You posted about your new coaching or creative business on Facebook to friend and family, letting them know about your new endeavor and that you're taking on new clients. You share about your passion on Instagram and get a few likes, but nothing more. You send out an email to some former colleagues asking if they can be your beta client or be a model to start your photography portfolio.
Those are all great ways to get started on your entrepreneurial journey, but creating compelling content is key to consistently attracting the right clients what will want to work with you. The truth is: if you're a service provider -- the clearest and most compelling marketer wins the client. Your strategic marketing is what will empower you to do the work you are created to do.
So, today, I wanted to get you the low-down on "what you need to know about creating compelling content." Because if you're getting starting or committed to getting established, a creative and strategic marketing plan is what will help you "put yourself out there" and get noticed by the people who matter.
But first things first: content is the value you provide to potential clients up front so they can get to know, trust, and like you. When we're talking about an online business, this could be anything from your Instagram photos and captions, Facebook posts, email newsletter, blog posts, and webinars and live calls. If you're a coach, I like to think of it more like a curriculum of topics and tips you can use to teach and educate your prospects, peers, and clients about who you are and what you do. If you're a creative, I like to think of it as the written, illustrated, visual expression of your craft to appeal to your potential buyers.
Okay, so now that we're clear, let's chat about the challenges. If you have a ton of brilliant ideas and not sure how to implement, then creating content could feel overwhelm. Where do I post? What do I say? Will people even pay attention? How do I grow my audience? How LONG is this going to take?
Whoa, slow down. I got you. Here is a simple step-by-step framework into honing your message into a marketing plan of action.
1. Start with "why". The first step is ALWAYS getting clear on your "what" and your "why." What's the purpose of your online presence? To get clients? To build a relationships with potential vendors? To share your story and message to the world? Your purpose is what will guide your plan, so take a few moments to get clear on your "why" and the goals you have for putting in this work.
2. Get clear on your expertise. As a starting point, it's important to identify your main message, your audience (their desires, needs, and challenges), and what you want to be known for. Pick a few specific topics that you take a stand for.
For example, if you make one-of-a-kind custom jewelry made entirely of recycled materials, some topics could include: your inspiration design process, your mission to save the earth and environment, and tips on how to wear the jewelry. Or, if you're a health coach who helps busy moms with nutrition for their families, it could be: quick and simple meal planning and recipes, exercise for the whole family, or holistic health care with body, mind, and soul.
If you're getting started and not quite sure yet....that's okay! Brainstorm a few ideas, and then COMMIT to trying out your message for 90 days. That will give you plenty of feedback to test to see if it's working for you.
3. Pick Your Social Media Platforms. Get strategically in front of your audience by choosing the right platforms. You can even start with 1-2 platforms, get really confident for it to work for you, and add on from there. Here's a quick start guide for you from Typenine Creatives:
4. Create Your Content Headlines. Now that you know your top 3 topics, and the platform you're focusing on, you can start to flesh out your content. For platforms like your blog and newsletter, you can think of 12-13 "headline" or topics that could fall under your top 3 topics so you plan out your content out in advance. Keep in mind that these headlines should focused on how your expertise meets your audience's needs and desires.
For example, the health coach's headlines could be:
- A week's worth of nutritious recipes for the family in 30 min.
- How to Choose the Seasonal Vegetables
- A Gluten-Free Guide to Eating Out at Restaurants
- Free, Fun, Active Family Activities to Do in the Fall
- 5 Meal-Planning Tips from a Health & Wellness Pro
Get the point? Having your top 3 "Buckets" of themes to write about can be helpful to give structure to brainstorming ideas for blogs & newsletters you could write about.
The social media twist: You can apply the same principle to your social media platforms by brainstorming images and captions of specific topics that you could post about. Or, you can repurpose your blog content into social media sized chunks and post it on there.
5. Get Organized. Schedule it! Now that you have your headlines and topics to write about, you can create a content calendar by using a tool like Trello, Google Docs/Calendar, or a Wordpress plugin to schedule when you'd like to post these blog posts. Then, you can set aside time in your schedule to create and write out the content of those posts. For me, I like to spend Fridays creating content. So I'll write the next week's Facebook posts and blog content & newsletter that will be schedule to publish the following week. My typically repurpose my content in a different way for each platform, but have a theme for the week focuses what I'll be writing about.
For social media, scheduling tools like Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Later (for Instagram), or PostPlanner (for Facebook) are great ways to schedule your posts all at time so you don't have to spend time posting them manually.
The key is here: to plan ahead and give yourself some time to actually write out the content to post so you don't feel like you're scrambling to do it last minute.
6. Commit, Track, and Evaluate. Growing an online presence takes time and consistency. So choose a level of commitment that you can stick to. For example, a blog post once a week and posting on Facebook 2x/week may be a good starting point. Whatever you choose, stick with it, track your results in terms of engagement and ultimately # of inquiries to evaluate to see how effective your content strategy plan is.
Once you put into practice this structure, you'll begin to streamline a process that works well for you. Create compelling content is what will help you get visible and build a strong foundation for your online presence. If you'd like some 1-on-1 support in this arena, I just open up 3 spots for my one-month intensive "Authentic Brand Content Creation" One-Month Intensive, where we will focus on YOUR strengths, YOUR message, and YOUR audience so we can create a personalized content marketing plan to grow your online presence. Check out these details here: http://www.shichencoaching.com/intensive. Snag your spot today!