How much you publish does not matter, what matters is what connects with whom.
This article is going to look at the importance of focusing on the thing that you believe in and then start to fine tune what you already have.
It is time to take the burden away from finding new routes that take you further and further away from what you started.
The only way you are going to grow your audience is not to worry about the frequency of content but the role that you play within someone else’s day/week/month.
This article is one of those moments where I sit back, reflect on what has been created over this year and figure out where it all fits. I am now seeing a pattern. Let me share this with you.
If you have been creating work and distributing on a consistent basis, you already have the assets that you need right in front of you. These are the common themes that help other people connect. The themes help you fine tune, present differently and focus on your overall message.
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Let me share with you the lure of creation and then having meaning with resonance.
The lure where nothing aligns, it’s just creating content…
I know I don’t have much attachment today to the ‘should you buy Christmas presents for customers?’ post I wrote. It is the most popular blog article I have ever produced. It is from November 2013. In November 2017, it means absolutely nothing to me, apart from the rise of clicks in November and December.
From looking at the analytics from the past week or so, this is starting to rear its head again in views.
A popular post with people clicking, great, but this does not have much to do with the whole focus on taking ownership of the channels you have control of, to build your audience. Plus I don’t think this resonates with people who find this article through search. They certainly don’t click to subscribe to the weekly email. It is just tight people who feel guilty that they should be buying those who pay their invoices a ‘thank you’ at Christmas.
The meaning, where content resonates….
The most popular article from 2017, has been where I highlighted when it is time to accept that a content driven approach is not going to work (a bit click baity, but I’ll keep it). I basically broke down three ways where content marketing won’t work is when there is a real lack of care, rhythm and knowledge.
This is the type of cornerstone content, where I look for resonance and where a lot of content has been built around.
The articles that followed or built around this are all intended to connect with those who choose to be in the crowd.
Keeping Things Updated, Not The Relentless Search For New
From first hand knowledge, it works when you centre the focus on what is important to the audience and effectively keeping them updated ie. you see what they react to and then you lean in a bit more.
This is all about finding your audience and creating for them, rather than looking at what will be popular for everyone. For every piece that looks at highlighting your own discoveries and lessons learnt, there are 500 on what time to post on LinkedIn.
You have the assets, it is a case of updating where your approach is focused and share the findings in different ways. It’s like a penalty shoot out, when you are focused on those in front of you, you’re hitting the net, when you’re looking to apply to everyone, you start looking around and kick the ball to the left of the goal. You will never get the result you want.
When you recognise what resonates with others, frequency and volume does not come into the equation. It’s a case of keeping the glass topped up, not trying to find a new bottle.
What About You?
When you focus on an angle that you believe in, it is a case of just topping up and keeping relevant within that field.
For instance, if you are a fitness instructor and have your own blog, people don’t need more motivational quotes from Dwayne Johnson. However, there may be four quotes that have deeper resonance to what you want your audience to achieve and then they become dissected. You need your target audience to acknowledge where you are coming from.
Here are ways for you to stop relentlessly creating content with no underlying theme, but start having meaning with others. It is time to stop throwing punches and hoping that something is going to connect.
Focus on optimising, not solely creation. If there are seeds of an idea, it is time to explore. For instance, when I highlighted the key themes from Content Marketing World 2016, these became deeper articles over the coming months. This is something that has already taken shape after Content Marketing World 2017, particularly around this idea of answering the unanswered. That theme appears within this article too.
What I effectively do is take one big idea and then start chopping it up into smaller segments. It is like slices of a cake. If you try to eat them all in one sitting it isn’t going to sit well, break it down into small pieces and spread it out over a matter of weeks. This is all about getting ultimate value out of what you have already spent time on.
Find consistency with the common theme. The October Lunch Club guest was Jake Moore, Cyber Crime Protection Officer from Dorset Police . Everything that Jake shares is with his audience in mind, have a look at his short videos. They are intended primarily for small businesses and everything is believable, rather than targeting huge companies with detailed infrastructure. Jake has this week launched a monthly email, all centred on the thing that he believes in, the security and safety of others. This has become his asset.
Whatever you create, has to be in a place where people can easily consume and they know what they are going to receive from you. People feel comfortable with Jake’s videos, so the ask for people to subscribe to his new email, feels a natural step.
Resonate by getting someone to act. Once you have the assets in place and teed up for others to explore deeper, pick one conversion metric.
If you are starting out and hit people with a number of actions, it just gets confusing. The most valuable metric to have in place from the outset is subscriber growth. In a Talking Content Marketing interview with Anne Janzer, author of Subscription Marketing highlights the importance of moving from leads to getting people to step up. Anne commented, “Many organisations focus exclusively on generating leads and chalking up new sales – this is what we know and have done for years.”
“Marketing after the sale seems like a luxury that no one can afford. Subscription relationships are long-term; they’re not about running a quick campaign, getting a sale, and then handing off the customer to someone else. Subscription marketing requires a longer-term mindset, and delivers long-term results.” The measurement metric of subscription has to be a high priority.
Taking a personal interest and response. If you have found a way that connects with people and they respond, never cast these people aside with an automated response, or even worse, ignore them.
When people pick up the thread and recognise the value, then the real work has begun. When someone is engaged, they are more than likely going to help you out. They recognise your angle of attack and ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with you.
If you communicate with a host of messages that does not align with what you believe in, things start to get confusing and no one wants to commit with someone who doesn’t have a clear point of view and worst still, sporadic with their message.
Lets Round Up
When you plant one seed, over time it grows from a solid base into different directions and for people to pick from, however everything aligns back to that seed that was originally planted. Have a read of this article that can help you recognise the one thing that you stand for.
You don’t need to be constantly planting new seeds in the hope that you can grow an orchard, your attention is drawn into far too many areas to tend to. I guess I stumbled across it, but everything that I create is topped up as it all relates to one thing. The You Are The Media project started as an email, but the themes that have started to form all come back to this area of ownership and ownership, the branches that are created are the forms of communication that people interact with. This means reading articles on the blog, to coming to the You Are The Media Conference and now to listening to the You Are The Media Podcast.
In order for people to get where you are coming from, you can’t confuse them by throwing in anything that will get their attention in the bling hope that they will spend money with you.
Focus on what it is you believe in and truly stand for, it then becomes far easier to keep things updated when you have a clear outline and path for others to trace back.