Power of Co-Creation: Building Impactful Content Together
When people join in, it elevates your content to a place that is far more impactful.
Fresh ideas and people participating with you help to create a powerful network.
Co-creation is centred on the relationships you grow to build on and make something together, that others can see. For the most part, you are making something from nothing and the connection you have with someone else is your only guarantee.
This is powerful, as when you realise content creation is not something that is 100% reliant on you, but an opportunity for others to get involved with and create something together you make a lasting impact.
Let me share with you the approaches I have taken and what you can think about.
Why Co-Creation Matters
Co-creation matters as you foster a genuine and deeper connection with your audience. You are doing things together.
The first shift is when you stop looking at people as targets, personas, leads and prospects. You’re interacting with people. If you make something that is inviting for them, they are going to join in with you.
Making the stand for co-creation is present in the work I do. There is always a risk involved but it’s the past efforts and being in the present, that all add up to helping shape the future.
For instance, at the recent YATM Lunch Club we took onboard a challenge to start the event with Matt King and Jake Moore going head to head to see if they could break a World Record for the most Ferrero Rocher eaten in a minute. The record is nine, they managed seven. It was a valiant attempt.
The reason we did this is we wanted to show that when it comes to gathering for business events, you don’t always have to jump into the work part. When people come together, they deserve fun and feel relaxed around others. If I put my marketing head on, what is more like to boost visibility? Is it a video of people in a food challenge being shared or a photo of someone at the front of a room presenting?
You co-create with others to boost familiarity, test new ideas, raise awareness and show others what can be done when you push the needle.
The connections that are already in place can become your greatest discovery that you perhaps never thought about before. It’s important for your marketing, it’s vital for the life you give to content creation. Co-creation means it doesn’t have to be all on you to produce great work.
As you give credit to others for their involvement, it also means it heightens what you do too.
You need to figure out a mechanism for the people who are on your side, to find way to interact and feel encouraged to participate and have the freedom to do so.
What We Do At You Are The Media
The worse thing you can do is ignore people. Whether someone subscribes to your newsletter or pays to attend an event, you have to make them feel a part of something, not just treat them as part of a faceless audience where you are the one who benefits.
Relationship dynamics encourage us to deliver things that others haven’t. Let me share what we are doing and look forwards to the coming months.
I mentioned the World Record attempt at the recent YATM Lunch Club and this idea of challenges and people stepping up to join in is what we will continue to do. We didn’t stop there, we closed the event with everyone joining in with Chandy David and dancing. I know this sounds ridiculous for a work event, but I believe you’ve got to end a high rather than a drab, ‘thank you for attending.’
Co-creation has been the bedrock of what we do. From others leading the events in Bristol and Bath, to leading get-togethers in the YATM Club giving up control and others to lead is important to give a sense of connection to community. For future, YATM Lunch Clubs, in Dorset, I will step back and other people host. For our next YATM event on 12th October, focused on ChatGPT/AI, Christophe Stourton will host and the December event will be led by Lee Taylor.
There is no expectation to live up to something or follow a rulebook, apart from feeling a part of something, with others. It’s about figuring out and joining in together.
The Mark Of A Successful Creator
For the most part, the measurement of a successful creator comes down to scale. The money they have made, the huge audience they have grown, and the short time it has taken to get from point A to B.
I tend to look at the mark of a successful creator comes down to genuinely caring about the people who commit and putting time into those who show a commitment.
As you accumulate an audience, you start to switch to an awareness of others and people start to feel a part of a team. It is their input that matters and when appropriate, involvement in the decisions that are made. Building a sense of community with your team is empowering as what it does is push everyone. For instance, the people who are leading YATM Lunch Club events in the coming months, have never taken the role of leading events before with a room of people alongside them.
What I have noticed is the longer you are invested in an initiative, the identity inevitably changes over time. Where we are today, YATM is very much a collective space where input is important. The longevity of YATM being around for 10 years has become a trusted place, it won’t let people down, and it’s stable. However, it’s the delivery, curiosity and experimentation that matters and that continued spark.
Framing A Co-Creation Approach Your Side
To adopt a co-creation mindset, you start with getting others onboard so it becomes easier for them to look at the opportunities for collaboration, not just as consumers.
Let me share what works:
You go all in, don’t treat it as a one-off.
If you are asking others to join in or lead, it has to be an approach, not because you are unavailable. It means you both work together to make something work, where you can monitor and be reliant on each other. That is such a powerful place to be with a shared sense of duty to each other.
You can’t guess, you find the clues.
An experimental approach means that you test ideas. Over time, they start to formulate ideas that make sense. This becomes easier as your guide when working with others to bring to life. For instance, when we used to end YATM live events, Justin Cohen would bring his guitar and we had a singalong to close. This idea of joining in doesn’t feel so outlandish when getting people to dance. Where we would have had a screen with the words from a song to join in, now we show simple moves and then everyone joins in together.
Be open to fresh ideas.
When you have a blank sheet of paper, it doesn’t feel as daunting for someone else as you are both stepping into a new place. It proves that you don’t have the answers but would like to figure out with others by your side. What you have to be confident about is the ideas you are considering, your past efforts can predict the future.
Don’t hold on tightly, let others lead.
If you want to do everything and all eyes are on you, your ego starts to get in the way. Recognise the skills and energy that others have. I sometimes think that for future YATM Lunch Club events, I would not attend, to prove that it’s the power of the community that elevates the whole effort. However, I am a part of this community and want to be there, just like everyone else. When you look at your audience, you have a resource of many talented people who can shine.
You still set a vision, rather than a free for all.
Having a central message allows you to build around it. YATM is all about how you can build your space and cut out the middleman to get to an audience who wants to come to you. If you lose the central purpose, it can get messy. You still have to manage and persuade, it’s just that it’s as a collective, rather than all on you. YATM is a place for people to join in and have a go, but what surrounds it is a considered approach.
Co-creation can revolutionise your content efforts and build stronger relationships with your audience. That is a win for everyone.
Look at this approach as a way to tap into the collective wisdom and creativity of other people who are united with you. It is so much more than asking someone to speak at your event, but bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the table and making them happen.
If you take this approach, over time you foster an environment of trust, innovation, experimentation and innovation that can thrive. It’s also important to remember that it’s not just about what you can achieve, but the immense value that others receive from being a part of the journey.
When others become active participants you build something truly remarkable where a lasting impact is created.