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7 Ways To Own It.

Greenpoint Lifestyle Labs, aka Watch This Space Brooklyn Office

Greenpoint Lifestyle Labs, aka Watch This Space Brooklyn Office

It can be the most effective way to build an audience and engage with a customer base.  It's mostly no- or low-cost.  Its messages can get right to intended public(s), without the dilution of a filter.  Then why aren't more companies making better use of their 'own' communications platforms -- blogs, newsletters, social media?  

Because churning out consistent, high quality and relevant content that audiences really give a fig about is HARD.  

The New York Times has 3,500 employees cranking out articles and analysis and Op-Eds and photo spreads every day, but for most other businesses, the care and feeding of dedicated communications platforms fall to a handful of people.  (In the case of some entrepreneurs, or sole artists, that's, um, usually the founder/CEO/chief cook and bottle washer.)

If you've ever started a blog -- for fun or business, you'll recognize the pattern:  you enthusiastically dive into picking templates, using plug ins and setting up house.  You write some epic, labored-over pieces to kick things off.  You pledge to contribute a couple times a day.  That turns to once a week, and often diminishes, the memory gets fuzzy and that wordpress or Tumblr or SquareSpace sandbox starts getting lonely.  Cue crickets.  

A lack of dedicated resource is no excuse.  Building and maintaining your OWN communications ecosystem --  blogs, email newsletters, social media, etc.-- is possible to pull off with just a few minutes every week.   It can be done solo, and it can be done without being a huge time suck.  

It's kind of like setting up a garden:  it requires some upfront work and infrastructure to get the bones in place (totally okay and even smart to call in the experts at this point if you aren't up for a DIY approach).  Add the big structural plants -- stuff that's gonna thrive in your local climate.  Fertilize.  And just remember to weed and water it every few days.  It'll bloom.  You'll maybe feel up to inviting guest over.  And when you need reinforcements -- pruning, planting big signature item, putting in pretty annuals -- you can ring up the experts a couple times a season.  

Here are 7 simple ideas that will help you OWN your OWNED media ecosystem:

--a blog entry doesn't have to be a 1,000 word opus; it can be as simple as an image and a couple lines of commentary;

--take a minute to tie your platforms together.  Let the ecosystem feed itself.  Use the plug-ins to import your Twitter or Instagram feed into your blog.  If you're time-pressed, link your Facebook and Twitter accounts together.  Fire off a LinkedIn post that's also suitable for Twitter;

--Invite your customers or staff -- in their own voice-- to contribute from time to time.  Put it in your calendar and ask 'em to do it once a month.  

--Can't think of anything to write?  Collect a couple of other news bits or blogs you think are worth noting and re-blog.

--You have the time:  Feed that garden on the fly with a quick dispatch from your smart phone.  As a New Yorker, I call that "back of the taxi" activity.  Instead of stewing about how long the queue is at Whole Foods or the airline check-in, I often use this time to stitch together quick posts from images I've taken and notes I've saved for later (for me or for my clients).  

--Book a meeting with yourself every week -- 15 minutes will do the trick.  What are three areas of focus for your business this week?  Launching new features or displaying new goods.  That's fodder.  Getting ready for a big trade show?  Travelling to see clients?  Good material.  Now, see if you can tie that back to something that makes your business unique, and you're REALLY owning it.  

--Still find this too overwhelming?  Call in some reinforcements who can help you create a roadmap and content ideas that can be built into your existing business calendar.

Own it.  Feed it.  Reap the benefits.  Ping Watch This Space if you want that nudge.