“You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.”
~ Maya Angelou
I hope that Spring is making itself known to you wherever you are in the world. I’m feeling very blessed to live in Spain at the moment, where the sun is nearly always shining and a simple trip to the shops can result in a beautiful stroll along the seafront.
In the spirit of Spring and new birth, today I want to talk to you about the importance of creating content in your business and to share with you some of my own journey to place content creation at the heart of my business activities.
You might already get that it pays to have a presence on social media, to publish a blog and/or to send out regular newsletters. But if I were to guess, I’d say it might not be abundantly clear to you why it’s so important and because of this, perhaps you’re not making it the priority it deserves to be.
Before we go on, let’s just clarify what we mean by creating content. What I’m not talking about here is marketing copy such as sales pages, launch posts or any other copy designed specifically to get your audience to buy. Instead, what I’m referring to is content that serves your audience, in much the same way that your products or services might, albeit not as profoundly. Content that helps them, educates them, inspires and uplifts them. Content that freely shares your best ideas about what you offer as a business.
What trips most people up when it comes to content creation is the mistaken belief that their content has to entice people to buy which of course then feels icky and gross. When we let go of that idea, we’re free to simply show up and share what we know and when we do that, not only does our audience benefit but we also enjoy creating content a whole lot more.
So why is creating content so important if it’s not focused on making a sale?
Consistently creating and sharing free content supports you and your business in a number of fundamental ways.
1. It demonstrates your expertise. What better way to show people how knowledgeable you are about your skill or service, than to create content that illustrates it?
2. It helps you more deeply connect to your audience. When you show up regularly in people’s lives, be that in their inbox or their newsfeed, people not only get to know you better, but they also begin to trust and rely on you and the information you share.
3. It allows you to serve your audience before they’ve even spent a penny with you. Being generous with your content and giving your best ideas away for free cultivates reciprocal generosity, meaning people are more likely to invest in what you’re selling (if the content resonates) and/or refer you to other people.
4. It allows you to find your voice and express your point of view. Having a strong point of view is crucial to helping you stand out to your right-fit people. Creating content consistently allows us to explore what we believe and share that with the world.
5. Consistent content creation allows us to get to know our audience better. By paying attention to which pieces of content get the most likes, shares or comments, we begin to better understand what our audience is interested in and therefore what it needs from us.
6. It helps to grow your audience. As your content improves, which of course it will the more you practice and the more you heed the feedback you get, the more likely it is that people will share that content and the more eyes will, therefore, be on you and your business.
It’s for all of the above reasons, that I made content creation one of my three strategic priorities in my business plan for 2019. Two goals I created under that priority at the start of the year were to consistently write and send a weekly e-letter and to publish a weekly blog post. So far this year, I haven’t missed a weekly e-letter but I’ve only published 4 blog posts, a number somewhat shy of the 11 I should have written to date, in order to achieve my goal of one post a week.
Not one to resign myself to defeat, I had been thinking about how to get back on track with this content creation goal when I read these words by my business mentor, George Kao:
“How often should you create? Once a week is a good rhythm, but what’s interesting is that it’s easier to do it everyday. When you have a weekly habit, it can be hard to build momentum. When it’s a daily habit, there’s no question that you have to do it each day, and it becomes a rhythm.”
When I first read this, I thought there was no way could I create a blog post every day. Then I remembered a 30-day challenge I set for myself back in 2012, where I did exactly that for my old personal growth blog. The more I thought about it the more I also realised that the reason I’m resisting writing blog posts, is because I have turned doing so into a huge task, a task that includes finding the perfect image and then using that image to design a pretty graphic and a pin for Pinterest, which all takes additional time. I also put pressure on myself to make my blog posts substantial and useful, rather than simply write to see what comes and to see what lands with those who read it.
Despite it feeling daunting, I know that if I were to write 30 blog posts in 30 days, it would dramatically improve my ability to create content in my business. So to that end I’ve decided to do just that and will use April as the month to complete this challenge. I thought a lot about whether or not it should be blog posts or if I should also include social media posts and videos but I know that for me, the most challenging goal would be to write 30 blog posts in 30 days and so it is.
This is a personal challenge but I am inviting you to come join me. You don’t have to do blog posts, perhaps for you videos would be the edgier and more beneficial goal. Whatever the type of content, the only stipulation is that you produce more content in April than you usually would, ideally everyday but if that feels like too much of a stretch, don’t let that be a barrier to joining us.
Are you in?
I do hope so as I know it would help me to stay accountable if there were a group of us taking part. If you are, then simply comment below and share with us your content creation goal and then hit the button below to join my free Facebook Group where I’ll be sharing my 30 posts as well as my journey to create them and inviting you to do the same.
Of course you don’t need to join my group to do a content creation challenge in April, I just want you to know that the space is there should you want any additional support and accountability.