Author and entrepreneur Bruce Kasanoff dove head-first into SlideShare: With barely any previous experience on the site, he uploaded 13 presentations in two months. He did something right — five of his presentations were the most-viewed SlideShares of the week, and he’s gotten a total of more than 270,000 views. The Now Possible managing director and LinkedIn Influencer shares the lessons he learned along the way:
Although I’d previously published a few pieces on Slideshare, it wasn’t until two months ago I got serious about sharing my ideas here. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1.) Pick Your Audience First, Not Second
In the old days (last year), I used to write about what was on my mind: technology, customer relationships, innovation, wireless sensors and more. No more. Now, I try to write about what’s on your mind.
When it comes to Slideshare, I mainly create pieces about careers. This is where my interests seem to most overlap with the interests of many SlideShare members. Understanding this allows me to be specific with my titles, headlines, images and copy.
If you want to find a good-sized audience, browse the most popular SlideShares and see which categories attract the most interest. Decide which one is the best fit with your expertise, then focus on it intensely.
2.) Be Simple, Not Simplistic
For the most part, simple messages online work best. I get frustrated when people upload complex presentations on SlideShare. Such presentations require additional explanation and simply waste readers’ time.
Even worse, many people create lengthy presentations without being entirely certain what they are trying to say. This is because it really is harder to write shorter pieces.
To be honest, I take this too far. Many of my SlideShares have been a bit too short and too simplistic. I’m working on adding more details, while still focusing on one simple message. It’s challenging, no doubt.
3.) Get a Running Start
I never depend on SlideShare alone to get my views up and running, and always embed my presentations elsewhere. In this manner, I “seed” the audience and get enough momentum to then get noticed on SlideShare.
Embed and share your SlideShares on LinkedIn, your blog and on other sites. Create presentations with specific sites in mind. This is hugely important, because in my experience SlideShare works best when combined with other sites.
I find that sometimes my LinkedIn articles power readership on SlideShare, but other times the exact opposite happens: Readership of my LinkedIn article is so-so, but the embedded presentation takes off on SlideShare.
4.) Think Small. Really Small
If you are lucky enough to make it to the SlideShare homepage, the promotion image for your presentation will be roughly the size of a postage stamp. That’s enough room for a bold image and a few words, at most.
I used to put a title and my name on each cover page, but then I realized that once someone clicks on my SlideShare, they can easily see the details in the description right under my presentation. This means you can, and should, use very few words in the cover page to draw people in. Also make sure those words are readable at that small thumbnail size. If you can find pictures that make the words easier to understand, that helps, too. Personally, I am still striving to do this more effectively.