Already in this series of Content Marketing… Stripped! We’ve looked at creating a customer profile, choosing topics for starter content, choosing the right tone of voice and setting content marketing goals.
This is all good and well but there’s such a thing as too much planning. As you can see in this week’s episode:
Why planning and learning cripples content marketing
You might be familiar with a saying that goes something like this:
A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own
If we’re not talking about mistakes that kill, I’ll put my money on the guy willing to take action and learn from his own mistakes than a smart-arse sitting quietly watching everyone else muck up.[signup-form id=”12713″]Content marketing is not a “one-size-fits-all” formula. You need to know what’s going to work in your business, and you need to know quickly.
Yes it’s important to learn the content marketing basics. As with anything, you need enough to get going, but if you’ve watched the previous episodes and read through the blog posts, you already know enough to start creating content for your audience.
And that’s when you learn the most about what works for your business.
You will learn more by writing 10 antidiabetic drugs blog posts, sharing them and monitoring feedback than trying to start by planning your first 5 months of marketing topics.
Planning alongside creating is great. Planning instead of creating, not great.
It feels productive to watch a webinar, read a case study and make notes. But unless you’re applying that to action you can use in your own business, it’s really not worth much.
How to beat content marketing overwhelm
It would be foolish to do everything by trial and error.
But instead of downloading one more report, if you’re getting overwhelmed with your content marketing strategy promise me you’ll try the following:
1 part learning, 1 part action
Learn on the job.
If you want to read about the perfect webinar, then make sure you’re planning your first webinar. If you’re reading about customer profiles, create your own customer profile as you go along.
Reading about headlines? Use the lessons straight away on your next blog post, or by posting an old blog post on Twitter and use a new headline style.
Learn, practice, learn, practice.
That way you get experience that no-one else can tell you.
You’ll know what your audience likes, you’ll know what headlines work with them, what triggers make them buy from you. There are reports, ideas and information that can tell you what is likely to happen, but only you, by doing, will learn what actually happens.
Where to start today
In the video, our adventurous heroine started by taking a common customer question and turning it into a blog post.
Do the same.
Does your website have content that covers the basics of what you do? If not, start there. Even if you don’t think that these will be earth-shattering topics to cover (to you) it will pay you dividends by:
- Saving time: refer common enquiries to your site rather than replying individually
- Building credibility: when talking to new clients or customers you can prove your expertise through the content you’ve published on popular topics / questions
- Building trust: more people like to research than talk to sales people. You’re providing them an opportunity to do their research while hanging out in your online store
How long do you think it will take you to write a quick, but useful post covering a basic customer question? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour?
You will feel great for having created a piece of marketing content, you will feel less overwhelmed, and you can start using that content to let more people know about you and your business.
Woah! You’re still here? What are you doing? Get writing 🙂
Donald Jetman says
Loved the singing Einstein.
You have one of the best timed and cleanest sites I have seen. Do you do your own taping and sound, and split screen FX or do you have a cameraman?
The Other Donald
Glad you enjoyed it Donald, Episodes 1 and 3 were done with a local video production company and the others are just me at the moment. 🙂
Funny and smart!
Love this line: “You will learn more by writing 10 blog posts, sharing them and monitoring feedback than trying to start by planning your first 5 months of marketing topics.”
And I know a red-hot banjo cat if you need a hand.
Thanks Danno! The brilliant thing about writing for your own audience is you get to compile your own lessons that no-one can teach you. What’s more, taking action acts as a springboard for more focused learning.
If you hit a stumbling block you can look for a specific answer, which is better than reading about subjects generally.
Thanks so much for the generous offer of a banjo guy. However, being married to one means I have an unspoken non-compete clause of never allowing anyone else to play the banjo for me… 🙂
These just get better Amy!
Some great advice to conquer the blank page and to produce content that really strikes a chord (Bluegrass style) with potential clients.
Another similar strategy could be to mooch around some linkedin groups – plenty of questions being raised in those. What do you think?
(do you have new intro music?)
Hey Rich – glad you liked it.
I know in the video I cheat by having Amy’s customer handily email her a question but you’re right, there are so many places to look! Forums, LinkedIn groups, the comments on similar blogs.
You can even hold a free Q+A. I bet most business owners would be blown away by the simplicity of questions and topics that people really struggle with. When you’re an expert, it’s easy to think that everyone knows the basics… but they don’t.
Ooh – not new intro music but different section of the clip. Am working on my banjo man to produce a different tune soon. 🙂