Have creative block when it comes to your content?
Do you have problems consistently creating and publishing blog posts, videos, or photos?
One easy adjustment in your thinking can break through that stubborn creative block that’s keeping you from being consistent and deliberate about getting content ready and putting it out into the world.
Here’s how most people think about using content in their marketing.
I have a blog, and a newsletter, and a Facebook page. Every other Monday I post to my blog. My newsletter goes out every other Thursday and alternates with a promotional email for one of my products. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I do a Facebook post.
That looks like a fairly well thought out plan, doesn’t it?
Maybe. But it’s missing the most important thing: the actual content.
The items listed aren’t content. They’re just where the content lives. They are the content holders.
The sticking point
This is where we get stuck. We think of our newsletter, or our blog, as content. When you think of your marketing this way, you start to say, “I have a newsletter due. What should I put in it?” or “My blog publishes tomorrow. What should I write about?”
This is the thinking that causes creative block and makes producing content for marketing a frustrating chore instead of an opportunity to communicate with the people who want to hear from you.
How to think differently about content marketing and overcome creative block
It starts with knowing why you’re creating content, in terms of your audience, your overall goals for your business and your shorter term goals.
Start from the position of “What do my customers, current and potential, want or need to know?”
The ‘want to know’ items are things that feed their interests.
The ‘need to know’ items are things that will help them feel comfortable buying. In other words, YOU need them to know this information.
Your Overall Goals
Why do you communicate? To get in front of people in your community? To build an email list? To create discussion around your art? Here’s a good goal-setting article. It’s directed at innkeepers, but the concepts are the same for artists and makers.
Your Short-term Goals
What are your immediate reasons for posting content? It could be an idea you want to share with your audience, a show next month for which you want to generate interest, or a new design.
A Subtle Shift in Thinking
Do you see the subtle shift? Now, you’re thinking, “I have to communicate this, for that reason.” Once you know what you want to say, and why you want to say it, then you can figure out where the content will live and how it will be distributed.
Here is an exercise that will help you really understand the difference
Choose three content holders you use. It might be any of these:
- a social media platform
- lead magnet
Now, find one section of content in each of the three content holders you’ve chosen. It could be:
- your last post
- the last email sent
- a chapter in an e-book
- a section of a lead magnet
- a point you made in a video or podcast
Answer these questions:
- What was relevant for my audience in this content? What fed their interest?
- What information did I give them that would help them get to know me better or overcome any hesitation about buying?
- What was my reason for telling them this? What immediate goal did this meet?
- How did this content help me take a step toward my larger goals?
As you answered those questions, did you think once about what form the content took? No, right? You were thinking about the actual content – the information itself, not about whether it was a post or a video or a chapter in a book. Once you take away the packaging, you focus on what’s inside.
Whether you were able to easily answer all four questions to your satisfaction, or you evaluated your content and realized there were elements missing and it really didn’t hit the mark, at least your focus was on the message, not the form it took.
Looking back at what’s done gives you an idea of what was missing, but how do you make better content going forward? This ‘focused freebie’ will help.
Create content that pops for YOUR audience
- A video that goes over the four questions you should ask before you hit record or edit your draft. If you don’t know these answers, you’re just wasting your time posting content.
- A downloadable pdf with notes from the video, in case you’d rather read than watch – or if you want to keep a copy of the information.
- A worksheet.