If you have a business, content creation is a part of your marketing strategy. But for many people, this can feel overwhelming and confusing. Here are the 7 things you should consider when attempting to put out great content for your brand or business, and 7 suggestions for success. (And if you'd like to dive into this later on your own offline, you can snag my free guide here)
Suggestion: Follow a system
How do you currently organize things? Do you type frantically from your mobile every time the wim hits to throw something on Instagram? Is strategy a foreign word in your business day? In order to get started, you need to be organized. This is a totally subjective topic, and we’re all different levels on the OCD scale, but the bottom line? You need to know where to find stuff, what’s coming next, and without looking for hours. Some of my favorite tools for getting and staying organized?
- My ipad pro
- Google Drive with Content folder organized by month
Roadblock: Low Productivity
How often to do you sit down to “get stuff done” only to get lost in a FB wormhole only adding bookmarks and other to-dos to your list without actually making progress on what needs to get finished? I’m raising my hand, too.
A productive use of your time takes a little planning ahead and organization. I work closely with a timer, my calendar and workflowy. Workflowy helps organize my categories which then turn up as timed blocks on my calendar. Straight forward & simple!
There’s a great book about focus called Deep Work by Cal Newport. In it, Newport outlines the human evolution around focusing, how detrimental it can be to multitask, and how it takes time to build up to long, 1hr+ stretches of focused work time. I highly recommend this book. I’ve been working with my Focus Timer to stick with blocks of time, uninterrupted to get difficult or focus-heavy tasks done without interruption…like this one! Phone is on silent, social media closed. It’s just me and this task until the time is up!
Roadblock: Low numbers & bookings
Suggestion: Know your client
Are you tossing your content at the wall and praying it sticks? …to something? I used to do that all the time. Sometimes something was a hit, and I’d be bolstered by the influx in numbers and engagement only to post something else and hear a symphony of crickets. The entrepreneur roller coaster is a real thing, I’m on it.
But one thing that has changed the way I work and create for my audience is knowing my ideal client. Do you know yours? How old are they? What do they do in their free time? The more you know about the person you’d like to serve, the easier your job will be.
Next, what the heck do you want them to do with what you’re feeding them anyway? Click like? Sign up for something? Follow you? If you’re not considering your ideal client and their behavior, then you’re slinging possibly amazing content, in the dark.
Roadblock: No clear direction
Suggestion: Follow a strategy & schedule
I know that part of the reason you started you own business was to get away from a rigorous schedule. It’s one of the big reasons I started Jennings Photo. I’m sure you’ve noticed that your scheduled hours have not decreased at all, only increased. But the hours are MINE to schedule and arrange the way I’d like.
Once you’ve accepted that you’ll still need to adhere to some kind of schedule, you’ll need a strategy. We’re dealing with creativity and creating amazing content, but even though your laid back, creative brain wants to shy away at the word strategy, it’s necessary. Strategy is how you get from A to B in an easy way without wasting too much time and resources on content that isn’t working or that you audience doesn’t really like. I still have to re-learn this lesson from time to time when I’m in a hurry to engage with folks following me. But for the most part these days I know 1. What I want to help people with that I know how to do 2. When I plan to release the content around helping and 3. What kind of content I’ll put out there. Seems basic but a strategy is something that so many entrepreneurs overlook. Your business may still work without one, but it will definitely blossom and grow with a solid strategy.
Roadblock: No time for other things
Suggestion: Work ahead
If you’ve listened through to this point and nodded like, “That’s me. Need to get organized!” Or need to make a schedule, then this one will speak to you: time. Do you feel like you are squeezing in biz things anytime you have a few minutes? Wishing you had more free time AWAY from your computer or phone to hang out with your family or friends or indulge in your favorite hobby instead? Well, as you might’ve guessed, all of this is connected. I BIG reason I started my business, maybe the main reason, was to have more time for myself when I wanted it, not when someone else said I could have it.
The process I’ve developed in CCC is designed to give you more time. There’s a burst of work followed by a lot of sitting back and meditating, or napping, or hiking, or anything away from the social media circus. But there’s some doing involved here. It should mostly be fun though! If you’re clear about your offering and how it can help or improve the lives of others, then you’ll most likely feel excited about things when you have to sit down and batch things out.
Roadblock: Authentic, GREAT content
Suggestion: Authentic evergreen content
You can be amazing at consistent posting, but if what you post sucks, isn’t targeted properly, or doesn’t have heart, you’ll probably hear those crickets again. Authentic content has a little bit of YOU sprinkled in, whether that’s your enthusiasm for what you’re offering or featuring anecdotes about your life, the content should feel like it’s coming from you and not copied verbatim from someone else.
Roadblock: No website
Suggestion: Establish a home base
THe biggest part of this whole course is bringing folks through your doors. Most of us only have digital doors and not a brick and mortar, but it’s business all the same. You’ll need a home base for people to visit and peek at all your offers. Why? It not only helps with SEO, thus boosting the way people find you on the internet, but gives you a regular place to be seen by your audience that’s pretty accessible for folks that might’ve left the social media space or never joined in the first place.
If you’re still tuning in, thank you & well done. You’re taking steps to make things better, which is the best we can do with any aspect of our lives. I’m here because I realized that the stuff I’m doing, maybe because I’m naturally organized or maybe because it works, can help other people. And it has!
This course launched in BETA format in the fall of 2018. I had 10 testers, not all photographers, give things a try. The results made me SO happy to hear. Engagement numbers catapulted upwards for some people, bookings and inquiries grew, and there was less time worried about post timing and more time to do other fun things outside of work.
If you want to drive more traffic to your site, engage and grow your audience, get organized, have a plan and have more time for other things in your life, this is definitely the course for you.