Outposts and Your Home
Being adaptable and having a home for your best work, but also being present in people’s timelines, means you set up a home base/outpost approach.
Your message needs to be seen in spaces where people congregate, but your best work should be in the place you have control.
The collection of work you own means you don’t dumb down wanting to rein the web.
It is important to have your space, but you can’t forget that distribution matters. It’s how you’re seen.
Let me explain how I work with outposts and a home. This is all about being adaptable with your work.
Bedding In On Social
The lure of keeping us in social spaces is ramping up and becoming so enticing. It is becoming difficult to look away.
LinkedIn is my social place of choice. It is doing everything to keep me there, it’s hypnotic. The introduction of LinkedIn newsletters means I send the YATM Extra every fortnight. The availability of LinkedIn Audio Events means we have YATM Good Bad each Friday at 11.45am. LinkedIn is my outpost, but at the same time, I am becoming a product of LinkedIn, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The intention is clear, LinkedIn is saying, ‘make more for our platform.’ They want me to keep posting and creating for them, If I want to add more links, then they’ll press a button for me to be forgotten. LinkedIn wants your content, they’re not interested in you adding a link.
So, what are our choices:
1) Give in and spend our lives bowing to the algorithm (and gain engagement/awareness points)
2) Focus less on wanting to dominate the web and build a space to bring people to where they care (this could be dominated by a newsletter, subscribers, blog, even seeing each other)
Here is how I make my home.
I still work on my blog every week and the Thursday YATM newsletter is the ritual that lets everyone know they are a part of something and to be featured. This is my home.
A friend asked if LinkedIn would become a replacement for the YATM blog and newsletter? If I am being honest participation and activity has increased significantly in the past year on LinkedIn.
However, it always comes back to owning space. The YATM site is for me to do what I want with it (even though people don’t congregate around a website).
I can use it to store data (about to move the database to one single owned space that isn’t Mailchimp), I can add, I can take things out. I can incentivise people with what’s coming up and for them to book/pay via the YATM site (and not somewhere such as Eventbrite). Owning the space also relates to the YATM events, when people participate they know are part of a wider landscape of activity, not a one-off.
Places that are not your home should be encouraged to build within. They become your outposts.
LinkedIn for me is a place to interact with others in a neutral space that someone else has complete control of.
From these interactions, if people want to know more about you and learn what you do, there is an opportunity to continue. This is why I will always have an audience development goal of encouraging people to subscribe to the weekly newsletter outside of LinkedIn.
This is how I move people from the settlement property on LinkedIn to my Homebase of the email or website.
Your Home Base
This is where I put the most effort in. It’s mine and my responsibility. If I choose to lose interest, that is down to me. I put everything into the blog and my newsletter. At YATM events are part of the home base, and I want to make sure that everyone has an unforgettable experience.
I put the most value into my home base, I spend the most time in the outposts (LinkedIn etc) to get people to mine.
What builds over the years is a library of information that is readily available and (hopefully) easy to find. I have over 800 articles in the You Are The Media collection. I own it.
None of my posts have hit a wave of popularity or won anything, but when you add up the hundreds of posts that sit there quietly, each day, someone finds something that I hope they find useful and even better if they tell someone else.
The way I look at what is mine and what isn’t mine is this:
🏆 Give the most value in what is yours. Such as your newsletter, your blog or events (online or offline)
🔆 Spend the most time in getting people to yours via places such as LinkedIn
Knowing What You Make & Who It’s For
If you spend all your time in the outposts, it becomes enticing to look popular as that is where many others spend their time. You become sucked into making the ‘hits’ that are seen and liked by hoards of strangers.
When you concentrate on building a space that is right for the people who care, you analyse what you want to make. Over time you begin to recognise who it is for, what’s in it for them and how we’re going to find ways to talk about it and build on it.
You can’t be confused about who you are trying to reach and what you want to say. If you want everyone, the chances are you’ll be happier to tone down your work and make it simple. When popularity becomes your goal, it’s not the masses who are looking for you.
If you can concentrate on being the right person for some, you put the effort in making sure your home is continually relevant and of value for the people who matter.
When you give the most in what is yours and spend time in other places to get people to you, being adaptable is how you get the best of both worlds.
You don’t want your work to be hidden away, it makes sense to create where people already hang out.
This is why taking on board an adaptable approach where you have outposts and your home is going to be your best ally:
👌 It is important to have a library to direct people to that can help them, if all you have are social posts it becomes difficult to archive
👌 Remember that when you own the space or database it gives you control, but at the same time you need to get the right people to see your work to make that decision
👌 Whatever situation can occur down the line you have to be nimble, or you become a bit like this furniture company who put all their eggs in the Instagram basket
The ‘don’t build your home on rented land’ content marketing message has been around for ten years, but doesn’t seem so apt today.
It’s good practice to have these hubs around you, where your involvement becomes a part of the user experience. I can see that LinkedIn is becoming even more of a lure, where we are all becoming the product and spending more and more time there.
However, nothing beats the ability to reach out to the people who want to join in with you. This is why building a kingdom for people who care is always going to be the ultimate motivation.
Spend the time in being noticed in others’ timelines, but make sure that when people do commit to you (subscribe or buy), they are going to get something they cannot experience on any other channel. This is by creating something where others know they are seen, can participate and feel a part of something they cannot get elsewhere.
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