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Content marketing workshops and thought partnership relationships are often mutually beneficial.
- The client learns something from me and can implement my storytelling framework.
- I learn something from the client because that’s really how I can help everyone: By being exposed to a wide variety of content marketing problems
Workshops can help organizations with internal content creation teams adjust their strategies, overcome barriers and get an update on what’s new and taking off in their industry and other industries.
Here’s how I used to run workshops:
- Prep, prep, prep.
- Present virtually or onsite
- <The end>
And that can be helpful and it has been for organizations. But it was missing one important step: The follow-up.
I forgot about that people think about things at their own speed and that’s okay.
When we present to an audience and say: “are there any questions?”
“Okay. Great. Moving on.”
And sometimes it’s true that there are no questions that second, or somebody didn’t raise their hand fast enough, or they were too shy to ask in front of the group, or they simply haven’t thought of the question because they were still mulling the material over.
I know that sometimes when I’m listening to audio of a presentation that I sometimes miss pieces because I’m still thinking about what was just said and I am applying it to my own situations.
Whatever the reason might be that people aren’t asking or commenting then, they might ask or comment later or in a different forum.
So for all workshops, I now offer a follow-up meeting. Usually it’s remote and between 30 and 60 minutes.
If it was a small group (10-15 people) I might invite them all on the follow-up call. If it’s more I’ll invite a handful of representatives who can share additional questions, barriers uncovered or other issues we didn’t discuss that do slow down their content marketing strategy and implementation.
It’s been a useful addition and helps the teams I’m working with truly be able to implement the training.
After all, the training’s purpose is to be helpful and not just add more work. Closing the loop helps with that.
In addition, some teams use the opportunity to figure out how to fill gaps that we’ve uncovered.
Maybe the organization needs more writers, or different kind of writers. There’s a difference between journalistically minded ghostwriters and technical writers and even even traditional marketing writers, for example.
Many teams need help with original photography. Others need help with ongoing content marketing strategic advice. Others, yet, need help with distribution.
Sometimes teams know what’s missing before a workshop and sometimes a workshop helps them crystallize a barrier and figure out a way to get past it. Sometimes that happens during the workshop and sometimes it dawns on us a bit later.
That’s why I’ve found the follow-up highly important and helpful. And ultimately that’s what workshops by brought-in consultant should be: Helpful. They should help the team move forward better and stronger than before. Keeping the discussion going a bit longer helps with that as well.