Hey there, everybody. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to design your content strategy to fit your life instead of letting it run your life.
We are going to be implementing practical tips so you can actually do your content plan. I know, what a concept, right? Actually doing something that you set out to do.
And the reason I am bringing this topic up is because, realistically, a lot of people decide, “Hey, I need a content strategy.” And they create a content plan. And they do it for a week or two weeks or maybe even two months, but then it kind of falls by the wayside, and life takes over. That is why we’re talking about this topic. Because I have a goal that all of us are going to implement a really good, sound, lead-generating content strategy, but do it in a way that fits our lives. And that is probably the biggest lesson that I have learned over the last couple years is that it doesn’t matter how good it is — if it doesn’t fit into your actual life, you’re not going to be able to keep up with it. And something that’s really good and kept in the dark isn’t really very good at all, is it?
So to do that, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.
Content Efficiency: How to use your time efficiently when creating content
The first of these is content efficiency, and how to use your time efficiently when creating content. And before we can even answer that question, we have to ask a secondary question, which is how much time do you want to spend?
That is going to determine what your core platform is. So there are content platforms, I call those the video, audio, and written word. And then there are content venues, that is where your video, written word, or audio will end up on. So on this podcast, for example, the platform is audio and the venue is being hosted by Libsyn. And then being rolled out to your favorite podcast listening app, maybe even on my website.
Whereas, let’s say someone is writing a blog post. Their platform would be the written word. And they might be parsing that blog post out into multiple social media posts. Maybe those social media posts are landing on LinkedIn and Instagram. Those would be the venues for those posts, right?
So when we talk about this, we have to ask how much time do you want to spend creating and delivering your content? If you don’t want to spend any time at all, the written word is probably the easiest choice. It requires less time investment, you can create the outline and hire someone to fill the rest in until it’s a very good blog post, and then hire them to pull out the snippets that will make really good social media posts. So from a time investment point of view, that’s probably the easiest one.
But if you want more engagement, video and audio are probably going to be better options. So you need to start at that point weighing the effectiveness. So that content efficiency — how to use your time efficiently when creating content — really plays in here. Maybe written word takes less time to create, but it does take more time to implement if you want a fully-engaged audience. Which one makes more sense? It’s probably a chicken or the egg and your answer here is going to depend on whether you like chickens or eggs. Which one makes more sense for you.
And this whole idea actually really came into play when I read on LinkedIn a post by Bob Burg. He is, if you don’t know, the creator of the phrase, “People are more likely to do business and refer those they know, like, and trust.” All things being equal, right? He created that phrase, and I’ve interviewed him in the past on this podcast a couple of years ago (it was a fantastic interview if you haven’t heard it yet), but he wrote a post on LinkedIn recently, and I’m going to read just a little part of it here:
He says, “To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a person to understand something when their income, their ego, or their self-identification depends upon their not understanding it. In other words, cognitive dissonance is something we all need to be aware of in the other person, and, yes, in ourselves.”
And I am bringing this up right now not in the way he probably meant it exactly. But I’m bringing it up because this is one of those things that we really need to understand. If you don’t want to spend time engaging on social media, it doesn’t matter how many facts I spew showing you that it’s going to create better conversions. If you’re not interested in it. It doesn’t matter how right I am. You came to me to market better, not to make more work for yourself, right? So then we need to shape your content strategy so you aren’t doing that. Even if we know you could get better conversions if you did, we have to answer these questions honestly.
So the question is, how much time do you want to spend creating content? Until you know that answer, we’re not going to be able to create an efficient content plan for you.
Now, if you have the answer already, and you’re just looking for ways to actually shave time off and be more efficient with the time that you are willing to invest, maybe the Show Up System is right for you. That is my actual system and templates for organizing your content so that you can get it out onto all the venues that you desire.
Or maybe you have some good ideas, but you’re ready to expand upon those ideas. The Be Seen Method is how I multiply my content ideas — I turn one idea into four or five, six, several different posts. And I become more efficient with my creative time that way because I’m not having to spend so much time creating a new idea when really the old ones worked very well.
Content Customization: Tailor your content to your personality based on what tone you are interested in
Next, we need to talk about your content customization and how are you going to tailor your content to your personality based on what tone you’re interested in? For this, I would start asking questions like are you personal? Are you more reserved? Are you interested in really deep conversations? Or are you more interested in sound bites?
And if you’ve heard the show before, if you’ve heard my episode specifically, on short attention span marketing, you’ll know that I don’t cater to the sound byte kind of marketing. It’s just not me. Now some of my clients do, and they’re really good at it. And I’m so jealous because that is the kind of stuff that tends to get a lot of shares. But it’s not my thing. I have to know that and design my content strategy around it, right?
The next question I would ask is, how much access do you want your audience to have? That is definitely going to determine how you engage and it might even determine which content venue you choose.
For example, do you allow your people in your audience or your community to question you? If not, maybe don’t hang out in Facebook groups because you’re gonna get a lot of questions thrown your way, and they might not always be easy questions, they might lob some really hard ones and question your values or your authority, right?
So those are the kinds of questions you need to know as you’re creating your content strategy. And your core values are going to play into this. I have a really high aesthetic value. One of my core values is beauty and its appreciation and just like noticing the beauty around me, and realistically, I probably judge others too harshly on this. Now, if you don’t share that same beauty value, and you don’t have to hold yourself to my standards, you might value freedom, for example.
If freedom, particularly time freedom, much like Becca Rich’s interview with me back from November, is your primary value, then you’re going to have a really different visual strategy than me, your Instagram feeds probably going to look different than mine. And that is because your core values are shaping the content strategy, because the content strategy is a part of your life. And, hello, your core values are really what motivates you to push through life.
So you need to answer those questions as well as customize your content plan. And then only once you have figured out how you’re going to be efficient with your content creation, and how you’re going to customize your content creation, then you can focus on your target audience. And that is when you get to design content for a very specific best client persona, right?
Focus on Your Target Audience: Designing content for a specific target audience
Once you know your content style, you can start creating content for the kind of people who will resonate with that style. And this is how you can start refining your niche. You know, when you start out in business, it’s like, “Hey, my service can help all these people” or “My course can solve all these problems.” And you get to a place where you know the power of what you’re doing because you’re so good at it, right?
But the reality is, no matter what you do, your services, your products, your offerings, they’re always going to work best for a very small segment of the marketplace. And you can really refine and narrow your niche by focusing on your target audience with content you’ve already decided works in your life.
So you start with who you want to work with. And then you test and then maybe you tweak if your content is not getting enough of the draw. But most people get this wrong. They start creating content that they think their audience needs or wants. And they burn out because it doesn’t fit within their own delivery style. It doesn’t fit in their life, their business, the way they want to lead it.
Content burnout is real. When you’ve been creating and creating and creating for so long, it can feel really old. You’ll get bored of your message, you’ll get bored and think, “Oh, I need a change,” and that’s not actually reality. It’s just that you’ve got content burnout.
So instead, decide first how you want to live your life, then how you want to do business. And, yeah, shift if you have to if, by some strange coincidence, you end up in too narrow of a niche you can shift. But you have to start with where you are. This is that whole bloom where you’re planted thing, right?
Remember, guys, your brand is what other people say and think about you (paraphrasing Jeff Bezos there). You get to shape your brand, but you don’t get to control it. I get to tell you what I want to tell you about me. And you’re going to have your own perception of that. And maybe it’s not a perception I really particularly want you to have. Or maybe it is, but I don’t get to control what you’re thinking about me. All I can control is what I put out there. And since that is the only part of it that I can control, I definitely want that part to fit in with my life and the business the way I want to run it.
We have to start with the premise that your content plan needs to fit in the life and business that you want to run and lead. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be able to keep up with it. It will fall by the wayside. And then you’ll be back to just, you know, throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something — please, dear god — fits, right?
When you have started this from a more strategic point of view, life is easier to lead. Your business is easier to run. And everything just feels better.
So if I have helped you in any way in this episode, if this is resonating, if this makes sense or if you’re hearing it and you’re like, “Oh my goodness, one of my clients needs to hear this” or “I was talking with that girl we had a coffee chat and she needs to hear this message,” please do them a favor and share this with them.
If it’s resonated with you as well I’d love to hear back, just pop me an email and I want to hear all about the A-HA’s and the levels that you are changing based on this information. That is why we are here so that we can all get better together.