Quality Over Quantity: Repurpose Your Best Ideas and Distribute Them Far and Wide

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but …
Your audience does not need your ideas.
Sorry to disappoint you.
It’s true though.
Your audience is exposed to plenty of ideas. Everywhere they turn online and offline, they are bombarded with ideas. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Mostly filler and fluff.
Think about yourself. Do you need any more ideas to consume and consider?
No.
What you need are someone’s best ideas. And what your audience needs — in fact, all that your audience needs — are your best ideas.

The ideas that cut through the crap and clutter to make a difference
The ideas you’ve thought through, spent time with, and sculpted
The ideas that are closer to finished products than initial impressions

And you should invest more time distributing these premium ideas further and wider, in different ways and in different places. You shouldn’t simply hit Publish and then run to the next idea.
This way you can meet more of your current audience members where they are and you increase the likelihood of reaching potential audience members with your best work.
Let me show you an example of how I’m doing this on one of my sites …
It all starts with a blog post
Given my responsibilities here at Rainmaker Digital, and being a new dad, I don’t have a ton of extra capacity for side projects.
So when I do have an idea worth sharing over at The Assembly Call, I want to maximize the impact and distribution of that good

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How to Attract Your Ideal Customer with Perfectly Positioned Content

“Hello, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC.”
You remember Apple’s “Get a Mac” series of commercials that ran from May 2006 to October 2009?
The commercials were short vignettes featuring John Hodgman as the sweet-yet-bumbling PC and Justin Long as the creative, hip Mac.
Those 66 short spots were named the best advertising campaign of the previous decade by Adweek.
The success of the long-running campaign leads one to believe that Apple certainly knows who its ideal customer is. Of course they do … because they chose their ideal customer, right from the birth of the Macintosh itself.
That doesn’t mean that everyone responded favorably to the ads. While researching for this article, I ran across a commenter who maintained that the campaign had “backfired” because the PC character had actually been more appealing to him.
No, the campaign didn’t backfire (no one runs a series of ads for three years if they’re not working). Instead, Apple chose who not to attract as much as they chose who they hoped to convert.
Apple knew they were never going to get hardcore PC people to switch to a Mac. Instead, Apple used these 66 humorous little stories to target those who were more likely to “swing” toward Apple, after being educated about the benefits by the contrast between the two characters.
Sounds like really great content marketing to me. In fact, given the nature and duration of the Get a Mac campaign, it resembled serial online video marketing more than traditional

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How to Write a High-Value Lesson Plan that Makes Your Course Easy to Sell

The demand for online education is exploding.
The global market for online courses is estimated around $107 billion. A mind-boggling figure, right?
Imagine stuffing one-dollar bills into a 53-foot truck. Depending on how crumpled your bills are, you’d need around 1,000 trucks stuffed up to the roof to transport those 107-billion dollar bills.
Would you like one of those trucks to deliver a heap of money to you?
Then you must create a lesson plan so valuable that students get excited about buying your online course.
A high-value lesson plan motivates people to both study and implement your advice. It makes students so happy about their newly acquired skills that they tell all of their friends about your course. That’s how your course starts selling like hot cakes.
Ready to get started?
Step #1: Carefully assess your students’ needs
When developing a course on your own platform, the most logical starting point often seems to be your expertise.
How can you teach your skills to others?
This common approach is asking for trouble. Big trouble.
Because it’s hard to create a valuable learning experience when you think from your own perspective rather than from the student’s perspective.
Think about your course buyers first:

Who will buy your course?
How will the course transform them?
Why are they interested in this transformation?

Imagine, for instance, that you’re a social media expert, and you want to create a course to share your Twitter knowledge. You could answer the three questions

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2 Key Factors that Distinguish Satisfying Content from Forgettable Ideas

Have you ever read a blog post, listened to a podcast episode, or watched a video and thought:

“I kind of get what this person is saying — and I think I agree — but it’s difficult to follow their main points. The content feels incomplete.”
When content consumers have reactions like that, it delays them from sharing your content and subscribing to get more — ultimately increasing the chances that the content will be forgettable.
Conversely, when your content resonates with your target audience, your platform becomes a resource those individuals will remember and return to.
If you want your reader, listener, or viewer to share and subscribe, rather than hesitate and move on, incorporate the following two elements into your content creation process:

Structure
Intrigue

Below, I’ll cover what they are, why they complement each other, and how you can put both of them to work in your own content marketing.
The roles Structure and Intrigue play in your content
Here are my definitions of Structure and Intrigue, for the purpose of this article.
Structure: The intentional order in which you present the message of your content and its supporting points. It’s an outline that ensures your content is complete, without logical fallacies or misleading phrases that cause confusion.
Intrigue: The fascinating details that make your content unique. These are the characteristics that make people say, “I love that website” or “I hate that website,” rather than “I don’t remember that website.”
Why they complement each other
Structure isn’t always the most exciting

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How to Write So Vividly that Readers Fall in Love with Your Ideas

With a deep sigh, Helen Fields switches on her PC. Another Monday. Another article to write about leadership.
Hasn’t everything been written already?
Helen checks her Twitter stream and answers a few emails. She doesn’t feel like writing. Not yet. She googles the word “leadership.”
756 million articles. Ouch. But still … Helen knows she can help, encourage, and inspire her readers.
While sipping her green tea, she leafs through her notebook with article ideas. Nothing feels right. Everything feels bland.
She doesn’t want to write a humdrum article. She doesn’t want to dump her ideas online. She wants to write with power, passion, and pizzazz.
She wants to wake up her readers, electrify them with her words, and jump-start them to change the world.
Why write if you can’t inspire change? Why write if people only skim your subheads before clicking away? How do you choose vivid words that make readers not only remember — but also love — your ideas?
Craft a red poppy in a sea of grey content
In this distracted world chock-full of content, inspiring readers with your message may feel like an impossible task.
But when you learn to harness the power of visual language — when you sketch vibrant images with only words, your message bursts into life.
Your message stands out like a red poppy in a sea of grey content. Vibrant. Proud. And memorable.
Want to ignite and inspire your readers too?
Visual language energizes your ideas
Remember 2001?
You probably

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3 Smart Moves that Supercharge Sales Funnels with Content

The problem with many business blogs is that they’re boring, product-centric, and full of corporate jargon — not exactly the juicy, engaging, personality-filled content that readers love to consume and share.
While you want to establish trust and authority with your audience, content that helps you meet business goals also fills your sales funnel with interested prospects.
So, if you’d like your content to be share-worthy and generate leads, this post is for you. Read on for three ways to supercharge your sales funnel.
1. Eliminate fuzzy funnels
If your current sales funnel is vague and amounts to something like, “I’ll get people onto my email list, and then when my bank account gets low, I’ll make an offer,” don’t worry; you’re not alone! But as a Copyblogger reader, I know you can do better.
At its most basic, your sales funnel is an intentional path that turns a website visitor into a paying customer — and then into a happy, repeat customer.
Your sales funnel might be an email autoresponder that utilizes marketing automation. It helps your audience get to know your business, builds credibility, and makes an introductory offer.
Here’s my main point: if you create content to generate new leads, you first have to establish what your sales funnel looks like.
Action step
Draw out your sales funnel, digitally or with good old pen and paper.  

What are the steps that turn a website visitor into a paying customer?
How do they hear from you?
What offers do they receive

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How to Discover Your Customers’ Favorite Social Media Platforms

Every few months, a hot, new social media tool hits the scene — Pinterest, Periscope, Foursquare, Blab — and some marketing experts make it sound like if you’re not using that new platform, you’re missing out.
That notion gives me a massive headache. Like everyone else, I feel pressured to have a presence on every social media platform, but I can’t possibly contribute to every one — at least not without doing a lousy job on all of them.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply focus our social media marketing efforts on one or two platforms we know our prospects use to share content and connect with one another?
But how do you know which social media sites to choose?
Smart social media marketing research
If you take a wild guess at your audience’s favorite social media platforms, you may guess incorrectly, resulting in wasted time and missed opportunities.
To avoid mistakes, conduct smart research, figure out which social media sites your audience prefers, and then spend the majority of your social media marketing efforts on those sites.
But that process isn’t as straightforward as you might think. I asked the smartest people I know in the marketing world where they would go to find this information, and I got a lot of different answers. It turns out, there’s no “magic website” you can use to do this research.
Let’s go through this slightly messy process, step by step, so you feel comfortable doing it for your own audience.
Step

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How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if You Feel Like a Nobody

In this overcrowded online world, do you ever wonder why people would listen to your advice?
I used to feel the same way.
I didn’t understand why people would read my writing tips when the web is awash with writing advice from people more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more authoritative than me.
Why would anyone listen to me?
I’ve learned that mindset was flawed.
When I learned how to write well, a new world opened up. I connected with people across the world. I built a thriving blog. People started listening to my advice — and more importantly, they acted on it.
Can you make an impact with your words?
As writers, our toolbox may seem limited. We can’t shout. We can’t use body language. We can’t even bang on a table to add weight to a message.
We only have our words to communicate with passion and power.
But written words are enormously powerful. You know that. When was the last time words made you smile? Or cry? Or inspire you to take action?
Once you learn how to write with power, readers start listening to your ideas, acting on your advice, and buying your products and services. You can inspire change — even if you feel you don’t have the required clout or authority right now.
Want to learn how?
Step #1: Write with clarity and substance
Weak writing rambles, rattles, and prattles.
Powerful writing, in contrast, is simple and to the point.
Many writers misunderstand this …
Writing with

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A Simple Way Out of Your Precarious Freelance Income Problem

Freelancing. That’s the life, isn’t it? Total control. Total freedom. Abject terror.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to be said for the freelance life. You’re in charge of your own time. You pick and choose the projects you’ll take on. You select your clients.
When it’s all working the way it’s supposed to, that is.
When you’re not breaking into a sweat as you open your checking account statement. When you’re not wondering how you’ll pay next month’s rent. When you’re not thinking, “Maybe a job with a salary wouldn’t be so bad …”
There’s a simple solution, though. One that will restore a feeling of stability to your freelance life.
It’s nothing you haven’t heard before. But you may not realize how important this solution can be for your freelance business. You may not be taking full advantage of the peace of mind and regular income it can provide.
Let’s get it working for you.
How to build an income foundation for your business
The solution to a freelancer’s unstable income problem is to take on a handful of retainer clients. Retainer clients pay you a set amount every month, and they provide a steady income you can count on. There are several ways to negotiate a retainer agreement, and we’ll cover them in this article.
For a freelancer, retainer clients are the closest thing to the stable income a salary provides.
The reliable income retainer clients provide is great, but if you don’t specify exactly what their retainer payments

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How to Craft Winning Pitches for Your Service Business

I have an affinity for service businesses.
I love when people:

Recognize that they possess specific skills that can help others
Invest in training that will help them succeed
Offer their expertise and problem-solving abilities in exchange for money

But I don’t love when these driven individuals make a certain mistake that invites unnecessary frustrations into their workdays and weakens their reputations.
“Sure! I can do that!”
I understand that it’s exciting when a work offer sounds good.
So, when a potential client proposes a project to Joe Service Business, he’ll immediately respond with, “Sure! I can do that!” (or another phrase with a similar sentiment) before he finds out everything he needs to know about the project.
For example, more information about the project may reveal that he’s not the best person for the job or it’s not actually an assignment he’d like to work on.
When you respond to an inquiry and move ahead with a project too quickly, you operate under the assumption that you’ll figure out the details later, as issues arise.
But your service business can only become respected in your industry and a long-term source of income if you abolish the casual approach to discussing work that runs rampant in freelance culture.
If you want to have an exceptional service business, you cannot casually respond to any form of business communication or informally agree to any business transaction.
To become exceptional, you must become a master of assessing, communicating, and managing expectations.
How to rise above the

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