It used to be that an entrepreneur wore specific job title hats: writer, speaker, marketer. The tasks associated with the day-to-day running of that type of business were more cut and dried. Today, with the advent of the Internet, a speaker needs to be able to write, market, and publish as well as tend to his bread and butter talent of opening his or her mouth for cash. The bad news is that operating a website, mailing list, creating and selling digital or physical products, and (hopefully) producing podcasts is a lot of work for a one person operation. The good news is you don’t have to get anyone’s permission when it comes to creative choices, and better yet, don’t have to split the money with a third party like a publisher or agent.
This is not to say that publishers and agents don’t serve a purpose any more. The framework of the traditional publishing industry still holds some benefit for those who manage to navigate the maze and squeeze past the gatekeepers. For the rest of us, now would be a good time to realize that the Internet offers an unimaginably large audience for your product or service. In order to reach the largest portion possible with your brand, you should start thinking of yourself as a publisher. Like we said in the headline, everyone’s a publisher now.
Don’t believe us? Consider the following:
Website: There are precious few entrepreneurs these days who don’t see the necessity in operating a website. If you do have a website, guess what that makes you? A publisher!
Ebooks: You might not have a big time publishing contract, but more and more entrepreneurs are realizing the profit potential in selling digital products, often either special reports, ebooks, or even a series a “How To” lessons. Guess what that makes you? A publisher!
Podcast: With podcasting set to blow the socks off terrestrial radio, speakers and writers are starting to realize that it’s not difficult to produce and upload a regular podcast in almost any area of expertise. Don’t look now, but that makes you a publisher.
The big deal about being a “publisher” is not so much a matter of attaching a new label to your business efforts. The larger point is to establish a new way of thinking in your brain. Quit thinking about advertising and think more about innovative ways to market your brand. A quick and easy definition of “publishing” means to produce content for public sale. That’s pretty darn broad. Here’s a challenge: How many different ways can you become a publisher?
For a good example of how to successfully “publish” your brand, browse Jason Hartman’s website. Ebooks, physical and digital information products, podcasts, blogs, books. It all adds up to one thing – more ways for a potential customer to stumble across his brand. (Top image: Flickr | Shmuel 510)