Creating Compelling Content That Builds Connections & Engagement
Your company is Content Creation Coach. I have never heard of a content creation coach before you, so are there any out there, or are you like the lone wolf in this thing?
You know, I think I have a very specific niche and a unique approach. There are many content marketing agencies or content, creators, and copywriters, and people who play in the same sandbox that I'm in.
But what I'm all about really is helping businesses own their message and own their value online and become that thought leader. I help them become that expert and get it out there. There's a lot to coach part, it's a real deal. It's not just being able to say, "say the words" or "write the words" or "write the blog." There's a lot that goes into putting yourself out there.
When I rebranded my business after my first year, I was doing marketing and communications, and I homed in on content. I said I'm going to be content creation coach. And that was now six years ago.
Where do you fit in with an entrepreneur that's listening that might have a bunch of stuff in between their ears that they struggled to get either on paper?
So much comes to mind. The first is to address that question about the content. People use that word a lot. Now, sometimes they're talking about marketing content or content on their website or content without materials. And the truth of the matter is for me, and I have a really specific definition of content. And I think a lot of times when people use the word content, they're talking about copy. Copy is it's still important. We need copy. We need words that describe our business and who we are and what we do. It informs people, and that's important. Copy is usually in the third person. And so, it's descriptive. And sometimes as you said, it, it has that call to action element to it. For me, content true content is about building relationships.
It's about making connections. It's about sharing value. So content is written in the first person. I am writing to you, my reader, you, my listener. So we are making a real connection there. I am sharing some immediate value with you, whether it's, a tip, some information you can apply right away, or a shift in how you look at things or perceive things. You're going to walk away from that piece of content from listening or reading it with some value already without having to pay money. That is the power of content. So, to me, that's the first distinction I like to and make people understand that then, like you said, how do you get it out? What is it? Where does it fit in? What should I create? How do I share it? And content really comes in two different flavors. As you said, you're going to speak it, or you're going to write it. If I speak my content, maybe it's a YouTube video. Maybe it's a podcast episode. Maybe it's a downloadable MP3 file. You can now play with those two things being in writing in lots of different lots of different ways and how it fits into your overall strategy.
How do you sit with somebody and effectively do that?
That's the magic of coaching and my process. So, I like to tell people about the curse of knowledge. It says that once you know something, it's tough to remember what it's like not to know it. And so, we usually know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. We just don't remember what it was like before we knew all the stuff that we knew. And the truth is there's a lot of people out there who don't know what you know. And so that's the first step.
And so, from there, what I help people do is I call it chunking, right? Like it's easy, you've got stuff floating around, and what we need to do when we create content is break it down into little pieces into little chunks because a blog article or any piece of content has to be clear. You're not going to download everything all in one fell swoop. You can download an awful lot into a book, but people need to get it in little, teeny, tiny chunks. A lot of my process is listening and trying to get down all of the information and value in people's heads and then break it into those little chunks.
How will you build that trust in your current coaching practice so that somebody can get that comfort to open up?
It's funny cause I do what I teach. Often, in some cases, I know my clients like you, and I are in the same geographic area, or I've met people in person at networking, and you've talked about those kinds of methods. But the other thing is I share a lot of content. I send out a blog article via email, and I post things. And so those people who follow me, you even said this before we started, started recording this interview. I've seen your stuff on LinkedIn. That is a way of building the trust of establishing credibility. And so, one of my favorite things as a content creator and content coaches, my people come to me, and they're like, I've been following you for a while, and I like your approach. And I think I'm ready to do this. And I don't know them at all. I feel like they know me because of my content, and that's the magic of what I do. And it's what I help my clients do. But it's what I try to do for myself and my own business as well.
So, from your perspective, where do those ideas come from for you to be able to create that content on your own?
Well again, several things coming to mind. At the beginning of your question, it was about reposting. There is a term for that, and it's curating other people's content. It's an acceptable thing to do. It's part of social media marketing. It's part of email marketing, but it's different from doing your own content marketing and establishing yourself as the thought leader as their go-to person. So, I do for myself and with all my clients right away is I start a topic list. And so, we keep a running topic list, and finding topics becomes a new awareness, like a new part of your daily routine. And there are places to go and mind for topics, and they're everywhere.
There are two sides to that relationship-building process. You knew the business, you're the business owner, you're the thought leader. And so, understanding that side of the equation really clearly is important. And some people need help even there, you know, having a clear message and owning their value and knowing, chunking it down and all that stuff. The other side of the equation is that listener, that person on the other side, that you're building that relationship with. And it's a whole other piece of the process to really get into their heads and understand who they are. So that's another side of what I do. When you were coming up with ideas and topics, I created a downloadable thing where it's 40 topics, starters 20, from the perspective of who am I? what am I sharing? What do I know? What are my experiences? Tell me the story. There are 20 that are from the perspective of your audience. What are they struggling with? Those kinds of things.
Do you run into people that have that mentality that everyone should be my customer?
I think there's two common things I've run into. One is it's too broad, which is sort of what you were running into for yourself. It's just not homed in enough. And, a lot of times, people will have the demographic piece of it. Like we're we like to target women between the ages of 35 and 55 or whatever that is. So, what I get into with my clients and with my process is, let's walk through their day. What is their house like? What are their families like? What's their household? What are their struggles? What time does their alarm go off? Going through this experience so that you can really relate to them and topics I'm telling you, they come flying out through that experience.
But the other thing I run into, especially when it's too broad, or it's not a priority is again, and they just want to talk about themselves in their business. Like, why do I need to understand the target audience? And so, I want to share one little tip here for people when they start writing content. Make them do it in the first person. A lot of times, the default is to say, "we." It's not personal. And what I look for is the word "you." So, the two words that I really look for is "I." "I, the thought leader," "I, the writer" not global, "we," but "I," and "you."
What do you like better offense side or the coaching side?
To me, they're interrelated. Because I am a content coach, the coaching part ends up coming from, as we're creating content, the things that come up, because like you said, it can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there or to think of yourself as a thought leader or to get in front of a video camera for the first time. If that's not your comfort zone, you know? So, there are things that people do in the creative content creation process that is growth-oriented that are new, that are uncomfortable. And I love that part of it. I think that that's an important part of it. Part of what I want people to hear this part of what makes really good engaging content is if the creator is really in that process. As you can tell, the difference between a piece of content that's been thoroughly researched, and regurgitated versus somebody really sharing themselves and their thoughts and their stories and experience. It feels different. And that's what I love about what I do.
How do you get your content to kind of hit the other people that aren't necessarily the same as you?
I know it sounds a little bit weird in business, but you can call it whatever you want, the welcome letter or the introduction letter, but that is your opportunity to say, "here's who I am sharing this with you. Here's how I have the expertise that I have. Here's what I know about you. And here's what I hope you get out of this piece." Then you move into the 42 accounting tips because the truth of the matter is there's 10,000 hundred thousand accountants out there who could be sharing the same information. Why do I want to listen to you? That is the question that people need to be asking themselves when they create content, is it's the information you're sharing probably is, stuff that other people can be sharing and are sharing, but why do they want to get it from?
How do you find yourself looking at things from your client's perspective before you kind of jump in?
So, if it's my client, that is my job. It's interesting cause not only do I need to understand their perspective, but I also need to understand their target audience and that perspective. So, part of the value I bring is that outside person, that outside perspective too, because often when it's just you or inside your business, there's a bit of a what's the word I'm looking for? You know, like they're all just in their own world. And it's hard to see outside of that. And like I said, with the curse of knowledge earlier to remember what it's like to be on the outside. So, I bring that outside perspective in, and I think that's really, really important.
The third one that I add-in, especially right now, is what's going on in the world. Can you tie in a bigger issue, something people care about a bigger value? And if you can do that, that little sweet spot, that little overlapping sweet spot, where you personally, and you as business have value to add to an important conversation that matters to your people. That's what makes amazing content. People expect some sort of formula about, it's funny, or it's quippy, or it's this it's this or that, or it's so many words. That's not the magic, the magic finding that sweet spot.
What would you give based on what we talked about on your knowledge, if you had like a minute to tell somebody a great tip, what would you tell them?
The number one tip, as far as content in my mind, is putting out something is better than doing nothing. One of the first tips I would do in that scenario is that overcoming your perfection paralysis. Why are you not putting out content right now and get over it and put something out?
So, especially with what I call nurturing content, which is shorter, visibility pieces, awareness pieces, blog articles, things like that. It's not the end of the world. Like I get, if you're publishing a book, you want to go through that process and review process and all of that stuff. But for nurturing content, like one of the steps in the process is put it out, and then see how people respond and how people engage. Change it up a little bit for the next one and be in that process, it's like a conversation with your audience, and they get to be part of the process. It can't, the process cannot with content marketing, be all behind the scenes. I would invite you to think about engaging the audience with the process and having that be okay.
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