Grooming and training your online business team to encourage great ideas and follow through with new digital product development
There’s a two-part strategy for building an online business that will outlive print.
First, you have two major duties owed to your audience:
- Deliver reliable, accurate and dependable content
- Accommodate your customers with content on their delivery platform of choice
Second, you have two major duties owed to your company:
- Hire a resilient and flexible staff that is always evolving
- Replace any staff that is unable to grow with you
Even as time goes on, these two principles won’t change. The more adaptable, flexible and innovative you are, the bigger your audience will become and the longer they will stick around.
Yesterday we talked about the many different products you can create from a single idea. Starting with the concept of “roses”, it could be turned into articles, handbooks, special reports, videos, webinars and live events. And that’s just the beginning.
If you wanted to go further, you could create photo contests to drive traffic, a stock photo gallery for your community to buy and sell their photography, and online forums.
So stop for a minute now and look at your product line.
- How many books could be turned into complimentary special reports that build your email list?
- How many webinars could be turned into “seminars on demand”, or re-streamed at a later date?
- How long would it take for someone to transcribe your digital event?
Now ask yourself who on your team has stood up to the plate in the last few years and pitched ideas like these, or has taken the reigns to headway a special project like the above. Have you allowed them the opportunity? Have you supported them in their pitches?
Ok, now ask yourself who on your payroll has stood their ground with their “job description”. This person is an editor, “not a copywriter”, a journalist, “not a photographer”, a marketer, “not a social media strategist”.
Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.
Start turning those that stand-still into can-doers.
In order to build a well-oiled machine, you may need to convince your existing print staff that these things are now part of their job description.
I’ll go ahead and dare you today, or later this week, to hold an impromptu content development meeting with your staff.
- First, start simple with an existing product. Hold it up. Ask your room full of smart and talented people to think of ways you can turn this single product into other products quickly and cheaply.
- Second, give your people some pride and let them take responsibility for their ideas. If someone pitches a great idea, tell them that they are now the lead on this project and ask them to research the associated costs for production (if there are any) and how much time is required of other staff members to get this done. People work better and more diligently when they “own” an idea or a project.
- Third, pitch some new ideas. Do a group brainstorm that starts with a topic. It might be your lead topic, or a subject you haven’t yet started building on. Take that topic and ask your staff to explore the content and products that can be created from this single idea. Our topic is roses, how many rose products can we create?
Two tips for your impromptu content development meeting:
- Don’t limit ideas to resources, time or money. In order for the creative juices to flow, there should be no boundaries. Are you going to start tackling every great idea? Probably not, but it’s better to have more ideas that you can build upon, than less ideas that you can’t.
- Use as many brains as possible. Invite as many people as you can to your brainstorm. Sometimes your big thinkers are tucked in a cubicle in the corner of the office building. Sometimes they smell like aged cheese and nobody wants to sit with them at lunch. Sometimes they’re your next rockstar.
Many of the most innovative and profitable online teams we know are small in nature, but huge in dedication and adaptability. If you want to learn how to build a team like this, which cranks out rockstars every day, you should attend the Mequoda Summit in October with us.
We’ll introduce you to our own rockstar team, whom you can poke and prod about job responsibilities, salary and digital product development. We’ll also introduce you to dozens of other profitable online business units during our Structuring Online Jobs session.
You’ll also learn the inside workings of some of our most admired publishers during our Digital Product Development session. In this session, we’ll show you the process and ongoing development of these publishers and how they’ve turned single print publication companies into very profitable multi-platform product businesses.
If your end goal is build an online team that is flexible, dedicated and ready to conquer every hurdle along with you, our two-day Mequoda Summit in Boston is for you. We have twelve information packed sessions exclusively for publishers, editors and content marketers. Join us!