Monday, November 29, 2010

Content is King. Long live the Content.

"Steal This Book"
                                -  Abbie Hoffman

So many people are bound to the words they put on paper or in a slide deck.  They only distribute pdf files, and often will ship only hard copy to their consulting gigs.  They protect that copy like its their first born.  And it's completely silly.

When you tie your worth to a document, people equate that document with your value.  Customers begin to think they can replace you by simply having someone else use the same document.  In other words, what you're selling is that document.

A good presentation or class is just that - a good presentation or class.  It cannot be magically reproduced by firing up the projector photocopying the materials.  When people hire me they pay to see me.  The materials I use are simply a calling card.  They won't get nearly the same value as if I deliver it, so why do I care if they have copies of the document?

But what about intellectual property?  People are so afraid they will "loose something" if they give away content.  Nonsense. 

Too many consultants and authors get too tied up and protective of their content.  They focus on that one aspect, because they think that's the one thing that is tangible that they have to sell.  They immediately lose credibility because it isn't the PowerPoint slides people buy - it's their expertise.  To these folks I say give your content away, and reserve the high prices for yourself and the delivery. 

In fact, freely copy and distribute your materials.  It's only going to increase your own value.

500 Million and Counting

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door."
                 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

As of December 2010, by their own published statistics, Facebook has more than 500 million active users and people spend over 700 billion minutes per month.  I don't know what the definition of "beat a path" would be but I'm guessing it would look something like that.

Often the real challenge is finding consumers for your content, or if you have a target of consumers getting content to them effectively.  This is where social media steps in.

Content storage us unlimited, as far as the practical individual or group is concerned.  Presentation media and tools have never been cheaper or better.

And the best part is, most of your customers probably already use it.  If they don't use it they sure know about it.

So look around, hold social media up to your challenges and see what fits.