I want you to think about anyone who you give your time and attention to on a regular basis, online or off. Radio personalities, YouTube stars, celebrities, writers, musicians, etc. These people have hundreds, thousands, or millions of fans and followers, but how and why?
They use(d) content marketing, which is the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience.
They created content to get attention, and you can, too.
To quote George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air…
Anyone who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where you are right now.
Anyone who has a following started somewhere, and it was the attention of one piece of content that started them on the path to where they are today. No one knocked on their doors and handed them an audience, nor will someone for you. You have to create something that is a taste of who you are and what you can do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company or a carpet cleaner, there is content that you can create that will get you noticed and improve your business.
So why would you even want to?
There are two ways in which creating content can generate revenue; directly and indirectly.
Once you spend a few months or years creating content, the expectation is that you will develop a bit of a following. People will come back to your time and time again for the value you provide, because you taught them something, gave them advice, or entertained them. You can leverage that audience, that attention, to get advertisers to pay you to put ads on your site, or pay you as an influencer.
No, all of that writing, recording, or snapping isn’t directly generating any revenue (in fact it may actually cost you time and money). However, one of the side effects of creating content is that it helps to establish you as an expert in your field. When people see you as an expert, they will pay you for you knowledge and expertise.
- Would you rather pick a new hairdresser at random, or the one whose work you can see on Instagram?
- If you’re looking for a personal trainer do you pick the one down the road, or the one you can reach on Snapchat and puts out regular advice on video?
- Is it better to watch consistently good video content, or every once in a while?
- If you wanted to hire a digital media manager, would you hire the person who says they know what they’re talking about, or someone with a blog to prove it? 😉
Where do you start?
If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry. It’s actually pretty simple… Whatever you love, talk about that. Even if one person is listening and finds it interesting, you’ve got something. Remember, that even the most successful people in business started off as nobodies. Whatever it is that you love, talk to the world about it.
There’s more to consider than just where to start, though. You also have to consider where you’re going. It’s not just one piece of content, it’s a numbers game. Not everything you create will be a hit, and it takes consistency to build up a following. Whatever it is that you can talk about not just once, but could talk about 500 times, that’s what you focus on. Because when you’re talking about something that you’re passionate about, other people will pick up on that passion through your words, photos, or videos.
Here’s the best part… You don’t have to be an expert to start. Why not create content as you learn? Every time you learn something new about [insert hobby here], you can share that newfound knowledge, and how it relates to the rest of the industry. Sure, you may not be a seasoned veteran who knows every angle, but you have a fresh perspective. Share it with others!
It has to be good
Whether you’re a musician, writer, photographer, or even a retailer, one great piece of content has the potential to change your business, or your life.
As long as it’s good.
That’s the caveat, you can’t just create something, anything, and expect it to gain traction and go viral, it also has to be good.
Unfortunately, most people aren’t good at creating content that people want to see. But the ones who are don’t just randomly get “discovered,” they crawl their way to the top because they’re good enough to be there. One piece of content at a time.
Medium is a blogging platform that will handpick and feature good content from anyone, regardless of their follower count. The post just needs to be good. This makes it possible to transform writers from nobodies into somebodies overnight. The same can be true for YouTube and videographers. Or Instagram and photographers & artists.
Play to your strengths
The reason most people aren’t good at creating content that people want to see is because they try to use a medium that isn’t their forte. Some people don’t have a natural talent for shooting video, or writing, or photography, and that’s okay. Pick a medium that works for you, that plays to your strengths and talents, and you’ll have a much greater chance of creating quality content.
If you’re great in front of the camera, start a YouTube show.
Are you a great writer? Start a blog.
Can you talk? Maybe a podcast or random ramblings on Soundcloud.
If photography is your thing, setup a niche Instagram account.
If you can tell a joke, jump on Vine.
The internet is an amazing tool, because not only does it give us these amazing options that anyone can take advantage of, but also it allows for a single piece of content (if it’s that good) the ability to go viral. If the one person who’s consuming shares it, others might too, and it can spread like wildfire. That’s how you get discovered.
But What if People Don’t Like Your Content?
Your content needs to deliver value and resonate with a specific audience. Don’t pander to the masses. It’s about depth, not width. The way you get depth is by paying attention and actively sharing your point of view on things that are happening in your field.
Something to keep in mind is that you’re not going to hit a home run every time you’re up at bat. It’s a numbers game, and it’s important to keep pumping out that content anyway. Not only will every piece of content hit different people differently, everything you create will be a new opportunity to be discovered.
Not to mention, the more you create the better you will get. Some people may not like your early YouTube videos or Instagram photos because they’re bad, but as you continue to create, you will get better and they will get better. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself at the next level.
Please recognize that you have the opportunity to win with content. Focus on your strengths, the quality of what you produce, how you produce it, and where you’re sharing it. Know your strengths and keep swinging.