At Knowledgelink a core part of our business for over a decade has been working with Subject Matter Experts to build large online business where they can leverage their content and sell it over and over again at the enterprise level.

Many of our clients have built multi-seven figure businesses using our technology platform. Along the way we have come across many experts who have made big mistakes when trying to leverage their content and generate sustainable passive income. In this blog post, I’m going to go over the top six actions that SUCCESSFUL speakers and experts take in order to leverage their expertise.

The key actions are:

  1. Prioritize productization.
  2. Understand the basics of good content creation.
  3. Maintain all rights to your intellectual property.
  4. Document your successes.
  5. Nurture multiple streams of revenue.
  6. Preserve your performances.

1. Prioritize Production:
As a Subject Matter Expert your content is your business. And when you create a product it is important to take your time to define the essentials of your specific offering.

Unfortunately, many Subject Matter Experts feel like they’re on a hamster wheel of powerpoint slides, travel, talks- rinse and repeat all year long!

That’s great if that’s the business model you want to have, but maintaining that kind of schedule means that you have little time to think about programs that you can leverage and sell over and over.

The most successful Subject Matter Experts we work with prioritize production. Meaning that when they are at home or in the office, they focus their attention on creating quality programs that their existing clients want.

It’s hard to change your routine. It’s hard to say to your booking agent that you’re going to take two weeks off to create content. It’s hard to make sure you’ve got product/market fit before you go into production. But it’s absolutely vital if you want to be successful and make money while you sleep.

2. Understand the basics of producing good content:
Over the years we have come across many Subject Matter Experts who don’t understand the basics of producing good content and because of that lose revenue and viewership.

Your production level is one of the most important components when building online programs and products.  We created a 4-step process to help you produce quality content.

First, build your narrative. What is your story and are you telling a story that works? Use the classic 3-act structure to outline your content: define the problem & how to solve it, execute the solution to that problem, and then see the payoffs.

Second, select your media types. What media types do you want to use when creating your content? We’ve identified four media types to consider:

  • Audio files (similar to a podcast)
  • Slideshows (voiceover ppt slides)
  • Regular video
  • Interactive content created by an authoring tool

Third, manage your production value.  Producing content includes 4 steps:

  1. Writing
  2. Casting
  3. Production (shooting the content)
  4. Post production.  

And what comes up regardless of the media type is the question: do it yourself or hire a professional?

If you have interest in the do it yourself model that is great.  It is a low cost option, but comes with a learning curve and time commitment. Do you have the time or energy to do it yourself? The other side is hiring a professional that includes a higher cost, but the expertise, speed, and quality is valuable. Do you have the ability to hire a professional?  Producing content is dependent on your time and money. 

Finally, determine what method you will use to deliver your offering. There are many ways in which you can deliver your content, but we believe in the privately branded platform.

If you are an expert selling at the enterprise level it is important that you have a platform and a partner that can be trusted.  Enterprise clients are looking to leverage your knowledge and provide it to their employees, so being able to give them analytics to report is important.  

Youtube/vimeo will not give you that ability, a WordPress site with plugins will break and become outdated, but a full service LMS provider will always be stable and provide what you need.

You should definitely do your homework and check out all the options available to you. We’re confident that KnowledgeLink is the best option for both functionality and price out there 🙂

3. Retain your intellectual property rights
We receive calls and emails on a daily basis from potential customers that ask the question, “Who owns the rights to my content?”

And our answer is… YOU DO.  If we produce content for our clients we hand deliver it and you can use it in any medium you choose, without worrying about the consequences. A common mistake that Subject Matter Experts make is giving the rights to their IP to their service providers or to their clients.

When your business is your knowledge/expertise you spend a lot of time and effort developing your craft. When you create online courses or any type of materials it is important that you own it. What if your business model changes?  What if you no longer want to work with that provider?  Do you want to feel handcuffed by a company that tells you they are a partner and not a vendor?

We believe that Subject Matter Experts should always retain their IP rights no matter what.

4. Document your successes
In the constant activity of running a business, travel, family activities and creating fantastic new content, it can be really easy to forget to document the results your clients see after working with you.

Make sure that you document those results so that you can share them with prospective and your current clients!

5. Nurture multiple streams of revenue
Solo-preneurs often make the excuse of saying “I mostly do my business face to face and in training sessions.”  That’s great and most of your business probably should be face to face, but are you making money in other places?  The most successful business owners we work with have multiple streams of income.

Whether it is a store on your website, online courses, an affiliate network that drives traffic to your offerings, when you nurture multiple streams of income you  make money in other places rather than just one.

6. Preserve your performances
In attending many meetings and events in the Subject Matter Expert world a common theme discussed is preserving your performances.  Come up with new ideas, never do the same performance multiple times, create new content, film new videos, write new blogs/articles, and always be different. Keep your audience thinking and wondering what you will do next.  This is especially true if you are speaking in front of the same organization multiple times.  Give the audience their money’s worth and continue to improve your craft.

Author: Peter Getchell

Peter joined Knowledgelink in 2005 with more than eight years of experience in client services and sales. He currently is a member of the executive team and spearheads all business development initiatives for Knowledgelink. As a long time Boston and Phillies sports fan, Peter catches a lot of slack from the New York faithfuls. Peter now resides in Connecticut with his wife and two beautiful daughters.