When I started creating content for my first business, I did it because I had no other options. I didn’t have money to invest in advertising or pay to join associations. I only had my expertise, and I knew that if I could show what I knew, I would get attention and get clients. I didn’t know it back then, but I was employing a strategy that would continue to help me build awareness, establish credibility and get paid online.
I love being in the online marketing space, I believe that content is everything, and everything is content. In my opinion, creating content is the most strategic way for a business owner to set themselves apart. Over the years I’ve published blog posts, created videos, social media graphics and hosted livestreams — but I made two major mistakes along the way that I want to help you avoid.
The first ingredient to being successful as a content marketer is ideas; if you don’t have a steady stream of ideas it’s hard to be consistent. I get ideas all the time and try to document them in the moment so I can go back when it’s time to create. I got so excited about having the ideas, I didn’t consider if they were actually in alignment with the business I was building! My content topics were all over the place, and I didn’t realize that I was confusing my audience. Their confusion wasn’t creating sales.
I also didn’t consider my intention for publishing, I just wanted to be active on all of my online channels, so I simply repurposed everything on every platform. I didn’t consider that there were different audiences with specific interests, and every piece of content didn’t apply (or appeal) to them. In the spirit of being “consistent” I flooded my pages and channels with content that wasn’t focused on the needs of the people I’d intended to buy!
Effective content is intentional and strategic BEFORE it’s consistent. My biggest mistakes at the start of my journey were focused on showing up the most instead of showing up the best. I understood the importance of using a combination of media types to deliver my content, but I didn’t have any guidelines for messaging and distribution. I’ve learned that content should be designed in a way that helps the intended customer feels seen and understood. When you keep that goal as your focus, you’ll attract the right people with the right message at the right time.
Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at www.moniekjames.com where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.