Content is King. And your content strategy informs every aspect of your reach and impact, from an exposure standpoint.
Every marketer knows it’s the truth and that content is a critical component to building a personal brand, growing an audience, improving search engine optimization (SEO), positioning yourself as a thought leader—the benefits go on and on.
We get it.
To become an industry-leading personal brand, you need a robust content strategy.
Real talk— How are the best personal brands doing it? If you’re a solopreneur or an entrepreneur with a small part-time team, how can you possibly build a content factory that could compete with such prolific thought leaders as podcaster, blogger, author, and social media influencer Tim Ferris or online marketer, photographer, podcaster, blogger, and resource creator Jenna Kutcher?
You may think that you need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars outsourcing content strategy execution to a third-party agency.
But I’m here to tell you that you do not need to go that route (unless you want to, of course!)
Any entrepreneur, with a personal brand platform in any aspect of the growth phase, can create a sustainable, repeatable process for producing high-quality, impactful content. It’s all about creating a sustainable content strategy that meets your needs and that leverages your assets.
Doing this ultimately extends their reach and grows their influence.
To create an enduring legacy, an integral part is committing to putting out content strategically.
Create a Content Calendar
The secret to a successful content strategy is this: Don’t wing it.
Plan your content creation production schedule. Have content loaded up in a spreadsheet or other content calendar resource, before you go sit to post to Instagram or Facebook.
If you sit down, smartphone in hand, on a Tuesday morning, and have to wonder what you should Tweet, then you’re already behind and likely won’t suddenly come up with a groundbreaking message.
We’ve got the details on what a content calendar is and how to create one in this blog, so start here.
Leverage Your Team
Your best asset is your knowledge. Your unique platform and methodology for success are why your followers rely on you and want to be part of your community. Focus on that—the information that you can share with the world.
Beyond the content of your message, don’t take on the end-to-end production responsibilities.
It’s rare to find someone who is a subject matter expert, and a graphic designer, video editor, website developer, ad creator…you get the idea.
Build a team of niche experts who can help you make your information and advice as impactful as possible in its intended format.
If you’re not at a place in your business to bring on these areas of support, identify low bar ways to get into these different activities without sucking up all your time in implementation mode.
For example, if you’re doing video for your social media platforms, identify a workflow, software, hardware and apps to get you in the game in accessible ways.
This may mean that you’re putting aside the amazing bells and whistles of the larger brands, in service of just getting in the game with the minimal viable tools and strategies to relay your message. It requires that you tool up in the right way, and use the tools for the optimal quality that they offer.
A great video expert who supports personal brands in getting in the video game (in accessible, efficient ways!) is Travis Shields. Check out his video gear guide, which will help you get in the game sharing your message on-camera (without the pressure of becoming a video pro or tech expert overnight). You can have great quality, with an easy point-of-entry!
Partner with Influencers
Not only do your followers and fans want to hear from you, they want to hear from other experts in your industry whom you trust.
Ask colleagues and trusted industry insiders to be guest contributors to your blog, or invite them onto your podcast. Not only will this take the pressure off you to produce yet another article or 30-minute monologue, but your fans will appreciate hearing from a new voice.
By integrating multiple voices into your brand’s message and slate of content, you’re enhancing the quality of what you put out in the world in a collaborative way. No need to own every domain of wellness, for example. If you’re the yoga thought leader, but you want to bring nutrition advice into your work (from a place of research and science-informed sources), then bring on a nutrition expert to speak on the matter with integrity and rigor.
You and your brand shine when you approach content from this collaborative and rigor-informed perch. Embrace the expertise all around you as you deliver training and value to your clients, and watch your brand thrive and expand.
Some of the most enlightening moments of education come when two industry leaders sit together to share knowledge and hypothesize on trends. Click here to learn how to amplify your personal brand using interview marketing techniques.
Reuse and Repurpose
Here’s another top secret: The most effective content producers repurpose and reuse their best material, effectively extending its life like a chewy, colorful string of saltwater taffy.
That is, content producers publish the same content repeatedly over time! They’re not creating unique content exclusively as part of their content calendar.
Here’s an example: If you were to create an eBook on living your best life, you could stretch all the tips and best practices from your eBook to create smaller bits of content, such as:
- A series of 400- to 600-word blogs that each focus on just one chapter element
- A series of motivational social media posts that leverage some of your most impactful chapter titles and quotes
- A podcast that digs deep on one core principle of the eBook
- An infographic that depicts common missteps to achieving success
- A downloadable checklist or step-by-step guide for taking steps to improve your life
- A webinar that touches on the critical elements of the eBook coupled with an offer for attendees to download the full eBook at the end of the broadcast
Your content production doesn’t have to end with these examples.
Creating as many pieces of content that you can extend across your communication channels as possible will enable you to maximize the time and effort you spent writing your eBook, and will amplify your message’s exposure and audience reach.
Remember: this is about working smarter, not harder!
Leverage your knowledge across different content and messaging points in your company for ultimate amplification and reverberation in your audience and overall legacy.
Cover Each Topic from Every Angle
If you are a wellness expert, for example, the methodology that serves as the foundation of your personal brand may be all about committing to a plant-based diet. As an expert on this topic, you can likely think of hundreds of informational content pieces that you could develop to educate your audience about the benefits of plant-based diets, from which store-bought brands are reliable, to the health benefits of going meatless, to how to make the transition from a vegan lifestyle.
While you’ll want to cover all such topics eventually, you will be better able to create a rapid-production content creation machine if you don’t just stop at discussing each topic at a high level.
Consider every issue or topic from every possible perspective, and watch your content library explode.
Let’s take, for example, just the topic of how to transition to a vegan lifestyle. This subject would make a great blog, eBook, or podcast, but you will offer more value to your audience and build greater credibility by not stopping there. Instead, over time, you could provide more nuanced information with such titles as:
- Meal Plans for New Vegans
- “The Hardest Part of Going Vegan,” Hear from Recent Converts in Their Words
- The Immediate Health Benefits that You Can Expert to Feel After Going Vegan
- How to Get Back on the Wagon if You Eat Meat in a Moment of Weakness as a New Vegan
- FAQs About Going Vegan
- How to Build Your First Grocery List After Going Vegan
Again, you get the idea. From this one macro topic: going vegan, you can ideate dozens, maybe even a hundred micro subjects, to incorporate across mediums into your content calendar.
Set Aside Dedicated Content Creation Time
Any great content strategy requires block-time to execute and bring its goodness to life.
Block off time on your calendar at least once a week when you will do nothing other than executing your content strategy. Do not compromise on this schedule. Do not accept meetings or phone calls and close out of your inbox. Set aside some time based on the time of the day when you typically feel most creative.
If you are best able to write a blog or record a podcast first thing in the morning before your email begins to blog up, while you’re feeling fresh and are being fueled by your Keurig, then let morning be your content creation time.
If you’re a zombie in the morning, but hit your stride after your afternoon trip to the gym and protein shake, then make that your production time.
The goal is to prioritize your content creation just as you prioritize client work, and set yourself up for creative success.
Bring kindness and adaptability to your project management approach with content.
You’ll find it that it’ll flow more easily when you create conditions that support your productivity and energy.
Utilize User-Generated Content
Influencers and guest bloggers aren’t the only other voices that will benefit your personal brand growth.
Your raving fans hold so much wisdom and insight that would benefit your brand and other audience members. Share thoughts and feedback from your raving fans.
Turn testimonials into social media posts, poll your followers about their views on a trending topic and share the results or interview members of your community. With less effort than it will take to create and host a webinar, you can showcase your credibility and help your most fervent supporters promote your personal brand for you.
Analyze and Expand on Your Most Popular Content
Even if you have created an exceptional content strategy with an overflowing content calendar, you need to be prepared to pivot.
This is especially true if you create a unicorn—a piece of content that is absolutely killing it. We mean going viral and crashing your website, you’ve received such a large number of downloads.
But if you’ve created a piece of content that has exceeded all your previous engagement and is resonating with your audience powerfully, then you should capitalize on it. Its exceptional reach and impact is giving you information about resonance factors that can elevate your overall content strategy.
Consider other angles on the same topic, dig deeper, expand, turn it into a webinar—whatever you need to do to leverage the momentum you’ve earned to produce additional pieces of content without maximum effort.
Experiment with Dictation Tools
You never know when your next great idea will hit. It could be while you’re commuting and nowhere near a computer. In fact, so many of my ideas come to me in my daily life travels and activities!
This isn’t a problem; it’s just an opportunity to find ways to capture your brilliance whenever it arises.
Consider using a mobile dictation tool to create a rough draft of a blog or podcast monologue when creativity strikes.
By the time you get back to your desk, you may just need to clean up your grammar and write a brief intro and conclusion paragraph, and you’re ready to publish an impactful piece.
This is such a great, accelerated process for creating content! Especially if you feel creative flow more readily when speaking instead of writing.
Re-Set When You Feel Writer’s Block
Creating your content strategy and calendar takes some of the pressure off of being creative on-demand, but any writer knows that some days, you just don’t feel sharp.
One way back in is to re-clarify your WHY factor.
If a few days of writer’s block has turned into a few weeks lapse in producing engaging content, take time to be mindful about the reasons why you are creating content for your audience.
Your content production schedule may begin to feel like just one more component of running a business, but remind yourself of your purpose.
Are you interested in helping other people to achieve their goals, whether they be personal, professional, financial, or spiritual? Are you brought more to LIFE when you create and share your ideas with your audiences? Does content creation support you in other domains of your life? If so, what domains benefit from your creative work?
Getting clear on your specific WHY factor for why you do the work you do, will breathe renewed life and energy into your creative process and content strategy workflow. Because sometimes, in the moment, we don’t feel like showing up for this or that task.
Reminding ourselves of why we do this work at a core level, works to bring us back to the work and stay consistent and committed.
Take ten minutes to read messages of thanks that your community members have shared as blog or social post comments. Scan your client portfolio and remind yourself how you’ve helped people to change their habits and their world.
By staying focused on the real purpose of your content strategy and unearthing the impact of your work out in the marketplace, you’ll be able to reengage and reinvigorate your content production plan.
Content is king, but don’t let it treat you like a slave.
Your content strategy and routine should be fun and part of what fuels your passion for your personal brand.
By creating a plan, being disciplined in your production schedule, and maximizing every idea and piece of advice across every possible content channel, you’ll soon have people stopping you to compliment your content cadence and asking, with wide-eyed reverence, “How do you do it?”
Find a way in that works for you and your schedule.
Your content strategy can be as robust or simple as you design it to be. Whatever route you take, do so from a commitment to creating a sustainable, consistent workflow that’s open for revision and iteration as you see fit. Embrace the flexibility of this whole process, and the creative energy that emerges!