AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and we are diving into The Six Pillars of My Content Creation Process.
My listeners are often asking me how I create so much content in my business. My answer relates back to these six pillars. I think I look at content much differently than a lot of other marketers and content creators.
I break up my content into different pillars and then I decide how I’m going to spend my time in each of those pillars and where I’m going to put my focus. The goal of this episode is to take away the overwhelm of content creation for you.
I know that creating a lot of content, getting out a weekly blog or weekly video show, can be a lot of work. Plus you’ve got the content inside of your programs and your promotions and all of the other stuff you’re creating.
In order to take away that overwhelm I wanted to break down the process for you and then give you some words of wisdom (recommendations) as to where you should be spending you time when it comes to your content.
Before we get into it I have two things. 1) This episode is brought to you by my List-Builder’s Lab program. My list-builder’s program is all about building your list-building foundation.
I firmly believe if you are running an online business of any kind and you don’t have an email list then you are definitely leaving money on the table and you’re going to struggle with building your tribe. List building should always be a priority in your business.
But where do you get started? How do you build your foundation? Well, I’ve got just the free master class to get you going down the right road in order to build your list-building foundation. All you need to do is go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/buildmylist for a free master class where I will walk you through how to get started with list building.
I’ve included a bunch of examples from my own business so I can really bring things to life instead of just saying, “Do this, do that,” you can see how it’s done. If you’re anything like me you like examples so definitely check that out.
The other thing I wanted to let you know is that this episode also comes with a slide share presentation. I wanted to show you and not just tell you. Sometimes that’s a little tough with a podcast.
So at the end of this episode I’m going to tell you how to grab my free slide share presentation so that everything you learned about the six pillars of content creation can actually be seen in a slide share.
You can see the examples and see what I’m talking about and really bring it to life with visuals. I’ll tell you how to get your hands on that at the very end.
Let’s go ahead and jump into the six pillars of my content creation process.
If you listen to my podcast regularly then you likely heard Episode #191 where I walked you through a week in the life of my online business. In that episode I talked about walking my dog, Scout, every morning and listening to different podcast episodes.
I mentioned that I was really hooked on one podcast series specifically, Making Oprah. In that episode you get to hear from Oprah and her team. One thing they shared is that with every episode that came out they would make sure they had an intention behind the episode.
It wasn’t okay just to say the episode is great because it’s going to be entertaining or it will make people laugh. There had to be a deeper intention for that episode in order for Oprah to approve it and for it to go live.
I love that way of thinking. When you’re creating content you really do need to have intention behind every single piece of content. These six pillars help you do just that. I want you to keep thinking about your intention as I walk you through the pillars. First, let’s walk through the six pillars and then let me get into each one of them in detail.
- Pillar One – Free attractor content. By attractor content I mean attracting your ideal avatar with the content you’re putting out there. I’ll give you a bunch of examples.
- Pillar Two – Free tribe content. The tribe is who I’ve already attracted. I want to grow that relationship. It’s the know, like, and trust factor. It’s building affinity and the content that keeps people around. It makes them feel as though they are a part of your world.
- Pillar Three – Free promo content. It’s all of the content you create in order to get people to pay attention to your promotions, your campaigns, and your launches. Again, examples are coming soon.
- Pillar Four – Paid course content. The first three pillars were free content and now we’ve gotten into paid course content. This is all of the content you create inside of your digital course (modules, cheat sheets, audio files, etc.) People pay for that content.
- Pillar Five – Paid bonus content. This is all the content you create to make your offer really irresistible.
- Pillar Six – Paid relationship content. I didn’t know this was a pillar in my business until I sat down and really dissected all of the different content I create. I realized paid relationship content is where I actually create massive loyalty and keep people coming back for more. That’s why I have people that have bought every single program I’ve ever put out there. I build a relationship with them once they become my students. I love talking about paid relationship content and I’ll give you a really good example of that one as well.
Pillar One – Free Attractor Content
Let’s start at the top with Pillar One, Free Attractor Content. This is the content you are going to create in order to attract your ideal customer avatar. You want that content to be a really good representation of your brand, who you are, and what you are all about.
Can you guess what content I use for my free attractor content? If you’re guessing this podcast you are right. This podcast is a great example of free attractor content. I get to talk about list building, course creation, webinars, and all of the other topics that fall around the perimeter of that including email marketing, social media, live video.
All of those topics are a great representation of my brand. As you all know I sell a program around list building, I sell a program around course creation, and another one around webinars. Because I know what I’m selling it’s very easy for me to think about what topics I should talk about for my free attractor content.
If you’re struggling with that base level, free, valuable content then you’re likely unsure about what you want to sell or who you’re selling to. That might be a really good red flag. I say “good” because it’s a quality problem to figure out that you may be a little confused about what you’re selling or who you’re selling to and that’s why you just can’t figure out what kind of content to put out there to attract your ideal customer avatar.
My podcast is a great use of this free attractor content pillar. For you it might be a weekly blog or a video show. It doesn’t have to be a podcast. More importantly, it’s the content that you’re putting out there.
My freebies that I do every so often on this podcast are also perfect for free attractor content because I’m using these freebies to attract my audience and get them on my email list.
You all know I do some pretty elaborate freebies for specific episodes on the podcast. One thing that is really important is for me to ask myself three questions before I create a freebie for the podcast. That helps me determine if I want to create a freebie to go along with the podcast episode.
I’m going to share those questions I ask myself or, if I’m working with someone on the content for the podcast episode, we will ask each other these questions and kind of figure out if the episode needs a freebie.
The first question we ask is: Will a cheat sheet help my listeners implement what I just taught them? If the answer is “yes” then I’ll create some kind of cheat sheet, checklist, or guide that goes along with the podcast episode.
The other question is: Does this episode need a visual? Remember I said I was creating a slide share presentation for this episode? I think this episode needs a visual because I want to show you some examples and the content’s kind of heavy.
I’m going through six pillars so I want you to have something to refer back to.
Here’s another one: Will extra info bring the topic a step forward? I don’t want to always regurgitate in the freebie what I just taught you. I think it’s more valuable if I take it a step further or if I offer something beyond the episode or walk you through a worksheet to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper so that you can move forward with what I just taught you.
That’s another question I ask: Will extra info bring the topic a step forward and not just regurgitate what I just taught? My freebies are free attractor content. They are in that first pillar. That’s where I see them.
One more thing I’ll add, moving into the New Year I’m trying to add more mixed media to my podcast. I did this on a podcast where I talked about how I put my podcast together. I know, very meta, but I did an episode all about how I podcast, my process, and my system. I’ll link to it in my show notes (Episode #176) if you didn’t hear that one.
In that episode on the show notes I made a quick video where I showed you around my podcast equipment. I showed you exactly what I use because I wanted you to see how simple I keep it. That was a video in the show notes.
Now you’ve got the podcast where you can listen. A lot of my freebies are PDFs that you can download. And in this case, for the podcast episode, I did a video. Mixing up the media is also a great example of attractor content because not all of my new audience want to listen.
Maybe they want to watch. Maybe they love the PDFs that they can download. So I want to give options to the audience that I’m attracting into my world. Again, the podcast is really the free attractor content. For you, again, it might be a blog or video but you want to determine what your free attractor content is and then I enhance it with freebies and mixed media.
The key lesson here is that whatever you choose as your free attractor content (Pillar One) you want to create a rinse and repeat process. That’s your key lesson, to create a rinse and repeat process. This is something you will hopefully be doing weekly so you want to make sure it’s not something you’re scattering to do all the time or that feels very heavy because then you won’t do it.
The more free attractor content you get out there, the bigger your audience. You’re casting a wider net. I also want to give a shout out to podcasting. I love podcasting as a free attractor content pillar because I put it on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. I’m actually casting a wide net without having to do much of anything else by putting it on the extra platforms and finding more people.
Whatever you do for the free attractor content you want to make sure you are able to put it out there and attract new people. Maybe it’s a Facebook Live so you’re pushing it out to Facebook and you are boosting that Facebook Live so it gets out to people beyond just your fans.
I want you to start thinking about how you can cast a wider net because the whole goal is to bring new people into your world.
Pillar Two – Free Tribe Content
The way I look at free tribe content is that I’ve used my podcast to attract people in. But there’s a little overlap in the sense that I use my podcast to also solidify my tribe. Some of you actually listen to every single episode I put out on my podcast.
You are my tribe. You keep coming back for more. Some of you have every single program I’ve ever created. You are in my tribe. And maybe you don’t listen to every single episode but you keep coming back for more because you think I offer value. You, too, are a part of my tribe.
Just by the consistency of my podcast I am attracting my tribe. The tribe, if you think about it, is basically the audience I’m attracting with the free attractor content being pulled closer. The tribe is just one step closer to me and my brand and my business and what I’m all about.
It’s more intimate. If you start to listen to every episode then you heard the episode where I talked about my battle with video and my weight issues or you likely heard the episode where I brought on my husband, Hobie, and we talked about what it’s like to be married to an entrepreneur; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The episodes where I really share the vulnerable stuff, and I’m trying to do more and more of that, those episodes are for my tribe. Those are for those of you that want to know me more and are curious about behind the scenes and what my life looks like as an entrepreneur.
The specific content where I’m more vulnerable and I invite you in closer and really share the good stuff is for my tribe. There is overlap with the podcast. I use it for attracting and I use it to bring my tribe closer. That’s another reason I feel the podcast (you could also do it with a blog or video show as well) is just so powerful. It attracts and it brings your tribe closer. It creates a tribe and brings them in closer.
Getting back to the free tribe content, definitely there is overlap with my podcast. I also do weekly emails. Every single time I send a weekly email, every Thursday, that email is to announce I have a new podcast episode coming out.
The only people that are going to get the email are obviously my subscribers, those on my email list. If you’re on my email list and are opening my emails you are part of my tribe. Those emails tend to be personal. I add images and videos in the emails and I tell stories. They are for my tribe to bring you all closer.
I can also get you to listen to my podcast more consistently if I remind you there is a podcast episode. So getting people on my email list is moving them into the tribe area or that pillar. I see the emails as free tribe content.
Finally, my social media. It might surprise you to hear me say my social media is not for my free attractor content. It’s not to attract new people. It’s actually to bring my tribe closer. In social media I share video; I talk about my dog, Scout; I share video of my home and behind the scenes and all that good stuff; and I share content around my weekly podcast.
That video on InstaStory or that post on Facebook tends to be more open, raw, honest, and vulnerable as well because I’m bringing you all closer. I want you close because I want to share things with you that I wouldn’t necessarily share with a stranger.
I treat my social media as a pillar for my tribe, the content I create just for my tribe. Of course my social media is going to attract a new audience but that’s not my number one priority with it. I might look at it differently than some other people do but it works for me.
The last thing I’ll say is that on social media I sometimes do fun giveaways. Earlier this year we did a Starbucks coffee giveaway. On InstaStories we actually did a whole story of ten different short little videos where we shared a bar code that any one of my followers could take into Starbucks and use up to $10 from the bar code to buy themselves a cup of coffee and a little treat if you wanted something a little extra.
We put a few hundred dollars on the bar code and sent it out on social media. We said, “It’s Monday morning. You need a cup of joe. Your morning coffee is on me.” I do things like that for my tribe.
It’s not to attract new people into my world but to thank those who have been supporters and followers for episode after episode after episode of my podcast and they have just been super loyal to what I’ve been putting out there. That’s another way I create free tribe content.
The key lesson is to get vulnerable. I’ve learned that in 2017 so I’m not sure if this episode comes out in the New Year but throughout 2017 I learned slowly but surely that I needed to be more honest, real, and vulnerable. The more vulnerable I am, that’s for my tribe. It’s to share with my tribe because you all share your secrets and challenges and issues with me and I want to do the same with you.
The key lesson for the free tribe content is to get vulnerable.
Pillar Three – Free Promo Content
This is the content you create for your promotions before you sell anything. For me and my business, a webinar is a perfect example of free promo content. For you it might be a three- part video series, a challenge, a single video, or something that you’re using to lead up to a sale.
Look at your free promo content. I want you to ask yourself how much time, effort, and energy you put into that content. If you’ve been running your business for a while and have maybe a small but mighty team, which is basically what I call my team, if you have a little help and have been in business for a while and you are selling online then this is the area where you want to spend the bulk of your content creation time.
Not all of it, but this is the stuff that leads to revenue. It is your pre-promo content. Again, webinars, maybe some kind of freebie that puts your audience into a funnel where you eventually sell to them, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, InstaStory ads (15-second videos you can turn into an ad) are all free promo content.
I spend a lot of time in this area because I want the content to be really valuable and make a big impact before I sell anything.
I often say that when I do a webinar the first 45 minutes, when I’m just giving free, valuable content away, is my idea of earning the right to sell. That might not work for everybody and you don’t necessarily have to earn the right but I know that if someone comes on my webinar, no matter if they buy or not, they are going to walk away feeling like they got a lot of value.
When I then talk about a program someone can buy I know I’ve given them enough to decide if this program is a perfect next step for them. That’s why I put so much effort into those webinars. I spend a week working on webinar content.
Free promo content is Pillar Three. Again it’s Facebook ads, Instagram ads, my webinar, my freebies that might lead directly into a funnel where I sell, and then another example of free promo content are testimonials and case studies.
Moving into the New Year this is an area that we are really going to overhaul in my business. We’ve never done a great job of putting a system together to collect testimonials and case studies.
I feel storytelling through my students who have gotten results is the best way for me to sell anything. The story sells my programs so we have started to make a bigger effort here.
I use testimonials in my webinar. I have a success stories tab on the sales page of my Webinars That Convert sales page. I use testimonials inside of my emails and I want to do more and more of this.
It is great free promo content any time you have a good case study or good testimonial. When you start looking at your testimonials and case studies as content you’ll start putting a bigger focus and more energy into those stories.
That means you get on the phone with somebody who’s gone through your program. You ask them about their experience. You learn about their results and write a story about them and put it on your sales page or tell their story in a video or interview them on video and they get to tell their story. That’s free promo content, Pillar Three.
The key lesson here is to make your time and money here really count. As I said when I first started talking about Pillar Three, if you’ve been in business for a while this is an area you definitely want to pay close attention to and put some money in it in terms of paid advertising because that’s content.
To back up a little bit, let’s say you’re totally brand new and just starting out in your first year of business. You are going to put your main focus on your free attractor content and your free tribe content.
You’re putting something out there on a weekly basis. You are creating content that is a good representation of your brand, and you’re starting to pull your audience closer so that they become your tribe. That’s where you’re going to spend the bulk of your time.
If you have nothing to sell yet, for sure, it’s those first two pillars. But as you have something to sell you are going to be spending more time in Pillar Three. That doesn’t mean you are not going to be creating consistent content in Pillar One and Pillar Two.
It means you have a system and a process in place that is maybe not on autopilot but is happening regularly. You already have a system in place like me and my mega batching. I’ve talked about it in a podcast before.
If you want to learn how to mega batch so that you can have more time to spend in your free promo content pillar and want to mega batch your weekly podcast or blog make sure to check out that podcast episode I did on mega batching. I’ll link to it in the show notes at http://www.amyporterfield.com/195.
Pillar Four – Paid Course Content
This one is pretty self-explanatory. This is the content you create for your digital courses. It’s the modules, the cheat sheets and checklists inside of your program, and it’s what you are selling if you are selling digital courses.
I have a program called Courses That Convert. In that program I teach you how to create your digital course. If you’re interested in that I have a free webinar at http:// www.amyporterfield.com/free. You can check out my free master class where I teach you how to get started with course creation. But that is Pillar Four, Paid Course Content.
This is the pillar that is definitely a little bit overwhelming when you’ve never created a course. Heck, it’s still sometimes overwhelming to me and I’ve created many, many courses. This pillar takes a while. This is the pillar that you are probably working on for a few months to create your course.
You are also doing other things at the same time and you are multitasking a bit. When you’re creating a course you’re also running the business and I think that’s where the overwhelm comes into play.
Likely, you are only doing your paid course content two or three times a year. I don’t think you need to create a bunch of digital courses in order to be profitable in your business. Heck, right now I only have three.
We’re going to add one more in this coming year but I don’t think you need a bunch. So, if you just create one or two each year and then really focus on launching it and relaunching it and relaunching it you can see some amazing progress, for sure.
Okay, the key lesson for Pillar Four, Paid Course Content, is don’t do it alone. One of the biggest mistakes I made from the get go is that I do all of my course creation on my own. That means I create the outlines, I create the slide decks, I record all of it, and I even edit my module videos.
I just think that’s not the best use of my time. If I got some extra help with some of that I could get through it faster. So if you have a little extra revenue in order to pay for some extra support look at all of the things you do to create a course and see where you might be able to pull someone in to help you get it done faster and not overwhelm you through the process.
Pillar Five – Paid Bonus Content
One of the things I want to talk about more and more on this podcast is putting your offer together. As you all know I teach how to create an online course and how to sell that course on webinars.
But if you have an offer that just isn’t resonating with your audience, no matter if you have the best webinar in the world or the best digital course in the world, it’s not going to sell well.
The offer is basically everything you’re going to give in exchange, of course, for whatever they pay for it. That offer needs to seem very irresistible so your audience just can’t pass it up. Part of the offer is your bonus content.
That’s why I’ve made Pillar Five Paid Bonus Content. I do definitely focus some good attention on my bonuses. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that when you create a bonus you want to make sure the bonus either enhances the experience of the student going through your digital course or it helps them get to the finish line faster.
I created an entire podcast episode around how to figure out which bonuses you should add to your offer. I’m going to link to the bonus episode I did on this podcast in the show notes at http://www.amyporterfield.com/195/. It was one of my favorites I’ve ever created because it helps you figure out how to come up with some really good bonuses without overwhelming your audience with too much content.
The key lesson here with Pillar Five, Paid Bonus Content, is that you want to shop around your offer. Once you put your offer together and list exactly what they get in your digital course and you list all of the bonuses you’re going to include I want you to put that in front of a peer, someone you trust, someone that knows you and your business and ask them what they think of the offer.
Of course, include the price point of the offer as well and whether you’re going to do any payment plans. Put that in a Google doc. It should be half a page. It shouldn’t be pages and pages because it’s just your offer; what they get, what bonuses they get, how much it is, whether there is a payment plan.
I want you to put that in front of some of your peers that you trust. If you’re in a mastermind or a small group of people that know your business, just say, “What do you think of this offer?
Get feedback. Shopping around your offer this way allows you to see how other people view this offer. I would say the most valuable thing is if you could put it in front of your potential customers. But that might seem a little bit weird, putting it in front of them before you actually put out the offer.
I don’t know if I love that and I don’t think it’s the best way to go pro in your business. That’s why I would keep it behind the scenes with your peers and get feedback that way.
Before you put your offer together, of course, you are going to do your course calls where you get on the phone with potential students. You learn who they are and what they want and need. That all comes before you put your offer together. But now you are shopping it around to your peers to get their feedback. I think that’s really helpful.
Part of that offer, of course, is the content that you create for your bonuses. That’s why I’ve made it a separate pillar. My bonuses can make or break an offer so I want to spend some time on not only coming up with bonuses but making them really, really valuable.
Again, one of my goals with bonuses is to get people to the finish line faster or enhance the program so they get even bigger results than I promise them. Again, I made an episode all about bonuses. I’ll link you to it.
Pillar Six – Paid Relationship Content
This is the first time I’ve ever talked about content in this way. I love that it is its own pillar in my business. That means I am intentional (getting back to the word I started with) about the kind of content I’m creating for my paid students.
Here’s what I see happen a lot in other courses. You buy the course. You never hear from the course creator again. Or, you might hear from them once or twice but then they kind of trail off and you wonder where they went and you feel stuck without support.
I like to get on live video once a week for my paid students. I get on video and answer questions for a full hour, sometimes more if there are a lot of questions. Every single week my students who bought my programs see me.
They see me in real time on video and I’m answering the questions they have in the moment while they’re working on the content I created for them to get big results in their business.
I treat my Facebook group and my Facebook Live videos inside of those groups as part of my content creation. I think that’s what sets me apart from some of my competitors. My students feel connected to me. Even a year after they bought my program I’m still showing up inside of our private Facebook groups.
The great thing is because I show up that way I can offer the private Facebook group and the live video as part of a bonus when you buy my program. My students see that as one of the most valuable bonuses.
I want you to start thinking how you are creating paid relationship content. It doesn’t have to be how I do it but I want you to be reaching out to your students who already paid you money way after the fact that they paid you. Are you doing something that they feel you are taking really good care of them?
It doesn’t mean you have to show up live. I really do want them to feel that they are connected to you as the course creator. I think that makes a huge difference.
The key lesson here is to make it personal. For me, I make it personal by showing up live on video. For you it might be special emails that you send them or maybe you do a review of the work they do in your program when they are finished.
Maybe it’s something totally different but the key lesson for paid relationship content, Pillar Six, is that you make it personal so that they feel they are connected to you as the course creator and as their leader, someone that’s moving them forward in the area they want to transform or excel in.
There you go. Those are your six pillars. I’m going to review them for you one more time.
- Pillar One – Free Attractor Content.
- Pillar Two – Free Tribe Content.
- Pillar Three – Free Promo Content.
- Pillar Four – Paid Course Content.
- Pillar Five – Paid Bonus Content.
- Pillar Six – Paid Relationship Content.
As I mentioned, if you’re just starting out I want your focus to be with the free attractor content and the free tribe content. If you’ve been at it for a while and have something to sell really put your energy focus and your money into the free promo content so that you can really do a launch or campaign or promotion really well because you’ve built the content to get people engaged in the promo. That’s so very important.
There you have it. I hope you found the six pillars of my content creation process valuable. As I promised in the beginning of this episode, I created a slide share presentation to show you some examples of the different pillars inside my own business and just to walk you through the pillars visually so that this really hits home and you will apply it to your own business.
If you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/195, in the show notes I will link to my slide share presentation. You will be able to click on it and watch it right away. It’s not even behind an opt in. You can get it straight away if you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/195.
Before I sign off, this episode is brought to you by my program, List-Builder’s Lab. I teach you step by step how to grow your email list and build the foundation so that you are actually growing your email list every single day and you no longer have to worry that you don’t have a list to promote to.
It’s so important that you focus on list building and I want to help you get started. I have a free master class, How To Create Your Ultimate List-Building Catch-Up Plan, and you can find it at http://www.amyporterfield.com/buildmylist.
Thank you so very much for tuning in. Next week’s episode is all about webinar tips, tricks, and strategies that I’ve been dying to share with you to enhance your entire webinar experience. I’ll see you next week in Episode #196. Until then, make it a great week. Bye for now!