By Dawn Shuler
Content creation is being bandied about nowadays, especially in the online marketing world. Each of us may have an idea of what “content” is, but you might be surprised at how many different things it is. It’s about every single day when you sit down at your desk and put your fingers on the keyboard… what are you creating?
- Social media updates
- Website content
- Promotional materials (and this is a big catchall category: marketing emails, affiliate materials, speaker queries, graphics)
- Your bio and other materials about you (think speaker sheet, media kit)
- Operation manuals
- Internal and external emails
- Programs and the material your peeps in the program get
- One-off educational materials
- Requests for proposals
- And the list goes on
So, when you think about what you need to be writing and the content you need to be creating, it can be a long list. And it all seems as if it’s important and needs to be done NOW!
How do you decide what to focus on?
First, coordinate your content creation with your short- and long-term goals. Set your goals, and then drill down to the actions to reach those goals. For example, if one of your main goals is to increase your database list by 250 subscribers this quarter, your actions might be to deliver monthly free webinars or do free speaking gigs. That means you’ll be creating webinar presentations, promotional materials to plug those webinars, writing query emails or letters to get speaking gigs, and designing your talks.
Second, to keep yourself and what you do in front of people, have your foundational marketing in place. Decide (or refine) how you regularly communicate with your tribe and community, and then write the content for those regular communications. For instance, your regular communication might consist of a weekly ezine, twice-a-week blog posts, and regular updates on one or two (not all of them!) social media outlets.
Third, create fresh new content. Is there a workshop you want to teach? A new program you want to unveil? While it may not seem obvious, teaching a live workshop or a new program involves creating content.
Fourth, repurpose and reuse the content you already have. You don’t have to constantly create something new; use the cool stuff you’ve already created. Think about using it differently (creating an infographic out of a five-step article) or packaging it with other content (a worksheet that becomes a bonus, or several articles that become an eBook).
Fifth, if you really have no clue about where to go, look at the graphic below. What is that one area that you get a little tingly feeling when you see it? Tingly as in… “Oh, I have an idea around that, and I soooo want to play with it!” See where your energy draws you in, and follow that energy. Good stuff will abound!
Creating content doesn’t have to be this boring, stuffy, have-to-do-it kind of thing. It should be a way for you to pour your passion and creativity into a piece of content as well as to explore your particular sphere of expertise.