We’ve all heard the cliche “content is king,” and while I love cliches just as much as the next guy, putting a twist on them always makes for a bit more interesting of an idea. As lawyers, we need to make the most of the works we produce for publication. There is no better way to get long term value than through strategic repurposing.
The difference between strategic repurposing and cannibalizing your content is that when you repurpose you give away some great and useful stuff as a lead to even better or “premium” great and useful stuff. It doesn’t end there though; the best way to repurpose is to add value above and beyond the original content offering that enhances what you’ve just recycled. Much the way a bottle can become a window pane in the recycling plant, a law firm article can become a discussion post and a way of connecting to the authors.
You can get more value out of your original blog entry by using strategic repurposing techniques – the following list can be adapted to law firm articles, white pagers, blog posts, presentations, lists, and more:
- Add a unique question for the community at the beginning of the post. This is important b/c if the repurposed content is long, the user may not get to the end. By putting the question up front, they read with that question in mind and will be more likely to answer it. On the post I pulled from the LN Corporate and Securities Community called Sutherland Alert: What Your Board Needs to Know About Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act I asked members what they were doing to prepare for the changes in their corporate law department (not the most inventive question but it keeps people thinking).
- Add links to your archived content on your website and author’s bios or profiles. Also, give the post some personality by including a picture of the authors on the post, especially if you are posting for someone else.
- Invite co-authors, firm members, and other colleagues to comment on the post. If put up in a community like Connected, invite these people to join your network as well. The idea is to create a community buzz around the content you have already created, giving it more lasting value and impact.
As you can see from the steps above, repurposing is a multi-phased approach. It should be used to increase attention for great work, create connections with new authors, and fill the network with content. It’s a bit of a juggling act more akin to the court jester’s many hats than the king’s single crown, but a community that can be useful, interesting, and sociable for members is one they will want to participate in – even if they are lawyers.