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9 ways to find more time to make They Ask, You Answer work in your company

When applying the philosophy of They Ask, You Answer in your business, you need to prepare for the time it will require to do it well, so you maximize the results you see.

9 ways to find more time to make They Ask, You Answer work in your company Blog Feature

August 17th, 2020 min read

I’m sure most of us can agree that we could use more time in the day to get things done. At the office (pre-coronavirus days), it would be rare to hear a coworker rave about the abundant amount of time they had to complete their work.

While it would be great to have more time than we need to work on things, it’s simply not realistic in most cases. 

But what about the things that we know are important, essential even, but we just can’t find the time to do them? For instance, when applying the philosophy of They Ask, You Answer in your business, you need to prepare for the time it will require to do it well, so you maximize the results you see.

Producing content, amongst other things, is essential for success. However, even though we all want the incredible business results we’ve seen with the philosophy, we still find ways to neglect the things that need to be done to achieve them. 

This is why Marcus Sheridan’s lesson on success (and failure) with They Ask, You Answer — within his free Digital Sales and Marketing Framework for Today's Modern Buyer course on IMPACT+ — is so important for us "neglecters" to watch.

In one video, he points out ways to easily generate the content needed to succeed with They Ask, You Answer, without taking up a bunch of time. In most cases, doing some light work upfront actually saves a ton of time moving forward. 

So, how can you fit this upfront work into your busy schedule? Marcus has nine suggestions to make that happen. 

1. Create blogs from emails that answer questions very well

Does your sales team answer the same questions over and over through email? Think of all the time each person spends typing up the same response. 

Instead of starting from scratch to provide an answer each time, Marcus suggests turning a good answer into a piece of content, such as a blog article or video. This way, each of your sales reps can simply provide that content to prospects the next time those same questions come up. 

Cuts down on a lot of wasted time, right? 

To make it even easier, Marcus suggests BCC’ing your marketing team in the response so they can easily grab the wording of that great answer and use it to produce some polished content. 

🔎 Related: The Big 5 blog topics guaranteed to drive traffic, leads, and sales

2. Talk to yourself out loud

After talking with a prospect or customer, or even just out of the blue, some really great content ideas might pop into your head. 

When that happens, Marcus suggests using a voice recorder (most likely your smartphone) to record yourself answering, talking through those ideas, answering questions, etc. From there, you can send those recordings to customers or prospects as needed, or send them to your content team to use as they see fit. 

Because you can make voice recordings so easily and from anywhere, you can flood your marketing team with content ideas that you recorded on a walk, on your commute, while on the treadmill, etc. 

If time really is the issue stopping you from creating content, voice recordings are an excellent production method that can be worked right into your regular schedule.     

3. Hold “blogathons” or “videoathons”

“Blogathons” or “videoathons” refer to dedicated time for your team to focus on creating blog articles, videos, or other types of content. 

Carving out time specifically to focus on content not only sets the tone for how important content creation is, but it also builds an instant backlog of things to be used and published.  

🔎 Related: How to write a blog post (+ free blog post template)

What comes out of this content session depends on the guidelines (if any) that you set for the team, however. For instance, Marcus suggests holding “videoathon” where everyone in the company is tasked with creating  a video answering a specific question.

With so many options for how you can leverage those videos in your marketing, sales, blog, social media, etc., the few hours invested upfront will surely pay off for your They Ask, You Answer strategy. 

4. Hire a content manager

If you really want to reap the most benefits from your They Ask, You Answer strategy, someone at your company needs to own content. 

However, Marcus cautions against simply adding content management to someone’s plate who already has a separate job and/or is already wearing a ton of hats. 

The content manager’s sole responsibility should be content. That way, they can focus on streamlining the content creation process to minimize the time needed from other team members. 

It’ll also allow them the time to produce a higher volume of content themselves, lessening the time needed from the team as well, without skipping a beat on your They Ask, You Answer strategy.

🔎 Related resources:

5. Remember that insourcing is a big deal 

Your employees are your best sources for content. 

Leveraging their subject matter expertise, help them to come up with content ideas that are relevant to your audience. 

Keep in mind, your audience can be prospects, clients, previous clients, job-seekers, and more. Surely your team’s knowledge or experience can provide valuable content for at least one of these groups. 

Whether they’re being interviewed, filmed, or are writing a blog article, any way you can get the information out of their heads and documented is an opportunity for your content team to use that material to keep creating more sales and/or marketing pieces. 

🔎 Related: The benefits of insourcing vs. outsourcing your content

6. Learn each team member’s strength 

As much as we’d all love to be fantastic writers or light up the screen with our charming presence, odds are we have areas of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to producing content. 

Marcus suggests asking your employees how they want to engage and participate in the process. Whether it’s writing, filming, idea generation, or something else that gets them on board, leveraging their strengths and passion(s) will better set them up for success than making the decision for them. 

7. Turn on the camera and hit record

For so many people (myself included), the only thing standing between them and endless amounts of video content is the record button. 

It’s so easy to come up with reasons why we “shouldn’t,” or “can’t,” just hit record. 

My hair is a mess today. 

I’m not wearing the best outfit. 

I haven’t had enough time to practice. 

The excuses are endless. However, as Marcus reminds us, we’re never going to be great with video if we don’t start the process. 

The more you can encourage your teams to experiment with video the more comfortable they’ll start to feel on camera. Even simply doing video calls at first can help ease the awkwardness of being on video for those who are just beginning. 

One great piece of advice that Marcus provides regarding video is to keep talking and once you start, even if you “mess up.” 

🔎 Related: 5 ways to be comfortable and likable on camera

Pushing through everything you need to say allows you to stop focusing on the mistakes and focus on practicing the delivery of your whole message. In fact, sometimes including minor flaws or hiccups in your videos can make you more relatable and “human” to your audience. 

8. Stop doing what doesn’t drive returns

With all of the different ways businesses can produce and share content, it can feel like you need to be doing a little bit of everything to stay ahead. 

In reality, however, you should really focus your energy on the things that work, and steer clear of the things that are eating up your energy and time with little to no return. 

As Marcus cautions in his video, “Don’t be a jack of all social media trades, be a master of one.” 

The more you can hone in on the methods that your audience is actually engaging and responding to, the greater returns you’ll see in the end. 

9. Emphasize the value to your team

Many organizations claim they can’t find the time to produce videos, articles, or other types of content. 

However, Marcus argues that time isn’t the real issue. 

He says that when something such as content creation keeps getting pushed off, it really comes down to what we value. Whatever we value will end up getting the most priority; meaning, if content keeps getting devalued, there’s a lack of buy-in and understanding around its value, and that’s the real issue that needs to be solved. 

Think about what’s really blocking you and your team from producing the content that will make your They Ask, You Answer plan the most successful. More often than not, you’ll find that time isn’t the issue you really need to solve.

You might find that an educational workshop about inbound culture or a targeted training course is just what the team needs to genuinely understand the value behind these efforts. 

🔎 We can help: Learn about IMPACT's inbound culture workshop

Find the time to make They Ask, You Answer work for your company. 

Many of these suggestions from Marcus take minimal or no extra time out of your day. Even simply forwarding his video to your team to watch when they have a few minutes may help them discover some simple things they can do that’ll benefit both them and the company that they wouldn’t have realized otherwise. 

If you’re still struggling with finding the time to create content, feel free to connect with me and we can brainstorm some additional ideas that may work for your company.

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