AMY PORTERFIELD: I've got a question for you. How long does it take you to put together just one piece of content? How about a week of content or a month's worth? This is a sticky spot for a lot of entrepreneurs, am I right? I hear it all the time. “Amy, it takes me an entire day to create one piece of content. How am I going to batch content when I run out of time with just one?” Maybe you're nodding your head right now because you can totally relate. But what if I told you that I have a little something special, a framework that will be your guide to get you quickly moving through your content-creation process while still creating valuable high-quality content. Because I do. This little-known framework is something we use in my own business, and it works. Say goodbye to feeling stuck or unsure what to say next or taking hours to craft a stellar piece of content. And get ready to say hello to the most effective way to write and produce something that stands out. You ready? Let’s go.
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY: One thing that is certain about the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast is we like to talk about content a lot. We talk about how to make creating your content easier, how to make it more interesting, how to storytell in your content, tie it back to what you offer, and add value to it. You like content, I like content, and we've talked a lot about content.
However, I've never talked about content like this, which means you're in for a treat, because behind every stellar piece of content is a framework. A content framework is essentially a structure that you can apply to any type of content you create in your business to give it flow, clarity, relevancy, and make it more compelling. Truly. I'd be willing to bet that if you go back and look over anything written or created by someone you admire that really stood out to you, maybe it's from a mentor or a business coach, you'd be able to find a framework applied to the flow or structure of the piece. That's because applying something like this not only makes your content easy to read and follow along, but it keeps it consistent across the board. So whether you're writing something or you have a virtual assistant or an employee helping you, it has a similar feel. Applying this framework will also help you to get past any writer's block and, most importantly, ensures that you're providing immense value to your audience and your customers.
And the answer is yes. Right now I'm using this four-part framework that I'm talking about in this episode. But I wanted to use an example of another episode to better demonstrate this. So throughout today's content, I'll be referring back to Online Marketing Made Easy episode number 371, “The 30,000-Foot View: Crafting Your 4-Part Customer Journey” to demonstrate how we use this framework. Clearly, I have a thing for the number four. Anyway, let's dive into this four-part content framework that you can apply to your own work to make everything you create valuable and irresistible. Here we go.
Before we get to the first part, I want to remind you that although I'm using the example of a podcast episode, remember that this structure fits for creating content within your blog posts, webinars, lead magnets, course PDFs, bonuses, live videos. Basically, wherever you're delivering your content, it will work for that.
All right. Starting at the top, you’ll always want to start with the what. Again, this is probably something that you do naturally. The what is an overview of the main point you want to make or the outcome you want your students to achieve. Being clear and concise about the what will ensure that your customers understand what they are about to consume and ensure that whoever is reading, listening, or watching your content is in the right place and needs to learn, hear, or understand what you're about to share. Now, I say students or customers, it could just be a community member, someone in your audience, whoever you're creating the content for. The last thing you want to do is be vague about what this content is about, only to leave your audience not in need of it, because now you've wasted their time, and that's never good.
So, for example, what you'll notice with my podcast episodes is that I have a pre-intro. This sits at the top of the episode. This is something that we've been doing for a little while, but I haven't done it since the very beginning of the show, but we have been doing it for many months now. So it's the first thing you're going to hear. And in that pre-intro, I share a teaser of some sort to entice and intrigue my listener, but I also share within that first minute the what of what they are going to hear in that specific episode. Using our example episode, in the pre-intro, I say, “Let's talk about how to craft the perfect customer journey so that you can walk away knowing exactly how to get people into your world and become lifelong customers.” As you can see, it's clear, concise, and tells them exactly what they are going to learn from this content.
So the first piece is the what. Always, always, always lead with the what. Now, that doesn't mean that you have to have it as the first sentence. You can still be clever and intriguing in your content to capture your audience's attention, but you want to avoid going off on a tangent and being unclear about what the main point is.
Next, you move on to the why. Explain why this content is important, relevant, and, most importantly, why it matters to your audience. After all, people are busy, and even though you can tell them what your content is about, many times they need to know why they should devote their precious time to consuming whatever it is that you're sharing with them. Why is it important to them, their business, and maybe their audience? Why should they care? So in a sense, you're building your case for the importance of what you're sharing.
For example, in that episode I'm using as an example, 371, after sharing the what I say, “I deeply believe that when you are intentional about crafting your customer journey, it makes them feel important and loved. It cultivates fond feelings, and when you nurture them along their way, they feel like you're present with them, that they matter and aren't just another number.” And then I go on to share that repeat customers are worth ten times more than their first purchase. So when you're clear on your customer journey and how you'll move them from one offer to the next, you're spending time on something that will increase your revenue and create consistent revenue. So, I'm telling them not just the what, but the why.
Okay. Next, we're going to bulk up your content with the how. The how of your content is a step by step to how your students or audience members can apply what you're teaching to their own lives. This can be considered the how, the guide, the instructions. The words are all interchangeable here. What's important is that you're providing them with a roadmap that delivers a clear and intentional flow from start to finish.
For example, in episode 371, the core of the episode is broken down into four phases: attraction, nurture, promotion, and onboarding. With each phase, I give specific examples of how to apply each phase to your business. Take the nurture phase, for example, which is all about how to build a relationship with your community after they've opted into your email list. Within that section of content, I talk about specific vehicles you can use to nurture your audience members, such as newsletters or lead magnets, weekly content, a Facebook group, stuff like that. So within this section you want to make sure you're super specific. Give concrete examples if possible.
I want to stop here for a minute and tell you that I really do think that this often sets me apart from my competition, but I don't want to act as though it's easy. So when I say give specifics, give examples, paint the picture for them, typically I have to go the extra mile when I do that, meaning it's easy just to tell them real quick how to do it, but then I stop myself and I say, “Okay. Can I grab an example from my own life or maybe from one of my students’” or “Wait a second. Can I break this down a little bit more? What will they maybe not know that I'm assuming they would know?” It's such a great question.
When you create any kind of instruction, any kind of guide, any kind of step by step, after you create it, like, it's still in draft mode, ask yourself, “Am I assuming anything that I think they probably already know, but maybe they don't? Am I not breaking it down enough? Am I skipping an important decision or insight that I just assume they know but many probably don't? Do I need another story here? Do I need an example?” And sometimes you make up the examples. They don't have to always be real if you don't have enough to pull from. But sometimes I'll make an example, like I'm famous for saying, like, well, if you're a dog trainer, then you might want to do this or that for your digital course. Like, you can make things up based on your experiences and knowledge. But this is what sets you apart. This is when you become a teacher that people keep going back to again and again because you slow down and you actually hold their virtual hand through it. I think that's what sets us apart from our competition.
All right, let's keep going. Next up and last on your content flow is where you share the proof. That means you're taking the how and you're showing how you apply it in your own business through real-time examples or success stories from your students or customers. So that's kind of what I was just talking about before. It might come in the how-to section, but essentially, it's really this last step, which is the proof. Sometimes an example isn't necessarily considered proof, but it's a way to make it more real. So when you think of the proof, also think of how to make it more real, how to bring it to life for them. So essentially, and I do this a lot in my podcast episodes, you might find that your intertwining the how and the proof within your content flow. That's totally fine. What I wouldn't want you to do is put the how or the proof at the beginning of your content.
So let me show you what this looks like in real time. So in episode 371, I talk about each individual phase, and before moving on to the next phase, I share the proof so that it's all together in one section.
So let's return to the nurture phase that I mentioned in the how. Here's the proof I share from my own business. For example, when people sign up for my newsletter, I email each Thursday about the newest Online Marketing Made Easy episode. This gives them easy and quick access to something they already know they love. I also usually mention if I have a free resource to go along with that week's episode. Because they get the notification right there in their inbox, they can head over and snag that right away. I also have a Facebook group called Thrive, which is a list-building group for aspiring course creators.
So those are all solid, concrete examples, or proof, of how I use these personally and how they worked for me. So I taught the concept, I laid out the how, and then I said, “Let me give you a few examples.” Examples, proof, kind of the same thing here.
One thing I want to mention is that you might hint at your proof early on in your content flow. For example, maybe you have a method for helping people stay in their meditation longer. So at the beginning of your content, you could hint at that and say, “This strategy has helped my students increase their average meditation time by ten minutes. That's 50 percent,” or whatever the hard data is. So you can hint at it early, but then get into the details after you teach the how. All right. So that's the proof and how you would include that in your own content.
One more thing I want you to keep in mind, and maybe you've thought about this a time or two throughout today's episode, and that is that you might already be doing something like this without even trying or at least using parts of this framework. So that's great. It will be fun for you to go back and see how you are using it and then maybe be a little bit more strategic as you create content moving forward.
I think it's also important to mention that when you don't follow this framework, there are some downsides. For example, if you omit or skim over your what, you run the risk of losing your audience really early on. They might not be interested or feel connected to the content if you don't take the time to explain the what.
Same with skipping over your why. Your audience isn't going to stick around if they don't understand, without a doubt, what you're talking about and why it's important. When you spell out your what and why clearly, it draws in your audience and shows them how it applies to them.
As far as the how, this is your gift to them. This is how you establish yourself as the expert. You've gone ahead, you figured this out, you've done the work, and now you're laying it out for them as a roadmap. Without this, you'll leave your audience feeling like you left them hanging with incomplete information on how to apply this to their life, business, or whatever it might be. So spend your time here and ask that golden question that I mentioned earlier, Am I skimming over something that I just assume they know but maybe they don't?
And then finally, if you skip the proof, or the examples, you lose the strength of your why in your argument. Without this, you'll have a harder time compelling your audience to actually take action. On top of that, sharing proof from your life or your students’ lives or just your business in general gives your audience members something to aspire to.
As you can see, each part of this framework has an intentional reasoning.
All right. Time for your action steps. First of all, I want you to write out this framework somewhere close by where you create your content so that you can look at it before, during, and after and make sure you're hitting all the points in that order. You'll need it the first few times you apply it, but after that, you'll be smooth sailing and find that you do it naturally with everything you create: blog posts, webinar content, bonuses, PDFs, video content, you name it. So that's the first step.
The second action item is to start with just one piece of content and apply this framework. So you start with the what, the why, move on to the how and the proof. Once you've written it, go back and read through it with a fine-tooth comb and make sure you've checked each box.
I know that this framework will help you to put together valuable content for your audience and make creating it a whole heck of a lot easier.
Thanks for joining me today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.