Content is Queen – I had to learn this the hard way. Excuse my reference all through this article to the Queen of Content, Holly Cardamone from Blue51 Communications but, she rocks, and credit where credit is due my friends.
I got told “build a list, it will be great”; “write a newsletter, it will be fab”; “post content on social media, it will help “, and all along I was thinking to myself, I have nothing to say, but that was just my small insignificant voice scaring me to do nothing. I hate that voice with a passion, and so whenever it speaks, I do the opposite just to prove it wrong!
I went to a couple of those content days where you are supposed to come out with a fan dangled new way of writing content. I came out thoroughly confused and paralysed by how much work may have been ahead of me. So, I did the next best thing, had a strong coffee and dialled Holly. CHANGED. MY. LIFE. I kid you not.
Jess and I sat down with Holly for three hours on a sunny afternoon toward the end of 2018. I ate the gorgeous food that Holly presented while waffling on about the work that I do, the people I help etc etc. Meanwhile, Holly and Jess were madly taking notes on post-it notes. I wrote two words that day, and that was it.
It’s not that I didn’t take it seriously, it was just that I had SOOO much to say, and I didn’t even bluddy know it. Holly, apparently knew it and so at the end of the three hours, we had a content plan for the year 2019, we had some content pillars (which are basically like themes that you talk about each time you write) and we had a way to use the blogs I was writing in a way that was effective and efficient. MIND BLOWN.
I won’t lie, it’s still a lot of work, but now, now we have a plan and we just stick with it. This bit is my speciality. A quick story: I promised myself that I would log into my fitness pal for a whole year, yup, 365 days of registering food and exercise. By about day 200, I was done, but I had committed to the full 365 days, and so, at day 366, I turned that sucker off and felt enormous relief. Why didn’t I just quit? It’s just not my style. When I commit, I commit. When I say I am going to do something, damn it, I move heaven and earth to get it done. I am, if nothing else, consistent.
So, we started 2019 with a bang! We got in there, Jess made up a beautiful schedule for me, that we still use, and we post consistently. Like everyone out there, it takes time. I was having a coaching session with a client the other day, and she said this “Emma, I have to commend you on your consistency to post and send out your newsletter each week, I love what you write, and I love that you are so disciplined”. I was wrapped. Yes, I can see how many “opens” we get (our average is currently 50%), but what I can’t see is the impact that the words have on people unless they tell me.
Here’s what I have learnt along the way, there are still learnings to come:
Work with a professional Work with an expert. Working with Holly was a game changer for us. She knows her stuff, speaks our language and provides enormous value to us throughout the year, not just in that three-hour time slot.
Have a plan
You gotta have a plan! Look, I am all for winging it as Emma Isaacs would say, but a man without a plan, is, well, a man. Having said this, be flexible enough with the plan to shift. If some events happen and you feel compelled to write about them, do that. Plan and then be flexible.
Be smart about what you use. Write once; use over and over again. This is not a new phenomenon, but sometimes we forget that the article we wrote on self-care a few years ago, is still so relevant to our crew that we can pull it out, dust it off and tweak it and use it. This also means, write the article, and then dissect it for use elsewhere- use it in your Instagram, Facebook, stories and linked in.
Keep it real
You gotta keep it real. I heard this saying that goes something like “people hear your content, but they sniff your intent”. You know when you meet someone, and you listen to what they are saying, but you know it’s BS and it feels like there is an ulterior motive? Yeah, don’t do that.
If you ain’t gonna provide value, don’t do it. It’s not that hard. If you really don’t know what you are going to say, how you want to serve others, get some professional help (as in an excellent copywriter, not psych help – although, if you need psych help, do that as well)
So… if you are wondering how to get your message out, how to provide value, what to say, how to pull it all together, when to write, how to write, then do yourself a favour and speak to Holly – The Queen of Content. Because at the end of the day, content is Queen.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic every day.