by Kristi Brown | Featured Contributor
Clients tell me all the time how they know that creating content – whether it’s blog posts, videos, Facebook Live, or even just little memes – is important to their business and growing their visibility, but it is just SO DANG HARD!
After putting on my therapist hat and asking the deep-probing questions, I have found the reason so many small business owners struggle creating content is because they are unable to get out of their own head. They write and think, “How will this be taken? What will people say? What if people think I don’t know what I’m talking about?”
So, I have found a few specific ways to get over this massive hurdle and help you show your brilliance with the amazing ideas for content that have been brewing in your mind.
1.) Have a Goal
Start by asking yourself: “I am writing this because_____.” Fill in the blank.
Your answer should not be something like “…because I have to,” or “…because I should.” It should be because you want to help others. You want to give your audience pure value. You want to see your company grow. I believe that having a clear reason WHY you are wanting to communicate will help you quiet that self-conscious inner voice.
2.) Be Yourself
Talk and write in a very similar style to the way you talk in a conversation. You are not writing for, nor giving a speech to, your college English class. You want to be easy to read and listen to. If you aren’t, you will be boring. No one reads or listens to boring content, no matter how much they may like you.
I believe that the best method to communicate is “over drinks with a friend.” Try it and you will find the content creation process is much smoother!
3.) Don’t Be Afraid to Have an Opinion, Even a Controversial One
People enjoy seeing passion, so don’t try to be too diplomatic. Speak your mind and you will earn respect and loyal followers. Those who might be offended, in all honesty, were not the right audience or potential clients for you anyway.
4.) Be Original
Original content is vital in expanding your reach and visibility. Not to mention, copying another person’s work is unethical, wrong, and lazy. Your business will not reap the rewards of the content you create if it is not your own. (I had to throw this one in here because I am seeing it all the time these days!)
5.) Come up With a Fantastic Headline
Think about these great statistics from Copyblogger:
- 80% of people will read your headlines.
- Only 20% of those people will read the rest of your content!
Here are a few examples of headlines that grabbed the reader’s attention…
6.) Use Culture to Create a Conversation
Nearly everyone responds to and engages with polarizing topics:
- Mac vs PC
- Yankees vs Red Sox
- Cats vs Dogs
- Chocolate vs Vanilla
- Xbox vs PlayStation
You don’t have to pick a divisive subject, but you could try to find industry-related topics to debate. For example, this month my team and I are going to be talking about Instagram vs Facebook.
Having some fun will engage your readers or listeners and endear you to them. Try it, you might enjoy it!
7.) Be Human
You can make mistakes, not be perfect, laugh at yourself, or tell an embarrassing story, and people will love you all the more for it.
Content Marketing Institute used this example: “Imagine if a brand like NASA apologized for making us memorize in school that Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system? The Twitterverse would be over the moon.”
Often the more serious the company or brand, the better self-deprecation will play with their audience. A great example is Former President Barack Obama doing an interview with Zach Galifianakis at The White House to promote the Affordable Care Act on the Funny Or Die website.
The satirical exchange between the two generated over 30 million views and helped lift traffic to HealthCare.gov by 40%. Love him or hate him, Obama’s self-deprecation truly captivated the audience.
If you apply these 7 tips (or even just some of them!) you will find it much easier to create interesting and engaging content. When you let who you really are shine through in the content you create, you will attract the right audience, and you will feel good about what you are putting out into the world.
Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you’ll then want to learn how to use content curation to round out your offerings. When you’re ready, come check out this post on the 3 Vital Steps for Content Curation.
Social Media Aficionado. Fluent in #Hashtag. Netflix Junkie. Red Wine & Chocolate Connoisseur. Master of assuring client delight.