Content almost killed my first business. No, I didn't write something controversial that ruined my reputation or record an embarrassing Facebook live that sent clients running.
I saw how Think Creative Collective was blogging 5 days a week, Jessica Stansberry was dishing out weekly videos and podcasts like a champ, and my competitors were rocking it 3x a day on Instagram… and I thought I needed to keep up.
The problem was, I spent more time creating and promoting content than actually doing client work, setting systems in place to keep my business running smooth, or other important tasks.
And I burned myself out!
So yes, while my blog posts and social media interactions were driving traffic and sales, it came at the expense of my sanity.
This time around, I now have systems in place for easier content creation, strategies to ensure I'm creating effective content, and give myself grace when I don't have the energy to create #allthethings.
Pssst! Is creating content your business nemesis? Join me and Cami Williams of VAology for a free webinar on April 5th called “Stop Living Blog Post to Blog Post: How to Create Strategic and Streamlined Content.” Learn more here.
So, to save you from letting content creation drive you insane, I’ve brought in 10 entrepreneurs to share their best content tips and tricks... and I threw in a few of my own as well. Check out these 6 questions:
1. What do you feel is the most important factor to consider when it comes to content creation?
“Process. Content marketing is a long game — creating and distributing content, each week, every week, for *years.* How do you do that in a way where everything is on time and on point, over the long term without messing up or burning out all the time? With a great creation process.” – Brittany Berger
“I absolutely believe it’s vital to know who you are writing for, even over why you are writing it. Ultimately, if you can’t make one person or one group of people feel like saying “Hey, that’s me!” (so you’re resonating with them and often evoking an emotion), then your content or copy will not encourage engagement, returning readers/viewers/listeners or eventually sales/bookings.” – Rebecca Viner
“Determining your content goals! Are you looking to educate your audience on your process, brand, products or services? Do you need to build trust or authority? Are you striving to grow your email list or drive sales? Is all you need awareness about a new offer? Your goals will shape the type of content you’re creating and the platforms you’re posting to.” – Lauren Black
“Stop trying so hard to say something that sells. Instead try to focus on saying something you believe in and whole heartedly do! It's so much easier to rave than it is to sell.” – Kellie Daab
2. What's one tip for making content creation easier?
“Batch! Everything is easier when you can get in the flow.” – Kathryn Hofer
“Write a killer outline. Most writing struggles and unclear content come from jumping in without enough of a plan. Editorial calendars are great for planning out overall topics, but aren't enough to ensure each individual piece of content is thought-out and crystal clear on your message!” – Brittany Berger
“Define your niche — your content creation will come more naturally if you are speaking to the people you are passionate about, on topics you are passionate about.” — Heather Heinrichs
“Ask your clients or tribe what their single biggest challenge/struggle is. You’ll have content ideas for months and know exactly how to help your tribe.” — Kate Boyd
“Generally speaking, we feel like there are four parts to content - strategy, idea creation (coming up with topics, main points, etc.), content creation (the actual writing of the content), and execution (sending/posting/scheduling.). We often find the entrepreneurs get stuck at one or more of those parts. We like to help client identify where they’re getting stuck and then find a way to take those parts off of their plate.” – Cami Williams
3. How do you typically come up with ideas for what to post?
“I am moving toward creating content that supports upcoming launches, free training and teases the topics that are next in my group program. This gives me focus!” – Kathryn Hofer
“I ask my tribe and I decide what I’m selling, then I find the places that overlap.” — Kate Boyd
“I keep a list of types of posts and then spend a set amount of time coming up with headlines or thinking about what questions people have asked me.” — Sophie Newman
“I begin with a monthly focus and use that to support all of that month’s social media, blogging, opt-in, and email content. It's marketing magic.” – Kellie Daab
“I look at what my audience is talking about on social or I pull topics from conversations I have with my clients.” – Michelle Vroom
“I look at my various offers — signature products, lower-priced offers, and freebies — then work backwards to create a story bank of ideas. I think about what my clients need to know before making the purchase or downloading the freebie, what the stepping stones are before and after that offer, what case studies or examples I could provide, what pain points I could solve, etc.” – Lauren Black
4. How has content creation impacted your business?
“My background is as a professional blogger where my blog itself was the business. Content creation has enabled me to leave my 9-5 job by establishing my own personal brand online, creating opportunities for me to work with amazing clients and really demonstrate my knowledge to build the know/like/trust factor with my audience.” – Rebecca Viner
“Content creation has impacted my business immensely. Almost all of my clients have been followers of mine long before they were even clients of mine. They were drawn to my social media content.” — Heather Heinrichs
“It has been everything. I get clients from connections and content. So it’s been integral in every business I’ve had or worked with.” — Kate Boyd
“It's helped small businesses understand what they receive by working with me, increased my web traffic, and helped build my list.” — Sophie Newman
“It has generated interest in my services and built trust/loyalty in me as an expert.” – Michelle Vroom
“Content has Increased my SEO ranking & visibility.” – Amy Snyder
"One of my clients had been given a handful of referrals for her rebrand, but chose me because she resonated with my blog content, liked my Instagram feed, and basically felt that she knew me before we even met." – Lauren Black
5. What are your favorite programs or software for scheduling and planning your content?
“I currently use E-clincher for managing all of the feeds on all my platforms (it includes Pinterest, LinkedIn and auto-generates content so it's perfect for me right now).” – Kathryn Hofer
“I LOVE CoSchedule and have used it for my own business as well as with employers and clients for years. It's one of the only tools within a small business owner or solopreneur's price range that gives you both a great bird's eye view of your marketing calendar and a tool to actually implement it. I love that you can plan, create, publish, and promote a piece of content in the same spot. I also love Evernote for capturing quick ideas and outlines before diving into Google Docs to write long-form pieces. Plus, it integrates with CoSchedule.” – Brittany Berger
“I use ContentCal as I’m able to plan out all of my social media, PR features, blog posts, emails etc in one place for myself AND my clients. Where possible I recommend using partner tools of social media platforms as these have insider information and first access to new features (such as now being able to schedule to Instagram via Hootsuite without having to be notified and manually publish). But there are times where tools like ContentCal hugely streamline the process.” – Rebecca Viner
“I plan my content in my old school planner. But I do schedule for social media with the Facebook scheduler and Later.” — Sophie Newman
“I like the interface of Smarterqueue. If you're a heavy blogger I always suggest CoSchedule. But I'm an even huger fan of creating live actionable content based on what's currently happening in the industry. This allows you to have a focus but captivate current conversation for conversion.” – Kellie Daab
“Buffer” – Michelle Vroom
“I love Google Drive for planning and scheduling! I also use researching tools like ahrefs.com & BuzzSumo.” – Amy Snyder
6. How and where do you promote your content to your audience?
“When I have a new piece of content, these days I'm focusing on distributing it via email, my Facebook group, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and individual outreach to a few people in my network.” – Brittany Berger
“I believe in doing a few platforms really well and have others as supporting channels, but I also believe in not putting all of your eggs in one basket. In 2018, your email list still remains really important as it’s yours and isn’t impacted by an algorithm like social media. So I personally focus on email and Facebook as my core content channels but I have over 5 years‘ experience as a Pinterest “expert” and know there is huge potential there for leveraging it for traffic with little effort. Essentially, it’s all about finding what works for your business and where your audience is most active.” – Rebecca Viner
“I promote my content to my audience with Facebook Groups. I will leave a blog post in a thread as an answer to their question.” — Sophie Newman
“I focus my efforts on Facebook and Instagram. I blog, guest post, and employ email marketing for content conversions.” – Kellie Daab
“I promote my content via social media several times a week. I also ask people in my network to share it with their audiences.” – Michelle Vroom
“We support clients in promoting their content on social media channels, podcasts, websites, email, webinars, etc”. – Cami Williams
“Facebook & newsletters.” – Amy Snyder
Overall, your content creation needs to be your content creation! Figure out what works best for you rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses. Learn to repurpose and create spin-offs, so you're not struggling to create something new all the time.
Ready to take back your content with a strategic process and easy-to-implement steps?
Plan strategic content with ease using our Content That Converts strategy guide! 120+ pages of planning and strategizing. Take the guess work out of what to write and record!