I believe that our content needs three things for it to resonate, connect, and be effective for our business and brand:
Without focus around your message, ideas, purpose, and values, you may struggle to create content that truly breaks through the noise and resonates with the right people for you. But when you’re clear on what it is you want to say, and on your strengths, your ideas, and your message, that’s when your ideas will start flowing much easier and your content will be able to stand out in the crowd online without just adding to the noise.
A strong grasp of your brand, your message, your purpose, and what it is you want to say and how you want to make people feel is how you can create content that is effective and game changing along the way.
Consistency isn’t just about how often you post and sticking to a set schedule; it’s way more about how you show up with your content and how you make your community feel when they engage with the ideas you share. Consistency is taking the clarity you have around your purpose, your message, your ideas, and your values, and letting that breathe into and shape everything you share and do online.
Consistency is how you differentiate yourself from the crowd; it’s how you show up and say something, over and over again, that is unique to you. It’s the jumping off point to establishing your expertise, your thought leadership, and the value around the work you do.
Without connection, your ability to have impact and reach online is limited. This is a very human arena; people want to connect with other people, not faceless brands and corporations. Connection is how you build a brand that people care about it and connection is the foundation for building a game changing community that moves your brand forward in a way that you couldn’t alone.
You need clarity and consistency if you want to cultivate connection, but you also need to tap into your own unique strengths, gifts, and personality traits if you want to cultivate connection in an authentic and human way that stays true to who you are and the work that you do.
Today we’re here to talk about how to develop a content plan and process that helps you to build community around your brand, have impact and reach online, and build a profitable and game changing online presence...
As a content coach I help my clients explore their content, find structure, build strategy, and develop a process that helps them to create with intention in a way that moves their business and brand forward every step of the way.
I like to approach content as a eco-system; everything you create and share online exists together within an eco-system, and when you are strategic and intentional enough to make them work seamlessly together, that’s when you can create game changing content that helps you build community around your brand, movement around your message, and attract dream clients and customers so you can build something that is as profitable as it is purposeful.
Today I want to share with you one of my core approaches when helping creatives and freelancers take control of their content, find focus with their ideas, and build a process that gives them the confidence to move forward and create with purpose and intention.
I believe that building your eco-system is the jumping off point to creating content that is focused, consistent, and game changing along the way
Through building your eco-system, that’s how you can give yourself the creative space that you need to create content that has clarity, consistency, and connection.
Step One: Your Foundation
First up, the foundation of your eco-system is the best place to start exploring. This will guide everything you do with your content, from your strategies, to your ideas, to how you implement and execute them; this is your jumping off point.
We can break your foundation down into two parts:
- What is the message/purpose of your brand? This is your elevator speech and core values.
- What is the purpose of your content? Why is giving your energy to showing up online and sharing your ideas and inspiration important to you? What are you hoping for it to achieve?
To create game changing content, you need to keep the message and purpose of the work you do at the core of everything you create. But to take it a step further, you also need to know why you’re putting so much creative energy into creating and sharing content online. Is it to build community? Establish your ideas and expertise? Attract clients and customers? Cultivate your thought leadership? To explore your ideas and have the space to flex your creativity?
Whatever it is, this is what keeps your eco-system purposeful and intentional along the way.
Step Two: Your Content Streams
This is where you can start to put together all of the different assets of your contents eco-system and really start to find focus and direction moving forward.
- Outline your content streams (eg: Blog, Newsletter, Social, Guest Posts, Podcast, Products, Periscope etc)
- Outline how each content stream functions (how often you create and share new content, where it’s shared, how you share it)
- Outline the purpose of each content stream; how do they help you execute your bigger purpose, message, and vision? What unique part does each of them play in helping you to establish your brand and the effect you want it to have online?
Here’s the secret to this part; you want each of your content streams to have its own purpose that ultimately helps you to execute your core vision and goals for your brand.
Say the core purpose of your content is to help you establish your expertise and thought leadership online, while also sharing your personal brand and cultivating trust, connection, and community with your dream clients and customers. You have a blog, a monthly email newsletter, video content, and you like to use Instagram too.
Your blog: This is where you could share your core ideas, message, and resources to help you establish your expertise, be of value to your community, and build up an archive of resources and content that shares your value and your knowledge online.
The purpose and function of your blog would ultimately be to help you establish your expertise within your industry online and have impact and reach with the right people for you.
Your newsletter: This is where you could share more behind the scenes and more of your own journey and experiences, so you can pull back the curtain and share more of who you are with your community. The content you share here could also go deeper into the topics that your community are struggling with but with a more personal touch.
The purpose and function of your newsletter would ultimately be to help you cultivate more connection with your community, and humanise your brand too.
Your video content: This is where you could share more actionable content through short weekly videos and share more of your personality and personal brand too. The content you share here can differ from your blog content as it could be more focused or more actionable than your longer form content.
The purpose and function of your video content would ultimately be to share your personality, build a visual connection with your community, and have the opportunity to share your ideas, establish your expertise, and connect in a more engaging way.
Your Instagram: This is where you could share more behind the scenes of your life and really humanise the work you do online. This could be less about the work you do and more about the life you live, so you can share more of a well-rounded insight into your life and your values.
- Blog: Establish expertise and thought leadership
- Newsletter: To cultivate connection and community
- Video: To share your personality and build more trust
- Instagram: To humanise and share behind the scenes
Each of these streams of content are all doing a separate job towards the same goal; helping to build your know, like, and trust factor, establishing your expertise, and cultivating community around your brand. Alone they are limited in their ability to have impact and reach, but working all together side by side they can move your brand forward in an effective and game changing way.
This, of course, is just a very broad example of what an eco-system could look like, maybe yours includes a Facebook group, or weekly Periscopes, or a podcast, or maybe Twitter. Whatever it is, the most important part is that you know why each of them matters and that they each have a purpose that are helping you work towards your bigger goals and intentions.
Something to note: Your content streams will evolve, adapt, and change as you do in your business. Put aside the time to regularly check in with your content streams to update, tweak, and evolve their purpose and function as and when you need to.
Step Three: Your Pathways
I call this step in the process the Pathways or the Doorways - I’m not a big fan of either title, but they easily sum up what we’re doing at this step, so they’ll work for now. This step is here to help you be extra strategic and focused with your content streams; this is how you turn your eco-system into something that is effective and purposeful along the way.
- How do your content streams interact with each other? For example; do they all exist unto themselves, or are they to be consumed alongside each other for maximum effect? (For example - some people use their newsletters as a way to follow on from blog posts, or some people use social to continue a conversation they started in a blog post). Explore any direct relationships between any of your streams of content that are worth noting moving forward.
- What is your ideal “pathway” (or multiple pathways) for people to work through your content streams?
If we take the example from above as our jumping off point, here’s how its pathways could work...
- Read blog post > check out videos > follow on social media > sign up to email list > cultivate connection and trust > become a customer, client, or lifelong brand ambassador
- Discover via Instagram > check out blog post > sign up to email list > explore videos > cultivate connection and trust > become a customer, client, or lifelong brand ambassador
- Discover videos through being recommend them on social media > explore blog posts > sign up to mailing list > follow on social media > cultivate connection and trust > become a customer, client, or lifelong brand ambassador
As you can see, the whole point of these is to build an eco-system of content that is always moving your community through a journey that ultimately will help them interact with your brand and the work that you do in the way you believe will be most effective. You do this through your website, your approach to marketing and promotion, and in how you cultivate and build community too.
The biggest takeaway here is to not just create and share content on auto-pilot. Be intentional with everything you create and share, and build a content plan and a community experience that is both valuable for your people and purposeful and profitable for your business too.
There we have it, my method for building and developing your content eco-system in a purposeful, intentional, and strategic way. I really believe in this approach and have seen how it helps my clients find clarity, focus, and direction with their content and I hope it can do the same for you.
If you have any questions or thoughts, let me know in the comments below!