"Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign." -Jon Buscall
I’m getting all meta today and sharing some content on content.
I’m breaking this into two parts. Today, we’ll jam on the 'why' of content, next week the 'how', particularly planning and scheduling.
(Rather watch and listen? Join me in a Facebook live replay below!)
Before we dig in, I want to preface by saying that I am a very real (read: flawed) human on the other side of this email. I’m learning and growing along with my business.
I share that to say, this is what is working for me right now, at this stage of my business. This isn’t how it’s always been, and I know it probably won't always be exactly the same.
For any of you who might be in the beginning stages of your business or creative endeavor, know that you’re right where you should be. It’s not a race.
If what I share resonates, take it, and use it to shave some time off of the inevitable learning curve. But, please, do not beat yourself up if you don’t have a content marketing strategy all planned out or if you find yourself struggling coming up with content ideas.
Creating consistent, original content isn’t easy. So, if you’re getting it done, please celebrate that!
Ok. So. Content and content marketing.
For those of you sitting there wondering what the heck I’m talking about when I say “content”, let’s get on the same page first!
Kim’s definition (compiled from real definitions and my experience):
Content (n) how we express ourselves, communicate, and share information and experiences through different mediums intended to be received by an audience.
Content can be free or paid and includes blog posts like this one, videos, books, ebooks, talks, webinars, social media posts, art, courses, etc.
Content marketing is pulling this all together and using content as a way to market your work. I think of content marketing as a way to connect and build relationships through service or providing value.
As Seth Godin says, "Content marketing is the only marketing left."
Content marketing is my main marketing strategy, and I love it (but it isn't always easy).
What makes sharing content such a freaking awesome way to market our businesses and creative work?
For starters, it’s pull marketing, meaning you’re pulling people towards you versus pushing your sales or agenda onto people.
Pushy is a desperate no-no in my book. It’s what gives business, marketing, and sales a bad rap.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the opposite of the hard sell. In fact, it’s not selling at all. It’s giving first and asking later after a relationship is established. It’s so much classier than just screaming, "I need money NOW, buy this thing from me!!!!"
Content asks the audience to get to know you first before you put a ring on it.
I think content also has some fringe benefits.
Content allows us to (forces us) to sit down and create ideas and then share them with the world. I think creating content is a great way to begin to formulate and strengthen your message, one sentence at a time.
Content allows us to extend our reach and inspire, motivate, and help more people. It allows us to serve people who can't afford our products and services.
Content also allows us to build relationships and trust.
When we consistently show up for others with content, we’re essentially saying, "Hey, you can trust me. I deliver on what I say I will. I won’t let you down. "
In a world where pretty much anyone can throw up a website overnight and claim to be an expert in something, content shows people you have substance beyond copy and paste creation.
Content allows people to figure out what you're all about.
Making content also allows us creative types to do what makes us happy - create. The ex-actress in me who felt like she was always waiting for someone else to give her a role really loves being able to sit down and create the work myself.
For those of you who are curious, content is probably the number one way I initially connect with my amazing clients, and it’s resulted in my working with people who are truly my idea of dream clients.
Yes, creating content takes some elbow grease, and sometimes a little sweat and tears, but in my opinion and experience, it’s so very worth it.
Next week, I’ll be back to share how I schedule and come up with content topics. I hope diving into the 'why' of content first was helpful and will inspire a few of you who might be sitting on the content creation fence to jump in and join me.
Wishing you your version of success!