The Three Critical Components of Content Creation for Personal Brands
“Everyone has a transferable commodity—knowledge. Sharing your unique expertise and making introductions for someone creates a lasting legacy.”
If you’re working on building a personal brand, then Marsha Blackburn’s quote should resonate deeply within you.
Many entrepreneurs generate extreme wealth as the result of launching a successful personal brand that offers innovative value and enables people to reach their goals. However, the financial achievement shouldn’t be the driving, motivating force of your business success.
The most successful personal brands only obtain wealth, status and fame because they created an impactful platform that offered valuable results for customers and followers.
What fueled that success was a singular purpose: sharing knowledge.
Entrepreneurs who are passionate about amplifying the reach of their insights start with the best possible foundation for building a personal brand. However, when your mind is racing and filled with information, expertise, and ideas for how people can improve their lives, as Blackburn intimated, you simply have to share it.
You need to put what you know into words, record your voice, and get up on stage.
You need content—one of the four pillars of building a personal brand.
Content Sharing Creates Thought Leaders
As an influencer or thought leader, sharing your knowledge is an essential.
After all, how can you become a thought-leader, if you never pass on what you know to others?
Content marketing is the result of the paradigm shift caused by the information age. Information, what you know, is no longer your competitive advantage.
With millions of indexed pages on the Web and millions of books available for instant Amazon download, if you’re writing about it, there’s a good chance someone else has written about it too.
Entrepreneurs need to focus on results to find a competitive advantage—proven, repeatable, and sustainable results.
Prospective customers want to know that any company, product, or service they purchase will move them toward the results they want. Information they can Google, but they will pay for results.
Winning the Competitive Advantage
In today’s competitive business landscape, entrepreneurs and thought leaders will gain a competitive advantage only if followers perceive them as the most knowledgeable information provider in their niche insight segment.
This expectation means that if you never share your thoughts, the market will not recognize you as an expert. As they say, if a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it… well, you know the rest.
Experts document their ideas on a subject. If you want followers to see you as an expert, then it is essential that you put what you know into a shareable, consumable format.
While sharing your thoughts is a necessity for building your personal brand, remember that not all thought-sharing is created equal.
There are many nuances to producing content and sharing your thoughts in a way that generates interest, action, and results. What is critical, however, is that you develop high-value content—educational materials that articulate your thoughts and perspectives in a manner that is effective, easy-to-understand, and useful to others.
Creating High-Value Content
Creating high-value, high-quality content is an essential component of becoming an influential personal brand.
Impactful content allows you to duplicate yourself and add value to the world independent of your direct involvement. It also allows you to build credibility when you can point to other pieces in which you have documented your thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, or teachings on a topic.
The first step to creating high value, high-quality content is to consider your unique area of expertise and determine how to communicate it in a way that will help your followers obtain predictable results.
There are three critical components of developing impactful personal brand content:
#1. Determining Your Methodology
A methodology is a core component of creating a personal brand. It is the most commonly overlooked element of any business. Your methodology is your unique process by which you can predictably and consistently generate results for your ideal customer.
Your differentiator is your methodology.
It is the unique perspective and approach that you bring to the marketplace to help people achieve their goals.
Consider, for example, Marie Kondo, the Japanese organization consultant and author. Many consultants have published recommendations on home organization strategies and minimalism, but only Kondo brought the world her unique pedagogy.
Kondo taught the world that if something you own does not create in you a feeling of joy, then you should let it go.
This simple philosophy has resonated with millions of people, making Kondo a sensation and a household name. It is her methodology that sets her personal brand apart from all other organization consultants.
Spend some time ideating around your unique methodology.
Drawing on your expertise, what unique perspective and concepts can you offer the world that will make an impact?
A SWOT analysis can help this process. Consider as well, what needs exist in the marketplace, and where your knowledge and expertise can fill that gap. Learn more about this marketplace analysis process here.
#2. Productizing Your Knowledge
Every entrepreneur knows that they need to earn profits to keep doing their work. That means you can’t give away all of your most valuable insights for free. Once you create your methodology, determine a strategy for productizing your knowledge, wisdom, and expertise.
Productizing your knowledge involves packaging your expertise into products and services that you can scale.
You’ll need to consider different components of your methodology, different delivery mechanisms, and a spectrum of price points so that you have room to cross-sell and upsell your customers.
Production is the creation phase, where you take what you know and produce as many different types of dynamic educational materials as possible that will resonate with your followers and prospective customers.
After all, produce means to bring into existence.
It is the process by which you document your expertise and the structure by which you build your content. To effectively create thought leader content, you need to have a sustainable plan.
The most powerful personal brands produce a regular cadence of blogs, videos, podcasts, newsletters, emails, social media posts, white papers, eBooks, and host webinars and lectures. This process is no small feat. You’ll need to stay organized by producing a plan.
How can your methodology, product strategy, and content production synthesize into valuable personal brand content? Consider how Dave Ramsey does it.
A Personal Brand Content Creation Case Study: Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and popular national radio personality. He is widely considered to be America’s trusted voice on money and business and has earned the number one spot on the Platinum Influence list in the financial impact category. Ramsey is an ideal case study in producing valuable content that follows the core pillars of methodology, productization, and production.
To develop a personal brand, you need to be credible. The proof of Ramsey’s expertise lies in his personal and professional history. He graduated from the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a degree in Finance and Real Estate in 1982.
He formed Ramsey Investments, Inc. and built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million by 1986. Trouble found Ramsey a few years later when the bank that was financing his real estate was sold to a larger bank that demanded immediate repayment on his loans. Unable to pay, Ramsey filed for bankruptcy in 1988.
The experience of amassing and then losing wealth gave Ramsey a unique perspective—one that complemented his traditional business education and work history. After recovering from his bankruptcy, he began offering financial counseling to couples at his local church and attending workshops and seminars on consumer financial problems. That’s when Ramsey’s unique methodology was born.
He developed a set of lessons and materials, now known as Baby Steps. Today, Ramsey’s Baby Steps approach serves as the foundation of his personal brand, and it enabled him to launch a wildly successful venture with vast amounts of content that span the continuum of modality, price point, and engagement level.
Productizing Ramsey’s Methodology
While you can read Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps right on his website, people who want more in-depth knowledge, training, and guidance to complete them can choose from a wide range of purchasable products and services. Ramsey has productized his expertise in almost every format possible, including:
- Authoring seven national bestselling books on financial strategy and leadership and a youth book and workbook series that helps teach financial stewardship to young people of all ages.
- Several courses, including his Financial Peace University, Foundations Curriculum, and a Financial Coach Master Training.
- Budgeting tools to help customers execute on his principles. These retail items include envelopes, budgeting ledgers, and a free mobile app—with an available premium upgrade.
- One-on-one financial coaching, Financial Peace in-person and streaming live educational events, DVDs of recorded past sessions, a leadership summit, and even a “Live Like No One Else Cruise,” in which successful customers are invited to enjoy a cruise with fellow, debt-free followers.
Ramsey also brilliantly bundles his products and, during the holidays, even positions them as gifts, helping him boost year-end holiday sales.
For example, you can purchase for yourself or a loved one, the Starter Special bundle. It includes books, The Total Money Makeover, The Total Money Makeover Workbook, Rachel Cruze’s, Love Your Life Not Theirs, an audiobook copy of Chris Hogan’s book, Retire Inspired, a Deluxe Envelope System, and two PDF eBooks.
It should be no surprise that a financial expert has devised such valuable ways to productize his knowledge. Still, what Ramsey has created, breadth and depth of offerings that include low-investment entry-points that scale up to premium experiential education is brilliant.
Prolific Content Production
But wait, there’s more!
Beyond Ramsey’s paid products and services, he has created a sustainable engine for producing free educational content, the kind that fills his marketing funnel and drives followers to consider his paid products. Ramsey’s free content includes:
- Online scholarly articles
- Mortgage and investment calculators
- A weekly radio show
- A YouTube channel with over 3,700 videos for his 1.36 million subscribers
- Social media content for his 4.2 million Facebook followers, 919,600 Twitter followers, and 1.7 million Instagram followers.
What can we learn from Ramsey? That his unique experiences helped him to device an impactful methodology that he productized and uses as a basis for developing consistent content. His expertise and methodology position him as a thought leader capable of producing repeatable results that followers can trust to help them achieve a hyper-specific goal: getting out of debt.
If you’d like to learn more about the nuances of creating your methodology, productizing your knowledge, and producing valuable content, click below to sign up for our Income + Impact Accelerator course today. Start My Course