An authentic business starts with authentic content.
Creating content will bring to you an initial audience. This then allows you to engage productively in the upcoming activities of Optimizing Offerings and Selling Honorably.
Separate your content & your selling, so that each activity can be engaged with more effectively. Yes, you may end up using some content to sell your services/products. However, to maintain the highest authenticity (which serves your business -- and your soul -- in the long-term), focus most of your content on serving, rather than selling.
It helps to first clarify why content creation is important to you personally. There are at least 10 reasons, as I describe in this video...
(Watch the video for the nuances and inspiration. Or read the summary of the 10 reasons below the video. By the way, you can speed up the video -- once you click play, you'll see a gear icon at bottom right. Click the gear icon and you can change the video speed.)
1. Create content to clarify your message & your style. Some people think "I've got to figure out my niche, my unique message, my offerings, before I can write articles / make videos / etc..." The reality is that by sharing your content -- whatever you already know, in whatever voice you already have -- you actually clarify so much of what you're about, who you aspire to be, and what offerings make the most sense. So START with creating content, in order to clarify your real message, your unique genius, and to explore what you might want to offer in your products/services.
2. Create content to organize your knowledge to benefit your clients. This is especially helpful if you find yourself saying the same thing to different clients. Why not write it down, or record it, in a way that can bless many more people? Then you will be able to do even deeper work with your clients, because the foundational knowledge has been given to them.
3. Create content so you get smarter. You get more effective in your field. This is the power that consistent content creation has on your expertise.
4. Create content so that the search engines will start indexing your content, and those who need to hear your message, will start finding it!
5. Create content to build trust & credibility more efficiently. Instead of having to talk with every single person who might be interested in your work, they can now easily get to know you through your content, and get a sense of your expertise.
6. Create content to engage with your audience, and therefore to better understand your audience. The only way to know what part of your overall message is most important to the world, is to share it with the world, and see what gets traction.
7. Create content to be top of mind for your audience. Otherwise your audience will be consistently seeing other people, other messages, that may be less helpful & inspiring to them. Your voice is needed!
8. Create content to lead your ideal client to the next step of transformation, which may then involve working with you.
9. Creating content consistently is a great way to generously serve the world!
10. Creating content helps you find your calling. You'll discover more and more what you are meant to do.
Which of the 10 reasons resonates most with you? Add your comment here.
Understand the Different Formats for Content
Once you're clear about why it's important for you, and your business, to create content, the next step is to choose what format(s) you will experiment with.
All good marketing is about experimentation.
Start with trying one way of creating content. See if it matches your personality and energy. Then try another format and see how it compares.
What are the different formats of content?
I'll start by listing out the different ways you might create content. Then further down in this article, I'll help you decide which one to choose.
Videos (my videos for example)
Audio / Podcast episodes (here are my favorites)
Images (such as social media memes, and infographics)
Webinars & teleclasses (a webinar has visuals; a teleclass is just audio)
Slideshows (such as my slideshow about niching)
Mindmaps (my publicly-available mindmaps)
Articles (or blog posts), which could be Text only with a few images, or could combine multiple media, as I've done in this post.
Courses (such as the ones on Udemy and Skillshare)
Social media posts (such as what you see on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.)
For examples, see my Facebook Business Page and Facebook Personal Page.
Books (still the best credibility builder, if on amazon and/or with recognized publisher)
You can self-publish using Amazon's CreateSpace.
You can hire people to affordably format your content into CreateSpace format.
eBooks (usually people think of this as a PDF download on their website, but you might as well also publish it on Amazon Kindle, see links above.)
Speaking in-person (workshops, lectures, trainings, keynote speeches)
Content format is limited only by your creativity. More ideas here.
To learn the nuances of the above formats, watch this video:
Any questions about these formats? Comment here.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for Counselors, Coaches, Speakers, and Authors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.