Do you really need to be everywhere?
In this episode, I take a good hard look at “be everywhere” and whether it is necessary – or even smart – for a blogger looking to grow their web traffic. Is this the real secret… or a recipe for burnout?
I’m a HUGE believer in leverage as we grow our business. Truth is, trying to be everywhere is just inviting you to spend time on very LOW LEVERAGE activities.
I’ll explain in full in this episode of CBB.
The “Be Everywhere”
Now, who made it known as that? Well that would be my buddy Pat Flynn over at smartpassiveincome.com. He turned this into a big brandable point and actually created a keynote presentation on it. I think he has got some other stuff in the works on this and he basically popularized this idea of “Be Everywhere”.
Now “Be everywhere” essentially means you need to be wherever your audience is at. And that is essentially, everywhere! And so, this would be like making sure that your content is going to be whether your audience happens to be; whether it be in iTunes, whether it be on whatever social network that they are on, whatever content delivery site that they are on, whatever video site that they are on; you want to be there. That would be the idea of “Be everywhere”.
Now Pat did a really good job with this. He did a great presentation on that. I was actually there when he first presented this idea of “Be everywhere” strategy. And the underlying principles of it are perfectly sound. But we do need to ask ourselves…
Just How “Everywhere” Do We Need To Be?
Now if you were judging this from the success of Pat Flynn, then you would think that “Well, if you want to have success in online business then you need to do things just Pat Flynn does.”
I am here to tell you, because I have success of this business as well that you don’t have to do things just like Pat Flynn. Now Pat’s is a great success story. He has a very nice business and the idea of being everywhere has definitely worked for him.
That being said, it could lead people to think that that is a necessity to success. And being that we are talking here about traffic; about building traffic to our blogs, it might come as a logical conclusion especially if you are looking at Pat as an example that we need to be everywhere in order to have all these tentacles out across the internet so that we get the traffic that we want to our sites.
I am here to tell you that we actually don’t need to do that, okay? Now we just don’t need to do it. You will actually kind of burn yourself out even trying.
What Being Everywhere Would Really Include:
Now, that written content is going to appear on our blog, obviously. Now from there, you would typically want to have that blog content syndicated all around the internet. You would want it to appear in social bookmarking sites, you would want it to appear just wherever you can get content. You might want to repurpose it to a PDF and get it up on Scribd, you might want to repurpose it into a slideshow and get it up on SlideShare… It is all about taking that same content and getting it into every possible format in every possible place that you can.
Now we have also got videos and just in the last episode here of CBB in Episode 103 we talked about where to post those videos outside of YouTube. So if you have video content you would typically post it on YouTube but you would want to also post it to as many other video sites as you can if you are trying to be everywhere you would essentially want that video to be found on every possible video site.
There are tons of these things, we get new fads… Social networks seem to be sprouting up. Remember Ello?… and all of a sudden people thought that was going to be the Facebook killer? What a freakin’ laugh that was! It just parted into the wind so fast. I assume it still exists but it is a complete non-entity. And I have seen a few of these non-entities come and go where people thought it was going to kill Twitter or kill Facebook… No, I don’t think so.
But the thing is, if we are trying to take this “Be everywhere” strategy literally, we would think that we need to quickly run and reserve our usernames and all these things, and we need to be posting “everywhere”.
So, the old audio format of content. Now, iTunes; obviously, it is like the YouTube for podcasting. But there is a lot of podcast directories out there, alternative services out there and you would think that we need to be on all of them. That is “be everywhere”, okay?
Here’s the problem… Let’s start looking at this from a reality perspective…
The Reality Of It All
The idea of being everywhere most definitely ignores the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule, again… 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts and vice versa, by the way. You could easily spend time on those 80% of things and we are going to take up a lot of your time and a lot of your effort that only delivers small results in return. And that is what being everywhere really is like. In order to do it, you will need to spend so much time at this that you would be spending time getting your content in the places where it just doesn’t matter if it is there or not. You are not going to get any significant results from it. But in the process of trying to do it, you are going to start feeling burnt out.
Now there are ways of automating some of this stuff but it is still going to burn you out. There are definitely sites out there that you can post stuff but you can’t automate it. When it comes to some of these strategies of being everywhere, it is just a lot more of a manual process. For example, guest posting would be an element of the “be everywhere” strategy because you want to be on the big blogs out there even if you do not own them so that you can get found, right? Well that takes a lot of time, as well. We have already done an episode here of CBB where we talked about guest posting so I am not going to repeat that, but the idea of being everywhere is going to lead you to burn out. It is going to make you not want to do this anymore. The other thing is that it is going to take your time away from building real business assets. And it is those business assets that are going to help you grow your business. Being everywhere is not going to grow your business. It is building assets that will.
Now in our online businesses we are talking about things like building our email list, putting together lead magnets so that we can build our email list, creating products that we can turn around and offer to our audience; these are things that are actually going to build real leverage for the growth of our business. Now if we are spending so much time trying to be everywhere with our freebie content, you are not going to be building your assets to allow you to build revenue. And so for that reason, being everywhere is typically a waste of time.
Even as you have a more developed business, it can tend to be a waste of time. Now there are things that you could do when you hire VAs and stuff like that, then you can work more toward this ideal scene, this Utopia for bloggers which is the idea of being everywhere. But do you want to feel like you have to outsource to be everywhere? Do you want to think that being everywhere is so important that you now have to face the cash flow problem of hiring an outsourcer to help you be everywhere when maybe cash is a little bit strapped and you are already bootstrapping as it is but now you just hired a VA to do primarily content syndication? Is that the best place to go? Well for many of us, the answer is no. When you have a little bit more of a developed business and you have got some assets in place and you have got some revenue coming at the door, certainly you can hire a VA to help you syndicate and get your content out into additional places; that would make more sense. But when you are first starting out, that makes very little sense.
So what is the solution here? If I am saying “be everywhere”…In theory it works but in reality it burns you out and it is going to ultimately harm the growth of your business; what is the real solution?
Well, first of all, don’t try to be everywhere! Be in the places that actually matter. It goes back to that 80/20 rule. Find the 20% of things to focus on that are going to give you the big results, okay? Going back to the world of YouTube; being on YouTube with your videos and probably Facebook, makes sense. Trying to get on to oneload.com and scatter your videos across all these other sites; that is probably going to fall into your low leverage task list and therefore probably isn’t worth worrying about. So don’t be everywhere. Be in the places that matter, the places that are going to give you the most leverage. Everywhere is an ideal. But it is not necessary in the beginning for all the reasons that I have already said.
Now when it comes to your written content; you are going to have primarily your blog as the main distribution platform for that. That makes total sense, right? Now you probably would want to also do some guest posting, periodically. Now again, we have already talked about guest posting; you need to look at this in the proper context. And we looked at guest posting in that context in a prior episode here of the show, but guest posting as a form of written content can also be effective in terms of “being everywhere” but also with growing your brand. But in terms of repurposing it into a slides and getting it on SlideShare and PDFing it out on Scribd; other things that you could be doing… The truth of the matter is that you are probably not going to get a lot of result by doing that. I was doing that for a while, the truth is I really did not get much result to show for it.
Putting it on the blog makes sense… doing the extra work to get it up on Scribd, not so much. It is not the kind of content that is really going to stand out over there. And like any content platform, if you want to get real legs over there you got to spend the time to grow that asset. And it is not worth it for me (and probably for you either) to go and put time into growing a SlideShare profile or to put time into growing a Scribd profile, like it is not worth building up those profile and getting people connect with us over there because it just does not matter when compared to our blog. So that is a case of leverage.
Going over to the video format for our content; well, we have already talked about YouTube, that’s the biggie. I would also probably dual upload it to Facebook using Facebook’s built-in video player. Those 2 places are probably going to be your biggest places to post a video and quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t worry about the rest of them. I use Vimeo like I said, but it is primarily for training stuff. It is not because I am looking for any public distribution there. I do not post my video episodes anywhere else besides Facebook and YouTube. I mean, you know… We are talking about iTunes and stuff like that when it makes sense, but you get the idea. Focus on the places that matter.
Now let us pop-in to Social. Social is the one that can easily lead people into this “be everywhere” because we think that we have got to be on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram and all these places… Ello… 😀 You don’t have to be in all these places. Now you should probably have a profile there but don’t put tons of work on these things like, I have a Pinterest profile. I know the potential capacity of Pinterest as a traffic generator. I just don’t put a lot of time into Pinterest. If I were running a different kind of site, it will be a little higher on my priority list but for what I am doing it kind of falls into that side of the 80/20 rule where I am just not going to get big results from that effort and so I am not going to spend the time to try to build up that Pinterest profile. I am going to kind of like just let it happen on its own.
So you need to make these choices for yourself. You see some “gurus” out there; some of them are getting really good results. Does that mean that you need to follow suit and try to be an Instagram badass? No! You don’t have to do it, okay? Look at this from the perspective of growing your business; what is going to give you the most bang for your time. If you are sitting there trying to get followers or fans or whatever the heck they are called, on Instagram at the expense of creating a useful lead magnet and squeeze page to get people onto your list, then you are just blowing effort into the wind for absolutely stupid results. It doesn’t matter how popular your Instagram profile is if you don’t have any assets behind it.
Let us move in to podcasting. When it comes to your podcast there, a lot of podcast directories and all these places where you can put your podcast but we want to put it in the places that matter the most.
Obviously, iTunes is the place that it matters the most. Now in addition to that, I also put Coffee Break Blogging on to SoundCloud and also Stitcher. And it because also have pretty significant audiences. And Stitcher also makes it available into a lot of different platforms. I mean, there is a beautiful Stitcher app that is built-in to some of the cars out there so there is some additional distribution there. But in terms of me going out and actually putting a lot of efforts into getting the podcast listed in a ton of directories and all that; it is a kind of thing I might have my VA work on but it certainly not something I’m going to do because it is not good leverage. We always want to aim for the leverage. We want to write less, we want to create less and we want to promote more. You should be spending more time building your assets and marketing your stuff. And you should be creating free content and trying to find ways to make it show up everywhere. Okay?
So that is my take in the “Be everywhere” strategy. Workable in theory; it is not an unworkable thing. It is just that you have to take it in proper context. Otherwise, it can lead you astray.
Now, at the end I want to again recommend that you join me on the next Blog Monetization Webinar. On this webinar, this whole thing about monetization; making money with our sites, it most definitely ties in in a strong way to how you are going to get traffic to your site. All these stuff that we are talking about with regard to building traffic, it becomes so much easier if you monetize properly. They go hand in hand. Now this whole idea of being everywhere; it becomes a heck of a lot less necessary if your site is structured in such a way where you are not leaking traffic and leaking money every damn day. And that structure that makes it toward where you are not leaking these things constantly is exactly what I am going to be walking you through at the Blog Monetization Webinar. I would love to have you join me on that live training presentation.
Lastly, head on over to iTunes and post a quick star rating and review of this episode of Coffee Break Blogging as a whole. I would love to know what you think, what you are getting out of it; if you think I need to do better, I would love to know that as well. But you can tell me that by heading over to iTunes and posting that review for me.
With that being said, I will see you next time! 😉