I was pretty much oblivious to paper.li, the free tool you can use to publish a newspaper. I may have seen one - didn't think much of it.
About 18 months ago I had the idea to add a hashtag or two to my Twitter posts, @Architekwiki. I guess I am the last person to 'get' hashtags. I never use them to find info. Well apparently I am in the minority. Adding hashtags got my tweets found, favorited and re-tweeted! And that is how I found out more about paper.li because Architekwiki started appearing in other people's newspapers. That was good for the ego until I realized that the editor of the newspaper probably didn't know he had added Architekwiki. His newspaper found my hashtag and pulled me in.
I found that out by investigating paper.li more carefully. Basically anyone can have a free newspaper and paper.li does all the work. As often as twice daily, paper.li will scour the internet for articles, tweets, Facebook stories, google+ posts that meet the criterial that you set up. BANG - you have a newspaper. I still wasn't keen on the idea. I looked over the paper.li site a few more times before I realized that the newspapers I was seeing weren't bad because of paper.li. They were bad because no thought went into setting them up.
So I got the idea that if I vetted the content and maintained a focus similar to Architekwiki's, then the result might be more to my liking. Well at least it isn't an embarrassing mess like some of the early examples I stumbled across.
My approach was to select ten people who consistently publish info that I would be happy to share. I left out hashtags because they cast too wide a net. #architecture, for instance, might pull in stories about designing website apps. I also chose to go weekly. Maybe that will change, but for the past year I have been happy with that frequency. If you haven't noticed the Architekwiki Weekly yet, take a look. Near the top, after the date of the issue, is a link to 'archives' if you want to check out past issues.
That is how I make use of Paper.li, but you might like this idea better. Use Paper.li as your firm's newsletter to clients. If you ever tried to assemble a newsletter, say with Constant Contact or MailChimp, you know how much time this can take. Let Paper.li do that for you. Just limit your content to whatever sources you use (you are putting stuff out there, right?). Your twitter account, your Facebook page, your blog. Once a month take your newsletter that Paper.li created out of your published material and email your client list with a link to it and a brief description of what this is all about, or perhaps a brief rundown of the newsletter's contents.
You should be able to put that monthly email together in an hour. While you are checking your Paper.li content to compose your email, take a minute or two to delete or rearrange any of your content to suit your needs. Voila! You have a newsletter.
Experiment with pulling in third party content from authoritative sources related to your specialty. These are easy to remove if you don't like the topic, but they can add value to the information you are making available.
Take a look. Give it a try. Paper.li is a free way to step up your marketing efforts.
Image stolen from Paper.li blog