and expand on that. Or if maybe you don’t have blog posts, but you have some old social content, like go through and like, just copy those old ones in, like, take the main idea and rework it, like put something in that distribution doc, but then you can edit I like to thinking of the repurposing stuff as much more of as like an editor than like a creator, like you’re really just editing your ideas and your thoughts. And so you’re not having to start from that like blank screen.
Alastair McDermott 36:14
Where are you sending people when when, when you’re creating this content? I assume there’s some sort of call to action at the end? What like, what do you think about in terms of call to action, like what types you use in different places?
Justin Simon 36:25
Depends on the content. Sometimes there’s no CTA, like, a lot of times my social, like, for social, I think the key of building an audience is understanding, marketing versus sales. And so for marketing, like my goal is to is to on LinkedIn, or on social is to build an audience. So that way, when I have something of value to offer, they’ll you know, I’m not doing it all the time. Everyone’s don’t like most of the time, it’s like a low key CTA. So like, LinkedIn is kind of weird, where you can’t like it, they actually downgrade you for posting a link. So it’s never, I never frame it up, or very rarely frame it up as the sole reason of this post is to get you off LinkedIn, like I want to give you all the value right there. And then give you kind of in the comment in the first comment, like, I’ll throw like, Hey, if you want to learn more about this, like I do have a newsletter where you can talk to and it’s free. Like it’s not, it’s not anything that I like to use the free offer a lot more than like, pushing the course, or pushing anything like that. But yeah, like, I don’t even have like a blog, like I don’t even like all my writing all my stuff is LinkedIn native and, and the newsletter, so like, there’s really no where to push people anyway. And so that actually like forces me to be create better content for LinkedIn, because I’m not trying to get them anywhere. And that’s the key is like, I’m not trying to get you to my site. I’m not trying to get you to my blog, like, my goal is to have you been engaged in like that content, right, where you’re at?
Alastair McDermott 38:04
Yeah, and, you know, I think all of the apps, you know, all of the all of the social platforms, they want to keep you in their app, they don’t want to send you anywhere else. So what I the way I approach and you correct me if I’m wrong here, but the way I approach it is is what I want to do is build up enough momentum inside the mind of the person reading my content, that they’re going to actively go and try and seek me out.
Justin Simon 38:28
Absolutely, yeah, it’s not. I see a lot of, especially, you know, maybe coaches, coaches or career coaches are, you know, you talked about that, like, I’ve worked with a couple of them. And some of them, it’s like, you don’t have to just post like that image with, with what you offer. You know, like, this is what I like, that’s what they lean into first, a lot of the people I’ve talked to is like, here’s, here’s what, you know, here’s how I help people. Here’s, like, you don’t have to explain how you help people help people like in the feed, like help them they’re like, don’t, don’t explain how you help people, like actually help them right there. And then I think what you said is so key, like, you’re my goal is to create so much value value is literally, you know, create valuable content, of course, but create so much value in the feed that somebody absolutely is like man, like, Okay, I’ve seen enough of this guy. I’ve seen enough of this gal, like, what do they do? How can how can I get on board here? You know, like, I’m just ready. I’m ready to make it happen. That takes patience. Because what people want to do is like, Oh, I’m not making the you know, I’m not making the sale right now. And again, that’s why I say like the difference between marketing and sales like you are, when you’re on social, you’re your goal isn’t to sell. Your goal is to help.
Alastair McDermott 39:48
Yeah, I love that. 100% 100% same page. Okay, so, I want to ask you about the number one tip that you’d give somebody who wants to build their authority in their personal brand
Justin Simon 40:00
Yeah, we’ve talked about it, but I think it’s to talk about that one thing consistently, and then do that in a way where people can envision themselves being a better version of themselves. So transformation. And so what that means is talking about talking about where somebody is at now, versus where they will get, and help them see the light. And again, that’s not necessarily like talking about how, how you have have done that, but like, a very basic example is like, if you’re a fitness coach, you know, before and after photos are powerful, because this is where this person was before. And this is where they are now. And I help and I help them get there. It’s that idea. But, you know, using using different types of posts and different types of varieties in terms of that. So I like to hit on different pieces. So I hit on what failure looks like. So people understand, you know, sort of like the risk of not, you know, what happens if you don’t repurpose your content, for instance? Well, I talked about that. Also, what does success look like? What happens if you do I talked about that. I talked about the current problems that people have, I talked about my plan in order to be able to help them get over that. It’s all those different pieces that sort of tell a story. But yeah, doing that talking about that thing consistently over time, is what’s going to do it.
Alastair McDermott 41:23
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Is there a mistake or business failure that you’ve experienced that you can tell us about what you learned from
Justin Simon 41:30
it? Many, many, many mistakes?
Alastair McDermott 41:33
I think that’s the most common. Everybody’s successful.
Justin Simon 41:37
Alastair McDermott 41:38
Justin Simon 41:38
Yeah, of course, I think, you know, one that comes to mind is, is creating, you know, we’ve talked a lot about kind of the social side and the distribution and stuff like that. I think one of the things that mistakes I made early on was thinking I was niched, down in terms of like, we just talked about personal brand, like thinking I was going to niche down in terms of what I talked about, but not being niche down. So like, I’m niche because I talk about marketing. Well, that’s not really niche, because there’s tons of stuff within marketing, you can talk about well, I’m niche because I talk about content marketing. Okay. Well, you talk about SEO, do you talk about this? Do you talk about that. And so like, that was a that was a mistake that I thought I was more niche than I was. And so but really, from the beginning of the year, I started, and I was like, I’m only going to talk about repurposing content, like that’s what I’m gonna talk about is repurposing and distribution. And it’s been like a massive change.
Alastair McDermott 42:37
So I’d love to dig into this a little bit, if you don’t mind, because I just talked about specialization and niching or niching an awful lot on this podcast, I think it’s one of the most important things you can do. And so how did you know that you weren’t specialized enough?
Justin Simon 42:53
I kind of felt it internally where there were so many ideas and so many things that I can talk about. But I also started to see what so I think it’s okay to be a little bit broad at the beginning, because you want to kind of see what your audience likes, but then you have to quickly kind of turn that around. And so like, I noticed, like, whenever I would talk about repurposing that people would, you know, kind of tune into that or were just, you know, their interest was piqued like, hell could tell me about that. Like, that’s interesting. I think even going back to the personal brand thing and talking about the one thing consistently, like why that’s important is your, your ultimate goal of the personal brand is to be the blank guy or the blank girl, you know, like, Oh, you’re you’re the repurposing guy. You know what I mean? Like, I’ve old like, I can’t even tell you how many people have told me that, like, you know, you’re the first person I thought of when I when I thought of x y&z when I thought of repurposing and distribute that gear, who I think of, I’ve only been talking about that specifically for three months, four months, you know, like, it’s crazy to think about how quickly you can turn perception around when you talk about and when you have an opinion about something. And I think that’s the other thing too, when people want to pick their niche, because people started to ask me about that to pick something you’re passionate about. Because then you’ll stick with it. Pick something you have an opinion on. Pick something that you are like, multiple people’s that why don’t you get bored? Or wouldn’t you get bored? I’m like, no, because this grinds me, like this is like, you know, I see this problem in the world and I want to try to help people fix it like that. I’m passionate about that thing. Whereas, you know, I’m not as passionate about other pieces of content marketing.
Alastair McDermott 44:39
You’re speaking my language here. So I’m interested like what changed after you use specialized after you niche down?
Justin Simon 44:47
I mean, it’s just been it’s really been night and day like I have a screenshot somewhere of like, just my LinkedIn engagement and interactions and traffic over to and it’s just like consistent ups. You know, I think follower growth has been massive. You know, in terms of percentages over the last four months, interactions with people have have gone up. And I think why that is and it makes sense. But the more I’ve tried to think about it why that is because people now know what to expect from me. I show up every day, I talk about the same stuff, they know what to expect, they’re looking at, when they see my face, they’re ready for something like get me fired up to distribute this content. Like I’m ready. You know, they it’s not like see your face. Wonder what he’s gonna say today. You know, there’s, there’s, you know, is he going to talk about like, SEO today? Or is he going to talk about like building a content strategy? Or is he going to talk about like audiences? Like, what’s he going to? Like? Nope, it’s this and it’s this. And there’s way more. That’s the other thing I’ve learned too, is like, there are way more threads within a niche than you probably even realize. So there’s a lot of threads within distribution and within repurposing that didn’t even realize install it until I started talking about it.
Alastair McDermott 46:05
Has your expertise grown significantly?
Justin Simon 46:10
I think yes. But most of that is like by me doing the work. Like you have to be like, it’s sort of as challenging to me to say, okay, like, if I, if I need to be on the cusp of, you know what we’re doing here, I have to be testing that out and understand what that’s like for me, and I’ll be honest, like one of the I don’t, it could be right or wrong, but I’ve I don’t like another guy who does this all the time is Ross Simmons like Ross is awesome. Like, he talks about this stuff all the time. I actually don’t like tune into Ross’s content very often. Because I don’t want Ross’s opinions to like cloud my opinions. I don’t want like his takes to like cloud mine. And I like I love his taken I love his opinions. But I so I think like there’s an interesting sort of thing there too, where it’s like, I want I want my opinions to be formed by what I’m doing. And so I can speak core to that, like, we just talked about, like that newsletter to Instagram posts or like carousel to whatever, like, I want to be trying different things there. And then, and then gain expertise from that, like, that’s only that’s how you gain expertise is by doing Yeah, you don’t gain it by like talking about it.
Alastair McDermott 47:19
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And by the way, I’m with you, because my business coach is Philip Morgan, who wrote a book about specialization, I’m actually now writing a book about specialization, as well. And I’ve been afraid to read his book, I have a copy of his book here, and I’m afraid to read it until I finish writing mine, and then I’ll go and like, after I’ve got a draft ready, I’ll go read it, then. But I don’t want to let it I don’t want to let it get in and influence what I’m writing away. I’m, like, I love Philip, we’re talking about collaborating on a couple of things. And we have, the interesting thing is when you’ve got somebody who is who’s like that he was almost like a direct competitor. But he’s also I think, when you’re, you’re in this kind of space, it’s almost like, you know, you’re working on the same mission. And, and that’s something we’re, we talk about talk a lot about specialization and the benefits of that. So we’re looking at collaborating on a on a podcast, to talk about that. So and also, the other thing is when you’ve got to let somebody who seems like a direct competitor, usually people who would be good clients for them, wouldn’t go for you. And vice versa. Because, you know, people just gotta, you know, everybody’s got got a different, a different voice, a different, a different vibe. And some filbur are very different that way. So I think it’s really interesting. Um, I love the fact that when you niche down, that you don’t really have direct competitors. I think that’s, that’s something because even when somebody is doing something very, very similar with with overlap, there’s still enough of a difference, you know?
Justin Simon 48:53
Yeah, absolutely. I would agree with that. 100%.
Alastair McDermott 48:56
Okay, I better wrap this up. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you’d recommend?
Justin Simon 49:02
Yeah, for me, and I say this all the time. For me it’s been “Story Brand” by Donald Miller. So for anybody’s familiar, it’s just storytelling within marketing. And it’s been massively helpful. So I even like when I talked earlier about like, you know, touching on failure, touching on success, like giving you like, it’s all that’s all story, brand language and framework to really map that out. And he he has sort of the seven part framework to tell a story around your business. And literally, I love the way he describes it, you have the seven buckets, and then think of those buckets as chords on a guitar and then you can play all those different chords and you make music you don’t make noise. And I think that’s the biggest thing for me. That’s been the biggest takeaway for me on his book is you don’t there’s so much noise in the marketplace. Now more than ever. You don’t want to make more noise. You want to you want to make music. You want to make people like pay attention to what you’ve got going on.
Alastair McDermott 49:57
Very cool. That’s a that’s a great message. What about fiction? Do you read fiction at all?
Justin Simon 50:01
You know, I’m not a huge fiction reader, but we’ve been, we’ve been going through Harry Potter with, with my daughters. And…
Alastair McDermott 50:11
Justin Simon 50:12
Was it was better than Harry Potter. So that comes top of mind. And yeah, I think when you’re just talking about, like, an even classic stuff for me that I’ve enjoyed, like, you know, “Lord of the Rings”, “Hobbit trilogy”, that that type of stuff. The idea of building this world is so fascinating to me, you know, that I’m not I’m not a naturally like creative person in that way. But like, the idea that like, you named this specific type of, you know, troll or something, it’s got like this name, and this care and this description, and all that stuff. I love the storytelling elements. It probably why I love the story brand stuff for marketing, but like how you can pull people into a message into a story and tell something and create a world for them. I think like, that’s what I like about those.
Alastair McDermott 51:00
Yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. I’m a huge fantasy and science fiction fan. And world building is such a big part of that. It’s really cool. So just I know that you have a course called the content repurposing roadmap, and people can go check that out. Can you tell people where to find you?
Justin Simon 51:17
Yeah, so you can obviously find me I’ve talked enough about you can find me on LinkedIn. I’m there regularly sharing stuff. If you go to JustinSimon.co, you can find all my stuff there. I have the newsletter there. I have, like you mentioned, the course is all linked through there. But yeah, I think that that’s the easiest way to find me and to kind of see what what lane you want to get in. Every Saturday, I send out the newsletter. And it’s really like short, like I try to keep it short and scannable. And just useful. So if you’re drinking a cup of coffee, you want to read it. You can get some good information and hopefully be inspired to kick off and repurpose your stuff then following following week.
Alastair McDermott 51:56
Cool, and we will link to all of those in the show notes. So Justin Simon, thank you so much for being on the show.
Justin Simon 52:02
Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s been fun.
Alastair McDermott 52:08
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