Getting in the habit of writing a consistent blog is tough enough, but the biggest trap most entrepreneurs fall into once they’re nailed that part is what I call The Cornfield Paradox. Succinctly put, The Cornfield Paradox is the long-held marketing belief that ‘if you build it, they will come’.
This is utter bullshit.
Why You Need Marketing Strategies For Your Blog
Blogging alone isn’t enough, you need to actually market your blog to ensure people find it.
Now, you might be sat there thinking, “Hang about, I thought the whole point of Content Marketing was that you didn’t have to bother with all the other marketing nonsense!”
To some extent that is true. Using complementary forms of marketing, like paid advertising, is always a good idea if you can afford them. But content marketing affords you a complete marketing strategy that can be done without expending any money at all if you’re DIYing it, rather than outsourcing it to an expert.
What you will need to put in, is time.
Time to write, but also time to market. Here are five really simple blog marketing strategies that you need in your life (which don’t require paid advertising!):
Video is an insanely powerful marketing tool. The best way to ensure people not only find but engage with your content is to record it. You can do this in audio and release it as a Podcast, but you will get a lot more mileage out of video blogs, or vlogging.
When you’re writing your blog posts it’s hugely important to make them as SEO-friendly as possible. This means researching and including keywords, including metadata and other formatting tricks, and learning more advanced tactics like topic clusters.
You’re going to notice video is a recurring theme here, because having a video version of your blog embedded in your post, along with the written version, does wonders for your SEO.
The Search Engine Gods like to show people multiple formats. If you have a post on the same topic as someone else, and yours is in video while they only have a written version, you have an edge.
The gods are far more likely to favour you.
Social Media Marketing
Sharing your blog posts on social media is a no-brainer. But there are ways of doing it to ensure it’s as effective as possible. Experiment with scheduling things in advance (just be aware that some sites, like Facebook, will penalise you for using any scheduling too other than their own…Facebook really sucks), repurpose the content in your blog post to create social media content, and don’t be afraid to share your social posts more than once.
Social Media Marketing is extremely powerful but engagement can be an absolute bitch. Vlogging helps with this, but if you really want to rock your engagement on social media (and particularly Facebook) you need to experiment with Live Video (like I said, video is a recurring theme).
On days when you’re publishing a new post, hop on your favourite platform, go Live, and chat about something related to the topic. Tell a story, relate the subject of your blog to yourself and your audience. Don’t simply regurgitate what’s in the post. People can already read or watch that for themselves.
Give them something more.
I find it helpful to write a prompt for Live videos when I’m writing posts, and often hold little nuggets back from the main post so I have something relevant to say beyond the scope of the post.
Live is all about juicy little extras and conversation starters, so don’t be afraid to ask direct questions and be a little controversial.
All the fancy marketing tricks in the world can’t beat good old-fashioned networking. Find some key groups on social media where your ideal clients like to hang out, and share your posts in them whenever you have a chance. You will often find such groups have a designated ‘share your posts’ thread once a week or so. If the group rules state you only post on that thread, make sure you abide by it.
Visit the posts of other members of these groups and, if you find them genuinely interesting, post a thoughtful comment. It doesn’t have to be long, but it does need to be genuine. You will often find people return the favour. Some of my best leads have come from nothing but sharing a blog post in a social group, so it’s well worth doing!
If you’re really looking to nail your blogging efforts and transform your blog in the complete marketing solution your business needs, download the first chapter of my book, Divine Blogging now – IT’S FREE!
A Content Marketing strategy is like a character in a novel (bear with me). The best books are the ones that have truly compelling characters. The kind of characters with depth, who seem to breathe life into the pages, come alive in your mind, and really stick with you.
The trick to writing such characters is ensuring they are thoroughly well-rounded and completely three-dimensional. They need to have many facets, many different elements to their personality, thoughts, words and actions, all working in harmony to form a cohesive whole that’s impossible to ignore.
A character who is impossible to ignore makes a book impossible to put down.
That’s the kind of effect you want your content marketing to elicit in your ideal client: your business needs to become unputdownable…
How To Make Your Business Irresistible…
Regular blogging or social media posts are a great start to this, but they are only two facets of content marketing, two characteristics if you will. To flesh out your strategy and ensure it’s as strong as possible, you need to avoid the faux pas of thinking they are enough.
Blogging is a phenomenally powerful marketing tool, but it’s only as successful as the number of people who read your blog.
Social media can ensure you drive traffic to your blog posts and boost the level of engagement with your content, but not everyone has time to trawl through Twitter or get lost in the Bermuda Triangle that is a Facebook feed. And not everyone has the time or inclination to read a 2,000-word blog post, no matter how informative, useful, entertaining, or amusing it may be.
Video and audio both provide easy solutions to this problem, giving people a user-friendly means of absorbing content with minimal effort. Videos are fun to watch and astonishingly powerful forms of content, while audio is versatile enough that your readers can listen to your content anytime, anywhere, and with any device capable of playing it.
If all your content is on your blog, you’re missing out on a whole circus of tricks that would help you reach more people, and gain a much higher ROI on your content marketing efforts.
But a lot of entrepreneurs are very uncertain when it comes to content marketing. Exactly what forms of content are best? How they should be used? And how many different forms do you need to include in your strategy to create that coveted unputdownable status?
To answer these questions I’ve put together a brand new Content Marketing Masterclass covering the top ten forms of content. From blogging and vlogging to the best types of social media posts to use, and how to use webinars, courses, and even books, this class will help you create a phenomenally powerful strategy that will catapult your business to success.
Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing and are unsure where to host your blog, or you’ve already nailed a solid blog plan and are looking to really up your game, you’ll find everything you need in this masterclass….
Content marketing has loads of fantastic business benefits. The one type of content marketing most people are familiar with is blogging. Beyond that people seem to get a bit stuck. They’re not sure exactly what is and isn’t content marketing, or how to expand past their blog to create a really strong content marketing strategy. Having that in place is essential to marketing your business and attracting new clients, so today I’m going to run through the top 10 forms of content marketing that will do wonders for your business…
Forms Of Content Marketing #1: Blogging
If you have a website, you almost certainly already have a blog (even if you’re not using it). Most websites come with them built-in. If you don’t have a website, it’s extremely easy to set one up. You can do it completely free on a site like WordPress and other sites that allow you to host your own blog on their domain. You can also set one up very cheaply by buying your own domain name and using something like WordPress, Wix or any other website-building software or portal.
While some social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram limit the number of characters per post, other platforms will happily let you host blog posts on your social media site.
LinkedIn is a great example of this. They have a really user-friendly portal for uploading blog posts and promoting them on your profile.
Facebook is another one that you can very easily use to publish longer written posts. While it doesn’t exactly host it, as you would expect a blog to be hosted, with separate posts you can click through to, there are ways of ensuring they end up as articles, accessible when you click on a particular link on your profile.
Other sites, like Goodreads have dedicated blogs available to members.
If you are planning to use blogging as a form of content marketing, I really recommend you do it primarily through a website.
I talk a lot about blogging in my other posts, so I’m not going to dwell too much on the ins and outs of exactly what you should do in order to blog for content marketing. Instead I’m going to refer you to The Golden Trident, which covers exactly what you need to do to maximise your blogging efforts. You should also check out the Halloween Special I did on Secrets of Blogging That Are Actually Witchcraft.
A Note On Where You’re Sending Your Traffic…
If you have an existing website, start blogging right now. It will do wonders for your website in terms of SEO and visibility, and enable you to start drawing people in and promoting your products and services through your content.
The whole point of content marketing is getting people where you need them to be. The reason it’s so useful to host your blog on your website is because most of the time, when you have a website, getting people on your site is the key to selling your stuff.
If you don’t sell your stuff through a website, then it can work quite well using a social media platform to blog.
That being said, in today’s world of online marketing if you are running a business and seriously trying to market a product or service, having a website really is a no-brainer.
There are loads of different ways you can use content marketing to help you promote and grow your business, but they all have to lead somewhere.
Whatever form of content you use it has to send people to something, or it’s not serving its true purpose.
If you have a bricks and mortar business you can do this through social media alone, without the use of a website. I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend it, but it’s certainly possible.
There are businesses that don’t bother with a website at all, they just have very active social media accounts. Generally speaking though, it is a very good idea to have a website.
Forms Of Content Marketing #2: Vlogging
Blogging is the type of content marketing pretty much everybody’s heard of. If you’re not doing it already, you’re likely aware you should be doing it (and you really should). But there are several other kinds of content marketing you should be taking advantage of, that you may have heard about didn’t realise they counted as content marketing. If you did, you may have discounted them as being ‘not for you’.
This will be for one of two reasons:
You’re unaware of the potential they have, and how powerful they can be in marketing your business.
You have a personal issue with doing them.
Vlogging is one that most people avoid due to a personal issue. If that isn’t the case, and you’re still not vlogging, it’s because you’re not fully aware of the super awesome power of video marketing.
What Is Vlogging?
A vlog is literally a video blog; basically a video version of a blog post.
A blog post is a written post you have on your website (or a social media platform) that hosts written content and can take many different forms. A vlog can also take different forms, but the most common in business marketing and content marketing especially is the ‘Talking Head’ format used in the video above. A static video of a person speaking directly into the camera, often with only their head and shoulders visible. The words are the same as if you were writing a blog post.
Some people write their blog post, stick it on an auto-cue and read it into a camera.
Other people do what I’m (currently) doing and speak off the cuff, without a script. This is either because they don’t have an auto-cue (at the time of writing this I don’t, which is the only reason I don’t use one), or because they prefer that natural flow that comes with an off-the-cuff style.
It doesn’t matter how you record your videos. It doesn’t even matter if your videos take a different form. If you put content in a video format and use it as you would a blog post, it’s a vlog.
Some people also like to record themselves as they’re going about their daily tasks. To give people a behind the scenes look at their life and their business. They take the camera around with them everywhere and show themselves getting in the car, going to the shops, going to meetings, doing work, doing yoga, doing whatever else it is that they do in the day.
A lot of people when they hear the word ‘vlog’ think of this kind of fly-on-the-wall video. It’s almost like a diary, a journal entry of personal stuff you’ve been doing and behind the scenes business stuff. This perception leads to some confusion over what a vlog is, as people discount the possibility of it simply being a video version of your blog. This is why a lot of people who have weekly Talking Head videos they release every week. without fail, have separate videos they label as ‘vlogs’, which take a totally different format.
This is a candid camera format that is essentially them titting about with a camera recording random shots which they cut together and call a vlog.
Marie Forleo is a great example of this. Marie TV is a weekly, Talking Head vlog she releases, but she’s recently a behind the scenes video entitled ‘The Dangers Of Vlogging’, in which she discusses recording the fly-on-the-wall stuff as being totally separate to her usual weekly video. The weekly video is Marie TV, candid camera is ‘vlogging’.
It’s not wrong to call candid camera videos a vlog! But it’s important to understand they are not the only format a vlog can take.
Anything that you want to record as a video is essentially a vlog. You can write a blog post about anything, format it however you like, and it’s still a blog post. Vlogs are no different.
How To Vlog For Business
When it comes to vlogging there are a few things that you will definitely need, and other things you may want. You will need some form of camera to record your videos. You will need a way of uploading those onto a computer, and editing them (at least a little bit). And you will need somewhere to host them.
The easiest place to do that is on YouTube, where you can upload your videos and embed them anywhere else that you need to put them.
You can add them to your website, share links to them on your social media, and basically get them anywhere they need to be once they’re on YouTube. In addition, it’s definitely worth uploading your videos to certain platforms separately.
If you want to share your vlogs on Facebook, you should upload your videos directly to Facebook. Host them on Facebook, rather than sharing links from YouTube on your Facebook page. This will ensure you maximise the positive effect they have on your Facebook page in terms of building reach, likes, engagement and loads of other great benefits. It will also increase your searchability.
The main reason for this is simple: Facebook is incredibly biased.
If you have a video hosted on Facebook and you share it, Facebook will show it to more people than they would do if you shared a link to exactly the same video, hosted on YouTube.
It’s that simple.
To get the most out of your videos on Facebook you need to upload them to Facebook.
The other great benefit of doing that is that there is a video tab on your Facebook page which is very easily found. If your followers want to watch your videos, they know exactly where they are. our vlogs are easily found. If you share a link to a YouTube video, unless it happens to be your pineed post (and remember you can only pin one post at a time), your audience will have to scroll through your whole newsfeed to find your videos. To do that, they need to already know you posted them and actively look for them again.
It’s not likely they will remembered a video, then taken the time and effort to scroll all the way back through your Facebook page to find it. If you want to get the maximum engagement possible you want to upload it onto Facebook so it appears in your video tab and you really make the most of it.
As with blogging, I’ve done loads of other posts on vlogging so do make sure you check those out for more details…
The next type of content marketing that is really, really popular and can do absolute wonders for your business is podcasting. Now this is not one that I have any personal experience with. I am not a huge fan of podcasts. I don’t listen to them myself and I don’t have one. I may start one at some point, but at this point I’m just not focused on that and that is purely down to personal preference on my part. Like I said before, when there is a type of content that you’re not using it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either you don’t understand how effective it can be or you have a personal hangup with it that just makes you not want to do it. For me, that is podcasting.
It’s important for you to find the type of content that works best for you. Just because there are lots of different kinds of content marketing that you can use, it doesn’t mean that you should or have to use all of them. If you love blogging, and you are really just interested in doing anything else, then stick to your blog. You can absolutely make a content marketing strategy work brilliantly with just one kind of content. It just happens to be that it usually works a lot better if you add in some extras. Promoting your blog post is an awful lot easier if you also have social media posts that you sue to promote your blog content, which is two separate kinds of content marketing working together to create an overall strategy that’s a lot stronger.
If you then add extra kinds of content in like videos or a podcast you can make that stronger still, but content really only works as well as it should do when you’re thoroughly invested in it and when you’re confident in it and when you’re comfortable with it, so if you really, really hate the notion of sitting down in front of a video camera and recording videos like I’m doing now, if you just can’t stand the thought of it there is absolutely no point in making yourself do it because there are other ways to use content marketing to promote your business that don’t give you that awful ick that make you feel bad.
Is there any kinds of content on this list that you get that icky “Ugh, I really don’t want to do that” feeling? Don’t worry about it at all, you can just skip those. Don’t force yourself to do something that you’re not comfortable doing. Your audience can tell. They know when you’re not really happy with something. They know when you’re not really into doing something and when you’re not really invested in it. The other option is obviously to outsource it and to get somebody else to do it for you. The problem with both videos and podcasts is that even if you get somebody to write them for you, which you can absolutely do, it’s a service that I provide for my clients is to write the scripts for them and they record them, but that’s the issue. They still have to actually record.
The big benefit of podcasting and using other audio content is that you can get the multimedia benefit that comes with video without people actually having to see you. I know a lot of people, the reason they don’t like the idea of recording videos of themselves is because they’re self-conscious about the way they look. To be perfectly honest, I put off starting a vlog for a very long time for that exact reason. I was very self-conscious about the fact that people would be able to see me all the time. Recording audio content is a brilliant way of getting around that. If you’re camera-shy but you don’t mind people hearing your voice, it’s the perfect medium to use.
It also depends on your ideal client and your audience and how they’re going to be absorbing your content. If your ideal client is really busy and constantly rushed off their feet, maybe they’re parents, maybe they’re already working another job and they’re trying to start a business on the side or maybe they just have an awful lot of commitments and they enjoy absorbing their content while they’re in the car or while they’re out on their morning job or while they’re doing the dishes, cleaning the house, whatever. If they just like being able to listen without having to read anything, without having to watch anything, then the audio version is the perfect medium for them because it makes it really, really easy for them to access your content and they can listen to it as much as they like when they’re driving the kids to school or doing whatever household chores they have to do, when they’re walking the dog. It doesn’t matter where they are or what they’re doing, they can always listen.
When you’re considering what kind of content to use, that is one really, really important thing to bear in mind. Not just what you are most comfortable with creating but also what your ideal client will be most comfortable absorbing and the manner in which they will find it easiest to absorb your content because the easier you make it for them, the more effective it will be.
Forms Of Content Marketing #4: Webinars
Now another kind of video marketing that you can use that’s really, really beneficial for your business are webinars. These are fantastic list-builders. They are one of the best lead magnets you can use, are running free webinars online. You can also record them when you do them live and then have them available later as recorded content that you can either give away for free as part of an opt-in, as part of a auto-responder sequence, or you can actually charge for them. Package them up in a course and make some passive income from them. Webinars are possibly one of the most multi-functional types of content that you can create.
Video in general is really, really versatile. You create a blog post, all you have is a written blog. If you create a video, whether it’s a vlog or a webinar, you can have that transcribed. You’ll end up with both the video content and the written content. You can convert it into an audio format, so you can use it as a podcast. You can use it as an audio file or an MP3 download. You can take the written version, chop it up into little bits and use it as social media posts or various other pieces of content, but webinars go one step beyond that and say you’re not just going to have the benefit of having it in video content that you can convert into every other type of content, you’re going to record it in the first instance live rather than pre-recording it, which gives you a lot more options in terms of growing your list, attracting interest. People can ask you questions on a live webinar, they can talk to you, they can interact with you, they can really get to know you, interest you a lot more when you’re live.
In addition to that you still get all the great benefits of having video content. One thing I will say if you are going to create webinars, make the most of them. Make sure you advertise them as much as you can beforehand whether that’s paid advertising or just networking and spreading out the word as much as you can on your own. Get as many people pre-registered for it as you can before you go live. When you do go live, make sure you have additional content that you can give people on the webinar. Free downloads that you give at various points throughout the webinar are really useful and just extra bonuses for people that will keep them watching to the end.
At the beginning of the webinar you can say, “Stick around because I have this great offer” or “I have a great discount” or “I have this wonderful free course” or whatever your offer is. Make sure you mention it at the start but don’t give it to them until the end so they actually have to stick around and watch for the whole thing. That’s really, really important and of course at the end of your webinar, take the opportunity to pitch something. A paid product or a paid service or something that’s actually going to earn you some money because people expect that of webinars. They’re quite hip to this format now. They understand that they get an hour of your time for free if you teach them something on a webinar, that that can expect at the end of that that you will pitch them something. You will say to them, “I hope you enjoyed what I’ve taught you today. If you’d like more of that then you can get it this way.”
Most people, they don’t mind that and if they do mind that, they’ll tune out before you get to that point, so you’ll never have people sitting there listening to you pitch something to them who are getting annoyed with you for pitching it because if they don’t want to listen to it they will literally just stop listening, but a lot of people will be interested and they will want more and the fact that they’ve already had an amazing webinar with you and they’ve had the opportunity to understand how good the content you have to offer is. By the time they get to the end of the webinar, they’ll be sat there thinking, “Wow. If this is your free stuff then I want more and also, how much better must your pay stuff be if this is how good the stuff you’re giving away for free is?” Don’t be afraid to stick that pitch at the end. A lot of people get gun-shy when it gets to that point and they feel like they shouldn’t so they don’t and it’s just a huge opportunity that you’ve missed.
Other opportunities that you will very likely miss with webinars either because you don’t think about it or because you feel a bit icky about doing it, have an auto-responder sequence set up long before you actually do the webinar to make sure that everybody that pre-registers for the webinar is reminded about it so they get as much opportunity as possible to actually jump on the webinar live. Then make sure that they have reminders sent out to them with a replay so that the ones that couldn’t make it to the live event, because we’re all very busy people, so some people won’t be able to make it to the live event can still watch it. Then after that don’t be afraid of having a nice strong sequence in place that will promote the pitch that you have at the end of the webinar.
Whatever it is you’re promoting, whether it’s a service or a programme that you’re selling or a particular product, whatever it is, your auto-responder sequence should include several sales emails that build up to offer them this product or service and really, really sell it to them. Make sure you don’t skip any of those steps. When you’re done with all of that, you can take the recorded version of your webinar and you can do one of two things with it. You can keep it as free content that you offer that’s freely available that you then set up basically an automated version of everything that you did live. Rather than it being a live webinar that you do again and again, you have the pre-recorded version of it that people sign up for and then they can watch it pretty much as soon as they sign up for it, and they still get the auto-responder sequence, they still get all the great content. The only difference is it’s not live so they can’t actually ask you questions while you’re on it.
The other option is to use it as part of a paid product or service that you then later give away fro free. You do it once as a free webinar, as free content and when you’re advertising it, you’ll say, “This is all my best stuff on this. This is a one time only thing. It’s the only time I’m going to do it for free. After this, this is going to be a paid product that you’re going to have £15 to watch or £50 to watch” or £100 or £500 or however much it is. You can package it up as a single low-cost thing that you can use as part of your sales flow, or you can put it in a larger course and use it as one video in a series that you put together and sell as a larger course. It doesn’t matter. There’s so many things that you can do.
Don’t forget that you can get it transcribed and you can use that written content everywhere else as well.
Forms Of Content Marketing #5: Live Social Media
While we’re on the subject of video, social media posts and there are lots and lots of different forms of social media posts. Written ones in the forms of tweets and status updates and then you have photographs and you have videos and you have loads and loads of different things. Basically any kind of content that you can think of, you can put on social media in one form or another. I’m not going to go into the minutiae of all the types of social media posts that you can use in this.
There are a couple that I want to highlight as being particularly powerful when it comes to content marketing and the first one is live posts. We’ve just talked about how powerful live webinars can be. Live Facebook posts can be just as effective. You can even do webinars live on some of your social media platforms. Facebook Live is particularly good for longer ones like that. You can do a Facebook Live for … You could do a full hour webinar on Facebook Live if you wanted to. You can also record live stories on Snapchat and on Instagram. Exactly which social media platform that you use for your live-streaming is entirely up to you. It’s again, a matter of your personal preference, so which one you’re comfortable with but possibly more important than that is which platform your ideal client are on.
It’s no good doing Facebook Lives if all your ideal clients are on Instagram. It’s no good doing Instagram stories if all your ideal clients are on Twitter. You need to make sure you’re putting your content out on the platform that your ideal client is most likely to see it on and in the format that they are most likely to absorb it in.
Forms Of Content Marketing #6: Memes
While we’re on the subject of social media, memes are another absolutely brilliant form of content marketing. Some of the really popular social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are all about images. You actually can’t post anything on them without including an image on it.
A meme isn’t just an image. A meme is an image plus, shall we say. It’s an image with text on it basically, so images alone can be really, really powerful and you can post images with written content attached to them, but when I say meme, what I mean is, an image which has written content on the actual image. It’s the kind of posts that you see that go viral really, really quickly and really, really easily. They tend to be very eye-catching and very simple. They’re not bogged down with lots of words, they’re not really, really busy, they’re not confusing. Or if they are confusing, they’re confusing in a enigmatic way that makes you pause and go “What the hell is that?” They’re meant to gran your attention really, really quickly and get across something important that’s going to make people actually stop and pay attention.
They’re great for your engagement, they’re great for reach because they’re very easily shared and they’re also very, very good for establishing what you do and how good you are at it really, really quickly. You can create memes of your own quotes. One of the popular options to do with memes is to make a really, really pretty visual representations of famous quotes. Quotes by your favourite celebrities, quotes by relevant experts in your niche, things of that nature. They go down really, really well and they’re great, but the better thing to do is to create the same kind of thing, so lovely, beautiful images with text on when you are quoting yourself.
Every time you write a blog post or record a vlog, every time you create any kind of content you want to be pulling little bits out of it. Just short sentences and little snappy things and turning them into memes that you can then share because it’s just another way for you to repurpose that content that you’ve already created. You’re not having to reinvent the wheel. You’re not having to create a whole new information, things to give people. It’s the same content, you’re just putting it in a different format and you’re making it really, really easy for people to see it, to share it, and to digest what you’re saying.
Forms Of Content Marketing #7: Questions
The final one I wanted to mention for social media are questions. Now questions are, I think, perhaps the best way of getting people engaged in your posts and actually having a conversation. You might want to say something really controversial and ask a question at the end of it. You might want to pick a particular pain point that all your ideal clients are struggling with and ask them firstly whether they’re having problems with it, and secondly how they deal with it. Or you might want to play Devil’s advocate and pick something that you know is going to really, really irritate them. Ask them a question that you know is going to make them go a bit like, “Oh. I don’t like that” and make them actually answer. You can then make it clear that obviously you don’t agree with the position that you took initially, you just wanted to know why everybody else thought about it, but it’s a really, really good way of getting people talking.
Forms Of Content Marketing #8: Email Marketing
Another great form of content that you should definitely be using is email marketing. Now I mentioned this very briefly when I was discussing webinars and I mentioned also response sequences and that is one way that you can use email marketing is to set up a series of emails that go out to people when they take certain actions. If they sign up to your newsletter list, you might send them a series of emails welcoming them. If they sign up for a freebie you might send them a series introducing them to that freebie and then upselling them something else.
Beyond that, once you have people on your list, once you’ve got them on your emailing list, you need to be emailing them regularly. You want to send out a weekly newsletter and in that weekly newsletter you should have a round-up of all the content you’ve put out that week. If you only put out content once every two weeks, then you’ll only do this once every two weeks, but I really do recommend that you try and publish content once a week. A blog post a week, a vlog a week, both a week. Make sure you’ve got one or the other or a podcast once a week so that you can send out your weekly newsletter and say “This is my new post, here’s the link to it” and you can include a snippet from the beginning to get people interested. You can include the whole thing in written form if you want, but just make sure you send it out because it helps with your engagement, it helps with your reach, it keeps you front of mind for everybody on your list.
It reminds them why they signed up to you in the first place and what you do and it makes sure then that you can really get your content out to as many people as possible. Of course you’re not limited to only sending out email marketing for existing content that you have, you can send out emails whenever you feel like it. If you’ve got something that you particularly wanted to say but you maybe didn’t want to blog about it and something that you wanted to share only with the people on your list, so exclusive content that you have just for them, and of course sale emails. If you want to sell something or promote a particular offer that you have or a service or something new that you’re doing, email marketing is a great way of doing it.
If you’re struggling to build your email marketing list, check out The Cake Construction, which breaks down exactly how you can use content marketing you grow your list.
Forms Of Content Marketing #9: Books
One kind of content that people often don’t think of as content marketing and one that they definitely don’t see the huge potential in as a possible form of content marketing are books.
Now I love books. That’s no secret. I write them, I read them, I’m a voracious reader. I absolutely love books, but as far as content marketing goes, you can actually use books as a really, really strong form of content marketing. I think probably the best example I can think of with this and I use her all the time as an example because she’s brilliant at content marketing, is Denise Duffield-Thomas who has to date got two books published and she’s just signed a deal for the third, if I’m not mistaken and she really has used her books as content marketing.
Rather than creating them as paid products that she wants to sell, she created them as a form of marketing and the fact that she earned money off them as well was a happy bonus. That’s the way of looking at it. That’s not to say that you can’t earn money from books. You’re right, you absolutely can, but if you’re trying to use them as a marketing tools it’s useful to approach it thinking of them as something that you’re going to use to market your business and that your focus is on making sure you get as much mileage out of them as possible in terms of marketing rather than trying to make as much money out of them as possible.
The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive. You can use them as a marketing tool and make money off them at the same time, but normally your approach to selling them is very different depending on which you’re trying to do. You want to use them as passive income and that’s your focus is to create a passive income stream. That’s a brilliant way of creating passive income. By the way, that’s a great thing to do for your business but your strategy in marketing your book is going to be quite different to how it would be if your primary goal was to use your book as a form of content to market other products and services in your business.
If you’re sat there thinking, “Oh god, I can’t possibly write a whole book” the funny thing about content marketing is once you start doing it, once you start regularly producing content, you can end up with a book a lot quicker than you think. If you write a weekly blog post, if you publish your blog every single week, after a year you’ll have 56 posts. If you’re blogging properly, if you’re really using a good blogging strategy, they will be on relatively similar topics. You’ll have a core subject that you stick to, and really all a book is a series of blog posts when you think about it. If you equate a blog post with a chapter or if you’re writing 2000-odd word blog posts, that’s a chapter. Every time you post a blog, you’ve essentially posted a chapter. After you’ve got quite a bit of content amassed you can go through all the content you’ve got and you can turn it into a book.
Now I really don’t suggest that people just cut and paste. I have seen people that do this. They literally get their blog posts, they shove them together and they publish them as a book without doing anything else with them and I do not recommend you do that because it will really irritate the people reading the book, especially if they’ve already followed your posts. They’ve already read the posts, they want something more than that. You need to put a bit of effort into it. You need to find a coherent theme. You need to put them together in an order that makes sense, you need to edit them.
When you come to edit them, you’ll probably find that you have more to say than you did when you first wrote them, so that’s especially true if quite a bit of time has passed since you first wrote the post or first created the post. You’ll have had people commenting on your content, you’ll have had people engaging with it on social media, you’ll have maybe had clients that you’ve spoken to about similar topics before or you’ll just have learned more or thought more about it yourself. You will naturally find when you come to put all your content together and try and make a book out of it that you have more to say and you should definitely, definitely say it.
Don’t just take the easy option, cut and paste all the posts, stick them together and think it makes a book. It doesn’t. It does take a bit of effort but it is well, well worth it and it gives you a form of content that is just super, super versatile and so valuable. You can take the first chapter or two of your book, you can put it in a nice PDF, you can use it as an opt-in freebie. You have an absolutely massive list-builder there, giving away the first few chapters of your book for free. Does wonders for building your list, and you have a built-in upsell just right there. You give the first couple of chapters away for free, people read them and it’s natural for them to then want to buy the book. That is the easiest upsell you will ever do in your entire life and if you do it right, you’re smart about it, you’ll make the subject of your book something that naturally leads into, promotes, or explains something else that you’re trying to sell that’s worth an awful lot more.
This works really, really well if you have a course that you’re trying to promote, that you’re trying to sell. A paid programme that’s quite expensive. Programmes, they’re normally at least a few hundred pounds if not even more and you’re creating by writing this book as your introduction to it, you are creating the perfect funnel because you have, by creating the book, got the opt-in that will get people on your list, you have the email sequence that you need to upsell them to the programme with an easy upsell for them to take one step up and go from the free chapter to the paid book and then from the paid book to the paid product or service. This works really, really well.
Books as content marketing it a total no-brainier. It is the simplest thing in the world. It is so effective. The only reason that everybody isn’t doing it is because, I will not lie, writing and producing a book is tough. If you’re creating one completely from scratch and writing about a very specific subject, it’s really, really hard to do. Even if you’re essentially collating content that you’ve already created and turning it into a coherent book, that takes time. It takes effort and if you want to do a really, really professional job you’ll need to have it edited, you’ll need to have it proofread. You’ll need to have it professionally formatted. If you want to create physical copies of it rather than just selling it as an ebook, you’ll need to find a printer. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating books. It’s not a quick process and if you don’t already know what you’re doing it’s not an easy process, but the good news is I’ve already done it many times, so if I can do it, anybody can.
Forms Of Content Marketing #10: Mini-Courses
The final kind of content marketing that I want to talk to you about is a mashup of all the others that I’ve talked about so far and that is the mini-course. Now I’ve mentioned webinars, I’ve mentioned paid courses, and I’ve mentioned video marketing. This is basically all of those things rolled into one. What you want to do is create a short series of videos or webinars that form a mini-course that people can have as part of an auto-responder sequence over the course of three or four, maybe five days. I wouldn’t go any longer than that.
If you want to do a webinar, do a webinar. If you want to do a mini-course, do a mini-course. The mini-course itself is one of the best kinds of lead magnets that you can ever create. You don’t need to create a lead magnet to get people to sign up to the lead magnet. The mini-course is the lead magnet. If you want to do a webinar then great but you don’t need to a webinar in order to promote the mini-course. Unless of course you want to charge for your mini-course, in which case go for it.
A mini-course really is a combination of so many different kinds of content marketing. You will want to create it in video format, ideally. You can just do it as a written sequence of emails though that you send out but ideally you will want to create four or possibly five videos. You will want to send them out in a series of marketing emails and have them available on your website for people to watch on your website. Ideally also with extra things for them to download that go with it. One of the best things you can do is create a workbook for people to download at the beginning of the first video and then write in right through as they watch the mini-course. Other kinds of content that you can use are checklists or workflows, anything that helps people action what you’re teaching them in the mini-course.
A lot of people get really nervous at the notion of giving away a whole course for free. It feels like you’re giving away all your best stuff, you’re wasting an opportunity to make money. It takes quite a lot of work to create one and it can take a bit of money to set it up, especially if you’re not very good at doing the technical stuff yourself and you have to outsource that to somebody, so you may have to pay someone to do that for you. When you go to all that effort of creating it, possibly the expense of getting it set up as well, it can feel quite counterproductive to then just give it away for free, but if you are trying to promote anything of substance, if you’re trying to promote a big course that’s costing a few hundred pounds or more, if you’re trying to promote a premium service that you offer that’s worth hundreds and hundreds of pounds or more, anything that’s quite tough to get people to buy into because you need to be able to really, really clearly demonstrate the value that they’re going to get out of something.
You need to be able to make them see and feel and understand exactly how good this thing that you’re asking them to pay that much money for is going to be and exactly what it’s going to do for them, and this is what you use the mini-course for because it’s your opportunity to really, really show your stuff and to really make people understand that although it’s an investment that it’s an investment that they should absolutely be making because it’s going to be so, so worth it.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently and she said something that really gave me pause. She was really beating herself up over this and there was just no need. We were talking about my business, and the fact I spend all my time writing other people’s blogs for them. She commented that she hated blogging, absolutely hated it, and that she’d stopped blogging and started vlogging instead.
Before I could say what I was thinking, “That’s the smart thing to do if you hate blogging.” She said, “I’m just too lazy, so I make videos instead of blogging.”
That really made me stop and go, “Wait, what?”
Of all the things she could have said about her wonderful video content, telling me that creating it made her lazy was the last thing I was expecting to hear. Her content is awesome, it gives her audience real value and very clearly positions herself as an expert in her niche. It does everything that good content marketing should do, yet she felt guilty for doing it.
As entrepreneurs, we carry a LOT of guilt. As female entrepreneurs, I think this is often even more evident, especially if we’re also mothers. We have guilt for not spending enough time with our friends, family, children. We work and work yet always feel guilty for not working more.
When we aren’t earning enough money we feel guilty for failing to support ourselves and our loved ones. When we do earn enough money we feel guilty because it doesn’t feel like we ‘earned’ it.
We have guilt for not having a ‘proper’ job, for getting to work from home, for spending our time doing something we love and calling it work, for working in our pyjamas, or on the sofa, or in the garden.
The guilt of being an entrepreneur is seemingly endless, and most of it is totally misplaced. Feeling guilty for choosing to vlog rather than blog is a shining example of this.
Vlogging isn’t the lazyoption, it’s the smartoption. Here’s why…
Why Vlogging Isn’t The Lazy Option…
Anybody that’s ever vlogged will know that it’s not an easy thing to do. Vlogging takes time. It takes effort, planning, and preparation. You still have to think about what topics you’re going to talk about, and exactly what you’re going to say. In reality, vlogging isn’t that much different to blogging. There’s only one difference: if you’re not working off a script and just do everything off the cuff, straight into the camera (as I currently record my videos), then you don’t have to take the time to sit down and write your posts.
That really is the crux of the difference.
When you blog, you have to write a blog post.
But when you vlog, you can sit and talk at a camera until you get the words out, in a way that expresses what you’re trying to say, in a way that you’re happy with.
You can edit your videos after the fact, and add pretty little bells and whistles (intros, music, animations etc), but it’s essentially the same process as blogging.
If you’re writing a blog post, you write it, then edit until you’re happy with it.
And if you’re recording a vlog, you record a video and edit until you’re happy with it.
I found it really quite upsetting that my friend was doing herself down and thinking of herself as ‘lazy’ for choosing to vlog rather than blog.
“That’s not being lazy,” I told her. “That’s playing to your strengths.”
She sounded so relieved to hear me say that. To realise that she no longer had to think of herself as a lazy person for choosing to vlog rather than blog.
If you’re vlogging rather than blogging, you’re not being lazy.
If you hate blogging, and if you’re forcing yourself to write blog post after blog post, week after week, and you really cannot stand it, you have two choices.
If you find it easier to talk into a camera, and express your thoughts, opinions and expertise straight down the lens, rather than trying to find the time and energy to pour it all onto a page, go for it.
That’s not being lazy, that is playing to your strengths.
That is the smart way of running your business.
The Realities Of Content Marketing…
Content marketing takes an alarming amount of time, energy, and effort. It takes a lot of creative juices.
The key to good content marketing is to make sure that you do it in the way that best suits you. That may mean paying somebody else to do it for you – that’s fine! But it may mean doing it yourself. If that’s the case, you should be doing it in a way that you are most comfortable with. For my friend (and for a lot of other people), videos are the best medium. They are more comfortable talking into a camera than they are sitting down and trying to write. There are loads of great reasons to start a vlog. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…
Creating video content will give you so much more value than just creating written content alone.
If you’re recording your videos off scripts, then you already have a written version. If you’re not using scripts, you can simply get your videos transcribed, and you’ll end up with both a written and video version. Your video can be turned into podcasts, blog posts, social media posts, memes, Snapchat stories, Instagram stories, the list goes on…
Vlogging is the smart form of content marketing hands down: it’s so much more versatile and powerful than blogging alone.
Just to be absolutely clear, even if your sole reason for vlogging is that you hate blogging, that is one of the best reasons to start a vlog.
If you are happy recording videos and you hate writing blog posts, which one do you think you’re going to be better at?
Which one do you think you’re going to do more frequently and more consistently?
If you are comfortable recording videos you are far more likely to do it. Your content creation will be more consistent, you will create higher quality content than you would if you were trying to write when you’re uncomfortable with writing, don’t like writing, bored with writing, or you just don’t have time to write.
You will end up with stronger content if you create it in the format you are most comfortable with than if you try to force yourself to create it in the format you think you should be using.
The Blogging Trap…
So many people get caught in the trap of thinking that they have to blog. There is a common belief in business that if you’re not physically writing a blog every week, you are somehow failing. In marketing that is what we are constantly told, “You have to be blogging. You have to be blogging. You have to be blogging.”
I’m not going to disagree with that sentiment. You should have regular content coming out on your blog.
But how you choose to create that content is entirely up to you.
The smart thing to do is to create your content in the way that suits you best. So if recording a video is easy for you and writing a blog post is a nightmare, record videos. If paying somebody else to do it for you, and totally take it off your hands, is what is going to make you most comfortable with content marketing, do it.
Do whatever makes you feel like you are in control, and that you can actually use content marketing successfully without breaking your brain…
The Smart Choice For People Who Hate Blogging…
Please, please do not think you are being lazy if you are recording video content. Video content is not the easy option, it’s not the lazy option, it is the smart option for so many reasons.
There are a million things in life that you can use to do yourself down, and make yourself feel crappy. We’re very self-critical, and nit-picking the way that you choose to do things, the way you live your life, the way you run your business is all too easy. There are so many reasons to be self-critical.
This is not one of them, I promise you.
Vlogging, not the lazy choice.
Vlogging is the smart choice.
Looking to start your own vlog? Download my free Vlogging Workflows now and get super productive in your video marketing efforts…
If you’re using a laptop, place it on a flat surface and it will support itself. If you’re using a phone or tablet, you will need to prop it against something stable. For extra height, place on a stack of books.
Use natural light. Film in front of a bit bright window. Your camera ALWAYS needs to face AWAY from the window (or any light source), you need to face TOWARDS it!
Get outside in the sunshine!
An attractive wall in your house; a big bookcase; your desk/office; outdoors in nature.
THE LIGHT VERSION OF WHAT I USE - IT'S A GREAT VIDEO EDITOR, BUT DOESN'T COVERT, COMPRESS, SPLIT, RECORD YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN, CAPTURE FROM CAMERAS, VHS AND TV AND ALL THE OTHER COOL STUFF YOU GET WITH THE SUITE
For the most part you can use exactly the same setup for live video as static BUT your camera needs to be online! This usually means using Smartphone, tablet, or webcam , although GoPros and high end cameras now come with wifi too! If you're using your webcam, you can totally use your built in webcam, but if you want a really cool pro version, check out...,
...that's number two on the list, right below the Mevo!
Hire a professional videographer. You can do this in your home set up, or hire a professional studio to work in, which will have professional lighting, sound, and the ability to create any environment you like - you can even hire a set dresser and/or branding expert. If you're doing this, take full advantage - batch as much content as possible, and get plenty of extra footage of you doing your thing to use for intros etc. Also, you're in a professional studio - get some brand photos taken while you're there!
I dream of recording like this, after the manner of Marie Forleo and more recently Denise Duffield Thomas (yes, I know, I cite them a lot, I may be slightly obsessed!).
Video marketing has been on the rise for several years now, but 2016 really saw it take off. Several of the big giants, like Twitter and Facebook, invested heavily in developing their own video platforms. They’ve integrated video into social media. As a result, video has become the solid core of all good content marketing plans.
That doesn’t mean blogging is obsolete in the slightest, not even slightly.
It does mean is that you will get a lot more mileage out of your content if you record it in video format, and present it in written blog format at the same time.
This isn’t an either/or thing, okay? It’snot, ‘You should do video instead of blogging.’ It’ is, ‘You should do vlogging as well as blogging.’
Don’t worry, that’s not going to take you twice as much time. Once you have your content in video format, you can get it transcribed and put into written format. Or alternatively, you can write your content like you normally would for your blog, put it on an autocue, and record it by reading it straight from that.
So it doesn’t have to double your workload. It will take you a bit more time overall, but it is so worth it. Here’s why…
Why Video Is The Perfect Medium For Marketing…
Simply put, video is the perfect medium to use when connecting with potential customers. Video marketing is the best and fastest way to build the Know, Like, and Trust factor. It’s excellent at forming really strong, lasting relationships with potential clients. It’s the best way to convert those potential clients into paying clients. It’s also the best way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Videos are also a great way to educate people on the importance and value of your products and services. It’s also how you educate people on your core values and beliefs, as a business, a thought leader, or just as a person.
The best way to get your message out there, whatever your message might be, is video marketing!
At the end of 2016, Syndicate put out up-to-date statistics that estimated that, of all the content online in 2017, 74% of it would be in video format.
Not only that, just including the word ‘video’ in the subject line of your newsletter will increase your open rate by 19%. It will boost your click through rate by 65%. That is insane! At the same time, (if that wasn’t an incentive enough to get vlogging and start doing all your content marketing in video format!), your unsubscribe rates plummet by 26% when you start using video.
That really is a no-brainer!
Those statistics alone should be enough to convince you that video marketing is the way forward. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Video is the way forward, people, join the revolution!
Exactly What Is So Powerful About Video Marketing?
Facebook were actually the ones that first tipped us off to the awesome power of video in terms of content marketing. They announced in 2015 that video view rates had more than doubled. It very quickly became obvious that the amount of interaction and organic reach that you got out of videos was massively superior to any other kind of content.
From an SEO perspective, video will hugely impact your rankings. Next to Google, YouTube is the biggest search engine going and it is entirely video-based. Not only that, it is owned by Google. If you have a YouTube channel with lots of good quality content on it, you are more likely to have your videos come up in search results than you are to have your website come up in search results.
Even if you have the videos embedded in your website, because of the way that Google algorithms work, they like to provide multimedia search results. If they can find videos that match a certain search criteria, they will show videos along with other media (posts, images, news etc.). You’re more likely to get your video on the first page of Google than you are your blog post, even if it contains that video.
If you want to rank highly, you need to be recording your content in video format.
The Growing Importance Of Video Marketing…
Given how quickly video marketing is escalating, how fast the integration of video marketing is improving, and how important video is becoming to marketing in general, the impact video marketing is going to have on your SEO is only going to grow. It currently has a huge impact on your SEO, and having a YouTube channel, and videos on your website is going to do wonders for your SEO. As time progresses that impact is just going to escalate.
In short, the sooner you start investing in creating regular video content the better.
The Lazy Factor…
One of the reasons video is so popular is the fact it provides people with easy viewing. You can sit back, relax and watch, rather than having to read.
Or why not watch or listen while you’re doing something else?
You can seriously multitask if you have content in video format, as opposed to blog posts, which require your full attention. A lot of people still love reading blog posts. Personally, I do both, I still read a lot of blog posts online, but I also watch a lot of video.
Vlogs Are Preferably To Blogs For Some Topics And People…
I don’t know about you, but there are certain people I follow who I wouldn’t follow if they didn’t have a vlog. The best example I can think of is Cupcake Jemma, who is one of my favourite YouTubers. She has an amazing YouTube channel and almost 1 million subscribers. She teaches you how to bake cupcakes and other amazing things.
Cupcake Jemma started her whole business through her YouTube channel. She has a bakery in Soho, London, which she set up and funded through her YouTube channel. She had no bank loan, she had nothing, she just started making videos. It took off and was so successful, and so popular, that she now has a thriving business in the heart of Soho.
That is the power of video.
But if she was blogging about cupcakes I would not take the time to read that blog. When it comes to written blog posts, the only ones I read anymore in written format are ones that relate to work. Even then, there are a LOT of newsletters that land in my inbox, snag me with an interesting title, then lose me when I realise ‘Urgh, I’ve got to read it!’
If it’s something vital to my business I’ll take the time to read it.
If it’s something that’s just for fun, or useful but not utterly essential, I very rarely read a post on it.
The only exception to that is The Bloggess, who is an awesome author that I’ve been following for years.
Video is really easy viewing. It gives people the chance to take in content they otherwise wouldn’t prioritise. They might not have time to sit and read your blog post, but they can listen to your vlog (or podcast) while they’re doing the dishes; they can watch your vlog while they’re relaxing on their lunch break, having a coffee, or before they go to bed.
Video gives people a really easy way into your content. It makes it far more likely they will actually go to the bother of looking at your content than they would if it was in written format.
That is simply because, people are fundamentally quite lazy. The easier you make things for them, the more likely they are to do it.
The other amazing thing about video is its virality. I do mean virality not virility (that’s a whole different thing!). I’m talking about the likelihood of a piece of content going viral.
If you post a written post on Facebook, and a video post on Facebook, with exactly the same information in it, watch the organic reach of both posts. You will see exactly what I mean. The video will get a lot more organic reach than the written post.
You don’t have to advertise it, you don’t have to do anything with it. Just stick them up and watch what happens.
Videos naturally get far further than any other kind of content. If you add advertising to that, and advertise your video content, its reach is phenomenal.
Conclusion: Video Marketing Is Awesome…
In short, video is a phenomenally powerful tool when it comes to marketing. It raises awareness of you and your business. It raises your engagement level. It drives sign-ups and sales. It promotes confidence and gives you an air of trustworthiness. It improves your Know, Like, and Trust factor no end. And it converts people into paying clients, and often dedicated members of your tribe, who will come back to you again and again.
Now, if you’re sat there thinking, “God, I want in on this action. How do I start vlogging?” Don’t worry, I’m going to be back next Tuesday with another post that will teach you exactly how to set up a powerful vlog for your business. You can also download my brand new freebie, which includes all the workflows I use in my own vlogging. It takes you through, step by step, the exact process you need to follow to set up a really powerful vlog.
I’ve got a bit of a truth bomb for you today… Not everybody likes you, and that’s awesome.
Okay, you’re probably sat there thinking, “What the hell is she talking about? How can she say not everybody likes me? How does she even know not everybody likes me? She doesn’t even know me!” Well, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter who you are, how wonderful you are, how lovely you are, how talented you are, how phenomenal you are, there is not a single person in the world who is universally liked.
That’s actually a really good thing.
Why It’s A Good Thing Not Everyone Likes You…
If you stop and think about it for just a second, it’s perfectly okay that not everybody likes you, because you don’t like everybody. And, more specifically, you don’t want to work with just anybody, you want to work with a very specific type of person.
You might have sat down and written out a profile for your ideal client, or it might be that you subconsciously know what kind of people you like working with, and what kind of people you don’t. If you haven’t thought about this already I really recommend that you do.
The better you understand the person you want to work with, the more effectively and efficiently you will attract that type of person. This is where the whole “not everybody likes you” thing comes in.
Authenticity And The Marmite Factor
I talk an awful lot about authenticity and the need to be authentic in your blogging, to really be yourself, and I get a lot of people saying to me, “Do I really want to be myself? Not everybody likes me!”
The answer is yes, you do want to be yourself, no, not everyone likes you, and that’s good!
The kind of people you want to work with are the people who really click with you, the kind of people who just ‘get’ you, who love you.
They love your style, your sense of humour, and the particular thing that you do in your niche that nobody else can do the way you do it.
If you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be able to do your thing, your way, and your ‘thing’ is what they love about you, it’s what they want from you.
The people who don’t love you, and don’t want that ‘thing’ from you are not the people who you want to work with.
So why would you want everybody to love you when you don’t want to work with everybody?
The thing about authenticity is if you’re being inauthentic in any way it is really obvious. It’s very easy to see through someone who is putting up a façade, even if it’s a professional façade and the reason they’re doing it is because they want to appear corporate, straight-laced, professional, and give the impression they’ll do everything exactly as you want it done.
That’s fine, that image works for some people, but what for entrepreneurs it’s a little different. When you run your own business, to a great extent you are your business.
If you’re doing any kind of content marketing: blogging, vlogging, even social media, trying to put on a ‘front’ is just not going to work. Nobody’s going to click with it, nobody’s going to mesh with it, nobody’s going to like it, because they will sense there isn’t a real person behind it. If, however, you are your fabulous self, people will get to know, like and trust the real you, and the people who really love you are going to absolutely adore you.
They are the people you want to attract to your business, so authenticity is the perfect way of attracting your ideal client. The reason it’s so awesome that not everybody likes you, is that it automatically filters out a massive number of people you really wouldn’t want to work with.
The people who aren’t going to click with you, the people who are going to find you annoying, the people who are going to think your Northern English accent is a bit weird, the people who are going to dislike the fact that you occasionally drop an F-bomb, the people who aren’t going to like your clothes and wonder, “Why the frigging hell is she doing wearing that? Like, really, she’s wearing that?” The people who think like this are not your people, they’re not the people you want to work with. Simply by being yourself, simply by allowing that natural process of people liking you or disliking you to happen, you automatically filter out a bucket load of people who you really don’t want to deal with.
This is what’s known as The Marmite Factor – people either love you or hate you; the ones that hate you never give you another thought, and the ones that love you can’t get enough of you.
Why Vlogging Is The Perfect Filter For Your Audience…
One brilliant example of this is when I started vlogging. I knew right off the bat that going from blogging to vlogging was going to be a bit of a transition, both for me and for my readers.
They are used to reading my words on the computer screen, their phones, or iPads. They weren’t used to seeing me, they weren’t used to hearing me, and they weren’t used to the kind of full-on personality that exists behind the words that they’d been reading.
Even though they’re your words, when they’re not spoken with your inflections, when they’re not given with your particular flair, it does come across as a bit flat, and it can be quite difficult to get a feel for the personality and the intention behind those words, which is why some people will occasionally misunderstand something you’ve said. You might have made a joke and they’ve taken it the wrong way, you might have said something seriously, they thought you were joking, and that this was in poor taste. The reason that happens is because without being able to see somebody’s facial expressions, without being able to hear the tone of their voice, and get a sense of how they’re saying something, it’s very easy to misinterpret it.
Which is why you will often find people being quite cautious when they write and blog, because the want to make sure that nothing they say is misinterpreted in the absence of the person behind the words.
It’s a lot easier to interpret the meaning behind what I’m saying and whether I’m joking or not when you can see me.
But the thing is, going from that distant, detached, just reading your words on a blog, to getting a full on, “Oh, crap, she actually does dress like that. Oh, my God, she really does talk like that!” is a lot to take in.
Let’s be honest, talking is not even remotely as polished and edited and pretty as my normal blogs would be.
I don’t have an auto-cue. I don’t record my Vlogs off a script, I have no script, I don’t even have notes. The most I ever do is write a brief list of my main points, for example, the Vlog I’m recording after this on is on Five Sites You Need To Be Guest Posting On, and so I have a written list of the five sites. That’s it, that’s all I have. The names of those sites to keep me on track.
This isn’t scripted in any way shape or form, this is just me talking the topic of the day. When I write, obviously I have a chance to draft and edit a post, go over it, tweak it, check it, make sure it’s as perfectly pristine as possible and really get my wording absolutely spot on. Now unless I want to sit around all day recording, re-recording, and re-re-recording every single thing I say, perfection is just not going to happen.
I do edit my videos. I do screw up. I have to go back and start again, repeat myself, and do various little bits a few times to get them right, but I’m not worried about it being word-perfect.
That’s because a vlog is very different to a blog.
That was the first thing that I knew was going to be a bit of adjustment for people.
The second thing is, let’s be honest, you’re getting to see me in all my insane glory, and not everybody’s going to like me.
They’re just not, and that’s fine, I don’t mind. It really doesn’t bother me, because the people who don’t like me can simply not watch me, and the people who do like me are going to like me all the more, because I’m really being myself and they’re actually getting to know me properly.
I anticipated getting a few comments off people when the vlog first went live, I was expecting it. Sure enough, the first week or two I had comments flooding in from people, and the majority of them were really positive, saying things like, “Oh, it’s so nice to see you on camera!” or “I’m so proud of you for doing this!” and “It’s so nice to be able to get to know you properly and see the person behind all these words.”
These are the sort of comments that I was hoping for, and I was really pleased to receive those comments, that positive feedback, so thank you to those of you who said it.
There were also a few…not negative comments, but certainly comments that were more along the lines of, “Well I’m not really sure about the way you’re doing that, maybe you should do it this way.” Or, “I didn’t really like what you said today, I don’t think you should talk about that.”
And that’s perfectly fine. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and everybody has a right to express that opinion. I have no issue whatsoever with people coming to me and saying, “Ooh, I think you’d do better if you did this way instead of that way.” Sometimes I’ll go, “Do you know what, you’re right. Thanks. Brilliant advice!” and other times I’ll be like, “That’s not really me.”
When that happens it’s a case of, I’m doing things my way, not because it’s ‘my way or the highway’, not because I’m right and everybody else is wrong, but just because there are certain things that work for me and certain things that don’t. I have a certain way of doing things, that’s my methodology. That’s my zone of genius. It’s what I do and it’s how I do it.
There are always going to be people who don’t like those elements of it, people that don’t like my method. And it’s totally fine. They are more than entitled to have that opinion, those thoughts and feelings, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m in no way offended by them.
The fact they’ve reacted like that is actually very helpful to both of us: I know they’re not my kind of client; they know I’m not the kind of writer they want to work with. For whatever reason, there’s something that’s not quite clicking between us.
The Bottom Line…
When you put yourself out there online, when you use content marketing, when you use any kind of branding that involves you as a person, even if it’s nothing more than a photograph of yourself, you start something. It doesn’t matter how big your content is, whether it’s a Tweet, a blog post, or a vlog, if it’s yours, if it’s something personal to you, and by personal I literally mean it’s your person doing it, so you’re saying it, it’s your photograph, it’s something you’ve written, that’s you in a sense. People are either going to love it, be kind of indifferent to it, or hate it.
The people you want are the people who love your stuff, like seriously love your stuff, cannot get enough of it, they are your ideal clients. They may not all be your ideal clients, but you’ve certainly narrowed down the pool from all the people who are looking at your stuff, reading you, and watching you, to just the people that really love your stuff. That’s a big chunk of people you don’t want to work who have been automatically filtered out. And they’ve been filtered out in a really polite way, in a really nice way, in a really positive way that doesn’t ever require you saying to someone, “I’m really sorry, but we’re not a good fit.”
You never have to have that really awkward conversation where you say, “I’m sorry, I can’t work with you because you’re just not right for me.”
It’s never a nice thing to have to explain to somebody that you can’t work with them. I will admit I’m guilty of always finding a less offensive way of saying it. This way you never have to have that conversation with people, you avoid any kind of friction where that is concerned, because they have already decided whether they like you or not. They’ve done that all on their own without any prompting from you. You’ve not had to make them fill in a questionnaire, apply for your services, or go through any kind of screening process or conversation, asking them annoying questions that they don’t want to answer, about the manner in which they work, and what it is they want from you.
They will get a sense of what they’re going to get from you just by reading your stuff, and watching your stuff, and if they don’t like it, they won’t ever ask to work with you in the first place.