Mistakes even the smartest people make when they blog or produce email blasts are related to how they think about content.
- "Every post must be the same or similar length - because my audience expects consistency"
- "Every post must deliver my own original material"
- "I must post on a regular, predictable schedule"
I publish and publicize up-and-coming experts and business authors who produce blog posts and email newsletters. Plus, everyday they show up on social media with a pretty huge number of tweets, status updates and other posts.
Plus, most of them work in consulting and coaching or are keeping a "day job" until their writing or speaking revenue streams become too large to manage part-time.
I assure them that with some planning and practice, content production can take about 15 minutes each day.
I know their pain and fear about producing all that content. I am an author, too. I wrote Speak Up! & Succeed: How to get everything you want in meetings, presentations and conversations. Despite my greatest fears about getting my material out in the world, the results shouldn't have been such a surprise. It's the best thing I did in my career.
In getting out my book - and bestsellers I produced for my clients, I pretty much use everything I knew about selling real products. I am a former marketing executive at The Coca-Cola Company and director of marketing in the Fortune 500 technology sector. I sold syrup and micrographic retrieval systems - selling content is surprisingly the exact same thing.
The path to success begins by attracting an audience and creating a relationship with high value people (people who have a problem you solve and a nice-sized budget to remedy it).
Whether you want to write a book, offer consulting services or do group coaching, or get asked to speak at associations meetings and conferences (or all of the above): your success is completely dependent on your delivering useful, entertaining and compelling content to people who can use it.
You will totally enjoy being a content machine if you think Willy Wonka, not "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap.
How to easily and constantly produce great content
This is the right mindset: you are developing a relationship with your audience. Like a friendship, this will take time to grow. And, you can't make friends if you do all the talking - or if every time to talk you harp on the same thing, in the same way!
Variety and satisfaction are the keys to your success - and not coincidentally, it's those two factors that are the keys to happiness, according the latest literature on positive psychology.
Vary the size of your posts. A few sentences and a photo on your blog will delight people with a highly visual, bite-sized treat. Two posts in a day or a long piece you write on a rainy Sunday will mix things up.
Yes: you can choose which days your audience will receive posts (if it's once a week, then it's once a week). Yes, you can take a theme like romance on Valentine's Day and somehow apply to a serious topic like IT services. Do a Q&A once in a while. Get a guest blogger - pick up the phone, sending an email or direct message someone in the business you want to meet! Maybe a potential client, association executive director or another thought leader?
Create some categories: like "Leadership Commandments" or "Leadership Quotations" (or whatever your topic lends itself to). Then, stock up on those when you're browsing the web, so you can simply put a category title and 3-5 bullet points in a post when you want to write something super fast and easy.
Focus on what your audience wants - or wants to avoid. Seek to serve their needs with your own work and others'. Give examples of how someone is doing exactly what you believe. Tell stories about something you observed.
Develop simple formulas they can follow. Then ask them to tell you how those worked out - and share their experiences. Bring to light other thought leaders' work - give them credit and ask for permission to re-post some of their material. Put in links to news stories, features, YouTube videos and the like.
This is the right mindset: neither you nor any other individual can produce enough content to satisfy one person even on one subject, much less an entire audience's set of needs. You have some portion of 7 billion people to attract and engage AND leverage for their contributions.
As the author Michael Luckman says, when you overpower the fear that you are alone in your quest, you are filled with the capacity to attract what you want. With a collaborative approach to producing a cornucopia of content, you manifest a tribe of followers, contributors and customers who are delighted to buy what you most want to deliver.
Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen