How to create content: An essential content creation guide for business owners ready to dig for gold

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I don’t know how to create content for business.

I’m just so stuck.

I have no idea about what to say or how to say it.

What stories do I share in my content?

What do I talk about in my content?

I feel overwhelmed and paralysed about content creation.

As a content coach and freelance content writer for small businesses, I’ve heard just about every limiting belief there is when it comes to content creation. What I’ve found is that at the core of most content challenges, is the confusion around what to say and how to say it.

Imagine, you’re the business owner. You know you need content, yet you struggle to find a way through the maze of strategies and tactics espoused by people who know, or at least seem to know.

Now, imagine you’re the content creator, and it’s your job to somehow extract what’s buried deep inside the business owner so you can go ahead and do the good work you were engaged for.

If the business owner can’t articulate their most meaningful messages, how can the content creator?

Let me tell you, it’s not that easy, unless of course, there’s a clear process for doing just that.

** Not up to reading the blog? Watch the video here.

A wise guide: The solution to [just about] every content creation challenge

If you were like me when you first set up business, you were über enthusiastic. However, rookie enthusiasm can quickly fade when biz-life reality sets in.

Apart from the clients, work, admin, finances, and legals, there’s marketing – and that bug bear, content creation.

In their seemingly infinite wisdom, marketing gurus have said content is king (what does that even mean?), which is all well and good, however, content creation for the average business owner is just ever so slightly confusing. A read through the list of overwhelm at the start of this blog is a good indicator that many find themselves turning into pretzels as they attempt to make sense of it all.

They’re left wondering, Does it really need to be so hard? Or as one Conscious Content Creator group member said commented last week, I need so much help. I do not know what to say….[or] What needs to be in it. 

You know, I hear you.

As someone who sincerely cares about business owners becoming fluent in their own business lexicon and confident in communicating with their ideal audience, it’s comments like these which tell me there is still a way to go until we’ve nailed the ‘whole content thing’.

If you’re ready to move beyond the overwhelm and discover why I recommend a business content guide, then read on, (but if want to take the fast track, you can jump ahead with this).

How to create content by digging for gold: Start by listening

My last corporate gig founding me creating content at a consulting engineering company that delivered gold projects.

With no knowledge of engineering, and a relative newbie to the industry, I found myself on a steep learning curve. Let’s call it parallel so you really understand what it was like.

The great thing about being thrown in the deep end was I knew I’d have to learn to swim pretty fast or end up in a big gold slurry. As an Arts graduate who majored in languages I suffered the old imposter syndrome big time until I worked something out.

I didn’t need to be the expert in gold projects. My job was to ask clients questions and then listen. Without the technical know-how to hold me back, I was completely open to learning. I found that because I had no technical prowess to share – after all, I’d never built a gold processing plant, although I’d made muddy puddles as a kid – I wasn’t a threat to potential clients or colleagues.

The upshot was clients felt comfortable sharing with me what their challenges were.

Now you may be reading this and wondering How does this relate to content creation?

One important way is that it demonstrated to me the power of listening in the content creation process.

I also found that the pathway to gold was seldom, if ever, straight. In fact, to bring a project to life requires deep thought, investigation, planning, and implementation. The process is highly iterative and occur over many years. Patience and tenacity are essential.

Another thing I learned about gold projects is that gold isn’t found on the surface of the ground.

Um, okay. Isn’t that obvious, Macushla.

Well I guess it is, but it makes me wonder why most business owners think they’ll discover content gold without having to do some work.

If we head on back to the mining analogy, before dirt comes out of the ground, a helluva lot of work is done.

Geologists go out, kick the rocks and get a sense of the land. Depending on what they see, they may dig deeper to discover what’s below the surface. Drill core samples mean they can piece together the story of what’s happening underground and what strategy could be used to bring the gold to life.

Far from occurring overnight, this process takes many years. Incredibly, only one in a hundred projects ever make it to production. My message here is this:

Digging for content gold is just like digging for the real thing. It doesn’t happen overnight. Work is required. And you must dig below the surface to mine the rich trove of content treasures that I know exists within you.

Why commitment is necessary for conscious content creation

Every business owner can learn how to create content for business through a clear, repeatable process that will allow them to find, articulate, and share their content gold. That is, if they’re prepared to do the work. This approach requires a commitment and it’s definitely not for everyone. It’s human nature to eschew effort, work, and deeper thinking in favour of the quick-fix-silver-bullet-done-yesterday solution.

I’ve written about commitment before, so at the risk of sounding very much like a broken record, I’ve referenced it here again.

Anything worthwhile – and let’s assume that creating meaningful business content is a worthwhile pursuit – is worth the effort and work necessary.

It’s an essential ingredient in learning how to create content for business. So, best you get your head around it if connecting with your audience in more meaningful ways is important to you.

An immediate lack of skill is not an excuse; it’s a story you’re telling yourself. Because the truth is, there are many ways to acquire the skills for learning how to create content for business and my way is just one of them. You can do it, if you choose.

A final word on how to content creation for business

Another reality of business is that content is here to stay. If you haven’t already made a decision that it’s important to your professional and personal evolution, now could be the time to start thinking about it. The good news is, there is absolutely not reason to go at it Robinson Crusoe style. There are countless resources available, many of them free. And if support is what you need, that’s available too through a content coach and online courses.

Macushla Collins is a content coach. She helps business owners, content creators, freelancers, and technical professionals develop the skills for how to create content for business following a process of ‘digging for gold’. She believes that with commitment and work, every business owner can acquire the skills to create consistently meaningful content, regardless of the format and platform on which it’s delivered. Her approach is documented in the guide on how to write content for business. Want 1:1 support? Why not reach out for a chat?