How do you get distribution if you don’t repurpose?

Last week, I suggested that you forget the idea of repurposing content. Experts don’t cut, paste, and blast their thinking across social.

I received a few replies along the lines of: “Well, how do I get visibility then?

A reasonable question, but the wrong one.

These thought leaders we admire, the types who do great work, get recognised, and earn a 5-figure day rate… they earn visibility, but they don’t directly aim for it.

Their approach differs from the masses of content creators who try and fail to attract and maintain our attention through ignorable, vanilla, me too noise.

And, once you hear how they earn it, you’ll reflexively slap yourself on the forehead because you already know what I’m about to tell you, you just haven’t paused to notice.

First, though, let's address the question: what exactly is wrong with targeting visibility?

Well, it represents a mindset that connects seemingly unrelated people.

From bros selling $149 audience-building courses through to honest, hardworking professionals struggling to attract a handful of likes on LinkedIn.

All working from the same reference points:

  • What can I do that will get people to notice me?
  • How can I get people to trust me?
  • How can I get people to sign up?
  • How can I get people to buy?

Notice the direction of thinking?

I and me.

All of the above translates to either hacks or boring waffle.

The minority reverse that thinking and instead ask …

How can I make something useful?

What happens if you focus all your energy on making and sharing useful things for the people you seek to serve?

Here’s what that looks like in practice:

  • You break down the onboarding process of every major banking app in the industry to figure out what good and bad look like - Built for Mars
  • You identify and share a step-by-step process for ‘doing’ positioning - April Dunford
  • You break down the steps for developing SaaS homepage messaging that converts - Fletch
  • You notice and articulate problems and solutions for lead generation, specifically for creative firms - David C. Baker

What can you make that will help you get better at the work that you do?

When you publish that content (or insight) in public, your target market benefits because it’s directly helping them complete a task, big or small, that they’re struggling with.

They then proceed to do all the things you wanted them to do to help you gain visibility.

I do that with the case studies. I study the way that thought leaders use content to build their businesses because it helps me form opinions and frameworks on how I can help my clients do the same.

And, when I share those findings in public, it helps and attracts people who want to do the same (a few of whom enquire to work with me).

Ok, but how does this replace repurposing?

I hear you.

What I’ve described above, that’s deep insight - long-form content.

The original question was - What about getting visibility?

At the root of that question lies the true question - How do people discover my long-form content?

With our new shift in mental model, we’re no longer attempting to seize attention…

We’re borrowing audiences

David C. Baker got started guesting on a newsletter for creative agencies.

James Clear shared syndicated blog posts on Lifehacker.

Jack Butcher visualised quotes from high-profile ‘thinkers’ who then shared his work with their audience.

Events need speakers. Podcasters need guests. Newsletter creators need a guest whilst they’re on vacation.

When you make something useful, you give people a reason to want to share your thinking with their audience. You actually have something to say.

And, when you do that, some of those folks come over to your home base, subscribe for more, and tell the others.

But this is all very top-level thinking.

How do you go about successfully borrowing an audience? What does this look like in practice?

I’m going to break that down in the next article.

Because there’s an extra ingredient to all of this, and when you add it to ‘useful’, it’s absolute dynamite…

Until next time.

p.s. Right now, where do you stand on the concept of repurposing?

Email and tell me -

Want to become a thought leader?

Every 4 weeks, I publish deep dives into B2B thought leaders, breaking down the content strategy they used to go from unknown consultant to top tier personality.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong. Give it another go.

More articles