The Secret to Success — Be a Tightwad

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It’s no secret to anyone reading this blog that I like ideas. I love them! They’re the center of all effective communications. Worth their weight in gold. …

So, when you’ve got one — a really good one — why waste it?

Don’t use it for one communication and then move on. Be a tightwad! Use it, and reuse it. Then use it again. These “leftovers” can actually be turned into meals that would make the world’s finest chefs proud. You’ve already got the key ingredient — your great idea.

Sounds good, but how does this work in practice? Simple. Lets say you’ve got a great idea for an op-ed or contributed piece. OK. Research possible placement venues, write it up and submit it. Voila, it’s published. Now, we start reusing the material (I sometimes call this “repurposing”).

Once you’ve got a published piece, the first step is a no-brainer. Buy reprints and/or online reprint rights. Then, put it on your Web site, e-mail it around to the right clients or customers, put it in your marketing materials and add it to your press kit. There, already we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of your original piece.

But I wouldn’t stop there. How about pitching other reporters by sending them the piece and suggesting they do an interview on the idea? This can be particularly successful with broadcasters, who routinely pick up print pieces that are strong, as well as others with some lead time who might be interested in seeing if they can come up with a fresh angle on your original story.

Don’t go away yet. How about giving a speech or two based on the idea your wrote about? It might make a nice presentation at an industry conference.

Let your creativity guide you. If you are interested in online marketing, Webinars and Podcasts can also be spun out of your original story. It can even be fodder for — gasp! — blog entries.

This list isn’t exhaustive, and the original distribution need not be a written one. You could begin all this with a press release, speech or an idea about which you were quoted. Just keep looking for new ways to package and distribute the original idea.

Of course, the real trick is coming up with a good idea to begin with!

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