If you’re a coach who wants to grow your business, getting familiar with content marketing and figuring out an approach that is going to work for you is going to be a must. In this post I’m sharing what content marketing is, how to create a content marketing strategy for your business and what’s working now when it comes to creating content to promote your coaching business.
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What is content marketing?
Content marketing is where you create and use content – which might be a video, image, graphic, audio or writing to promote your business.
Anything that you’re creating for social media such as Instagram posts and captions, Reels, Linkedin posts etc, blogs on your website, podcasts, videos for YouTube etc, this is all content.
When you think of how much of this kind of content you create in your business you begin to realise how important it is to have some kind of a strategy behind it which I’ll try and help you with in this post.
The ways in which content marketing can work for your business is quite broad, so let’s look at some of the ways we can make content marketing work for us.
How content marketing works
One of the biggest ways that content marketing works is it showcases our knowledge, skills and experience.
When we’re creating something we want it to be helpful – specifically we want it to be helpful to our ideal clients or the people who might be experiencing the problems we know our paid services can solve – basically the people who are best placed to benefit from your offers.
A good way to think about it is how can you create content that is educational, inspirational or entertaining?
We want our content to show people that we actually know what we’re talking about – it’s not about creating a false sense of ‘authority’ rather it’s us demonstrating that we actually know our area of work. This, alongside demonstrating our knowledge, skills and experience is what can help build trust – especially if we show up and create content with some regularity.
Add to that the way that some content can help create connection – and you start to see how content marketing can help you get clients.
Content marketing can also help you get your business in front of new people. I think of this content as ‘attraction’ content – blog posts optimised for SEO is a good example.
We can also create content that is directly selling something – it doesn’t all need to be helpful free stuff!
However, all ‘good’ content doesn’t have to fit into this box. Sometimes we want to create something because we simply want to be creative. I’ll talk more about this soon, but it’s totally ok to create content that feels good to you as a human – just because it doesn’t fit into the typical content marketing box doesn’t mean it doesn’t have worth and won’t help you grow your business too.
I like to think of our content being able to take people on a journey – from them finding us through attraction content to connecting with us and then to buying from us, sometimes supported via sales content.
Sharing our content
Usually we are creating our content with a specific platform in mind – and these days we have a lot of different places we can share our content!
Part of our content marketing strategy needs to be where and how we are sharing our content – for example where is the right place to share content and attract new people into our business? Where is the best place to connect with them?
There’s a lot of things to consider when it comes to which platforms to create content for – but when it comes to what’s working now which we’ll get onto in a sec, I think having a joined up marketing strategy makes a lot of sense.
Creating content to build our list
Another consideration when it comes to creating content to market our business is to look at how we can use it to build our email lists.
I’m a big believer that email marketing is where we should be putting some effort, so thinking about how our content marketing can support this just makes sense.
If we are attracting people with our great content, getting them to join our list – usually so they can access another great free piece of content is a good way to get them into our community so we can start and connect with them further.
Ultimately when it comes to content marketing we want to give people a place to go, it’s all well and good creating awesome free content, we need that thought out strategy that takes people on a journey too, and getting on your email list is a big part of that.
Getting results with content marketing
It’s important to note that generally speaking it takes a bit of time and consistency to get results with content marketing – but before you click away – there are some things you can do to make it all easier.
The thing to remember is that I honestly believe most businesses will have to embrace some form of content marketing these days because it helps your business have longevity and sustainability. The good news is there’s lots of ways this can look so you can make it work for you.
There’s so many benefits to using content to market your business it’s going to be worth the effort!
Finding time for content marketing
Creating content is going to take some time but it doesn’t have to be a crazy amount of time to get results.
Depending on where you are in your business, it might be that most of your time is spent on more high touch direct client getting activities or perhaps you have a job or kids or something else which limits the time you spend on your business. Even in a more established business you’ll be seeing clients and doing other work so your marketing has to make sense from a time perspective.
Creating consistent content doesn’t have to mean churning out stuff every week. You could just work on creating one really good piece of content a month and then promoting it and sharing it everywhere.
I create one video a week and then repurpose it into over 6 pieces of content to help me market my business.
Something that also helps you when it comes to time is actually just creating content that you enjoy! If you’re passionate about your niche, it’s going to make creating the content so much quicker and easier. Content marketing can be a bit of a long game, so finding a way to produce content that you like is really going to help.
Creating content that doesn’t fit in a box
For some of us, creating our content is part of our expression, creativity and work in the world. It doesn’t have to neatly fit into a box that says ‘educational’ or ‘inspirational’. So many of the blog posts I’ve written in the past have been created because I wanted to share my experiences and to feel seen in sharing them with others.
Even though this kind of work doesn’t fit into a typical content marketing strategy it has such immense value – to you as a human and for your business because I believe this is where we create real, true, deep connections with people which can be a precursor to them working with you in a paid capacity.
So if you just want to create because it’s your calling and your way of showing up in the world do it – it doesn’t have to fit in a box!
What’s working now in content marketing
The world of content marketing and social media is changing all the time so I thought it might be helpful to look at what is working now when it comes to creating content to market your business.
I’ve noticed that the concept of Thought Leadership has become more popular. There’s lots of different definitions of what Thought Leadership is, but for me, it’s around creating content that is based on your opinions, your thoughts and your ideas, and sharing that with a wide audience, with the invitation that they can take the idea the thought or opinion and run with it themselves and implement that in their lives and businesses.
It’s an interesting concept and while there’s not many unique ideas these days, the way we can share them through our own unique lens can be very original.
A good way to implement this in your business especially with content around connection is to share from a place of experience.
I know that when I was a health coach there was so much emphasis on content that was evidence based which for obvious reasons makes a lot of sense. But it scared people into not wanting to share their opinion or lived experiences.
You are absolutely allowed to create content and to share from your experience. Your experiences are valid and your opinions are valid. It can be helpful to remember that most of the time we’re not creating the definitive statement on a particular topic – more often than not, what’s going to make it good content is sharing your unique perspective on a topic.
Denise Duffield Thomas once said ‘be a contributor, not a guru’ which is such a brilliant piece of advice to hold on to when creating content.
It’s really difficult to escape video at the moment in all honesty! I know for some of you that’s probably not what you want to hear but the good news is that there are ways you can dip your toe in with video that makes it a lot less scary!
Video is also amazing for us coaches because it helps us connect with people on a whole new level, it really does make a difference. There’s nothing quite like people seeing your face and hearing your voice!
If you’re super uncomfortable with video then audio can be a great next step as well.
Related post: 4 tips for using video to grow your coaching business
Having a joined up approach
In the past I would spend so much time on creating content for different platforms. I’d be writing blogs and creating all my Instagram content from scratch then doing videos and it was just exhausting.
Then I started to experiment with adding videos to blogs and a bit of repurposing and now my whole content marketing strategy is based on creating one key piece of content a week and then repurposing it for most of my content marketing needs.
This has made everything so much easier in terms of time and also of feeling like my marketing strategy actually makes sense.
I do create a bit of additional content for Instagram but mostly everything comes from my one video and it works so well.
Creating your own content marketing strategy
To start and create your own content marketing strategy, it’s about finding a process that’s going to work for you where the result is you sharing content on some kind of consistent basis. If you can layer in things like video, repurposing and creating content that is going to help you build your list that can be super helpful too.
If you feel like you’d benefit from some support in creating your own content marketing strategy then do check out my new programme Connecting Content which will be running live during May. The programme is designed to help you create your strategy and start implementing it on a consistent basis.
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