We write a lot on this blog about building authority as a vital marketing tactic.
But let’s be honest–there are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes, it can be hard to meet deadlines and grind out new content (I am not immune, seeing as how I am delivering this post late)!
The fact is that, from time to time, it is entirely acceptable to use someone else’s content to build your platform. We may explore this later in another post, but this might look like:
- Recording your thoughts on someone’s blog post on your own blog.
- Re-tweeting someone.
- Posting a video response.
- Simply referencing them throughout your blog/podcast/video.
I do this myself from time to time. Many times I will re-tweet another thought leader and provide my own short commentary about the piece.
This helps expose my audience to a wide range of well-written content, instead of hearing directly from me all of the time.
What I am about to share you with you need not be considered in the case of a re-tweet or something minor. After all, folks post content online because they want it to be shared.
However, in cases where you are going to be using quite a bit of someone’s content in order to supplement your own, you may want to follow these three guidelines as closely as possible:
1. Always Ask Permission
If you plan to use a significant amount of someone else’s content in order to bolster a piece of yours, you should most definitely ask to be sure this okay. For example, one well-known thought leader has placed a 200-word limit on copying his material. That is, if you are going to quote him to the tune of 200 words or more, you will need to make sure you contact his organization so as to not violate any copyright laws. Even in a scenario where you think this may not be necessary it’s always best to check.
2. Always Cite Material
Citing material is a great way to expand your credibility when sharing content, for multiple reasons. (1) It provides a helpful association between your name and the name of the person whose material you are using. (2) It provides another layer of copyright protection–in other words, it demonstrates that you are not claiming someone else’s words as your own in your materials. (3) It shows that you have done your research and are not merely working off on ideas you’ve hatched in your own mind, but rather ideas well-supported by the research of other experts.
3. Always Return the Favor
The ultimate goal when using authority marketing is to, at some point, be considered an authority! I don’t write these posts for my own good each week; I want someone else to be able to use the knowledge I have acquired and look to me for vital information. It may happen that, at some point in the future, someone wants to quote you and use your material for their work. If and when that happens, remember those who helped you in the same way. Some may be looking for supporting material, and may want to quote your material to challenge/critique it. In either case, be willing to do for others what others have done for you.
However you decide to use others’ content, you can rest assured that there is a legitimate and respectful way to do so.
And, while you may run into someone who is stingy with their work from time to time, you will find that most people are happy to share what they have created with you, in an effort to build your own platform.
Discussion Question: Have you ever used someone else’s work to build your platform? What kind of pushback, if any, have you received from other content creators?