Storifying Your Story

As many of my regular readers know, I am completely in favor of reusing good content in new and existing ways to increase the visibility of that content on the Web. If you’ve been reading me for some time now, you’ll also know that I believe in being a Go Giver. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but when you’re in business or marketing a product, it’s not about you. The key to success is in the relationships you build, and the value you provide.

That can turn into a lot of work if you think you need to do something different for each person you connect with. But sometimes, if a gift is thoughtful, the same thing can be given to multiple people. Now I’m not talking about giving all of your friends and family the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story. I’m talking about giving them something they can use at their convenience and to their benefit; something that when they’re done, they think of you with gratitude.

Many of my author clients find themselves in positions where they are interviewed on radio, they speak at a conference, or participate in TweetChats. For many people, once the material goes “out into the Ether,” that’s it. The moment has passed and it’s on to the next project.

Yet, these days, radio content and conference materials have their own designated Twitter hastag or are shared on Facebook and other platforms. (For more on how hashtags work, check out Hashtags Demystified.)Sometimes the conversations move so quickly, it can be hard to thread all the information together in a way that’s easy to understand, though.

Or if you’re at a conference, you may want to offer a conference momento with photos, tweets, and video content from the best speakers.

Generosity is rewarded time-and-time again. Taking the extra few minutes to show that you enjoyed the experience and were thankful to participate generates warm feelings directed toward you.

So, what to do, what to do?

There’s a tool that can help you repurpose that material, and shape it into a format that fellow participants will enjoy, and those who weren’t there can still feel like they were part of the experience!

The answer is Storify. This site allows you to pull in content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google, and to embed a URL. You can add the content to your story in any order you choose, including creating actual threads for the conversations that took place in all these sources. You can also add your own text to the story, and be as creative as you’d like with it! If there are off-topic conversations taking place, you can leave those out of the story to create a tight and useful resource for your readers.

When you’re done, publish the story and Storify will prompt you to notify any of the featured contributors to the story. You can also add anyone else you’d like to have notified as well, which makes it easier for the story to reach a broader audience.

I recently participated in a #BookPro TweetChat. We had some great lines of conversation going all at once. Storifying the content (like my new verb?) enabled me to reorder the conversations into easy-to-read snapshots.

Now, I could have stopped there, and just shared it with those whom I notified directly. But Storify lets me take it even further. I can then export my story to a number of different platforms, including WordPress (both free and self-hosted sites), Tumblr, Drupal, Posterous and MailChimp. Alternatively, I can use the embed code to add the story to my own site. This allows me to share the content with the rest of my network via my blog and mailing list.

So, the next time you’re creating content, whether it’s live or online, give some thought to how you can create a larger audience reusing that content. After all, we all know how time-intensive it can be to create something from scratch. So, why not leverage existing content to the fullest extent, and then continue to share new, great content from there!

In the meantime, enjoy my #BookPro story! And if you’re an author looking for more great ideas like this, you may want to purchase my eBook The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books.


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