What You Should Know About Content Marketing

Your content is one of the most powerful tools in your tool belt for sales in your online business. It allows you to take a step back from promoting yourself through traditional advertising. All because you are showing up online with great valuable content in a way that connects with your audience on a deeper level.

Content marketing according to the dictionary is “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” These pieces of content help propel your business forward organically.

Let me put it this way. Content marketing is creating content with a particular goal or outcome in mind. You can create content till the cows come home but it doesn’t really take on that marketing component until you are creating it with a goal that is trackable in mind. I feel like I need to say this here, creating something just to create it like a blog just for fun is a goal but how do you track that fun factor. This is more like creating a blog post to drive new visitors to your website and convert them to your email list.

But exactly how does creating a video, writing a post or putting up a social media update really help you market your business?

Improves experience and builds relationships

Using your content as a marketing tool provides value to the people viewing your website, social media posts, your videos, newsletters, etc. helps you build a relationship with people you meet online. When you’ve built your marketing strategy around your content you are giving people a peek into what it is like to work with you. You are also showcasing your expertise around the particular topic. And building trust even before you ever get into a conversation with them.

People like to get to know you before they make a commitment to working with you. And by having content in place that markets you and provides value for them you really begin to stand out online.

Establish your credibility

Anyone online can say whatever they want.

They can get away with saying they can guarantee crazy results without actually being able to. Using your content as a pillar of your marketing strategy separates you from those that try and pull the wool over their customer’s or client’s eyes by making outlandish statements. As you show off your expertise through your content marketing you establish credibility with viewers online that you do in fact know about the stuff you put out there.

They can see that you have more than a surface knowledge of the concepts and that boosts your credibility.

People buy from people that they know, like and trust. It’s a fact. And when your content helps establish your credibility selling your products and services becomes way easier.

Content marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing

Traditional marketing which I’m referring to here as purchasing advertisements is way more expensive than content marketing. This isn’t to say that traditional marketing isn’t a valid growth strategy because it totally is, I’m just saying that if you don’t have the budget to do traditional marketing then content marketing is a great way to start.

Plus it gives you a LOT of content to have in place when your traditional marketing effort starts bringing in leads. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen an ad and thought oh cool I wonder what else they have to say or just that I want more information about their approach to their business. Only to find out that they don’t have meat behind their ad. They have the hook but they don’t have the content in place that markets their skills and knowledge and I end up feeling let down.

You can make an impact even if your small

One if the most beautiful parts of having a content marketing plan for your business is that you can make an impact even if you are a one woman shop and you have a small following.

How? You might ask… by creating content that connects your skills/knowledge/talents with their problems.

You can yell at the top of a mountain till you a blue in the face that you are a health coach but unless you’re connecting what you do as a health coach to what they see as their problem you won’t build any traction.

However, even with a small following your content marketing will attract the people with the problems you solve and connect your products or services with the solution to those problems.

You can create less content with higher quality

Another favorite part of my content marketing strategy is that I create less content overall but it is a much higher quality that keeps people coming back, engaging and sharing my content online without me having to create even more content.

With your goal in mind, you can create content that then is perfect for repurposing and still supporting your marketing goals. This content that is rich in value will go a lot further in the online world than fluff content which people can easily overlook or view as spam.

Now it’s your turn

Do you have questions about content marketing for your business? Ask me in the comments and I’ll see how I can help!

What you need to know about content marketing for your online business
What you need to know about content marketing for your online business

Passion Driven Solopreneurs Community

I’d like to invite you to join me in the

 Passion Driven Solopreneurs FB group.

As the host, I cover the following topics visibility, content creation, branding, website strategy through weekly topics. I also provide daily threads to get support around your client’s current struggles. And I periodically add free resources to my brand messaging checklist to the files section which you can download opt-in free as a member of my group.

How to Create Awesome Content in Less Time

Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!Have you taken some time to think about all that goes into creating a single piece of content? Like really thought about it? I hadn’t until recently I just moved from one stage to the next without thinking too much about it.

But it’s quite a bit of time AND each part takes a different amount of time and energy to complete.

Planning

The planning phase of content creation can either be really quick or it can be a painful process depending upon how you currently plan out your content. I spend less than an hour mapping out the content for the next 3 months. That probably sounds like a dream if it takes you one hour to even know one topic you’re going to post about. But it is possible when you write from your zone of genius and you have a plan for rotating through your topics.

Having your plan in place makes everything else that comes with content creation really smooth. You will waste less time during the writing phase when you don’t have to figure out what it is you are going to be writing/talking about.

How can you save time during the planning phase?

Keep a running list of post ideas so that you can quickly pull ideas to your calendar

Plan one theme for each week pulling from you broad zone of genius topics.

Then fill in the content topic from your post idea list that is related to that theme for the week.

The first time you do this it may take a little bit of time but once you get the hang of it, you can totally get this part of the content creation process done in less than an hour for each quarter.

Writing

The actual writing phase, or the phase that takes the most time no matter what you do. But when you are armed with your plan you know exactly what you need to write about and take the guesswork out of the process.

The writing phase may take a little bit more time if you have to research the topic you are covering. And how long it takes you to write in general. But one thing you can do to save time during this phase is to just write without self-censoring. Or editing….

I know it will be hard to do because I struggle with it too but it really will help you get faster at the writing process. Sit down and just write on your topic whatever comes to mind. If you get stuck or want to shift gears DON’T hit the backspace. Hit enter and pick up writing on your topic again. You’ll edit and organize in the next phase this one is all about getting it out.

Formatting

During the formatting phase, I typically proofread my content during this phase. Pull out quotes, headlines, and create bulleted lists.

Don’t get stuck in this phase thinking that you need pass after pass to proofread your content. Trying to make it perfect will only slow your progress and keep you from getting your posts out there. I know I try as hard as possible to catch all the issues that could come up including typos, grammar problems, and spelling errors. But it just isn’t possible.

Sometimes months later I go back and reread things and notice GLARING issues with my spelling or my grammar… and I think how did I miss this, even after multiple proofreading sessions. So I learned my lesson even if I have errors I have to let those go because I’m human. Mistakes happen and I just have to roll with it if I want to keep up my momentum.

How do you save time here? Don’t get stuck set a certain number of proofreading sessions and set up a template for yourself to follow during formatting that way you can quickly pull out the headers or quotations that you want to use.

Graphics Creation

We are visual beings. We are much more likely to slow down and read something if we are hooked in by a visual so 90% of the content you put out online needs to have a graphic associated with it. That includes social media updates, blog posts, Facebook group posts.

This can be an incredibly time-consuming part of content creation but there are some ways to cut down on the time it takes.

Make a list of the different graphics you will need. Do you need a blog post graphic? A daily topic graphic? A different graphic for each day’s Facebook post. Quote graphics that are on-brand for your business?

Next, create a template in your graphic software for each type of graphic you need. That way when you go in to create your graphics you need to change the image or the text and then you can save and move on quickly. Reuse, reuse, reuse! Your template will save you a bunch of time and help you keep from tweaking your designs every time you go to create a new graphic for your business.

Scheduling

This last phase, some may not think of this as part of the content creation but I do. Here is why. Scheduling your content is the “follow-through” part of content creation. Your content is only doing you well when you are putting it out there. It also takes the guessing game out of when different pieces of your content are getting posted.

Having it all laid out will help you save time in the long run by giving you a specific plan for posting. You can take it one step further and save yourself, even more, time by automating the process and having a tool post automatically for you that way you have to spend even less time tied to your computer or phone.

Putting it all together…

There are a lot of different steps to creating content everything from planning it out to schedule. And when you are first getting started it can take some time while you work out the most efficient way you work. But thinking through all the steps and doing what you can to work smarter not harder for content creation will save you a ton of time.

Now it’s your turn!

What time-saving tips are your favorite for creating content to use for your online business? Let me know in the comments!

Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!
Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!

 


Ready for some additional support & an AMAZING community??

Passion Driven Solopreneurs Free Facebook Community

If you are a solopreneur and are ready to not go it alone come join me and other like-minded solopreneurs in the Passion Driven Solopreneurs Facebook Group! It’s free and you can get support on your visibility, website, branding, and content related questions as well as engage on daily topics & get access to free resources & Live videos that are exclusive for members of my group!

5 Signs Your Brand Message Isn’t Working for You and Surefire Ways to Fix IT

How to know if your brand message is strugglingYou’re message, your voice, your content. Your brand message is the essence of what you put out in the world. And it is incredibly hard to nail on the first, second or third try. I should know, I’ve worked through my messaging trying to find the right message to get across at the right time targeted at the right people. It’s quite a process.

I decided in January 2016 to start my business officially and full-time. I adjusted my website and changed my copy slightly from what I was applying for jobs with to being a business site to attract clients. Some visitors were coming to my website but I wasn’t getting any inquiries for new jobs…like Zero! By June I was getting really nervous. This just isn’t working but why I’ve got my website up, I say what I do and I’ve got my packages listed. Why isn’t anyone interested??

It all came down to my messaging. My brand message was struggling, it was cluttered and trying to appeal to literally everyone. I’ve got skills in everything from design to content marketing so I created packages at different prices levels for all of these skills. It was overwhelming for people to come to my site. They didn’t really understand how I could help them if I was the right designer/developer for their project. And it had me stuck and sending clients looking elsewhere.

It took someone pointing it out to me to see it even though I help others with this type of work but I couldn’t see it myself. Once I realized this, I made the adjustments to my messaging and cleaned up my website clutter. Within 4 days and I had 4 inquires about working on projects with potential clients that found me online.

How can you tell if your brand message is struggling?

In this post I am going to dive into the 5 signs that your brand messaging is struggling. It takes a lot of time to figure out your brand messaging. There is testing, researching, evaluating and it doesn’t go from working hard for you to struggling overnight. You might even feel like something isn’t quite right in your business but you don’t know what it is exactly. It might be that your brand message is struggling and it is time for you to clean it up and make some adjustments.

Attracting the wrong clients

Maybe you are attracting clients to your business but they aren’t good fits. They either want services that you don’t offer, aren’t interested in paying you or can’t afford you…or even worse they do pay you but they drain the energy right out of you and you start dreading getting an email from them. Those my dear are the wrong clients for you.

I was so thankful and excited for any project that came my way when I first started. You could turn down a client project, I didn’t realize that. I also didn’t realize that you didn’t have to take on clients that weren’t lighting you up to work with them. That resulted in several projects that dragged on and on (think 12 months for a website) and several times where I doubted if I could even do this whole entrepreneurship thing.

It was time to adjust my brand message, figure out what I stood for and who I wanted to actually work with. Then make a commitment to myself to no longer work with clients who drained me and wanted work for free. But it all started with my messaging. Clients started saying things like “it’s like you were in my head”, “this is exactly what I need right now”, “I’m interested!”

Attracting new clients and getting them to convert from followers/visitors to clients became easy. I remember telling my coach… I can’t believe that just happened, it was so EASY!

Your personality surprises clients once they sign with you

Another sign that your brand message is struggling is that your client is surprised when they finally get on the phone with you. Your clients have decided based on your skill set and results that they want that you can solve their problem. Then they start connecting with you personally to decide if they want to work with you. If you are a good fit for them based on your personality.

Your brand messaging helps establish who you are in your business and how you will be when you interact with clients. It’s how your potential clients can authentically connect with you when your first interactions are online.  If your messaging says one thing and you get on the phone and come across differently you’ve broken your potential client’s trust. And they will be less likely to convert to a paying client.

Your message doesn’t feel good to you anymore

This is a big one. If your messaging doesn’t feel like it is in alignment with your skills, your goals, or the kind of business you want to run. It’s time for a change. When you try to write your content and it is out of alignment it’s going to be 100X more difficult to write. Your energy is going to be blah and it is going to come across to your potential clients. They will notice trust me.

It’s much better to get your message back in alignment than put out poor quality content that you aren’t excited about.

Your messaging is boring/bland/vanilla

You have to dig deep when it comes to creating messaging that is in alignment with you, targets your ideal clients, and helps you stand out online. Sometimes your messaging is bland because it’s too shallow, it’s generic, and it’s what everyone else is putting out there. So how can you spice it up? Take some time to journal responses to these questions.

  1. What can you help her with? Can you identify her problems?
  2. What are her main struggles? (from what she says they are not you as the expert, this is important!)
  3. What are her deepest desires?
  4. What experiences do you have that are unique and relevant to what you do?
  5. Why should someone come work with you over any other creative?

You aren’t sticking with your message

It’s incredibly tempting to jump on the bandwagon with any messaging that seems to be working better than yours. But this is dangerous for several reasons. This doesn’t help you differentiate yourself in a busy online space. You, more importantly, confuse your potential clients and break their trust.

Now, this doesn’t mean your brand message can’t evolve or that you can’t make adjustments. It just means that you should avoid jumping from message to message every week. You may think no one will notice but they do and the best thing you can do stay consistent and make adjustments that make sense for you not what is trending that week.

Now it’s your turn!

If you are saying yes this is where I’m at with my messaging let me know what your biggest ah-ha moment about your brand messaging is in the comments.

 


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Why you need to be planning your content

Why you need to be planning your content

I was struggling when I first started my business to create blogging content weekly, just blogging content. I’m not even talking about the zillion other pieces of content it feels like you have to create to market and connect with your online business. I literally couldn’t get a new blog post up weekly to save my life….I even put it in my opt-in welcome email that I’d post every Tuesday morning at 8am….

Then 3 months later I remembered I said that and panicked by throwing up a blog post at the last minute.

It was anxiety inducing, not fun, and not useful for me or my business to create my content this way. I didn’t understand how I was every going to also create those zillion other pieces of content. How was I going to do it all by myself? I couldn’t consistently write a single blog post each week.

There was a big mistake I was making and it was making running a business miserable. I was completely skipping over planning part of the process.

Big mistake, and I’ll go into why it is important to plan out your content in just a second but I wanted to tell you what changed for myself personally and for my business when I created a content plan.

Planning your content benefits

When I started planning my content I no longer had to sit in front of an empty blog post for hours with no idea what to write. I had more space to think and create higher quality posts for my visitors. The amount of time it took me to create a single blog post went from hours to 30 minutes.

I’m now a notorious planner. I’ve got lists, calendars, schedules, templates, and charts for every part of my business. I absolutely love it!

Why is creating a planning your content important?

You know what is coming up.

Planning your content gives you an idea of what you are going to write about when you sit down to create content. You can already have your research part out of the way so that when it comes time to write you can just create. You never have to sit in front of the blank post again wishing an idea would come to you. You’ve already got your idea and you are ready to hit the ground running.

Plan and create a system that effectively uses your time.

Trying to come up with content in the moment doesn’t allow you to review your process and evaluate it for opportunities for improvement. You can start to see what kind of systems you can put in place to save you time and make your content creation time more effective. It might take you a little longer when you are first starting but you’ll quickly find your groove and ways to maximize your time!

Keeps your profiles active and consistently visible in front of your potential clients.

People are always watching on the internet. You never know when someone is going to decide that now is the time to look at your profile as a potential hire for their business. Planning your content ensures that your profiles are active and that you are consistently visible across your entire online presence for your potential clients.

You can’t expect yourself to be on all the time let alone on social media at the optimal time.

Let’s talk posting plans. There is a very real and important strategy to posting on your social media profiles and even your blog posts at optimal times. But real life happens and you can’t guarantee that you will be on the channel at all to share and most likely not during the best times to post. It’s ok we are all human. This is where your plan turns into a posting schedule. You can automate and then you never have to worry about forgetting to post. It just happens like clockwork.

No long rely on inspiration to strike to create your content

One of the biggest struggles my clients share with me has to do with inspiration. They wait to post to their social media channels or start writing their blog posts for that day when the inspiration strikes. But then sometimes inspiration isn’t with you and you don’t post. When you’re planning your content out ahead of time you no longer rely on inspiration in the moment. You definitely want to create content when you are inspired. So capitalize on those times. But then use your content plan to fill your calendar.

Take a break without losing the momentum you’ve built

Content creation can feel like you are handcuffed to your social media channels or your computer. You’ve got to be constantly creating and pushing stuff out there. However, when you have a content plan that isn’t so. You can take a step back. And not miss a beat on social media or your blog. Having your plan allows you to create content in advance or repurpose your content to fill your calendar and stay consistent. SCORE!

This has been one of the best things for my online business. I do almost everything by myself and sometimes I just get tired. Or even worse I get sick. Having my content plan allows me to fill my calendar consistently even when I am taking a break.

Now your turn!

I’d love to hear what your biggest struggle with planning your content is? Let me know in the comments!


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What You Should Know About Content Marketing

Your content is one of the most powerful tools in your tool belt for sales in your online business. It allows you to take a step back from promoting yourself through traditional advertising. All because you are showing up online with great valuable content in a way that connects with your audience on a deeper level.

Content marketing according to the dictionary is “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” These pieces of content help propel your business forward organically.

Let me put it this way. Content marketing is creating content with a particular goal or outcome in mind. You can create content till the cows come home but it doesn’t really take on that marketing component until you are creating it with a goal that is trackable in mind. I feel like I need to say this here, creating something just to create it like a blog just for fun is a goal but how do you track that fun factor. This is more like creating a blog post to drive new visitors to your website and convert them to your email list.

But exactly how does creating a video, writing a post or putting up a social media update really help you market your business?

Improves experience and builds relationships

Using your content as a marketing tool provides value to the people viewing your website, social media posts, your videos, newsletters, etc. helps you build a relationship with people you meet online. When you’ve built your marketing strategy around your content you are giving people a peek into what it is like to work with you. You are also showcasing your expertise around the particular topic. And building trust even before you ever get into a conversation with them.

People like to get to know you before they make a commitment to working with you. And by having content in place that markets you and provides value for them you really begin to stand out online.

Establish your credibility

Anyone online can say whatever they want.

They can get away with saying they can guarantee crazy results without actually being able to. Using your content as a pillar of your marketing strategy separates you from those that try and pull the wool over their customer’s or client’s eyes by making outlandish statements. As you show off your expertise through your content marketing you establish credibility with viewers online that you do in fact know about the stuff you put out there.

They can see that you have more than a surface knowledge of the concepts and that boosts your credibility.

People buy from people that they know, like and trust. It’s a fact. And when your content helps establish your credibility selling your products and services becomes way easier.

Content marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing

Traditional marketing which I’m referring to here as purchasing advertisements is way more expensive than content marketing. This isn’t to say that traditional marketing isn’t a valid growth strategy because it totally is, I’m just saying that if you don’t have the budget to do traditional marketing then content marketing is a great way to start.

Plus it gives you a LOT of content to have in place when your traditional marketing effort starts bringing in leads. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen an ad and thought oh cool I wonder what else they have to say or just that I want more information about their approach to their business. Only to find out that they don’t have meat behind their ad. They have the hook but they don’t have the content in place that markets their skills and knowledge and I end up feeling let down.

You can make an impact even if your small

One if the most beautiful parts of having a content marketing plan for your business is that you can make an impact even if you are a one woman shop and you have a small following.

How? You might ask… by creating content that connects your skills/knowledge/talents with their problems.

You can yell at the top of a mountain till you a blue in the face that you are a health coach but unless you’re connecting what you do as a health coach to what they see as their problem you won’t build any traction.

However, even with a small following your content marketing will attract the people with the problems you solve and connect your products or services with the solution to those problems.

You can create less content with higher quality

Another favorite part of my content marketing strategy is that I create less content overall but it is a much higher quality that keeps people coming back, engaging and sharing my content online without me having to create even more content.

With your goal in mind, you can create content that then is perfect for repurposing and still supporting your marketing goals. This content that is rich in value will go a lot further in the online world than fluff content which people can easily overlook or view as spam.

Now it’s your turn

Do you have questions about content marketing for your business? Ask me in the comments and I’ll see how I can help!

What you need to know about content marketing for your online business
What you need to know about content marketing for your online business

Passion Driven Solopreneurs Community

I’d like to invite you to join me in the

 Passion Driven Solopreneurs FB group.

As the host, I cover the following topics visibility, content creation, branding, website strategy through weekly topics. I also provide daily threads to get support around your client’s current struggles. And I periodically add free resources to my brand messaging checklist to the files section which you can download opt-in free as a member of my group.

How to Create Awesome Content in Less Time

Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!Have you taken some time to think about all that goes into creating a single piece of content? Like really thought about it? I hadn’t until recently I just moved from one stage to the next without thinking too much about it.

But it’s quite a bit of time AND each part takes a different amount of time and energy to complete.

Planning

The planning phase of content creation can either be really quick or it can be a painful process depending upon how you currently plan out your content. I spend less than an hour mapping out the content for the next 3 months. That probably sounds like a dream if it takes you one hour to even know one topic you’re going to post about. But it is possible when you write from your zone of genius and you have a plan for rotating through your topics.

Having your plan in place makes everything else that comes with content creation really smooth. You will waste less time during the writing phase when you don’t have to figure out what it is you are going to be writing/talking about.

How can you save time during the planning phase?

Keep a running list of post ideas so that you can quickly pull ideas to your calendar

Plan one theme for each week pulling from you broad zone of genius topics.

Then fill in the content topic from your post idea list that is related to that theme for the week.

The first time you do this it may take a little bit of time but once you get the hang of it, you can totally get this part of the content creation process done in less than an hour for each quarter.

Writing

The actual writing phase, or the phase that takes the most time no matter what you do. But when you are armed with your plan you know exactly what you need to write about and take the guesswork out of the process.

The writing phase may take a little bit more time if you have to research the topic you are covering. And how long it takes you to write in general. But one thing you can do to save time during this phase is to just write without self-censoring. Or editing….

I know it will be hard to do because I struggle with it too but it really will help you get faster at the writing process. Sit down and just write on your topic whatever comes to mind. If you get stuck or want to shift gears DON’T hit the backspace. Hit enter and pick up writing on your topic again. You’ll edit and organize in the next phase this one is all about getting it out.

Formatting

During the formatting phase, I typically proofread my content during this phase. Pull out quotes, headlines, and create bulleted lists.

Don’t get stuck in this phase thinking that you need pass after pass to proofread your content. Trying to make it perfect will only slow your progress and keep you from getting your posts out there. I know I try as hard as possible to catch all the issues that could come up including typos, grammar problems, and spelling errors. But it just isn’t possible.

Sometimes months later I go back and reread things and notice GLARING issues with my spelling or my grammar… and I think how did I miss this, even after multiple proofreading sessions. So I learned my lesson even if I have errors I have to let those go because I’m human. Mistakes happen and I just have to roll with it if I want to keep up my momentum.

How do you save time here? Don’t get stuck set a certain number of proofreading sessions and set up a template for yourself to follow during formatting that way you can quickly pull out the headers or quotations that you want to use.

Graphics Creation

We are visual beings. We are much more likely to slow down and read something if we are hooked in by a visual so 90% of the content you put out online needs to have a graphic associated with it. That includes social media updates, blog posts, Facebook group posts.

This can be an incredibly time-consuming part of content creation but there are some ways to cut down on the time it takes.

Make a list of the different graphics you will need. Do you need a blog post graphic? A daily topic graphic? A different graphic for each day’s Facebook post. Quote graphics that are on-brand for your business?

Next, create a template in your graphic software for each type of graphic you need. That way when you go in to create your graphics you need to change the image or the text and then you can save and move on quickly. Reuse, reuse, reuse! Your template will save you a bunch of time and help you keep from tweaking your designs every time you go to create a new graphic for your business.

Scheduling

This last phase, some may not think of this as part of the content creation but I do. Here is why. Scheduling your content is the “follow-through” part of content creation. Your content is only doing you well when you are putting it out there. It also takes the guessing game out of when different pieces of your content are getting posted.

Having it all laid out will help you save time in the long run by giving you a specific plan for posting. You can take it one step further and save yourself, even more, time by automating the process and having a tool post automatically for you that way you have to spend even less time tied to your computer or phone.

Putting it all together…

There are a lot of different steps to creating content everything from planning it out to schedule. And when you are first getting started it can take some time while you work out the most efficient way you work. But thinking through all the steps and doing what you can to work smarter not harder for content creation will save you a ton of time.

Now it’s your turn!

What time-saving tips are your favorite for creating content to use for your online business? Let me know in the comments!

Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!
Content Creation Basics for your online business. The entire process of creating content for your business from planning to posting!

 


Ready for some additional support & an AMAZING community??

Passion Driven Solopreneurs Free Facebook Community

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5 Signs Your Brand Message Isn’t Working for You and Surefire Ways to Fix IT

How to know if your brand message is strugglingYou’re message, your voice, your content. Your brand message is the essence of what you put out in the world. And it is incredibly hard to nail on the first, second or third try. I should know, I’ve worked through my messaging trying to find the right message to get across at the right time targeted at the right people. It’s quite a process.

I decided in January 2016 to start my business officially and full-time. I adjusted my website and changed my copy slightly from what I was applying for jobs with to being a business site to attract clients. Some visitors were coming to my website but I wasn’t getting any inquiries for new jobs…like Zero! By June I was getting really nervous. This just isn’t working but why I’ve got my website up, I say what I do and I’ve got my packages listed. Why isn’t anyone interested??

It all came down to my messaging. My brand message was struggling, it was cluttered and trying to appeal to literally everyone. I’ve got skills in everything from design to content marketing so I created packages at different prices levels for all of these skills. It was overwhelming for people to come to my site. They didn’t really understand how I could help them if I was the right designer/developer for their project. And it had me stuck and sending clients looking elsewhere.

It took someone pointing it out to me to see it even though I help others with this type of work but I couldn’t see it myself. Once I realized this, I made the adjustments to my messaging and cleaned up my website clutter. Within 4 days and I had 4 inquires about working on projects with potential clients that found me online.

How can you tell if your brand message is struggling?

In this post I am going to dive into the 5 signs that your brand messaging is struggling. It takes a lot of time to figure out your brand messaging. There is testing, researching, evaluating and it doesn’t go from working hard for you to struggling overnight. You might even feel like something isn’t quite right in your business but you don’t know what it is exactly. It might be that your brand message is struggling and it is time for you to clean it up and make some adjustments.

Attracting the wrong clients

Maybe you are attracting clients to your business but they aren’t good fits. They either want services that you don’t offer, aren’t interested in paying you or can’t afford you…or even worse they do pay you but they drain the energy right out of you and you start dreading getting an email from them. Those my dear are the wrong clients for you.

I was so thankful and excited for any project that came my way when I first started. You could turn down a client project, I didn’t realize that. I also didn’t realize that you didn’t have to take on clients that weren’t lighting you up to work with them. That resulted in several projects that dragged on and on (think 12 months for a website) and several times where I doubted if I could even do this whole entrepreneurship thing.

It was time to adjust my brand message, figure out what I stood for and who I wanted to actually work with. Then make a commitment to myself to no longer work with clients who drained me and wanted work for free. But it all started with my messaging. Clients started saying things like “it’s like you were in my head”, “this is exactly what I need right now”, “I’m interested!”

Attracting new clients and getting them to convert from followers/visitors to clients became easy. I remember telling my coach… I can’t believe that just happened, it was so EASY!

Your personality surprises clients once they sign with you

Another sign that your brand message is struggling is that your client is surprised when they finally get on the phone with you. Your clients have decided based on your skill set and results that they want that you can solve their problem. Then they start connecting with you personally to decide if they want to work with you. If you are a good fit for them based on your personality.

Your brand messaging helps establish who you are in your business and how you will be when you interact with clients. It’s how your potential clients can authentically connect with you when your first interactions are online.  If your messaging says one thing and you get on the phone and come across differently you’ve broken your potential client’s trust. And they will be less likely to convert to a paying client.

Your message doesn’t feel good to you anymore

This is a big one. If your messaging doesn’t feel like it is in alignment with your skills, your goals, or the kind of business you want to run. It’s time for a change. When you try to write your content and it is out of alignment it’s going to be 100X more difficult to write. Your energy is going to be blah and it is going to come across to your potential clients. They will notice trust me.

It’s much better to get your message back in alignment than put out poor quality content that you aren’t excited about.

Your messaging is boring/bland/vanilla

You have to dig deep when it comes to creating messaging that is in alignment with you, targets your ideal clients, and helps you stand out online. Sometimes your messaging is bland because it’s too shallow, it’s generic, and it’s what everyone else is putting out there. So how can you spice it up? Take some time to journal responses to these questions.

  1. What can you help her with? Can you identify her problems?
  2. What are her main struggles? (from what she says they are not you as the expert, this is important!)
  3. What are her deepest desires?
  4. What experiences do you have that are unique and relevant to what you do?
  5. Why should someone come work with you over any other creative?

You aren’t sticking with your message

It’s incredibly tempting to jump on the bandwagon with any messaging that seems to be working better than yours. But this is dangerous for several reasons. This doesn’t help you differentiate yourself in a busy online space. You, more importantly, confuse your potential clients and break their trust.

Now, this doesn’t mean your brand message can’t evolve or that you can’t make adjustments. It just means that you should avoid jumping from message to message every week. You may think no one will notice but they do and the best thing you can do stay consistent and make adjustments that make sense for you not what is trending that week.

Now it’s your turn!

If you are saying yes this is where I’m at with my messaging let me know what your biggest ah-ha moment about your brand messaging is in the comments.

 


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Why you need to be planning your content

Why you need to be planning your content

I was struggling when I first started my business to create blogging content weekly, just blogging content. I’m not even talking about the zillion other pieces of content it feels like you have to create to market and connect with your online business. I literally couldn’t get a new blog post up weekly to save my life….I even put it in my opt-in welcome email that I’d post every Tuesday morning at 8am….

Then 3 months later I remembered I said that and panicked by throwing up a blog post at the last minute.

It was anxiety inducing, not fun, and not useful for me or my business to create my content this way. I didn’t understand how I was every going to also create those zillion other pieces of content. How was I going to do it all by myself? I couldn’t consistently write a single blog post each week.

There was a big mistake I was making and it was making running a business miserable. I was completely skipping over planning part of the process.

Big mistake, and I’ll go into why it is important to plan out your content in just a second but I wanted to tell you what changed for myself personally and for my business when I created a content plan.

Planning your content benefits

When I started planning my content I no longer had to sit in front of an empty blog post for hours with no idea what to write. I had more space to think and create higher quality posts for my visitors. The amount of time it took me to create a single blog post went from hours to 30 minutes.

I’m now a notorious planner. I’ve got lists, calendars, schedules, templates, and charts for every part of my business. I absolutely love it!

Why is creating a planning your content important?

You know what is coming up.

Planning your content gives you an idea of what you are going to write about when you sit down to create content. You can already have your research part out of the way so that when it comes time to write you can just create. You never have to sit in front of the blank post again wishing an idea would come to you. You’ve already got your idea and you are ready to hit the ground running.

Plan and create a system that effectively uses your time.

Trying to come up with content in the moment doesn’t allow you to review your process and evaluate it for opportunities for improvement. You can start to see what kind of systems you can put in place to save you time and make your content creation time more effective. It might take you a little longer when you are first starting but you’ll quickly find your groove and ways to maximize your time!

Keeps your profiles active and consistently visible in front of your potential clients.

People are always watching on the internet. You never know when someone is going to decide that now is the time to look at your profile as a potential hire for their business. Planning your content ensures that your profiles are active and that you are consistently visible across your entire online presence for your potential clients.

You can’t expect yourself to be on all the time let alone on social media at the optimal time.

Let’s talk posting plans. There is a very real and important strategy to posting on your social media profiles and even your blog posts at optimal times. But real life happens and you can’t guarantee that you will be on the channel at all to share and most likely not during the best times to post. It’s ok we are all human. This is where your plan turns into a posting schedule. You can automate and then you never have to worry about forgetting to post. It just happens like clockwork.

No long rely on inspiration to strike to create your content

One of the biggest struggles my clients share with me has to do with inspiration. They wait to post to their social media channels or start writing their blog posts for that day when the inspiration strikes. But then sometimes inspiration isn’t with you and you don’t post. When you’re planning your content out ahead of time you no longer rely on inspiration in the moment. You definitely want to create content when you are inspired. So capitalize on those times. But then use your content plan to fill your calendar.

Take a break without losing the momentum you’ve built

Content creation can feel like you are handcuffed to your social media channels or your computer. You’ve got to be constantly creating and pushing stuff out there. However, when you have a content plan that isn’t so. You can take a step back. And not miss a beat on social media or your blog. Having your plan allows you to create content in advance or repurpose your content to fill your calendar and stay consistent. SCORE!

This has been one of the best things for my online business. I do almost everything by myself and sometimes I just get tired. Or even worse I get sick. Having my content plan allows me to fill my calendar consistently even when I am taking a break.

Now your turn!

I’d love to hear what your biggest struggle with planning your content is? Let me know in the comments!


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