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Respect Your Content Creation

One of my clients recently asked me an awesome question that I feel many solopreneurs bump up against. So I thought I’d share the answer with you too!

Question:

A respectable organization wants to use all or part of my course in their program. What should I do?

Answer:

At first, you may feel this is an amazing opportunity. It feels good that a solid and reputable establishment values your work. And it IS a testament to your professionalism and great content. So, yay you! :-)

Please, don’t stop there.

It’s easy to get tempted to jump at a “Yes” because you're honored to be recognized and included. However, I want you to take a few moments to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What is the compensation for your content?
  • Will it be branded under your label?
  • Who will own the rights to the content?
  • Do you serve the same target audience?
  • What benefit is it to you and your company if you say yes?
  • Does saying yes fit into your overall business and brand strategy?

These are important questions to ask yourself because any collaboration has to be a win-win. And moreover, your “Yes’s” must be in alignment with your overall company strategy.

For example, say one of your business goals is to become an expert in your field. 

We know that narrowing our niche gives us a better opportunity to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Being a generalist in today’s world is not going to bring you the results that you want. There’s just too much noise out there and when we are talking to everyone, no one is going to listen.

We also know the power of a solid brand. When your business is represented in a clear, consistent, and attractive manner people will begin to know, like, and trust you - the trifecta in any successful and sustainable marketing plan.

The combination of a memorable brand, with valuable content, clearly communicated to your specific niche can not be underestimated. In fact, it is the underpinnings to your success.

Let’s go back to the scenario now of an organization wanting to include your content in their program.

If you’re not getting compensated well, I mean at least 10x your course value, there is no monetary draw to the project for you. In essence, you would be granting a creative license to the organization, allowing them to distribute and sell your work under their label.

Why would it be OK if the organization profited on your work but you didn’t? Think of the lifetime value of this opportunity for them. Now think of the value/benefit for you?

If it’s white-labeled you’ll have zero brand recognition. This doesn’t support your goal of being seen as an expert in your field.

Dilutes the unique content value

If you plan on marketing and selling your course, which you should, it dilutes the unique content value. Think about it, if a large organization that probably has more distribution power than you do is offering the exact same content, what’s the draw to come to you? Pay your enrollment fee?

Possible confusion in the marketplace

If you are serving the same target audience, to me it sets up possibilities for confusion in the marketplace and price conflict (since you don’t control what they might sell your content for). 

Is there an advertising benefit?

That being said, it would be different if you were a highlighted expert instructor that was getting compensated as such under their umbrella OR if students were going to be directed to your website for future learnings so there would be an advertising benefit for you.

Considerations

Another huge element to consider is that the world is going digital big time. This isn’t an overstatement but a fact-based on our global circumstances. In that, everyone is going to be vying for online attention. Content has always been king, but now it’s the whole damn kingdom.

Think about all the time, energy, love, investment, learning curves, late nights, etc. that have brought you to where you are right now in your professional career.

Think about what it takes to come up with a fabulous new idea and moreover organize it in such a way that is a clear step-by-step plan for your audience to consume and benefit from.

Think about the potential transformations that your work offers.

Creative, unique, and valuable content is now the biggest commodity not only in the online space but throughout commerce as a whole.

So before you jump at the chance to have your work included in someone else’s program consider the full picture.

You have something amazing to offer.
Lean into your unique value and respect your creative assets.

Let me know in the comments below which idea caused you to pause and consider the full picture of sharing your knowledge assets.

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