Naval Admiral William McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, famously said: “If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.”

This quote rings true in life, work, and personal branding.

It’s astonishing how many subject matter experts try to build their personal brand name by themselves. They blog on their own, they tirelessly search Eventbrite for speaking opportunities, and they consistently market their knowledge to their own listeners. Keyword – “own.”

While this is great and all, publishing your own thoughts to your own site without another party to help market you, isn’t doing your content justice. Savvy subject matter experts realize this roadblock and turn to content partnerships to help accelerate their personal brand reach. They play what I like to call, “The Piggyback Game.”


What is the Piggyback Game?

The piggyback game is simple.

Think of it this way – you are a subject matter expert in marketing, finance, management, engineering, product development, UI/UX, etc. (to clarify, one of these areas is your domain of expertise – not all) Instead of writing thought leadership and publishing it to your own blog, you find another company that has a larger reach, bigger brand name, and an audience that aligns well with yours. You get the business to agree to publish your content and market it to their audience while giving you the credit, byline, and backlink.

You’re trading your knowledge for their promotional power.

When this type of partnership happens, the value is simple.

  • You’ll expand your content’s reach because you’ll have someone who can market it to their audience – in addition to yours.
  • People will begin to associate your brand with the larger more recognizable brand – improving your social validation.
  • By having new eyes on your content, you’ll open up new doors for new opportunities. Every new person to read your article is a new opportunity.


The Right Way to Play the Piggyback Game

To properly play the piggyback game, here’s what we recommend – whenever you start a content partnership between you and a brand, always ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Will my target audience recognize my partner’s brand?
  2. Is their marketing reach larger than mine?
  3. Does their audience align with my audience?

If you answer “yes” to two out of the three questions, then partner with that business. If you answer “yes” to only one question, then you may want to target a different company because you may not see enough value from that partnership.

All-in-all, playing the piggyback game can prove tremendously valuable to your own brand.  It’s something that only a few people play, but many see massive value from.

To learn more about how you can quickly play the piggyback game sign up as an expert and pair with well-recognizable brands.