You’ve probably been advised already that if you’re in business you should be creating your own content. I also know there are a lot of objections why people choose not to. But I think it’s important that we revisit the top benefits to creating your own content and that creating content doesn’t automatically mean you need to blog.
1. The Go-To Position
We all have competitors and we’re all looking for ways to stick out from the crowd. Well, creating your own content is a great way to show your prospects your expertise and how you can help them out. Leveraging other people’s content is okay but having your own to share is the best way to build on the like, know and trust. Having your own content is the easiest and fastest way to become the go-to or leader in your industry.
Why promote someone else’s business when you can promote your own?
2. Drives Traffic to Your Website
In the online world your website is your prime real estate. It’s the only place where you hold all the cards and control. That being said having your own content is an easy and great way to get people to your website so you show them how you can help them out.
3. Behind the Business
Having your own content lets people get to know you faster. People are more interested in the person behind the business than they are the brand or business. At the end of the day people do business with people. Why do you think reality shows are so popular? People have this need to know what someone is like behind the scenes. Creating your own content really does put the like, know and trust into overdrive.
4. Out There and Everywhere
You only have so many hours a day and you can't use them all for face-to-face networking so let your content do the work for you. Get your voice and message out there!
5. Stay Top of Mind
I heard Don Crowther say something years ago that really stuck with me and that is to think of your prospects as having a room full of filing cabinets and each cabinet has folders on different topics. Your goal is to be the only file folder in the cabinet of your expertise and to own as many cabinets as you can. So basically when your prospect is thinking about services or products that you offer you’re the only option – there are no alternatives.
Having your own content is again an easy way to stay in front of your audience so when they’re ready for the type of services and products you offer the only option they’ll think of is you.
6. Brand Purposes
Creating your own content allows you to have better control on how your prospects view your brand and business. It’s a lot easier to shape how people perceive you when you’re the one doing the shaping!
Are there common objections you’re prospects are always bringing up? Why not address them and let your prospects know that you understand them? Creating your own content is a great way to stay in touch with your current clients as well as building relationships with prospects.
Creating Your Content Plan
Now that you know the reasons why creating your very own content is so important I want to help you create a content marketing plan so the content that you create hits the bullseye when it comes to relevancy to your ideal clients.
Being random with the content you create is even worse that throwing out bad third party content on your social channels. Why? Because not only have you wasted your time in creating it but now you seem unrelatable to your target market. They think you don’t get them and you can’t help them out.
The start of you plan includes:
1)Your Ideal Client Profile
This is your document that goes into detail about who your ideal client is and what’s keeping them up at night. If you haven’t made up your ideal client profile yet then check out this blog post: Building Your Ideal Client Profile.
Part of this profile should be making buckets, let’s say to start making 8-10. Think of each bucket as a folder or topic that is highly relevant to your ideal client. These buckets will help give you inspiration on what you should be creating and also sharing on your social channels.
2) The Clients Journey
This is the path that your prospect takes to saying “yes” to your products and/or services. There are 3 stages to your clients journey…
a) The Awareness Stage – this is where your prospect is experiencing a problem and is starting to do research to more clearly understand and give a name to their problem. For instance, someone with these symptoms: fever, loss of appetite, headaches, tired and is starting to get red bumps, starts doing research to see what they have.
b) Consideration Stage- is where the prospect has clearly defined their problem and is researching and understanding all the available methods to solving their problem. To continue with the above example the person has found out that they have the chickenpox. They are now researching their options on how to relieve their symptoms and /or cure their problem.
c) Decision Stage – the prospect has decided on their method or approach to solving their problem and is compiling a list of possible people, vendors or products to help them out. This is the stage where they decide. So to finish with our example our poor chickenpox person has compiled a list consisting of going to his doctor, going to the ER or going to a walk-in clinic. He weighs the pros and cons – doctor can’t see him today, walk-in clinic doesn’t open for hours so he decides to go to the ER.
It’s important that you work all three stages into your content strategy and plan so you’re not missing any prospects that aren’t at the decision stage. Think of it this way. the awareness stage is informing your prospect of their pain so they can give a name to it, so this would be your educational content like an eBook or report. The consideration stage gives your prospect your solution to their problem. This can be through webinars, videos, podcasts, guides etc. The decision stage could be a free trial, live demo or a invite to a free consult.
3) How Do You Want To Present Your Own Content?
Since it's important to create and distribute content on a consistent basis you need to decide what type of content you want to produce, that you can maintain and love doing. For stance, if you hate writing than blogging might not be the best avenue for you. Maybe video would be better?
There's lots of choices so don't feel you have to do something you hate or not comfortable doing.
Once you decide how you want to present your content and you’ve got your buckets with the type of content (topics) you’re going to create. It’s now time to organize…
4) Content Calendar
To stay organize and reduce that stress the easiest and simplest method to keep track of your content is to create a calendar. This calendar needs to take into consideration:
- your buckets (topics)
- your client's journey
- when your content is going to be published and created
1) use an Excel spreadsheet (my preference) or
2) use a Google calendar (if you have a Gmail account the calendar is included and if you don’t have a Gmail account they’re free so I highly recommend that you get one so you can take advantage of the other Google tools like Google Drive and Hangouts).
I heard someone say once that if “Content is King, then Distribution is Queen”. This is so true because you can make amazing content but if on one sees it…
So take a catalogue of your distribution outlets like your social media profiles, social media groups and other networking forums, associations you belong to, email, your website and reach out to your connections to see if they will share it. When and where your sharing your content can also be added to your calendar (I find using a Excel spreadsheet is best for combining everything in a easy to read fashion).
6) Reuse and Recycle
You don’t always have to be creating new content. Do you have a piece of content that did amazingly well? Can you re-purpose it in another way?
For instance, change your blog post into a video.
Or take a bunch of your blog posts that are connected to each other and make a lead magnet (free piece of content for someone’s name and email address).
Take a video, have it transcribed and you have several possibilities. The list goes on and one.
When you're creating content try to make it evergreen. Evergreen simple means that it will be relevant for a long time. For instance, if you make a blog post about Father's Day it has a short lifespan where it's going to be relevant to your viewers. If you make a blog post about why people should create their own content well this is something that's important and the points are going to stay relevant for a long time. Get it 😉
So there you have it...the motivation and the plan to get you going on creating your own awesome content!
Let me know in the comments what's your biggest obstacle to creating your own content?
About the Author:
Angela Grover is the founder of Virtually A to Z and the creator of the Path to Endless Clients System. She helps Entrepreneurs who are struggling to find leads every single month to double their revenue, grow their online visibility while they make a big impact in the world with their unique message. For a free Path to Endless Clients strategy call visit www.VirtuallyAtoZ.ca/free-consult/