Creating content: Craft meaningful messages for business content
Creating content is the ‘must-do’ that just about every business owner has on their to do list.
Unlike bookkeeping and the quarterly tax reporting, there are no punitive measures that cause us to get it done no matter what. You either find a way to make it happen, or it just doesn’t happen.
If you’ve resolved that this is the year, you know, the one when you actually produce valuable content to support your marketing efforts, then you’d best have a plan.
Without it, creating content may just be a bridge too far.
When business owners come to me with this dilemma I remind them that order precedes movement. This isn’t an original idea. I learned it from the set of Bob Proctor tapes my parents gave me for my 21st birthday.
And it makes sense, right?
Before we launch right on in with our grand content creation plans, we’d best have a framework to create in, otherwise we could end up like that guy Confucius referred to when he said ‘Man shoot at nothing sure to hit it.’
So, if we’re in agreement that a little thinking is required before you put pen to paper, or engage a writer, or any content creator for that matter, it’s wise to know what you want to say and how you’ll say it.
Unless we’ve taken time to think this through and write it down, we’re can end up expending significant effort for little or even negative return.
In content creation, bring order before movement
Bringing order to the process of content creation really starts with some basics.
It requires that you know your customers or clients, what their problems are, how you solve them, and much more. I write about these topics in more detail in other blogs, however today I want to cover the requirement for crafting your most meaningful messages.
Why are these important?
They’re important because they are like important threads that together with content themes are woven through all the content you create.
I’ve discovered that certain common elements reveal themselves in discussion with business owners (regardless of their business) and it is these which inform the content themes and most meaningful messages for your business content.
Here’s an example:
You’re an accountant and you think that ‘integrity’ is representative of the way you approach business, but what does that mean to your client. Having worked at an accounting firm and been a client, I know it doesn’t mean a whole lot.
What I have the owner do is ‘flip’ that or translate what they mean. We break it down into simple language anyone can understand.
Integrity could mean we do the right thing by you, we stand by you in business, or we work with you. These simpler ‘explanations’ are what I call the most meaningful messages.
They are meaningful because they explain what’s important to you in ways that make sense to your audience.
If we know integrity is a theme that’s pivotal to your communication, we can then take steps to ensure it’s carried through your content.
You can do this by asking, as you craft your content, ‘Does this convey our integrity as people and as a business.’
If verbs are doing words, then our most meaningful messages must be translated for our clients or customers as things that we do.
Not only is this a valuable exercise for you, because you’re taking the time to become really clear on what to say and how to say it, you will find your ability to communicate this to your content creation team, employees, and your audience with confidence and fluency.
Like your most meaningful messages, this is important.
In content creation, being on the same page is important
At some point in the development of your business, it’s likely you’ll engage a freelancer or two. Just like content creation, we need to develop a level of competency in how we source, filter, engage, and work with these professionals.
Effectively, they are an extension of your team, which can be a good thing. However, it can also work against you too, especially if you don’t have a clear brief, you have limited experience of working with freelancers, and your communication skills need an evolution. I’ve found most business owners are affected by one or more of these (including me). We’re all a work in progress after all.
The clearer you can be in your communication about important elements – like your most meaningful messages – the better your chances are of all those involved working from the proverbial same page.
Yes, there is some work in clarifying these messages. You will even need to write things down. But as with all things worthwhile, some work is required.
If you choose to take this approach with your business content this year, you can do so in the confidence you are creating consciously. And those creating on your behalf will be too. Accountants would call that a win-win.
While most business owners want their content done already, if you invest this time and effort up front, you are actually making an investment in your content bank that accrues in value over time, giving you that most desirable of feelings: the pride and excitement you are connecting with your audience.
Macushla Collins is a content coach. She helps business owners, content creators and technical professionals create content that supports clear and conscious marketing communication, including the creating of a business’ most meaningful messages. If this is the kind of communication you’d like to learn more about, connect with Macushla via the contact form on this website or by reaching out on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.