A new Protocol piece by Sarah Roach talks about how you must master multiple platforms to be a successful long-game creator. As a reasonably successful long-game creator, I only partly agree.
I first bought The Basis Point domain in November 2007 and launched the site in 2008. This was earlier days of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Back then, the main goal was using those platforms as a way to link back to the master content on the site.
This is what everyone did. But then social networks got better at keeping creators within their “walled gardens” as fancy marketing folks like to say. The audience is there, so you should just create there. We all did it, and most still do it.
I was on board with this until we all started getting charged to reach the audiences we’d built up on those platforms.
Then I changed back to the original premise: if there’s a certain degree of pay to play, then why not make sure all the content originates and resides in a place you own instead of rent?
Also it gets SO exhausting feeling like you have to master every format. For me, it felt like it was watering down what we wanted to focus on most.
For now, that focus is consulting, which means the best content we’re producing is for clients. Some of it carries our name/brand, but most of it is done on behalf of clients.
This is part 1 of our long-game playbook. Part 2 is a good old fashioned ad-sponsored media platform with some special sauce we’re cooking up.
And when the “Part 2” time comes, we’ll inevitably have to redouble our efforts on social because paying sponsors want more distribution. But for now, it’s been a relief — and a focus-booster — to not think about holding down all these other platforms.
This is the issue for ALL content creators whether individuals, small teams like ours, or corporate marketing machines.
Where do you focus?
It’s not so simple to just say you must master all platforms.
I strongly think you must choose 1-3 platforms and just focus on being useful to your audience on those. Most often, focus and content quality gets watered down when you go beyond that. The rare exceptions to this are scale corporate teams who can master all platforms.
I believe all creators including our team can find a good balance of content quality, distribution, and the price your customers pay.
I get that this statement is vague because there are a thousand ways to make money on content, but I’ll come back and put more meat on that bone later.
In the meantime, go check out Sarah’s piece which has good creator case studies and quotes from platform execs. And please comment below, or email me with questions.