As we learned in Part 1, content has a beginning, an end, and an afterlife. Digital content is conceived in an expression of a human mind(s). This mental expression is called a concept. In order for this concept to be shared with other humans, it must be PRODUCED and LAUNCHED. Humans cannot launch content until it is produced. Production is both a noun and a verb. Production as a noun is the result of the verb. Production is a PROCESS. A human production PROCESS can be measured in seconds or years. The process begins with THE CONCEPT (written or not) and ends with SAVE. This process has 3 major components: pre-production, production, and post-production.
When you click on update, share, comment, post, upload, etc. you are a PUBLISHER. You are a PRODUCER if you add ANY value to the production process (i.e. editorial commentary).
The litmus test: If you RETWEET you are a publisher. If you QUOTE the TWEET, you are a producer.
Here are the top 7 mistakes producers make:
Forgot to ask the simple question “What is its purpose”?
All concepts do not have a purpose. Assuming your concept has a purpose, what is it? A production’s purpose defines its nature, its culture, its intent, its scope, its course, its requirements and its budget. A production’s purpose is a sentence. It can be written in a text message in a few seconds.
2. Did not understand its intended audience:
This is a big one! It’s also a tough one for producers. Most producers are telling THEIR story so taking the time to understand their audience is a laborious mundane task.
“If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up.” – THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
HABIT 5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD by STEVEN R COVEY
Rather your intended audience is 1 or millions, you should always try to understand your audience and how they will consume your content.
3. Unprepared for ACTION:
In movie lingo, you’ve heard “ready, set, action” or maybe “lights, camera, action”. Regardless of your preferred lingo, you should take note that there are many words in front of ACTION. This applies to a SELFIE, a VINE, a YOUTUBE video as much as a blockbuster movie. You can’t take a selfie with a dead battery or if your phone is out of storage. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
4. Did not vision the end:
The end of EVERY human production is SAVE. You are now the proud producer of digital content in a state of zeroes and ones. What now? Where are you going with this saved content? Are you going to self-publish? How will you distribute this content to your intended audience? Will your intended audience consume it? If they do consume it, will it nourish them? WILL IT NOURISH YOU? You are wasting valuable energy if your production does not nourish something.
WARNING: Digital content requires energy and management resources. Content masturbation should be done offline. If your end vision is meaningless, ABORT. If your intended audience is YOU, get a diary.
5. Did not balance the equation:
In order for me to publish a sunrise photo requires energy. As my friend Jesse Derbyshire would say “80% of the equation is showing up”. The return on my investment for publishing a sunrise photo (digital content) is in balance. The amount of energy transformed in this morning ritual is a zero-sum gain. The mutual exchange of value is acceptable to both parties. All productions, regardless of complexity, MUST balance the equation. This is LAW. This law cannot be broken without unraveling your universe. If you are NOT pleased with your digital content management performance, most likely your process is out of balance. Fix that and the rest will fall into place.
6. Pressed “Publish”:
Digital content is NOT published like you think. Rather a selfie, a periscope, a talkshow or a full blown integrated marketing campaign, it is LAUNCHED. Launching your content is a separate and distinct process from production. A production process ends with a process workflow called “save”. A launch process begins with a process workflow called “target”. A “target” is determined every time rather you realize it or not. When you press “post”, the software tells you “published” but in actuality it has launched a program called “launch” (no pun intended). This program has a set of business rules. The software serves itself. Producers grant the software a license to publish when they press “publish”. The software (with this contractual right that you just granted it), decides the audience, not you. The software MUST oblige you (by contract) however it makes it easy for publishers to ignore this most important process. Digital content is LAUNCHED. It is NOT published.
7. Did not look at his/her notes.
This is not your first production. You have digital content out there living and breathing in the digital realm right now. You also have ghosts. You learned something from the “feedback loop”. Did your previous content reach it’s intended audience? Did it create value? Was there a mutual exchange of value with a zero-sum gain? What were the surprises?
How are you applying those lessons learned in this production? Where is your notebook? Go find it, review it and apply the lessons learned. The feedback loop is there for a reason.
As always, you can thank me later. If you need me, you know the rules –> pick up the phone and call me at +1-843-327-6008 or click on –> Contact Info.
be creative. be brave. be bold. be social. and always avoid mistakes when you now know the top 7 🙂