When I work with my 1:1 clients to build their online businesses and get their first paying clients, one of the areas I help them master is their content and developing their own content strategy that’s unique to their goals and audience.
I teach my clients to first start with a content strategy that they can lean on. Over time when they get more experienced and confident in both their business and showing up and creating content, that’s when we’ll eventually “take off the training wheels” and infuse more flexibility, creativity, and originality in their content.
Based on your current social media content…
I asked these questions because I wanted you to briefly think about whether you’ve considered the following four objectives in your content strategy: 1) Building authority 2) Building connection 3) Attracting new eyeballs 4) Selling.
More specifically, when my clients are starting out, we focus on their consistency and quality when it comes to their social media content. This includes having a bank of content ideas they can recycle through. For example, we batch a ton of mini Instagram stories, outlines or scripts for key ideas and messages that my clients know is important to their brand. This is why they would want to repeat these content topics on a regular basis.
Having a bank of content batched ahead of time (whether it’s Instagram story outlines, Instagram posts, podcast scripts, podcast recordings, etc) is very helpful on days where you don’t have the mental space to think or create, but you still want to show up for your audience and business.
This is why I would encourage everyone to batch their content ahead of time because life gets rough sometimes, and it’s easy to miss days or even weeks of posting on your social media or content platforms.
Consistency does matter for growing your business, because your potential clients and audience are observing whether you’re committed to showing up for your own business and it’s likely that your inconsistency is making them feel like they can’t trust you to show up for them if you were to work together.
Regularly showing up on your platforms matters. Because your library of content is a library of value. What you need to do is to consistently serve your audience via your content and demonstrate the value that you can offer to them if they were to become a paying client. Some people take a long time before they decide that they want to work with you. It’s your job as a business owner to show up and tell people what they need to hear and create content that walks them closer to making a purchasing decision.
It’s important to start with a strategy and action plan that you can commit to and deliver on. If you’re starting out in your online journey, I recommend you to focus on 1) staying consistent 2) practice creating damn good content that provides value.
Eventually, take it a step further. Add in the element of originality into your content. Start becoming a thought leader. This usually happens organically once you’ve gotten plenty of experience working within your niche, serving many clients and noticing what’s going on in your niche that you agree or disagree with.
Overtime, you’ll start to notice that you’re using the surrounding events in your niche or in the world, or even moments from your personal life, as the basis for your content. This means that you’re able to respond to events that happen in real time AND you’re developing your unique voice and opinions rather than consuming information from people “ahead of you” and regurgitating that.
You’re now stepping into the role of a thought leader in your niche because you’re going to be creating content by responding to things that happened in your life, within your niche, or in the world.
And you can always go back to your bank of content ideas or pre-batched posts whenever you want. After all, your content strategy is meant to be a guide. It’s not like you either follow it and succeed, or you don’t follow it and fail. Your content strategy is simply a guiding step of actions that are ideally going to produce similar results each time, but there will always be time for you to innovate. Because if you keep going doing the same things over and over, you’re essentially staying stagnant and not growing.
Now that we know why you need a content strategy, let’s break down the 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy and how you can apply it to your business.
The 3×3 part is made up of the 3 content types that make up your brand, multiplied by 3 content pillars. These three content types that make up your brand are:
1. Content that builds your authority aka authority building content
This is content that shows that you actually know your stuff. This can go beyond just educational tips. For example, your unique opinions and experiences and ideas also build your credibility.
2. Content that shows that you’re relatable and likeable a.k.a relationship building content
Besides demonstrating that you know your stuff, people also need to like and trust you before they’re convinced to buy from you.
3. Content that captures the attention of new eyeballs aka attracting content
You’ll need to get in front of more people if you want to scale for more impact.
Content pillars are the topics or themes. I recommend sticking to 3 (no more than 5) content pillars that are related to your brand and business in order to create a consistent and coherent brand message. This is because if you talk about 20 different topics, your audience won’t see you as a go-to figure in your niche.
Again: You have 3 content goals x 3 content pillars = The 3×3 part of your content strategy
Now, the (+1) type of content is key for your BUSINESS – This is because if you want to have a profitable and meaningful business that serves clients, you’ll need to make sales. So, this +1 type of content is content that sells your offer and invites your audience to take the next step.
In sum: 1 content goal x 1 offer = The (+1) part of your content strategy
Now, if you were to visualize this 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy, you can picture it as a table with 3 rows and 3 columns for content that make up your brand, and +1 table (a single column or single row table) for content that sells.
So, what do you fill in this table with? You fill it in with content ideas! Each cell of the table is a cluster of content ideas that are closely related.
Here are three sources of content ideas that you can draw inspiration from when filling out your 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy table.
Content Source #1: FRESH NEW IDEAS
Fresh new ideas usually come up for us when we are paying attention to events around us, reflecting on them, and then creating content based on our own reflection of these recent events or experiences.
As you are growing your business and working with more clients and being more immersed in your niche, you’ll start coming up with more fresh new content ideas and developing your own stance and opinions on issues and topics within your niche. These are fresh new ideas.
This can look like developing a habit of jotting down new thoughts and ideas as soon as they come up. This way, you can always reference back to these notes at a later time to create brand new content.
Here are some examples of where new content ideas can stem from:
Content Source #2: CONTENT TO REPEAT
This is my favorite type of content. Repeating topics and messages that are important and relevant to you, your brand and business. All this content you intentionally repeat on a regular basis will help position you as the go-to person within this area or when people think of these specific topics.
So, what constitutes content that you should be repeating? To help you answer that, let me ask you a question “What do you want to be known for?” Create content around that, and make sure you intentionally repeat this content regularly, at least on a monthly basis.
Examples of content you might want to repeat regularly could include:
Authority building content
Relationship building content
Essentially, any content that you want people to associate with your, your brand, and your business – these are content topics you should be repeating within your content strategy.
Content Source #3: TIME-SENSITIVE CONTENT
Finally, time-sensitive content is anything that you want to post about ASAP because of the urgency. This includes, but are not limited to:
Now that we’ve broken down the 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy conceptually, let’s find out how you can use it.
First, I encourage you to find some time to brainstorm as many content ideas as possible for the 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy table. This means coming up with content ideas for authority building content, relationship building content, attracting content, and selling content.
Also, try to make sure you have content ideas for each of your three content pillars. Then, color code each idea to categorize them within the three content types.
Second, lay out these content ideas on a content calendar tool or spreadsheet or planner, making sure you color code each idea. This is so you can immediately see whether you have a balanced content strategy.
For example, perhaps you’ve been creating a lot of authority building content but you rarely post relationship building content, attracting content, or selling content. This is great to help you identify so you can start adding in more content from the other types of content in order to have a more comprehensive mix of content types.
When my clients map out their own unique 3×3 (+1) Content Strategy, we usually come up with 30-60 content ideas that they like to repeat over and over in order to become known as the go-to person in their particular niche. My clients have also found this content strategy to be helpful because it lets them see current gaps in their content plan.
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Your content should address what people need to hear instead of what you think they want to hear. A lot of new business owners fall into the trap of creating generic content that may be motivational, feel-good content for their audience, but it’s ineffective in establishing their thought leadership or building their authority.
Instead, I urge you to generate your own unique ideas and stop looking at what others are doing. Ultimately stop posting the same generic fluffy content that I’m sure you yourself are tired of seeing on social media.
After all, would you rather be a thought leader in your niche by posting original and unique ideas and content that really makes people reflect on their own assumptions and beliefs and question their limiting beliefs? Or would you rather post cookie cutter content that’s honestly getting really boring?
To take this one step further, what would you love to have achieved within the next three months? How can your content get you closer to achieving this?
Remember: The more new, different, and fresh content you put out, the more you’ll stand out within your niche. Your unique message and ideas are what people NEED to hear.
Don’t keep your message to yourself just because no one else is talking about it. You are here to help people and tell people what they actually need to hear. Your content and offers will help people.
I’m excited for you to start creating content that gives people something to think about and content that is a true reflection of the message and work you want to share with the world.
When you post content that you truly feel 110% good about, you’re not just operating in integrity, but people can also tell that you’re willing to operate differently from everyone else who’s trying to mimic their favorite entrepreneurs.
There is power in your content, so use this as a tool to serve and impact people. Share your message and work.
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