THE 3-STEP (RIDICULOUSLY) SIMPLE WAY TO BUILD A CONTENT STRATEGY FOR YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
A rising entrepreneur wants to be known as a thought leader on his industry, and is doing everything he can to get attention.
- On Sunday night, he posts a 2000 word blog on Medium about the perils of his fundraising efforts.
- Tuesday morning, he’s surveying his Facebook audience if he should do a spectator-inspired podcast on golf, his favorite sport.
- Thursday midday he’s sharing an Instagram photo of his new Rottweiler puppy Buddy, because #instapups.
- Saturday morning, he’s blogging on LinkedIn, this time talking about the future of AI and how it could potentially affect his potential new startup that he is potentially raising money for.
- And on Monday evening, he’s blasting Trump’s latest move on Twitter.
At this point, I want to scream through my computer screen: “Dear Mr. Wanna-Be Thought Leader….PLEASE JUST STOP.”
He clearly can’t hear me, but you can.
It’s evident that many people recognize that building a personal brand platform is essential. The problem is, very few people know what the heck they are doing.
At the SimplyBe Agency, we’ve implemented a thorough process that takes our clients from experts in obscurity to go-to thought leaders who command their space.
Our clients pay us thousands of dollars to do this for them, but because I believe this is so necessary for all of us to know, I am giving it away for free today. Partially because I cannot be witness to the train wrecks anymore, but really because I truly, deeply want you to succeed.
Okay, let’s do this:
If you work, chances are you’ve heard the term “content strategy.”
Whether you need one, have written one, or avoiding one, I want to take you inside building a content strategy, the SimplyBe way.
This is how we approach all of our client projects, as well as how we manage our own content approach!
Spoiler alert: It’s SERIOUSLY-SO-SIMPLE-SUPER-EASY.
Step #1: Identify Your ‘Content Buckets’
You can’t be everything to everyone or you will end up nothing to know one.
We first start by identifying the three or four “content buckets” our clients will exclusively cover. You don’t want to deviate from these, as repetition is the key to mastery (as we know), but it’s also the key to becoming synonymous with your “X”, or what you want to be known for as a thought leader.
We recommend that your content buckets are two-thirds of your subject matter expertise and one-third of your personal story. This way, your audience can receive the utmost value from you in the form of education and entertainment, and also feel inspired by the real you. Remember, the best brands and personal brands strike an emotional connection with their community, and THAT is what breeds loyalty and return.
For example, one of my clients, Shaun Black, talks about the following:
- Small Business Marketing
- Failure + Reinvention
- Fundraising + Entrepreneurship
Another client, Reverend Lola Wright, who comes from a varied, colorful, and exciting background, defines her buckets as:
- Spirituality + Consciousness
- Relationships + Transformation
- Culture + Society
- Raised by Hip-Hop
Think about who you are in business and in life, and if there’s an opportunity to share all sides of yourself with your audience.
Step 2: Construct a Content Pyramid
Once you’ve got your content buckets, it’s time to build your content pyramid. (Your content whuh?) Let me explain.
Your pyramid consists of the following:
- Pinnacle Content
- Secondary Amplification Tactic
- Tertiary Amplification Tactic
- Social Media Amplification
It all begins with your “Pinnacle” content. This is usually your most “premium” signature piece of content. Think video series, podcast, long form blog series, or depending on where you are with your marketing, this could be your course, webinar, or eBook. These are generally the most time and labor intensive pieces of content, released in slower cadence form. So choose from:
- 1x quarterly
- 2x a month
- 1x weekly, depending on the content
Once you’ve decided on your Pinnacle, you’ll want to identify your Secondary Amplification tactic, which directly relates to and disseminates your Pinnacle content. This can come in the form of a blog, that supports and expands on your video content, a newsletter that promotes your podcast, or perhaps it’s a Facebook LIVE that opens up a discussion on your long form blog. Whatever it is, you want it to have a direct line to your Pinnacle so that specific content from the Pinnacle lives elsewhere besides its original format.
PRO TIP: Take the "Create Once/Publish Often" approach, where you write one singular piece of content and publish on (for example), your own blog, Medium, LinkedIn, Quora and any other platforms you have the ability to publish original content.
Your Tertiary Amplification Tactic is a round-up of your Pinnacle content. This can come in the form of a newsletter “digest”, where you might talk about all the goings-on of your company and include the Pinnacle as a featured spotlight. You could mention your featured quarterly e-course in your weekly podcast, or you could link to your video series as a great case study in your weekly blog.
Your Social Media Amplification, the base of your pyramid, is your Pinnacle, Secondary, and Tertiary content used on a daily basis. Think about it: If you write a 1000-word blog post, there are hundreds sentences that could pose as a tweet, and a handful of small paragraphs that could serve as fabulous Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook posts. What’s great about taking the Pyramid approach when it comes to social, is that when crafting your social media calendar, the work has literally been written for you.
Step #3 - Automate, Automate, Automate
Scheduling your content. At SimplyBe, we use Hootsuite, but there are plenty of other tools:
- Social Oomph
- Argyle Social
Even if you have a current content strategy, by identifying your content buckets and creating your own pyramid, you might find a more tailored message for your audience (especially if you’re not getting the type of engagement you want or need).
Take it a step at a time. Get focused.
And create a strategy that works with you every step of the way.