There is no doubt that content written by your in-house experts is a powerful addition to your marketing, but it can be very difficult to get them to produce anything on a regular basis. It’s not surprising, they have lots to do and higher priorities to worry about. Here are some thoughts on how you can get them to contribute:
Choose the right people: Amongst your experts, there are (broadly speaking) three mind-sets:
- Me First – Open to new ideas, early adopters of new things.
- Me Too – Not likely to be the pioneers of anything, but will be interested if they see the “Me Firsts” having success.
- Not Me – Are probably not going to get involved at any stage.
The first group are the people whose doors are a little bit open, not adverse to the idea but can’t seem to find the time – these are the people to start with and focus on: educate them, empower them and turn them into ambassadors for you project – once they are on board and start seeing results the “Me Too” people will be much easier to bring into the fold. Don’t worry about the “Not Me” group, they are unlikely to get involved at any stage and if you have two thirds of the team on board you are already winning!
Education: As a marketing professional, your expertise lies in marketing and everything that surrounds it. Your experts (probably) know very little about marketing, which means that in most cases they are not interested in getting involved. To them the job often starts when they have their first chat about the problem the client needs them to solve. Educating them involves showing how important their contribution is to the bottom line, as well as showing the benefits of contributing over a period of time. For an expert this might be higher fees, bigger clients, being quoted in the press, speaking engagements etc…
Further Education: It’s an ongoing process and this is where your marketing skills come in – once your experts start contributing, you need to make sure the right people see it, share it and interact with it - and then make sure you give plenty of feedback to the contributor. Everyone loves to get feedback and recognition and if you can tell them their piece has been read by X people, shared by Y people and Z people have contacted the firm as a result – it’s very likely that they will do it again!
Higher Education: Help them to see the benefits that they might not have thought of. By writing about relevant topics and their areas of expertise, they can strengthen their knowledge and learn more about their field. Commenting or providing insights on a given issue can help them condense their own thoughts and find new solutions to exisiting and
Key things think about:
Simplification – How can you make it easy for them? through technology? changing a process here or there? Removing roadblocks? It’s vital that the process is as smooth and frictionless as possible.
Motivation & Enjoyment – What motivates the people you are working with? at Passle motivating experts to write is a key part of what we do and we work with a behavioural scientist to devise motivational constructs for just this purpose. Think about small scale short term rewards, feedback and team goals. Anyone who has risen to the top of their profession is likely to have a competitive streak, so use competition and find a way to make it interesting & enjoyable.
Collaboration & Team goals – Make it a team game, get people to collaborate and work together towards a shared goal. This also helps take some of the weight off your shoulders, team members motivate each other and no-one wants to be the person that ‘lets the side down’
Habit – It goes without saying that you have to make it a habit, forming a habit can be difficult so the majority of your efforts will be up front. Once you have a core of experts in the habit of writing regularly the process can become self-perpetuating. You’ll need to give them a nudge every now and again, but the longer they do it, the more benefits they will see and the easier it will be to motivate them to continue.
To be really successful at getting your team to create expert-led content relies on a combination of all of the above. It will be hard work at the start, but if you find the right people, make it easy and enjoyable and keep them motivated. You will see results.