AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy here, welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I hope your day is going very, very well. And, I hope it gets a little bit better with this episode because the goal is to inspire you.
Here’s the deal. If you are creating content consistently or if that is at least your goal, if you are blogging every single week or podcasting every single week or doing a video show every single week, first of all, get up and do a little happy dance because you should be incredibly proud of yourself. It’s not easy to create content every single week.
That’s why most people do not do it. If you’re doing it already, I literally want you up and shaking it a little bit because that’s a huge accomplishment. If you’re not there yet but it is your goal, stay tuned because this episode is for you as well.
This episode is meant to inspire you, give you some new ideas around content creation, and just make sure that you have some fuel to keep moving forward. I know content creation is not easy.
I remember early on in building my business, a woman was interviewing me and I had just started my podcast. I might have been #20 in at the time. She said I was known for being prolific in my content creation.
I had no idea what the word prolific meant. Literally, I didn’t. I’m embarrassed to admit that but I didn’t and I wondered what she was talking about. I figured it was a good thing because it sounded like she was paying me a compliment but I had no clue.
I went home and looked it up and I got this really big sense of pride. It was like, “Yeah! I am churning this content out pretty regularly. I create a lot of content for my courses and in my interviews and podcasts, my blog, and my videos and all that good stuff.”
I found this great sense of pride with being prolific with my content. However, I am here to tell you that although I churn out a lot of content it never, ever is easy for me. So, if you struggle with content creation…and by struggle I mean that sometimes you’ve got nothing.
You think about something you want to create and start formulating the idea in your head and then it sucks and you know it’s not a good idea and doesn’t have wings. There isn’t enough to it or you just can’t think of any idea.
If you’re anything like me, you think you’ve already done “that” before in one way or another or you don’t know enough about “that.” I only like to teach on my podcast what I have done in my own business. That sometimes limits me.
That is why I want to bring on guests, to introduce you to new ideas. I could go on and on about the topic of struggling with content creation. It just doesn’t come easy to me. However, as I mentioned, I’ve been told I’m prolific with this stuff.
I think the reason for that is that I always have some formulas to go back to. I always go back to old standbys that have served me well for years and years. If you are feeling uninspired or if you ever feel stuck with your content creation and just don’t know what to write about or don’t know what to make a video about or podcast or if you’ve been listening to me and really following my lead in terms of wanting you to do more Facebook Lives you may be thinking that you don’t have enough content to do a weekly Facebook Live plus a blog and all the other stuff I’m encouraging you to do.
Content creation takes time and you have to feel inspired. You’re not going to feel inspired all the time. So this episode is to get you inspired and to give you ideas so that you can start thinking about your content in different ways to really recharge you and get you excited about creating some new stuff based on some of the stuff you’ve already done.
I’m going to give you some shortcuts along the way so that you’re not starting from scratch. In addition to that, I’ve got some surprising ways to get you inspired, ways that really have nothing to do with your market or your niche. That’s what the freebie’s going to be.
I’m not going to tell you what the freebie is just yet but let me tell you, it is extra, extra good. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done before. It’s going to give you a glimpse as to how I get inspired. I’m going to take you behind the scenes as to what I’m watching and listening to right now.
I’m going to give you a different way to come up with ideas. It is a way that has nothing to do with your market, your niche, your topic, whatever. I’m just going to tease you with that. Stay with me until the very end.
I’m going to give you my freebie. It’s also on my show notes if you want to jump over there. It’s good and it took me a while to come up with because I wanted it to WOW you and I think it will. So stay with me and I’ll tell you about it when we get there.
This episode is all about Seven Simple Content Creation Strategies That You Can Implement Right Away. I’m going to run through these strategies and give you examples as to how I’ve used them so let’s get to it.
Strategy #1 – Revisit your content
If you’ve been at it a while this first strategy is going to be incredibly valuable for you. It’s all about revisiting your content. Yeah, you could use repurpose as well but I’m actually not going to tell you to repurpose it. I just want you to revisit what you’ve already put out there.
For some of you this might be years of content. For others it might just be a few months. Either way, I just want you to try this on for size. I want you to look at all the content you’ve created. You can look inside your products, look on your blog, look on the videos you’ve created.
Ask yourself if you could put a new spin on any of it. Let me give you an example. I recently interviewed Jill Stanton of Screw The Nine To Five. She was on my show a year ago and had recently started a Facebook group.
Jill and her husband, Josh, came on the show and talked about their first year in starting the Facebook group, what it looked like, what it meant for them, the success they’ve had. Then a year later I was talking to Jill and realized they were doing things way differently than they did just a year ago.
Things have changed a lot. Their strategies are different, they are smarter now, and they are more strategic. They had to come back on the show.
We revisited what she was doing before and she talked about what she is doing now. With social media and online marketing and the industry I’m in, things change so quickly that people approach things differently, way differently, in one simple year.
I’m able to go back and see how I can put a new spin on something. How can I talk about it differently?
Here’s another example. I might have talked about Facebook ads in a really specific way a year ago but Facebook ads have dramatically changed. I can talk about that episode I did a year ago and say, “Here’s how things are different. Here’s how you can approach this,” now that “this” has changed or “that” has changed.
It makes sense for my industry that I can revisit content, put a new spin on it, talk about it differently, and talk about the changes. It gives me new episodes so I do that a lot throughout all of my content.
You might be in a totally different industry. But don’t pooh-pooh this idea. What a strange phrase, but don’t discount this idea because it could be very valuable for you as well. Look at the content and think about how you are teaching it differently now.
What is different about you, your students, the content, or trends that are happening right now? How could you give it a new spin? Or, how can you piggy back on it? How can you add to it or make it better?
You can revive your content and then add to it. You are repurposing in that sense but putting a spin on it. There’s always a way to do it so revisit your old content and find new ways to introduce it.
Strategy #2 – Start at the Beginning
To tell you what I mean by “start at the beginning” let me give you a really simple example and then let me apply it to how it might look in your world as well.
When I say “start at the beginning,” I mean just that. When you are thinking about your students, your audience, and you are thinking about what you want to sell to them, your programs, products, or services, whether you are already selling or planning on selling soon, think about what you plan to sell.
I want you to back that bus up. I mean really back it up and think where your really big beginnings might start. I am talking about the beginner beginners in your audience. Where would they need to start?
Even if you don’t teach this stuff in your products and even if it’s not part of your product suite, I want you to think about where they need to start out and where they are likely struggling.
For me, I did an episode literally called “Where Do I Start?” It was Episode #105 (http://www.amyporterfield.com/105). I looked at my audience and thought that if they were overwhelmed and don’t even know if they want to create a course or don’t know how to get started with list building or have no idea what they want to do with webinars, where are they likely standing right now?
I had to really back up. It’s a little bit painful at first because I had to put myself in those really early years of my own business and think about what I wish I had known. There’s an episode for you right there.
If you think about your audience, think about what you wish you had known when you were in their position. You might not have ever been in your audience’s position. But a lot of my students have been there already.
If this is you, think about what you were thinking. What were you feeling? What do you wish you had known way back then? Start there and create a blog post about that or a podcast episode or whatever it might be.
Here’s another way to look at it. How could you give them a head start in whatever it is on a grand scale that you’re helping them with? What would give them a head start or spark some momentum for them?
What has to happen even before your products, services, or programs can help them? What might stop them in their tracks way before they ever even get to you? That could be a piece of content or something even bigger like a series. I’m going to talk about that next.
The question is, where do they need to start and how can you help them get started? That could be a really cool podcast episode, blog post, or whatever it might be.
Strategy #3 – Create a Series
That leads me to the next strategy, which is to create a series. This could be all about how to get started but it doesn’t have to be. A lot of what we teach feels heavy sometimes to our students.
I know I’m totally guilty of this. More often than not, I need to stop and think how I could break something up into a series so it doesn’t feel totally overwhelming.
When I’m teaching inside my courses I do a lot of breaking up the content. One module might have six videos in it because I broke it down into bite-sized pieces that people can digest. You can do that with your content as well.
The magical thing about it is that instead of having one podcast episode or one blog post, all of the sudden you have three. Let’s face it. I think if we’re being really, really honest, most of our audiences want things in bite size.
I don’t know about you but when I go to watch a video online, the first thing I do is see how long it is. I need to remember this because I know I’m long winded and I need to cut to the chase a whole lot faster in much of what I do. That’s something I’ve been really cognizant of lately.
How can you make it more bite size for them and break things up into a series? That way you can extend your content. And here’s the big clenches, it keeps them coming back for more.
I did this on my podcast in Episode #83 and #84. Episode #83 (http:// www.amyporterfield.com/83) was Cultivating a List-Building Mindset. Episode #84 (http://www.amyporterfield.com/84) was Growing a Lucrative Email List.
I broke those up because when I’m teaching something I know they have to get the mindset right and then they need to know the mechanics of it. Tony Robbins says that as an entrepreneur 80% is mindset and 20% is mechanics.
When you are thinking about stuff you are teaching, is there a mindset component and a mechanics component? Mindset is what they need to believe, understand, or know in order to see results. The mechanics is the steps they need to take.
Right there that’s at least two different pieces of content you can put on your blog. So I want you to think in terms of a series. A series is really fun. When you stumble upon it and realize it could be really good, once you figure your series out (let’s say it’s a three-part series or four-part series of your blog, podcast, videos) you name it accordingly so that people know it’s Video #1 of four and there are more to come.
You also get to tease the next video or podcast when you’re done with the first one. You are always teasing the next week and that’s always good.
Let’s say you did a four part series. Every single week you would have one new content item. That gives you a whole month where there is a theme around something. You are jumping on Instagram Stories and teasing the content. You’re talking about it on Facebook Live.
You have a theme and you are deep into it. You get to talk about it in totally different ways every single week because you are breaking down the content. I love a good series, especially when it’s done right.
Here’s my tip for you. You’ve got to get out in front of it. Don’t just put it together willy nilly. Sit down and give yourself a day or two to literally work the series out and give each part of the series a title. Be clear with yourself as to what you’re going to include in each part of the series so that it really is something that is not only stellar but that you can go back to again and again and again.
I don’t know about you but there are a few pieces of my content, especially on my podcast, that I’m constantly going back to. I’m meeting with people. There are probably three podcasts I refer to the most. Tiger Time is one of my most popular. Where Do I Start is a big one. There is another one, Episode #100, where I talk about staying horizontal or taking things vertical in your business. These are foundational things that help my audience no matter where they are in their business.
I find myself talking about those episodes in different videos. If I’m at a networking event I’m encouraging people to check it out. If you have some of these core pieces of content you can pimp it out in all of these different ways.
For a series, you can go back to that thing again and again. You can get a lot of mileage out of it so I think that’s what makes it so appealing.
Strategy #4 – Teach From Stories
Stories will always inspire you with new content. In order to create these stories you’ve got to get out there in real life. You’ve got to network. You have to work with people. It might be someone you just decided to help because you wanted to be a good friend. It might be a client that you’re working with.
If you work with clients you’ve got a lot of content ideas. You do not need to say their name or give away their personal information. But you should always be thinking about your clients, their struggles, their questions, their triumphs, and finding ways to weave that into your content.
For me, because I don’t take clients and don’t do any kind of consulting, my recent experience with stories is that I helped a good family friend with her webinar. It didn’t go so well. For the record, the webinar she did was amazing.
I have talked about it again and again. I think my ego is bruised a little bit with that one. But I talk about it again an again because she didn’t have any pre-launch sequence whatsoever. I won’t beat a dead horse because I’ve talked about this too much on the podcast, but when she went out to promote her webinar she didn’t have a lot of money to spend on Facebook ads but she also didn’t have an email list that was paying any bit of attention to her because she hadn’t emailed them in forever.
She didn’t have a relationship with them. This reminds me, I was just going through some B-School content of Marie Forleo’s and she was saying that people say the money is in your list. It’s not. The money is more in the relationships of the people you have with your list.
It’s so true. You’ve got to have that relationship. It doesn’t matter how many people you have on your list. My friend just didn’t have that relationship so her launch didn’t work out as planned and she was heartbroken.
Because I was in that with her I got to talk with her. I saw the tears. I saw the struggle. It was very near and dear to my heart and it created so much empathy for me that I had for my students. From that I was inspired to talk about it and find solutions.
From that, Episode #149 (http://www.amyporterfield.com/149) was born because I wanted to teach my students to never have that experience and, instead, create a 90-day pre-launch formula.
A really great piece of content came from working with someone one on one. Again, I don’t do consulting so it just so happened it was a dear friend and it felt even more personal to me because of that.
One way to get inspiration is to get out there and help people do the work, get in the trenches with them, and believe me, these stories will help you create new content.
If you already have stories that you’ve never used, spend ten minutes and brainstorm every story that might lead to some new piece of content. We all have different stories of how we created our business, where we struggled, something in our childhood, something you could take away from your college days.
You have stories that have shaped you and have helped you get to where you have gotten today whether they are great stories or stories of struggles. All of those stories can help you create new content. You just have to give yourself that white space in your mind to take time to think about them.
You can create new stories everyday if you just get out there and network, help people, get out there in real life. Believe me, the stories will come.
Strategy #5 – Ask Your Team
I will go through the list one more time before I wrap up. But asking your team is a great way to really pay attention to what your audience and existing students need and want. It’s one of the easiest things that most people never do.
I find myself forgetting to do this as well. At the end I’ll talk about a little system you can put together to make this happen more regularly and automatically. But here’s the deal. I have a customer service team. Her name is Kate.
Kate is my team. I have one gal that answers all of your questions. If you email me you will likely hear from Kate. I also have a community manager, Lindsay. If you are a student of mine you definitely know Lindsay.
These gals are on the front line every single day. They know even more than I do what kind of questions are coming up regularly. So lately I find myself asking Lindsay, “What are you hearing?” and “What are people asking you?” or “What comes up the most?”
This episode was one thing she mentioned not too long ago. People struggle with content creation, coming up with new ideas, what they should write about, what they should podcast about. She sees this coming up across all three of my paid Facebook groups for all three of my programs.
I can also ask Kate, “What are some of the things people are asking about when they are emailing us?” “Where are they struggling?” “What are they asking for?” and “What do they need?”
You can determine this by what people are posting on your social media channels. The thing is we tend to not pay attention closely enough and realize there is a blog post in what they are asking. There could be a podcast episode or a video or whatever it is you do.
One thing you need to do is put a system together. I am obsessed with Google Docs. It is absolutely free. It is the easiest too to use. You can just put a grid together. Anytime anyone on your team can hop over to the Google Doc then copy and paste a question.
If you want to get more organized with the grid you can include the date the question was sent in, the name of the person, and whatever you want to do. I kind of like to go the extra mile. But give them a place they can copy and paste.
In the moment when they are busy they know it is just a quick copy and paste to jump into the Google Doc. That way you have a library of actual questions from the people that matter the most, your audience, and diving deeper, your students.
You will see the words they use, the language they are using to ask the questions. You will see exactly how they ask their question. You can read between the lines to find even more content.
But we have to go back to our team. Even if you have a small team there are other people on your team that know what kind of questions are being asked. That’s the kind of stuff that should be fueling our content creation.
If you don’t have a system for it, it doesn’t work out as planned. That’s what I’ve been doing in my business. I want a system for my team to have a place to always put the content.
Strategy #6 – Go For A Deep Dive
I talked about creating a series earlier. You are taking a really big idea and chopping it up into multiple episodes or multiple blog posts. This is not a revolutionary idea. You’ve heard it before. But a lot of times we need to hear it a few times and actually be encouraged to go make it happen.
We already talked about the series as a way to create content. The deep dive is different. It is taking one concept and really drilling down and making it actionable, explaining it in detail, giving a lot of examples, maybe even weaving in a story. It is usually one very specific topic where you go deep.
I would say Episode #149 (http://www.amyporterfield.com/149) all about the 90-day pre-launch formula is a deep dive into a prelaunch. I talked about what it looks like, how long you should be doing it, some things you could be doing during the 90 days.
I could probably even take that into a deeper dive. Here’s an idea with my own example that you can make into your own based on the niche you’re in. With the 90-day pre-launch formula I could have made that a series because it’s 90 days and you are doing something different each 30 days. It could have been a three-part series and I didn’t even think of that, it just now came to me.
I then could take one episode, the first one is all about creating consistent content and doing freebies every single week for 30 days, I could dive even deeper into that topic and talk about freebies and what freebies to create and give a bunch of examples of freebies. I could link to the freebies of other people to show how it’s done.
I could give a lot of links and examples and stories. That would be a great deep dive so that people will really get it. You don’t want to do a deep dive too much because it is overwhelming. But once in a while you can take just one concept and go deep with it.
I think people get immense value from it. That’s how you get people to come back for more. They think, “Holy cow! This is so good, I want more.”
Strategy #7 – Create a Quickie
A quickie is more like being in and out in the sense of giving a few quick tips, a few quick strategies, and focus on just one thing with a few quick examples and then you are out. This is something I actually probably need to do a whole lot more of.
I don’t know how to do quickies. This is getting inappropriate and it feels awkward. But you guys know I’m talking about content here. I don’t know how to just do that really quickly without giving you more than you sometimes need.
Obviously, I’m not perfect in all of this but that’s okay. You don’t need to be perfect. Remember, I get a lot of podcast episode downloads. I get a lot of people to my website and I don’t have it all figured out all the time.
There are areas I definitely can be better at when it comes to content creation. One is the whole idea of a quickie. I love this idea because I know my own personality and feel I am very similar to my students. Again, I look at a podcast episode and see how long it is going to be and question whether I have enough time.
If it was a 15-minute podcast and I got amazing value versus someone else’s episode that’s an hour with amazing value I would probably choose the shorter one. I think with how things are going now, the fact that people want to get in and out and on with their day, think of different ways you can do quickies.
But, you have to make it valuable. What I see more often than not is that it’s a quickie and it has no substance whatsoever. I hate that because now you have wasted my time and I didn’t get anything out of it. I could have watched something else that was way more valuable.
Remember, people have tons of options here. I’m all about getting in and out, giving quick tips and strategies, making sure it’s actionable and that they can do something with it, and then you’re out.
You can kind of pair some of these together. If you’re going to do a series, that’s your opportunity to break something down but now you might have three quickies versus one big long blog post or whatever it might be.
You can do a quickie and a series and they kind of go hand in hand. My point is to mix it up.
For me, because I typically have longer episodes, throwing in a quickie every now and then is always a good idea. I’m actually trying to do that with this one. If I can get it under 30 minutes…Well, I probably can’t. But anywhere close is a quickie for me.
I’ll keep working on making them even shorter. But I always have to walk away knowing I gave you immense value and you can take action. That’s not the easiest thing when it’s a quickie. That is something we can all strive for.
Let me run down the list really quickly and then I’m going to wrap up with some final thoughts.
Seven Simple Strategies for Content Creation
- Revisit your content (not repurpose, revisit. Give it a twist, something new).
- Start at the beginning.
- Create a series.
- Teach from stories.
- Ask your team.
- Go for a deep dive.
- Make it a quickie.
Those are your seven simple content strategies. I gave you a bunch of examples so you can make them your own.
There are a few other things are going to help you get inspired with writing your content or creating your content for a podcast or video or whatever you’re doing.
I want to give you a system we use internally that will make sure you are creating stellar content. I want to take you through the process we use because a lot of times this process helps us eliminate a lot of the content we might have created.
If my team comes to me with an idea or if I go to them with an idea, if it’s a good one we automatically get really excited. After that excitement we quickly realize we need to know how it’s going to look. Intrigue is important.
If someone on your team or if you come up with an idea and there is an initial excitement where you want to know more and think it’s good, that’s a great sign. If your team is not so excited about it, right away, it is probably not going to be a great idea.
You’re looking for that instant intrigue.
After we have the initial excitement where you want to hear more and you like the idea, we have to inquire. I either ask myself or my team what the steps would be. I want to think about how this might play out. It’s important that initially I start to think what would be included and what it would look like.
A lot of times this is where many of my ideas go to die. Sometimes the initial excitement wears off instantly when I realize something isn’t hefty enough or won’t resonate with my audience. Maybe it’s been done before and is kind of boring.
Right away, the initial inquire about what it would look like is important. If I realize there isn’t much to it I either have to work on it more or it isn’t an idea I go with.
If it makes it past intrigue and inquiry then I am ready to investigate. I will sit down and see what the outline would look like. I will then start outlining it.
Gina, on my team, helps with a lot of the podcast outlines. She will sometimes outline it and think of examples and stories I have told in the past or from other podcasts or my life in general. Sometimes, believe it or not, my team or I will outline an idea, give it some bones, and then we will realize it’s not going to work.
We recently did that with an idea. We literally outlined the whole thing and Gina and I went through it together. We realized it just wasn’t going to fly. Again, it came back to the fact I had done it before. It is boring, and I didn’t have a new spin to it. I couldn’t do it again. There was nothing new there yet.
That outline is still in Google Doc and when we think of new ideas to add to it, put a different spin on it, come up with new stories or a new experience, we can revisit it. But, when we investigated it just wasn’t good enough. Even though it was fully outlined we didn’t move forward.
If the idea is good enough and the idea is ready for the next phase, if we investigate, we have a good solid outline with good examples and stories to mix in then we go for implementing. We add the final meat to the outline.
There are usually always two people on anything I talk about on this podcast. It is me and somebody else. I’m not the only person that touches this content because other ideas will come from people on my team that know me well, know you all well, and know what you need.
I love to have a second set of eyes. When I first started the podcast it was always just me. But as my podcast has gotten bigger and better and it has become a huge focus in our business then the revenue started coming in and I had the revenue to find somebody to help me with all of this.
I always have a second set of eyes on my content now before I deliver it to you. That’s when new ideas usually come up. The implementation phase is really fleshing out the entire outline and making sure we have all of the pieces in place.
This could happen over a period of 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to take forever. But the whole idea of intrigue, inquiry, investigate, and implement has served us well. It stopped us in our tracks and helped us move forward with great ideas that have proven to be really successful. It is something really easy to run through but it’s always nice to have some kind of process.
To wrap things up, remember I said in the very beginning that I have a really, really good freebie for this episode? I wanted to give you ten days of inspiration. The inspiration is really going to have nothing to do with your unique market or niche or field of expertise.
It is going to have nothing to do with that and everything to do with opening your eyes, heart, and ears to new things that will truly spark new ideas. I learned this from Copyblogger years ago.
I was listening to one of their podcast episodes and Brian Clark said he gets inspired by watching movies that have nothing to do with what he does in his profession. He listens to podcasts that are totally unrelated.
He watches TED talks that are on totally different topics. This inspires him and gets them thinking in new ways. I’ve tried it in my own world and it works like gangbusters. I’m going to give you just a one pager with ten days of inspiration.
You are going to kind of get to see how inspiration works in my world because I pulled some TED Talks and some podcast episodes, not the whole podcast, just very specific episodes, that I think will inspire you and refuel you and give you the recharge you might need.
If you’re feeling totally inspired now just download it and save it for later. But if you’re feeling stuck and need a little extra push and want to start thinking differently and open your mind and heart to new things I promise you it will fuel some new ideas for you. There is no doubt in my mind.
All you need to do is got to http://www.amyporterfield.com/154download or just text the phrase 154download to 33444. Let me tell you, remember, it’s not all about the marketing stuff. I give you tons of how-to step-by-step marketing stuff.
I also know in my darkest days when there are the biggest challenges, when I feel empty or stuck, believe me it definitely happens even after I’ve created a wildly successful business, those days still happen to me, if I go to this list of ten days of inspiration that I’m going to share with you and pull some of these and start watching or go on a walk and start listening I see things differently.
My mind opens in different ways and I’m a little bit nicer to myself and a little bit more patient and white space starts to happen. That’s when the inspiration and creativity and new ideas come.
The foundation of your business is fueled by your content, what you are creating, the original content that you are putting out there every single week. You need to feel inspired and you won’t feel inspired at all times. That’s why I created this very special freebie.
Again, go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/154download to get the freebie. I hope you grab it and find it as valuable as I have and if you do make sure to let me know online.
Okay guys, thanks so very much for being here with me. I love this episode. I love to share how I work through things behind the scenes. Hopefully it will help you as well. I cannot wait to see you again next week.