How to define your content strategy – and get 18 ideas in 12 minutes

how to define your content strategy

Creating and sharing content consistently is how you get your potential clients to know you, trust you, consider you as their go-to expert and buy from you.

So many entrepreneurs know this, yet they struggle to implement their content strategy consistently. They end up feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.

In this week’s blog, I am going to tackle some common misconceptions about content strategy and show you ways that you can make it simpler and easier to create content consistently. This is all about finding ways to build your relationships with your audience while freeing up your time to focus on other things in your life.

This blog is part of my Slow Challenge series and is a summary of a related podcast episode.

Click here to listen to the tips mentioned in this article.

Why content strategy matters

Content is one of those areas that I hear lots of entrepreneurs complain about – it takes too much time, it’s exhausting, and it takes too much energy to put yourself out there.  So they try for a while, get overwhelmed and stop, try again, and eventually become so discouraged that they quit altogether.  It does not have to be that way! In fact, content is one of the things that you cannot skip if you want your business to grow.

Your content is what will make your ideal clients know you, like you, trust you and see you as the go-to expert in your field. But the value you provide is not in the quantity of content you produce, it’s in the consistency of it!

To understand why your content strategy matters so much, it is important that you know that it is not the same as your marketing strategy.  Your marketing strategy is about gaining visibility.  It is how your customer knows you exist. Your content strategy is how you nurture your relationships with those potential customers. It allows them to get to know you, what it will be like to work with you and what you can do for them.  While you should take the time to get to know and build a relationship with people you meet in person or through a one-to-one virtual conversation, you cannot do that for every one of your potential customers. However, through consistent content, you can serve your customers and provide them with value that builds trust and helps them take action when they are ready to buy.

If you are not creating consistent content, it is a huge lost opportunity to nurture potential customers, keep them engaged and attract them to you.

This is a very brief explanation of the differences. If you’d like to know more and learn how to choose the right marketing strategy for you, check out this episode:

Finding the marketing strategies that are right for you.

I also want to clear up another common misunderstanding about content strategy. I have spoken to so many entrepreneurs who confuse their content strategy with social media and think that their content strategy is all about social media. This is just not true. In fact, when you start looking at your content, just forget about social media!

Social media is just a way of distributing your content. And please do not host all your content on social media. You need to host your content on your own website – this is a huge mistake! If you only share your content on social media, you are relying on other people’s platforms to build your audience when you want them to get to know you. Educate your audience so that they know that they can find all the information they need on your website. Of course, if your social media is always linking to content on your platform, their algorithms may not be happy! So once a week, post something like a snippet from your podcast, a quote from your blog, or a clip from your video that can just be seen on your social platforms.

Now, that’s the last time I will focus on social media in this blog. If you’d like to dive deeper into using social media, here is an episode that might help:

3 reasons your content is sucking all your energy and what you can do about it

How to create a content strategy that works for you

Now that we’ve got those misconceptions about content strategy out of the way, I want to focus on how you can create content that you can share on your website, that is easily achieved in the time you have available, and that converts all of your work into real clients and revenue.

To help you create your content strategy, I have developed a workbook that goes deeper into all of these steps.

Download your free content strategy workbook here.

Step 1: Define your content strategy

First of all, you need to choose the content medium that is right for you. And here is a big secret – you do not have to do everything to be successful. If you try to do that, you could end up feeling totally overwhelmed and exhausted. Focus on the one medium that is right for you.  If you are comfortable writing, go with a blog. If you are comfortable with video, focus on that. Finally, if you are comfortable talking, choose a podcast.

Step 2: Choose your frequency

Consistency is the key to effective content. I know so many entrepreneurs who start off with enthusiasm and try to do too much, and eventually, they get discouraged and quit. Here is another secret for you – being consistent does not have to mean creating content every week.  Choose a frequency that works for you. Creating and sharing content every week is ideal but it may not be realistic for you right now, and it is more effective to be consistent. You could share new content every two weeks or even once a month – as long as you stick to it!

I would not recommend sharing content less than once a month. However, if that’s really not possible, then do what you can, even if it is just once a quarter.

The key thing you must do is to commit to being consistent. You do not need lots of time, but you do need to show up regularly and deliver value for your audience.

Value is not about quantity, it is about consistency.

Make sure that you check your mindset from thinking about creating content as time-consuming and difficult to content simply being something you can do with the time and energy you have.

Step 3: Find your content topics

This is where panic often sets in! Don’t worry. I’m going to help you come up with 18 ideas in just 12 minutes.

Before that, I want you to remember that your content is about serving your clients, sharing tips and insights that relate to the problem you solve for them and helping them prepare to buy from you.

In my free workbook, I have listed a series of questions. Use a timer to give yourself 2 minutes to answer each question.

Download my free workbook with all the questions.

If you can’t easily answer these questions in two minutes, it may be a sign that you don’t know your ideal client as well as you need to in order to reach out to them with content that will truly engage them. If this happens to you, make some time to run some surveys and interviews with your ideal clients so you can answer these questions more easily.  And don’t worry if this happens. It happens quite often if your business is new or if you have started to create content for the first time. Take it as a learning opportunity and a chance to develop more effective content ideas.

Step 4: Develop your content

Hopefully, you now have 18 ideas! However, this last step is where things can get stuck, and it is another place where you need to remember that creating content doesn’t have to take a lot of time.  This is why it is so important to remember that the value is in consistency, not quantity, and definitely not in perfection. It is more important to show up consistently in your client’s inbox than it is for your content to be absolutely perfect every time.

Your content also does not have to be long. Your videos might only be 3 minutes. Your podcast might only be 10 minutes long. Your blog might only be a paragraph. Have a look at what the author and marketing guru Seth Godin does. His regular email is sometimes only a few sentences. Forget the myth that quantity matters – it does not. You can check out his very short blogs here.

There is another benefit to consistency – the more you create content, the better your insights and tips will become. It is like building a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

I have included a simple content development process in the free workbook that supports this blog. It is designed just to take a few minutes and to help you identify the 2-5 key insights you want to share on each topic. The key is not to overthink this or second guess yourself. Just focus on delivering values to your customer rather than trying to do everything or achieve complete perfection.  Focus on your ‘good enough’ strategy so that you are actually sharing content with your audience.

Once you have built this content and posted it on your website, make sure to share it by email with your audience.  You can then take pieces of it and share them on social media too. This is another benefit of creating consistent content, it actually makes social media less overwhelming as it provides something meaningful for you to share with your audience. Don’t forget, though – while social media can help with visibility and creating relationships, its role in content is just about distribution.

I hope this has helped to demystify what content strategy is about and how you can do it effectively in a way that doesn’t take lots of time and energy. I can’t wait to find out what you create.