100 SlideShares in 8 Months

April 25, 2014

100 SlideShares. 260,000 views. 8 months. Those are Fit Small Business's numbers on SlideShare. If you do the math, that's an average of three new SlideShares a week!

How does FSB -- a firm that offers small business advice and only came into existence eight months ago -- do it?

"When we started Fit Small Business, we did not know how small business owners and managers wanted to consume content. Did they like articles, SlideShares, videos? We started out doing all three," says FSB co-founder Marc Prosser. "As we saw which mediums got the best response, we have decided to focus on articles and SlideShares."

Prosser says each deck, which typically has about 25 slides, requires two people contributing to it: One person writes the text for the SlideShare, and another person designs it. Most SlideShares are derived from a longer article they've posted on their blog, written by a third person.

Having published so many SlideShares in such a short time, FSB has learned some lessons along the way. Among them: Don't cram everything you have to say into one deck.

"Make the SlideShare more visual and [with] less text," Prosser says. "We crammed way too much text into some of the original SlideShares. SlideShares are about communicating big ideas, not small details.  It's okay not to share everything that you know about a topic."

It's important to divide labor too, he says.

"Don't use the valuable time of executives and managers to create the perfect-looking presentation," Prosser says. "That is not their skill set and it's very inexpensive to outsource this part of the process. We have a virtual assistant find images and do all the formatting."

Still, at three SlideShares a week, it's a lot of content to create. To keep up their pace, Prosser says they focus on two tricks: 1) popular topics and 2) lists.

Hopping on Hot Topics

Prosser says his team looks at what's trending in the news each week and selects topics to write about based these three questions:

1) What is our target audience interested in reading about?

2) Do we have the ability to produce content that is better than and will stand out from what's out there already?

3) Is this an area which is strategic to our business?

One of FSB’s best-performing decks is “4 Mobile Marketer Steps Every Business Should Take.” They hopped on this topic because mobile is something that everyone is talking about, Prosser says.

“If you’re looking to generate traffic, the issue is A) quality and B) people need to be looking up information on that topic," he says. "Your quality doesn’t matter if people aren’t looking for that information.”

The Power List

“I hate to say it, but people love lists,” Prosser says.

To stand out from the crowd, FSB always creates “top 25” lists, rather than top 10 lists. It’s easy to find 10 resources, Prosser says – it’s the next 15 that are tough.

"To get a top 25 list, we probably look at 100 different articles, SlideShares, videos or podcasts. We find that the sites suggested by readers in the comments section are often better quality than those recommended by the author," Prosser says. "Then we do lots of Google searches. The process is extremely time consuming, as much of the content is not original or insightful."

After creating a SlideShare, FSB embeds it into the relevant blog posts as the main form of distribution.

“It allows you to create a compelling narrative, a compelling story, but allows people to get more details or more information,” Prosser says.

READ MORE: 4 Keys to Creating the Ultimate Presentation Deck