You probably know that branding is essential for personal brand growth. If you want to succeed and grow big, you need to make sure that you not only look professional but make it easy for people to remember you.
And while branding has a lot of different components, from fonts to colors to tone of voice, there is one part of it that gets overlooked. It's a content strategy.
Somehow people always seem to forget that content is one of the most important parts of branding as it is the thing that makes people stay and invest in you and your services. Content is how you communicate with your audience and potential clients.
Statistics show that consumers are 131% more willing to buy from brands that provide educational content. So, if you're offering services or products to your audience, you must be creating high-value content.
A great example of a strong personal brand with a great content strategy is Lauryn Evans from The Skinny Confidential.
Lauryn's blog and a podcast are among the most popular in lifestyle niche, and she's working on releasing a product line and publishing her second book.
She used content creation as a way to connect with her audience, and Lauryn is always keen on creating content that provides tons of value to her audience. This strategy helped her build a brand that's honest and trusted by people because they always know that they're only getting high-value content.
Now, let's say I convinced you to start focusing on creating content to grow your personal brand. You might ask:
'What do I do now?'
Creating content just for the purpose of creation doesn't have much value, and it won't help your personal brand growth very much. You need to have a system, a strategy for using your content to give the most to your audience and potential clients so that you can become #1 in your niche.
Today I wanted to give you my tips on creating a strong content marketing strategy for your personal brand to help you grow and get more paying clients.
Let's jump right in.
As with anything else in your business, when it comes to creating a content strategy, you need to find your 'what's' and 'why's'.
Your 'what' and 'why' should define your end goal, what purpose does your content serve, and why you're doing what you're doing. Is it to rank higher in Google, boost brand awareness, grow an email list, or get more paying clients?
There are many different reasons to create content, and before you create your content strategy, you need to know what is your end goal.
Once you know your 'why' and 'what', and you have refined your goals, it's time to assess whether content marketing can help you achieve your goals.
One of the top marketers in the world, Neil Patel, says that content can't always help with all of your goals:
'Don't assume content is the best option in every situation. For instance, content might be of little use in converting users at the bottom of the sales funnel; however, it could be invaluable in boosting brand awareness and lead generation.'
As you can see, you need to evaluate whether your goals can be achieved with simply content or are you too far into the sales funnel where you need a little bit of something extra.
If, for example, you're a wellness coach who wants to create a content strategy to help you grow your personal brand, a good 'why' to have would be:
'I want to get more paying clients'
'I want to establish myself as an expert in my industry'
There are examples of great goals that can be achieved with the help of a content strategy. One of the most popular ways to establish your name as an expert is by giving away tons of free valuable information. I'm doing it right now, and many other great entrepreneurs do it as well, like Jenna Kutcher or Marie Forleo.
Also, it's essential to not be selfish when it comes to defining your content strategy goals. When setting your goals, always think about how you can serve your audience and provide as much value as possible. That's the only way to ensure that your content strategy goals are achieved.
People who consume your content won't be sharing your content, and they won't be getting onto your email list if they don't find value in it. So, always try to evaluate whether you're giving the most value with everything you create and don't be afraid to give too much.
The more free valuable content you give away, the more people will gravitate towards you and work with you.
Once you define your goals and know your 'why's' and 'what' s', it's time to move to the next step that's crucial for your personal brand success.
Knowing your ideal client and audience is very important when it comes to running a business. I've talked about it multiple times on my platform already.
By not having your ideal customer avatar, you're doing a lot of harm to your business. When you're trying to talk with everybody, you end up speaking with nobody as your message becomes very generic and gets lost in a sea of other professionals.
What I recommend you do is conduct in-depth research on your ideal audience. You can do that by going through your competitors and seeing what their audience is. Then, it's always good to create a perfect customer avatar, imagine an actual person you're talking to.
Key things to consider when creating your customer avatar:
Be as specific as possible when creating your customer avatar, it's going to help you a lot when it comes to creating a content strategy.
Let me tell you why:
Now that you know who you're speaking to, you can start thinking about the issues and challenges they're facing. Once you identify those key things, you can start thinking of ways to help them solve their problems.
You see, providing value to your audience should be your priority. Knowing what issues your audience faces, you can offer solutions that will result in trusting you enough to start using your paid services.
Effective content that gets you more paid clients and authority has to be valuable to people. You can't just go and create content on topics that you like and that are interesting for you. Well, you technically can, but it won't bring you the results that you want.
The best content is designed to help people solve their issues, overcome challenges, and answer the most pressing questions, and make them want to work with you.
Let's come back to our hypothetical example of a wellness coach trying to grow their personal brand. How would you need to go about finding your ideal audience?
First of all, you would need to do research and find other wellness coaches - your competition. Go to their website, check their comments, see how their audience is communicating.
Visit their Twitter or Instagram and see what kind of people follow them and what they are looking for from your competition.
Find 20-30 hashtags that your competition is using, and your ideal customer would be searching for and investigate those. Gather all possible information.
Next, you will need to create your ideal customer avatar. Here is an example of how it would look like:
And now that you have all this research, you can start looking for what issues your target audience faces and how you can help them with your content.
Another step in creating your content strategy is choosing which platforms or mediums you'll be using to grow your personal brand.
It might be tempting to be everywhere at once. However, it might be challenging to do if you don't have a team behind you, and it might not even be useful for your brand.
You see, while it's good to be on as many platforms as possible, and create different types of content, it's best to pick a few that would benefit your personal brand the most at the beginning.
Once again, you need to do some research to determine which platform/medium is best for your industry. Let's say you're that wellness coach we have been talking about before.
When it comes to social media, there are so many platforms to choose from, it can get overwhelming. Let's see which one would be the best for a wellness coach.
It would also be great for you to be on Instagram as it's a visual platform where trendy people spend most of their time. Wellness, fitness, and health are popular niches there, and many people are looking for that type of content.
Now it might not be the best for you to be on LinkedIn as it's a professional network where people don't usually go to look for a wellness coach. Unless, of course, you offer corporate wellness coaching, it might be a good idea to be active on LinkedIn.
Twitter is another platform that wouldn't be your first choice as people on this platform are more interested in politics, news, and journalism instead of health. However, if you plan on being a wellness coach/writer, Twitter might be useful as it has a massive writer community.
Now, there are many more social media platforms you can choose from, so I recommend you do some research before deciding which one to go for.
Blogging is one of the most popular things to do, and it can have a massive impact on your content strategy.
You have a lot of flexibility with it, it's easy to get into as there are no massive upfront costs, and it's one of the easiest ways to build credibility.
There are many great website hosting companies you can choose from for all budgets. You don't need a developer to build you a professional-looking website, you can find beautiful themes for every budget (my site uses a theme template!).
It's crucial to create a content strategy for your blog and be consistent with publishing in it. If you're not going to put in the work, you won't see the growth.
Now, let's come back to our wellness coach example from the beginning. In an industry like wellness, blogging would be a great medium to grow your brand.
You can share your wellness tips or news and guides on certain things that you offer. Blogging also is a great way to generate email leads.
Greate in-depth, high-quality guides on your topic and then create a lead magnet (a freebie like an ebook or a blueprint) which compliments your content and offer it to your audience.
Podcasting is huge right now, and audio marketing is getting very popular in every industry. It might be worth considering getting using this medium in your content strategy, as it's a great way to connect with your audience.
It's a little more personal than reading a blog post as you're hearing real people talk and share their knowledge that way. It also can be easier to produce a podcast episode than a blog post if you're not very into writing.
Another great thing with podcasts that other mediums don't have is that people can passively listen to podcasts while going about their lives, which doesn't take away their precious time.
A few things to consider before starting a podcast:
Video is another medium that's very popular and gets bigger every year. It's effective because it's very personal and lets your personality shine and connect with your audience easier.
So, if you're not into talking for long periods of time or not intro writing, the video might be the medium for you. Of course, it requires some more complex skills like video editing, but it's pretty easy to learn the basics.
Now, there is this one misconception that stops people from incorporating video into their content strategy: they believe their videos need to be perfect and highly produced.
That's not a necessity.
Yes, huge influencers have highly produced videos because they have the budgets and teams behind them, but many people make great videos with just their iPhone alone.
If you want to start using video in your content strategy, don't wait around, find a tutorial on how to film a video on your iPhone, write a script, and get to filming.
Things to keep in mind before starting a youtube:
This marketing tool is not negotiable. You need to have an email list for your personal brand, no matter what industry you're in.
Email is the crucial part of every content strategy as it's at the very bottom of the sales funnel, it's where the sale happens.
According to statistics, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. This is insane numbers, right?
The sooner you start building your email list, the better. There are plenty of email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and MailerLite who are free for the first 1000 subscribers and are very easy to use.
So, now that you have refined your goals, researched your target audience, and picked your mediums or a few, it's time to get to the fun part - brainstorming ideas.
If you've done everything right up until this point, it should be very easy to come up with ideas for your content.
You identified the most critical issues your audience faces, you found ways to give them solutions, so now it's time to make a list.
The thing that you need to keep in mind when creating your content strategy is that for it to be effective, you need to be strategic.
Let me explain:
When brainstorming ideas and curating your content strategy, think about the bigger picture. Don't just focus on content for the blog and then content for social. Think about how you can adapt content for each platform, but still have it compliment each other.
This is a crucial part. For your content strategy to work, it has to be cohesive.
Another thing to keep in mind is to have essential events incorporated into your content strategy. For example, if you have a product launch, make a point to create content around that, plan what content you will release for the pre-launch phase, and how it will use content to convince people to buy your product.
Also, don't be shy to re-purpose content. You can do that by brainstorming content for your blog, for example, and then find ways to use it on your socials.
Not everyone will be following you on every medium you have for your business, so it's safe to use it to get the most out of your content strategy.
Once you have your ideas in place, you know what content you will be using for which medium, and you have all of your essential launches planned, it's time to start doing research on keywords.
This is a part that's not very fun and can be difficult at the very beginning. If you're not familiar with marketing and SEO, you might want to take a course on it, Google has amazing digital marketing course for free that teaches you everything you'll ever need for your business.
But the easiest way to do keyword research would be to simply google keywords that you would think people would be looking for. Create a spreadsheet with all those keywords and then check whether it's good to use them or not in Google Keyword Planner.
You are aiming for keywords that have a decent amount of search but have relatively low competition, so you have a chance to rank in Google.
When it comes to Youtube SEO and researching keywords, there are a lot of things to unpack. I recommend you check out Cathrin Manning as she has everything you will ever need about doing keyword research on Youtube and much more.
The only thing that can make you stand out in a crowd is you. Your competitors probably offer similar services or products, and they perhaps share the same information with their audience.
So, why would people choose you over your competition?
You need to find your authentic angle for your personal brand, something that makes you unique, and people can't find anywhere else.
Whether that would be your values or the way you do business, find something that gives you an advantage over your competitors.
Find an angle that allows you to position yourself in a different light, for example, if you're a wellness coach, you might be advertising yourself as a Buddhist vegan wellness coach. It instantly gives you a boost as people who are into Buddhism or being vegan will be gravitating towards you and not the generic wellness coach.
Also, always be authentic to yourself. People are knowledgeable and see right through you if you're trying to pretend someone you're not, and it can break the trust.
So, you created your content strategy, launched your marketing campaign, what's next?
The money probably won't start rolling right in as content marketing is a long term game, but you can start to communicate with your audience and listen to how they're reacting to your content strategy.
Are they asking questions?
Are they looking for specific services?
Maybe they're looking for products?
What feedback are they giving you on your content? Is it helpful to them?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Your audience will tell you what they need from you and whether your content strategy is good. So, don't be afraid to receive feedback.
One thing to remember, feedback might not always be verbal from your audience. Track your metrics, check analytics, and see how your audience is acting.
If you have a blog and your average read time is very low, it's saying something. Go back to that blog post and figure out why people are leaving. Adjust your content and see how people react then.
The same goes for social media analytics. If you're posting on Instagram, you want to track which posts are doing the best and then shift your content and start sharing more things that people enjoy consuming.
This process is the most difficult one, as you need to be open to constructive criticism and change, and it can take a while to get it right and learn how to listen to your audience.
Once you learn to do it, your content strategy will be successful, and you'll start seeing results very quickly.
Yes, creating a content strategy can be a daunting task. It requires a big-time commitment and learning skills you haven't used before.
However, it's not as hard as it might look from the first sight, and once you do have a content strategy, you will start seeing results fast. Also, everything will be easier once you have a good content strategy, you'll always know what content to create.
It's easy to get stuck by comparing yourself and always changing your brand to fit in or keep up with people, but it does more harm than good, so having a set plan will always be the best thing for your personal brand.
Are you struggling with your personal brand? Then my FREE Personal Brand Blueprint can be a perfect resource for you. It has tons of great tips on creating a personal brand, so check it out!