5 Ways a Solid Content Planning Strategy Helps You Get More Clients

5 Ways a Solid Content Planning Strategy Helps You Get More Clients

Many Virtual Assistants do not realize the impact that content planning can have on their business.

There are a lot of mental barriers that come up for VAs when it comes to what to put out there, where to put it, and what it’s all for.

That can lead to a lot of time wasted thinking about all of these things.

And often, it means that Virtual Assistants put the wrong kind of content out for their audience to see.

Or worse, they don’t put anything out at all.

How many inspirational quote graphics do you post in your social media channels?

If they are not relevant to the services you offer your clients, they are not working for you in the way that they can be.

The bottom line is that we use content as a means to get clients.

If you don’t take the time to plan your content strategy, you can waste a lot of time and effort and see no results whatsoever.

Here are 5 way a solid content strategy helps you get more clients:

1 - Strategic planning saves you time.

If you have ever done any business planning, you know that the better prepared you are, the easier it is to execute your plan. We do this every day for our clients, but sometimes we forget to do it for ourselves. When you have a strategy, you know where you are going to focus your marketing – and that give you more time to spend interacting with potential clients. Tip: If you find yourself spending endless hours trying to put content together, take a half hour now to plan your content for the coming week. What you want to post, and where. You’ll see how much time you’ll save! (then do the next week, and the one after that!)

2 - Content goals become clearer.

What do you want your audience to do when they see your content online? Knowing your end goal is very important whether you are writing a blog article, recording a video, or creating graphics to post on social media. What do you want them to do? You want them to work with you, that’s for sure. While it’s nice to see email opens and blog comments, you really want them to take action. Tip: Instead of just writing any article for a blog post, plan what you want your people to do and work back from there. Your message will come through much more clearly, and they will know the next step.

3 - Measurable results help you improve what you put out there.

When you use content marketing as a means to build your business, you need to make sure that your business is, in fact, building. Using SEO properly in your content helps it get seen better, which is the point of content in the first place. When you build content using keywords and relevant hashtags, you are putting more eyes on it. Are you getting more signups to your list? Are you getting consultations? Are you having conversations with potential clients? If not, your content could use some work. Tip: Choose some keywords that will be the foundation for your marketing message. Don’t underestimate the power of Google and search functions. People want to find what they are looking for. When you choose your SEO pieces effectively, you will be seen.

4 - Consistent messaging positions your expertise.

Is your marketing message consistent through all of your marketing? If it’s not, your audience could be confused by your content, making it less effective. Planning helps you to figure out how to sprinkle your main marketing message throughout all of your marketing platforms so your message is the same everywhere. Tip: Use your content plan to select some broad topics and some categories, and develop your content around those.

5 - Reach your audience in a way that makes them respond.

Your audience doesn’t always like to consume their content in the same way. Some people prefer short posts, some like video or audio. If you make a plan of what you want to post, you can also plan to produce content in different formats that might be more appealing to some of your audience. Tip: Repurpose blog posts into social media graphics or videos. The more your potential clients hear about your expertise, the more effective it becomes.

Remember the whole idea behind sharing content is to get clients.

Marketing is all about putting your message in front of your potential clients so that you are top of mind when they need help.

Make your content work better for you by making a plan and developing your content around the plan.

You will make better use of your time, your audience gets a clearer message, and you can position yourself as the expert in your field.

Content Planning Masterclass for VAsWant to learn more about content planning?

If you want to learn more about content planning and see a demo of a really cool tool to help you manage yours, join us for this Content Planning Masterclass on Thursday May 17th at 1 pm Eastern.

Andy Lambert from Content Cal is my special guest for this training class.

Read more about the session and register here!

 

Tips and Ideas to Repurpose and Reuse Your Content

Content is an investment. You spend a lot of time writing it. You probably also spend a lot of time planning and researching it. It makes good business sense to make the most of your investment. When you repurpose and reuse your content, you maximize your return. Here are five tips and ideas to repurpose and reuse your content.

1. Build it up - Gather articles that fit together nicely and create a report. You’ll want to add an introduction and a conclusion. You may also need to add some transitions and polish the content to fit a cohesive theme. To monetize the content, consider adding affiliate links where appropriate. You can also include the occasional product or service promotion for your own business.

2. Break it down - If you have existing reports, then they’re perfect to create articles and blog posts. You have many options here, too. You can simply pull apart segments of the report to create articles. Add an introduction and conclusion paragraph and you’re ready to publish. Or you can take it further and create lists and other information-packed articles.

For example, if you have a "how to" report with ten steps and ten pages of content, you could create an article that’s a much abbreviated version of the report. List the ten steps with a one or two sentence explanation. You could also write a "three things you need to do to..." article. In fact, with ten steps you could write three of those articles.

3. Republish old content with updates - Often evergreen content isn’t as evergreen as you hope. The world moves quickly and most industries grow and change regularly. Take a look at your "evergreen" articles and blog posts. How can you refresh them with updated content?

4. Partition e-books - This method is similar to breaking down reports to create articles and blog posts. You can break e-books down into reports, articles or blog posts. In fact, you can get quite a lot of content from an e-book. Take a look at the e-books you’ve purchased or written and brainstorm content ideas.

5. Group reports - If you’re looking to create a new information product, consider grouping them to create an e-book. You’ll want to organize the reports in a logical manner. You’ll likely also need to add an introduction as well as a conclusion. Transitions will be necessary and you can add some nice graphics. Add checklists, worksheets and lists to add value to your e-books and reports for extra value.

Repurposing your content is a smart business strategy. With each new piece of content you create, consider how you might be able to use it in the future. Content is essential for online business success. Make the most of your efforts and maximize your content to the fullest.

 

How to Write When You’re Not a Writer

As a business owner you’re called on to manage a variety of tasks. Due to the importance of content, one of those tasks is writing. You have content to create. This can be a scary and potentially overwhelming concept. Many people fear writing or put it off because they don’t consider themselves to be writers.

Good news! You don’t have to be a “writer” to write good content for your website. There’s a difference between content published in newspapers and some magazines and content published on most websites. The content on your website doesn’t need to appeal to a broad audience. It also doesn’t need to be on a broad topic. Quite the opposite, actually. Your content will be quite specific.

For example, it could be "Ten tips to bake better chocolate chip cookies." It provides value to a very specific target audience. And if you have a website about chocolate chip cookies or baking, then you can write this article without thinking much about it. You know it. The information is already inside of you.

Web content is also more conversational. Content is written to feel personal - as if you’re speaking to your audience. You’ll use words like:

* You
* Your
* You’ll
* You’re
* And sometimes if you’re writing a blog post you’ll use “I”, “Me” and “We”

These are not words you’ll find in any piece of journalism unless they’re in quotes. Newspapers and magazines are generally more formal. They use third person perspective.

Additionally, web content is formatted for easy reading. You’ll use bullet points, numbers and headings and subheadings to break up your content into bite-sized pieces. So what does all this mean if you’re not a “writer”?

It means that writing content for your website is pretty straightforward. You:

* Write what you know and what your audience will benefit from
* Write conversationally
* Write so it’s easy to read online

The simplest method to use when you’re writing your online content is to spend a few minutes creating the structure for your article. Write a rough headline and subheadings. Then fill in the content. Write it as if you’re writing a letter to a friend. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling on the first draft. You can go back and edit for clarity later.

Once you have your thoughts down on paper, polish. Add your keywords in to optimize for the search engines and publish it. Test and track your articles and content to evaluate what content your readers respond to. With a little confidence and a plan, you can write content to build and grow your business.

Three Simple Rules for Great Website Content

Want to write great website content but you’re not sure how? There are only a handful of things that differentiate great content from not so great content. Learn to master these few tactics and improve your content.

1. Write conversationally

Conversational content is content that is written in a friendly tone. It’s almost personal - as if you were writing your article, blog post or report specifically for the person reading it. Conversational content is written using informal language. Instead of saying, “Business people write content” you would say, “You write content.”

Conversational content often breaks a few grammar rules when it makes sense. For example, you might write an incomplete sentence. For impact. You might use ellipses…

…to create effect and to draw the eye through your article.

Make sure when you break grammar rules that there’s a reason for it. Breaking them just to break them is - well, maybe fun and a bit rebellious, but it’s not productive.

2. Embrace your personality and voice

Your personality and voice are one of your biggest assets. They help differentiate you. They help you create and strengthen your brand. If you’re sarcastic naturally, then your content can and should be sarcastic too – when relevant and appropriate. If you’re sentimental then your content will reflect that. It’s much easier to embrace your personality than to fight it. And it makes great content.

Study the content and writers you like and read often. How do they share their voice and personality?

3. Make sure your content is easy to read and understand

We’re talking about formatting here. Many people tend to get a bit carried away with formatting. There are so many underlined, bulleted, and bolded words that you’re not sure where your eye is supposed to go. Instead of enhancing the reading process, it makes it more difficult. It’s distracting.

Simple formatting is best. Simple formatting may include bold or underlined subheadings. You might have either bullets or numbers but probably not both. (Sometimes both are okay depending on the article content and information.)

Pay attention to the content you find easy to read and the content that seems distracting. Is there too much formatting? Not enough? When the article isn’t easy to read, what would you do to fix it? What would make it easier to read?

Learning a few simple web content strategies can help you generate the results you’re looking for. You’ll receive more incoming links. You’ll receive more readers and traffic. And you’ll likely receive more customers. The better your content, the faster you’ll be able to grow your business. To your success!