We’re officially into the second half of 2019. Or maybe you call it the last half (a bit ominous, but if that’s what drives you, fine with me.)
Either way, it’s a great time to have a look at the messages you’ve been sending so far this year.
Because creating content for our businesses is not just about creating content.
Creating content is about telling a story through an ongoing conversation that gives our audiences a reason to lean in for more.
(BTW, your audience leaning out and deciding “she’s not for me” is an equally good outcome. No point talking with people who aren’t your ideal clients.)
That’s why the content you create through blog entries, newsletters, Instagram and Facebook posts, presentations, email responses, phone conversations — yep all of it — needs to contribute to a consistent and coherent story.
Without anchoring all your content to your overarching story, you are just mucking around with words.
And that won’t help your business. In fact, it wastes a whole lot of time — yours and your readers’.
This is why I want people to work from a content plan instead of winging it, why I coach people to get comfortable using their voice and help them define and use the messages that matter most to their audiences.
Separate The Story From The Muck
Here are two ways to determine how much story you’re putting out there versus how much muck.
When you trust that your voice is the right voice for your business (because, spoiler alert, it is!) your content “sounds” consistent from piece to piece, from channel to channel.
You aren’t easy-breezy on Facebook, super-serious and jargonny on LinkedIn, ranty and swearing in your in your blog posts.
Consistently using your voice builds your story.
Print out all the content you sent or posted in the last several months. Include everything: emails to clients, newsletters, posts, etc.
Stack ‘em up and read through them — out loud.
Now ask yourself:
Do they sound like the same person wrote them?
Do they give the impression that they all came from the same company?
Is there anything in there that makes you cringe? (cross it out!)
Is there anything in there that sounds great and you want to repeat? (highlight and build it into your story.)
No, you’re never going to talk about just one thing over and over again. But the range of topics you cover should stay fairly narrow.
The things you talk about in your content should anchor to your overarching story.
When Build Your Content Plan Workshop participants brainstorm what they’re sending out in the month, they don’t do it in a vacuum. They have to answer the “why” questions: Why is this content supporting their business? Why are they sharing it now?
There are a million things we could talk about on any given day, but only so much we should cover.
Take that stack of content you printed out and read it again. This time look for:
How many points are you making in a single piece of content?
How do those points match up to your offer or the results you achieve?
What are you telling the reader about you?
What are you asking them to do?
Again, do these messages sound like they’re coming from the same company? Are they linked to the products or services you offer? What is the overarching story that is coming out of all these messages?
For many of us, creating content for our business is the last thing we want to do and we never give ourselves quite enough time to do it. So we wing it.
Winging it can work sometime. But if we rely on that all the time, it’s easy to end up mucking around with words instead of telling a compelling story with a crisp, clear message.
If you are ready to stop winging it with your content let’s chat. There many ways I can help you move from move from mucking around to writing on purpose.