If you’re building a side hustle or online business, then you likely already know how important content is for your business. Content is key for building your brand, and your brand is what converts followers into paying clients.
Chances are, you’re creating content because you know that it builds interest and demand for your offer. You’re probably already creating content, whether that’s on a social media platform like Instagram or LinkedIn or longer form content platforms like a podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, or live streams.
A very common mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make in their content strategy is that they try to create value-packed content, but they do it ineffectively. This happens when you try to cram as much information into a piece of content as possible.
In theory, it’s amazing, but without the right accountability, resources, or guidance, it’s usually difficult for people to implement this information without getting stuck in their own doubts. They’ll become overwhelmed and don’t know how to apply this information to their unique situation.
Another way content becomes ineffective is when the audience is not at a place where they’re not yet aware of how your content is relevant or important to them.
For example, if someone has limiting beliefs as to why they can or cannot start a successful online business or side hustle while they’re in a 9-5 or in school, chances are, they won’t find “value” from detailed, jammed-packed content because they aren’t in the mindset to take action in the first place.
Your audience likely does have a number of limiting beliefs related to how your offer can help them. For example, my own audience often struggles with showing up online confidently and talking about their offers. This, as a result, gets in the way of their dreams of having a successful business that makes an income and impact.
There’s likely a lot of gaps in your audience’s knowledge and understanding which you’ll need to address through your content.
For example, my audience doesn’t have a strong foundation on why it’s important for them to master their own voice and thought leadership. Instead, they end up consuming a lot of content and keep looking around at what their peers and competitors are doing.
This is why I intentionally don’t create content that teaches my audience on how to structure or outline an effective Instagram livestream because that may not actually be helpful to them due to their current lack of confidence to even do a livestream.
Instead, I opt to create content that addresses these limiting beliefs to instill more confidence in my audience so that they’re more primed to take the first step.
If you try to give your audience a lot of detailed, step by step information right now at this moment, it may be difficult for your audience to truly grasp the importance of each step and they’re not as likely to implement the information you provide them.
These gaps in their understanding or confidence means you, as a content creator or business owner, need to be strategic with your content. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time on creating really good, value-packed content that either 1) isn’t recognized by your audience or 2) overwhelms your audience.
The worst case scenario is that someone tries to implement your information but doesn’t see the desired results because they lack the foundations in place. They may mistakenly assume it’s your information that’s at fault instead of recognizing that it’s their lack of foundation.
As someone who’s creating content as a way to grow your business, it’s important to take the time to think about your content strategy to make sure that it can help people achieve a small win.
Even if someone never converts into a paying client, they’ll still see you as someone with damn good content and thus see you as an authority.
This is why I created the 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy which is an approach to content that has helped my clients and myself to have a balanced approach to our content. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to help you create content that does one (or a combination) of the following things:
What does a piece of content need to have in order to build interest or demand for your business?
Boiling it down, I identified three main criteria:
1. Your content needs to be clear and simple so that it’s really easy for people to process and digest.
2. Your content needs to have a valuable takeaway for your audience. This means actually helping them understand a new piece of information or idea, to feel some type of way, to think of a new thought, to change their perspective or belief, to inspire them to take action. Not simply getting likes or engagement.
3. Your content must be on brand for your business and leads nicely into your offer. Think about questions like: Is it written in my voice? Is it my own opinion or idea? Does this make sense in the grand scheme of my content strategy? Does this post relate to what I’m selling?
Now that we’re clear on what attracting content looks like conceptually, you may be wondering, “What do I actually create? What do I even talk about in my post?”.
I’m glad you asked!
Let’s dive into four content ideas that are great for creating interest for your offer and building your authority and thought leadership within your niche.
1. Mistakes your audience is making vs what they actually should be doing instead to overcome a pain point or achieve their desired result.
You can also discuss misconceptions that your audience have vs what they should actually be thinking about.
It’s important to provide a valuable takeaway by telling them things they should actually do, and also highlight why it’s important that they step away from the mistakes they’re currently making or shift away from the misconceptions that they may currently be thinking.
Otherwise, your audience may not recognize why their current mistake or misconception is what’s holding them back from reaching their desired outcomes.
For example, a common mistake that my audience makes is thinking that they need to do twenty different things in their business when they’ve just started. They’ve been told by other business coaches that they need to be on multiple social media and content platforms, post every single day, build an email list, build a webinar funnel, write emails every week, have a diversified product suite, and so on.
What I teach is the complete opposite – I teach my clients to simplify and streamline everything, do a few key things really, really well, and master signing on clients consistently before adding on a new layer to their business.
This is a message I talk a lot about on my Instagram stories. I also explain that it’s important to focus on just a few key things so that you can actually build momentum and see real results month after month.
2. Helpful tips
You don’t have to go in detail about how to implement the tips. Sharing the tip on its own is sharing the what or the why. Such as, what should people be doing, and why should they be doing this.
A single Instagram post, even if it’s in a carousel format, simply cannot go into a detailed guide that explains step by step how to implement those tips. That’s better reserved for longer form content like an Instagram TV, live stream, Youtube video, podcast, or your paid offer.
Similar to the first content idea, it’s important to show why each tip is important in helping your audience either overcome a pain point or achieve a desired result.
For example, you can mention how implementing the tip will lead to their desired outcomes, versus not implementing your tip will leave them stuck at where they’re at right now.
3. Addressing a limiting belief
You can first call out a limiting belief you’ve noticed amongst your audience, then pair that with a more empowering belief that can prompt them to take action and move forward despite initially being held back because of a limiting belief.
Specifically, I’d suggest talking about the limiting beliefs that people may have about why they should or should not invest in your offer.
For example, if your audience doesn’t think that they’re able to get results because of time constraints, your content can call out different limiting beliefs related to time and help them see why if they’re willing to make the time and here’s all the awesome things that are possible for them.
I’d recommend breaking down their limiting beliefs as critically as possible.
For this example, you can encourage them to critically assess how they’re spending their day, minute to minute. Can they realistically replace 30 minutes of scrolling on Instagram with 30 minutes of creating content? Can they take away activities that are simply nice to do but not necessarily conducive to fulfilling their personal goals like building a successful business? How can they reprioritize their time in their schedule? These are potential things you could address in your content.
But remember: It’s one thing to simply state a limiting belief. It’s another thing to logically show people why they need to overcome that limiting belief or how they can shift away towards a more empowering belief.
4. Your opinions on issues in your niche
If you’re building a business, it’s very important you’re differentiating yourself from others by showcasing your own thoughts and stance on issues in your niche. This shows that you’re not just blindly regurgitating what others in your space are saying, but positions you as a thought leader.
Clients don’t want to buy something that’s a second hand version or carbon copy of someone else – They’d rather go to the original source.
When you share your opinions, especially those that may be polarizing, those are the content pieces that will trigger an emotional response from your audience the most. These are the posts that are more likely to resonate with your audience and ideal clients to help them see you as a thought leader.
Posts that trigger an emotion are more likely going to get reshared by your audience because it’s something people feel connected to.
For example, one of my opinions that I know some of my peers disagree with is that they think they can rely solely on Instagram to build their thought leadership and authority. While Instagram has been a massive tool for my business, I don’t necessarily think that Instagram posts and stories alone can separate someone from their peers who are selling the same thing.
After all, you can only cram so much information into a single post, even if it’s a carousel post. I believe in providing either 1) long form content like a podcast or videos like live streams OR 2) to create a paid service that really walks people from point A to point B, step by step.
A lot of my peers in my niche have programs dedicated solely to teaching you how to build a business using only Instagram. However, what I do with my clients is to go beyond just your Instagram content and deliver an incredible client experience so that your client results and success stories are your best marketing tools. We also double down on long form content, but that also depends on how much a particular client can take on at the moment.
When I share this opinion with my audience, I’ll usually frame this message by first stating my stance. Next, I offer a different perspective or option, such as, what I think people should be doing instead. Then, I address potential objections or limiting beliefs people may have regarding this. Finally, I talk about the outcomes they can expect if they choose to follow through with this new perspective.
These are content ideas you can think about and start implementing in your own content strategy. I hope you’ll actually spend some time mapping out different content ideas or posts for each of these four content ideas.
When you’re starting out in your business, you start with an empty library, and overtime, you’ll put more value on your virtual library’s bookshelves. The more you add to the library, the more value you serve to your audience.
Many people want to see an immediate return on their content through the form of likes, comments, saves, shares and direct messages. They want to see instantly that their content is bringing in clients. However, results don’t often happen right away.
Your brand and your business reputation takes time to build. A post you shared today can be seen by someone weeks or months later, and it can be weeks or months when someone suddenly realized, “Wow, this person has shared so much good content over the past couple of weeks and months and I’m starting to think that he or she is the right person to help me!”.
Rather than worrying about the metrics on your content, such as getting obsessed over how many likes you get in the first 24 hours of posting, focus on building your library of value and keep showing up to serve your audience.
Building your brand and business is a long term game. How do you expect 5K months when you haven’t given 5K worth of value?
People need time to see that you’re serious business. When you think that your content or value has to create an immediate return, you’ll become picky and stingy about what you share with your audience.
Focus on the question, “What is the impact you want to make in your niche? What do you want to be known for?”, and create content that answers these questions.
Rather than repeating the same spiel as your competitors, create content that gives people new ideas and perspectives to chew on. Being different and sharing your honest opinions, thoughts, and ideas is your biggest marketing tool when growing your business.
Ultimately, keep showing up and keep giving value through your content without expecting immediate results. Your content is working. People are watching you and they’re observing how you show up and give value.
Things are working. You’re moving them closer and closer to making a decision about investing in your offer even if they aren’t saying yes at this particular moment. It takes time. You got this.
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