Content Templates: Why They’re Harming Your Business #223

“Discover the hidden harm of content templates and how to avoid it!”

In this episode, you will learn:

  1. What is the harm of using content templates and 365 Days of Content Lists?
  2. How can course creators create content that stands out from the noise and leads to conversions?
  3. What is the solution to creating evergreen content plans for course creators?

Listen to this episode on:

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play | Amazon Music | How To Subscribe

Highlights in this episode:

[00:01:18] Why those 365 Days of Content Lists are killing your business

[00:03:48] People who are selling the lists, they’re not using them in their own businesses

[00:05:02] You’re going to end up sounding exactly like everybody else in your niche

[00:07:08] Content templates are not nurturing the right people

[00:10:51] The difference between a framework and a template

[00:12:37] Evergreen content takes work to set up. Anything worth it is work.

[00:13:46] Content plans for between launches aren’t easier, faster, or cheaper. They’re better, they’re more effective, and they build longer-lasting results.

Why Those “365 Days of Content” Lists are Killing Your Next Launch

I’ve had a bone to pick with those “365 days of content” lists for years. And I could be a little ranty here, but I’m also pulling back the curtains and giving you the bare truth: they’re harming your business.

The short version: content templates are meant to be general so they can appeal to as many businesses as possible. That’s how these low-priced offers make money and generate leads for the creators–they’re appealing. They’re sellable. The downside of these very popular offers is that everyone and their grandma can technically use them–and they all end up sounding the same.

In a noisy market, you don’t want to blend in–you need to differentiate. So why would you be willing to be the 17,000th purchaser of that content idea list? Sounding like even 1000 other people in your niche is the opposite of differentiating.

The Appeal of Content Templates & Content Prompts

I know the content ideas lists seem easier. They seem faster. And they seem cheaper. That’s what they’re selling, the easy button for this whole “marketing” of your business. They’re banking on the idea that you’re so tired from your launch, turning around and immediately diving into the fulfillment… that you couldn’t possibly take on yet another thing–nurturing the audience that hasn’t bought from you yet.

If a content idea list seems to “fill in the blanks” when you’re staring at the blinking cursor of doom, what can the harm be, right?! Surely some content is better than none at all?

I disagree–and I’ve got the data to back it up.

The Harm Content Templates Bring To Your Business

Exhibit A: the people selling these lists? They’re not using them in their own businesses!

The content list creators you’ve considered–or purchased from in the past–take a quick look at their last ten social posts. Any platform, any medium. You pick. Are they using the prompts they’re promoting?

If they are, and I doubt they’re consistently using them because I’ve never seen this, how are the results looking to you, as an audience member?

And if they aren’t, WHY?

Exhibit B: You’re supposed to be a unique expert

The popularity of “easy” content means it’s ubiquitous.

Back to the idea that 17,000 could buy the same list, even if only 1000 of them are in your general niche, that’s 1000 people potentially talking about the same thing as you–especially if the content prompts are things like:

  • Talk about a time you were frustrated and overwhelmed by a big task and how it made everything else hard
  • Give an example of a stuck client, and you helped them with a problem that saved them hours each week

If you’re a nutritionist focusing on post-partum health, there are only so many client stories you can offer that help your client save hours a week, and there are only so many ways to describe their pain point (without sounding like a jerk).

Exhibit C: Even if the content you create from these lists is popular, it’s not nurturing the right people.

For any offer, there’s a chunk of people who didn’t buy because it wasn’t the right time. 

Realistically, you can have the best offer with the clearest, best messaging in the world, and there are still some people who cannot buy it right now. That means if you’re a live launcher, you have a segment of your audience who truly wants your course. They’re just not ready… yet.

How are you serving these people until your next launch?

When you use these “easy” content lists, you’re putting out generic content that may go viral because of the popular, generic appeal–but it doesn’t lead to great launches.

It nurtures the wrong people, and it primes your audience for the wrong actions–scrolling along for the next dopamine hit. It doesn’t prime your audience to take action!

When to Use Content Helps

I’m a subscriber of Katie Goebel’s Quick Vid Trend Report. In it, she sends several trending audios you can use to pick up views. One could call that a content helper.

How do I use them? When I have a topic I know would lend well to a few soundbites, I check her latest report and see if any of the trending audios fit the pattern of what I’m trying to convey. If so, I use them to create a Reel or TikTok.

How do I NOT use them? I don’t read through her list of prompts and try to make my message fit her suggestion.

If you’re going to use a content suggestion, always start with your message first, then see if there’s a suggestion that fits you. Don’t put YOU into a box–your message gets to create the box.

It’s okay to start off by looking at suggestions and templates, but as you grow and firm up your messaging, you’ll find these don’t work for you.

Overall, the short answer to this question is to use a framework, not a template. Even when I do follow others’ templates, I look at the template’s goal first, then modify to fit my message. And the stronger your message is, the less it will be able to fit into another’s template, anyway.

Your goal: have a message so strong and unique it can’t fit into someone else’s template.

If you’re going to use a content suggestion, always start with your message first, then see if there’s a suggestion that fits you. Don’t put YOU into a box–your message gets to create the box.

The Solution to Non-Launch Content For Course Creators

So what’s a girl to do? If you identify with that earlier scenario and know first-hand how exhausting launching is, and you know you’re dead-tired after and even with that nagging “should be nurturing” feeling you’ve avoided it in the past…

I’ll introduce you to evergreen content. 

Create an evergreen content plan that’s proven to generate leads, prime conversions, and be ready in the background for you to turn on again when needed.

Will it take a bit of work to create it? Yes. Anything worth it is work.

This is why I help my clients with strategic content they can evergreen once it’s proven–to take it off their plate when they don’t have the capacity to think about how to prime their people, even if they know they need to be more consistent.

Conclusion

Proven, nurturing, evergreen content plans for “between launches” aren’t easier, faster, or cheaper.

They’re better.

They’re more effective.

And they build longer-lasting results with an audience primed to buy during your next live launch.

When you decide you’re ready for this, when you want to make 2022 the last year you didn’t have your content under control, you know where to find me.

Quotables:

Resources Mentioned

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mic!

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