“I bet you are paying somebody to write those articles aren’t you?”
It’s a crazy world isn’t it where anything is possible I suppose!
Since I decided to start writing online, a few people I know, asked me those questions.
They have seen my articles and thought I must have outsourced it because of the time it must take each day, or they thought I must have stored up a batch of articles and am drip feeding them to you, like this one!
Well, sorry to tell you but the truth is, are your ready for it…
I am writing them each, daily!
Yes, that’s correct, the old fashion way.
But nothing is as random as it may appear.
You see I have spent considerable time studying what others do and I have combined several principles together to “systemise” this process.
Now, I could keep this all too myself, but at the end of the day there is no monopoly on common sense. So I thought I would share with you, how I do it as perhaps it may inspire yourself to do something similar.
Firstly, let me address “outsourcing” and why I have not done this way.
I am a big fan of outsourcing and have established my whole profession around outsourcing, even to the point of my six years’ doctoral research.
Yes, I can easily outsource the writing, but I didn’t.
The way I see it is that if you want to positon yourself as an expert and one who is professional and equally authentic, wouldn’t your readers expect you to be writing those articles yourself – particularly when you are putting your name against them?
This is not to say that I am not busy!
I am as busy as you are possibly.
That’s why I needed to figure out a way to systemise it all. To make it efficient.
To do this, I started with some principles…
1. I will write one article per day (Monday to Friday) to give me 5 original articles each week
2. These articles will be no less than 500 words (around a page)
3. I want to be informative and if I can master it, a little entertaining as possible and seek feedback to adjust my style when necessary
4. I want to be efficient in my writing
5. Finally, each time I write an article, it needs to be better than the previous one
One of the things I learned when I wrote my doctoral thesis, is that you can be staring at your computer screen for hours trying to figure out what to write, but if you have an overarching theme or story and then break it down to bite size chunks or sub topics, the whole writing process is very doable.
Now for you professional writers out there, I am sure you are having a good laugh at this because what I am saying of course is very basic, but for many others who are not professional writers, like myself, there is an initial sense of overwhelm on how to do this and where to start.
Believe me though, once you get in to it, it does become much easier.
So here are my six steps on how to position yourself as an expert online …
Step 1 – Be focused on your story, your brand, your expertise etc. that you want to write about. That’s the big ticket item. Then break it down to five sub topics, themes or subjects.
Why 5 you ask? Well there are five days of the working week for me so the maths was easier to figure out – get it! For me, Mondays is around my broad topic of business strategy, Tuesday (today) is around sales and marketing etc. etc. In other words, find a way that is easy to follow, then stick with it – that’s all.
Step 2 – You need to research all the key words and phrases associated with your expertise and subjects. Use Google Key Word Planner tools as you will be surprised on what you can learn. A small change in wording may vary the number of hits that you get and the potential subsequent follow on actions taken by your readers.
Step 3 – Prepare your publishing schedule for the next twelve weeks at the level of detail of the broad topic you will write on for your articles each day. This will result in 60 articles (12 articles for each of your 5 themes) all focused around your expertise.
Step 4 – Write the dam thing! When I started, I made sure that I committed to an article per day. At times I was up until late at night to finish it and have it posted, but in time it has got much easier – I have a routine now! You can do this to!
Step 5 – Post it! It is no good sitting on your computer as a file and of course you can do multiple edits and wordsmithing but eventually you have to balance the return of your efforts in the perfect prose to just geeting your message out there.
Also, you need to decide which social media platforms you will be publishing on and what modality (word, visual, auditory etc). There are many social media platforms and all have their merits, so my suggestion would be to determine what does your primary audience use.
Again, once you make your selection, then keep with it for now to build momentum.
Step 6 – This may vary depending upon your goals, but still make sure people can get in touch with you. If you do have a business behind your article writing (like me) then always keep in mind the principle that in today’s world it is value up front first. If people like your, then a business relationship may develop from that afterwards.
Of course there is a lot more detail underneath each of these six steps. But if there were only two things you could take away in regards to what makes a successful content management strategy, I would say this…
You need to put in place a system to drive consistency and discipline, and…
You need to keep at it!
Funny how those two principles can be applied in most areas of our lives!
Happy writing and please get in touch if I can assist you in any way.
“How do you expect to change the World Anita if you are living under a rock?” said Chanda her mentor.
“I mean people do not know who you are and what you stand for, let alone what you do and today, whether you like it or not, social media is a given!”
“But Chanda, I am a private person, I want to separate my public life and my private life”
“Yes, yes, I know that, but you need to be strategic in how you go about it, you just cannot go at it randomly. That’s what all the marketing companies do. They’re the ones on the big money. So just have your eyes wide open and do what they do.”
“Do what they do?”, Anita frustratingly responds.
“Yes, do what they do, start thinking about how they position themselves as a brand or image with a consistent message”, Chanda responds encouragingly.
“How do you do that?” Anita asks.
“Well think about it this way Anita, what do you stand for, what are you famous for, I mean what do you want people to think of when they think of you?” Chanda responds.
“I want them to think that I am somebody they can trust. Somebody who has the abilities to do what is required and be able to help them”, Anita says excitedly!
“Yes, excellent and I can see that spark inside you Anita – that is who you are, now you have to convey that in a way in social media – be yourself, be authentic!”.
At this point of the conversation, if you were asked as the independent bystander, what to advise Anita to do next, what would you say?
You see social media sounds like an easy answer, and mostly it is, but it is the “how to do” which often stumps people like Anita, particularly when her mentor suggested being strategic.
What does being strategic mean?
That evening Anita went home to do some research on strategic social media and came across many posts with suggestions.
She could see what Chanda was saying about knowing what you stand for, your brand, being clear on your goals and, as well as checking out what the big marketing companies do, also check out what your competitors do as well. One article even suggested that if you are a professional working for a company, you should see how similar professionals like you position themselves on LinkedIn to get some ideas. She also made a note to ask Chanda how see had developed such a huge network on LinkedIn.
Furthermore she learnt about choosing your channels – and of course there are so many platforms these days, how does one find time to cover it all. That’s why Anita realised she needs to be targeted. What platforms are used mostly by her preferred clients for example.
As the night went, on Anita also discovered that she needs to develop a content management plan– a series of ideas that while they stand alone, are also connected over time building a bigger picture and story and re-enforcing her as “the expert”.
The next day Anita texted Chanda to see if see was free for a coffee as she wanted to relay everything she learned the night before about being strategic.
“Chanda, you have to be strategic, you need to develop a content management plan” Anita explained when they caught up.
“Really!”, said Chanda with a big smile thinking that her protégé had come a long way in such a short amount of time.
“How do you do that?” Chanda asked.
“Well what I need to do is think about my message and how I can tell it over time that provides value, interest or curiosity, but at least it needs to be uplifting” explained Anita seriously.
“Did you know Chanda that people do not just want to be educated or informed these days – they want to be entertained and inspired?”
“The concept has been around for thousands of years, it’s just that with social media it is more mainstream now”
“Well well Anita, I am delighted of your transformation – amazing what you can achieve in 24 hours” Chanda says clapping her hands together.
I want to tell you how to do content management in Twenty Five Steps .
Twenty Five Steps – That’s too many I hear you say!
Well I could say in fewer, but I want you to learn to be strategic in how you go about it. I want you at the end of this to be an expert. So if you follow these Twenty Five Steps , in the correct sequence you will build incredible presence and momentum in your business, or as an individual expert brand.
Does that sound like something you would want to do?
Besides, for several years I have been following some of the world’s best online marketers and broken down what they do into these steps. So if they are getting results and if you do the same, shouldn’t you get similar outcomes?
Now, would you like to know the Twenty Five Steps? It will require work and discipline you know.
OK here they are, make sure you follow them in order…
Step 1 – Define your purpose, what you are about, what is your story and message.
Step 2 – Develop your own distinct brand or framework that helps you tell your story.
Step 3 – Research on all the key words that people use and search for when looking for products, services and expertise such as yours.
Step 4 – Review your own resources – what amount of time are you prepared to allocate for this, what amount of money are you prepared to invest in such as automation tools.
Step 5 – Develop your content management plan – is it 90 days, 180 days etc.
Step 6 – Prepare all your branding including logos, templates, landing pages, copy etc.
Step 7 – Having decided time and money in Step 4, now you need to procure your tools, for example you may subscribe to Hootsuite to assist you.
Step 8 – Next establish the channels you will publish to such as Facebook, YouTube, Web Blogs or even a published book etc.
Step 10 – Will you be writing, or do you need to source a team of writers.
Step 11 – Start writing and be disciplined and structured around your expertise.
Step 12 – Design and create a specific offer that when people see your content, interest has been provoked and that want more.
Step 13 – Now for production – add photos and other media with your written work.
Step 14 – Publish or post your blog or article across your channels.
Step 15 – Share links of your content to other channels – create curiosity and incompletion.
Step 16 – Re-purpose your material, if it was a blog, then make a video, after the video make a podcast.
Step 17 – Record your video and post.
Step 18 – Record your audio and post.
Step 19 – Build your email list by creating traffic from your content to your offers via optin forms like Lead Pages.
Step 20 – Consolidate last 4 weeks of article writing and prepare a report.
Step 21 – Now prepare more comprehensive training videos.
Step 22 – Next identify people, other experts and authorities.
Step 23 – Interview these experts and authorities.
Step 24 – Prepare teaching notes and your webinar course manuals based on your articles.
Step 25 – Prepare your book draft which will be published further reinforcing you as an expert or authority.
Congratulations, you got there! I hope you can see how having discipline and consistency will get you the desired results you are seeking. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about this or even get a hold of some of my tools to make the Critical Steps To Effective Content Management Momentum work for you in your business or profession.
What are the new rules for sales and marketing for today’s startups?
In today’s Information Age, is sales and marketing about large advertising campaigns? Is it about product launches and promotions? Or is sales and marketing today about building one to one relationships – relationship marketing as the pro’s call it?
Well it still is partly all that, but there is something now that is very important that if you are in business today and you are doing it effectively, it is likely that you will be generating significantly more revenue than your peers who are not doing it at all. In fact you are probably leading the market niche or segment that you are in, or at least, making an impact on it.
For those of you who are doing this, I am sure you are also building loyal followings by connecting and creating your own “tribes” and having them advocate on your behalf.
However, for those of you in business who are not doing this, or not doing it in a focused and targeted way, well what can I say, you are missing a huge opportunity and one that a competitor, or startup business that you do not know the name of yet, will take from you.
What I am talking about is the importance of creating high quality content within a content management strategy as the keystone of your sales and marketing efforts.
Brendon Burchard, founder of the Experts Academy, stresses the importance in providing overwhelming value consistently and not be concerned that you are giving a lot of this away for free. After all, if you believe in what you do and how it can help people, then why not!
Of course though, you are in business and somewhere along the line there is the need for a profit, so the key to this is being strategic. Everything that you create and market, is strategically placed so that it leads to your desired outcome and objective. Jeff Walker who developed his Product Launch Formula knows this more than most – he’s known as the six hundred million dollar man for the successful campaigns that he has coached his clients to achieve.
As the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome” – it just might mean that your targeted client avatars (I will cover this aspect in a future post) do not realise they are travelling to Rome as yet, but when we build a relationship and they get to know you and trust you, well then of course they want to go to Rome, in fact they will lead you there!
So how do we get to Rome… Gladiator?
Well I am sure you already do a lot of planning. Imagine though doing it differently from now. Imagine planning out the next twelve months where every marketing action, every social media post, every email being sent, every event that you attend or host, on their own, appear straight forward but combined are contributing to a force of momentum in your business that is unstoppable!
When I asked this same question to one of my clients, they said “that would be OK”.
No it’s not “OK”, it’s pretty awesome I think! In fact it might be a game changer for you!
But this takes discipline and work and repetition (we have all heard that before haven’t we?) because when I refer to planning out the year, I am referring to individual days (yes there are 365 of them) plus specific times during the day. But let me get to that at another time. For now just dwell on the idea that you have this opportunity right now to play by the new rules and when you get good at them, that is, when you achieve mastery, then and only then, make up some new ones!