Sick of shelling out the $£€ on the latest software, templates and fancy, schmancy apps?
Get started for free, with this guide for small businesses on a mission to create great content without remortgaging your house or sacrificing your yearly trip to Bali. (Ahem. Brighton.)
Content is the magnet that attracts clients to your business and creating that content is your opportunity to showcase your expertise, your authority and your personality.
But the playing field of content creation can seem scary and overwhelming – after all, there seems to be a new piece of advice, new app, platform or “guru” every day… and a whole load of expensive tools to boot.
I’m here to simplify the art of content creation, and help you overcome that overwhelm.
You don’t need a team of 12, an MBA, or to be pulling all-nighters on a double espresso drip to create content that makes people fall in love with you.
You can get your message across with FREE tools and your own rules, pinky promise.
I’m all about working smarter, and there’s no point starting from scratch if there’s material out there that can complement your content.
Plus, linking to helpful resources establishes you as a source of knowledge and value, which is exactly how you want to be seen.
The “writing” part is often what scares entrepreneurs with a lot on their plates. It feels like it needs some kind of magical gift, and all the spare hours in the world to get it right… but it really doesn’t.
Take a look at these free tools that will take all the terror, turmoil and time out of writing brilliant blog posts.
If you have ever wondered about creating an ebook for your business, this post is for you.
I jumped on a Hangout with the amazing Sylvia McCracken to chat about ebooks; how they can boost your business, how you can repurpose content you ALREADY HAVE into an ebook (I love this one), and how to choose your topic to hit with the most impact.
Watch the video and learn:
How Sylvie became an authority and influencer in her field using ebooks
How to choose your topic and gauge interest
What “passive income” you can realistically expect from ebooks
For businesses both on and offline, a strong digital presence presence is key to maximising visibility, authority, and sales.
Yet, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are locked in an overwhelm cycle, and shy away from sharing their message at all.
I want to de-code some of the advice that’s out there currently for creating content, and why I think there is a lot of overwhelm around it.
– You don’t need an MBA, or be part of a secret society to create compelling content for your biz. You need to know WHAT your audience needs to know and HOW to reach them effectively (in a way that sounds like you).
– You don’t need to SHOUT LOUDER AND TELL EVERYONE YOU HAD A 6 FIGURE LAUNCH BEFORE BREAKFAST.
Shouting loudly – without a strategy, without intention, without integrity or authority – doesn’t build long term influence, brand loyalty, or any long term growth.
You may well have had a 6 figure launch before your brioche, and kudos to you – BUT, you need to be able to connect with your audience and to be a source that they know, like and trust in a way that’s relatable (not superhuman, sleazy or nauseating).
– You don’t need to hire an Airbnb pad, a squad of stylists and a film crew before people listen to you.
Share what you know in a way that your clients need to hear it, and they will be waiting for more. Sure, you can upgrade your tech and your team as you go (and by all means a style squad is on my list),
– You don’t need to understand every platform and the science of every algorithm to have success.
Starting from where you are, with a message you are confident in, has immense power.
The rest can be learned, built upon, or outsourced as you grow.
– You don’t need a subscription to 2067 different keyword apps to get found online.
SEO is powerful, no doubt about it. But don’t let the fear of perfection prevent you from starting.
The worst thing you can do for your online business content is stay paralysed in procrastination.
Here’s what you CAN do, right now, instead:
Start from where you are.
Find your feet with a workflow that works for you.
Get super confident in what you are conveying as a message, and build from there.
Small business PR tips: 3 profile boosting hacks for entrepreneurs
As a micro business we often believe we don’t have anything interesting to share with the world and can lack confidence to put ourselves out there.
When we use advertising to promote our business, we pay people to say how awesome we are.
With PR, other people say how awesome you are.
PR for the small business owner becomes WAY more effective than advertising and a tool we should explore.
Of all the small business PR tips, the first one is this: you don’t have to be an extrovert for the media to want to talk to you.
The media will want to talk to you regardless of how much money you make or the fact you’ve never been featured anywhere before.
Simply know your stuff (which you do) and be fabulous (which you are).
With only a little thought entrepreneurs can raise their business profile and get media attention by following just a few super easy strategies.
There are many ways you can get into the media depending on your business but here are 3 to get you started.
Get yourself published
You can easily pay thousands for an advert in a magazine. You could also provide a “how to”article to the editor showcasing your knowledge on your specialist subject… for free.
Other than your time, PR often comes at no cost.
Having an article published in a magazine is an easy (and fast) way to boost your profile and add to those credentials.
It starts showing you as an expert because potential clients and online followers will see that the media validates what you are saying, therefor giving you a few cool points.
Start off by creating a wish list of publications you’d love to feature in (it’s a wish list so dream as big as you want, anything goes), then do some research to see who would be the right fit and who matches your business goals and ethos.
Once you’ve done your research, be brave and just put yourself out there.
Contact editors, editorial teams or features teams, whoever is the contact at the publication that you need to talk to. Often these details will be readily available on their website.
If you have a really good topic you can often get a yes from an editor before you’ve even written the article too.
Here’s a checklist when thinking about getting your article published in a magazine;
Create a wish list
Do your research
Create ace article topics or titles
Pitch your ideas to a magazine… put on your big girl pants and do it (boy pants also work)
Write a fabulous article giving away some of the awesome in your brain
Keep an eye out for emails from the magazines you contacted
Do a happy dance and shout about being published to the world
Create a press page
Putting together a press or media page for your website makes it easier for journalists and editors to know right away if you are the right person for them to speak to.
Creating this once will save you time in the long run as you won’t have to keep re writing the same information when people enquire.
A press page is information you already have or know about your business and should include;
Company background describing where in the world you are, your products or services and what industry you are in
Your biography and if you are interested in writing articles, guest blogs or open to speaking opportunities then state what topics you can write or speak about
Any recent press coverage you have had or awards you have won or been runner up for
It often helps to add that you are ‘PR friendly’ or open to being contacted so people know it will be welcomed when they email you
Contact details for the business and if you have a team of people, list the key contact names and how to get in touch with them
Upload this onto your website, ideally in a page on its own, perhaps with a link to it in your ‘about me’ page or add it to the website’s main menu.
Just make it easy for a journalist or editors to find.
If they get bored looking for it, they will give up and you’ll potentially miss out on an opportunity.
Host a super cool online event
Making the choice to not host events in person has gone from ‘because I can’t afford it’ now to ‘because actually this will do so much more for me right now’.
You can get so much exposure and new business now from hosting your own online event at home from your laptop… and you can keep your pyjama bottoms on underneath your desk (it’s ok, we’ve all done it).
Here’s a few ideas of online events you could host to attract new eyes on your business;
Organise a Blab and interview some of your colleagues or business pals
Jump on Periscope or Facebook Live and host a 5-day series Monday to Friday talking about a different topic each day with Friday being an open ‘ask my anything’ Q&
Host a sales-pitch- free webinar giving away the awesome in your brain. Get people to pre-register and offer loyal fans a link to the replay but only for 24-48 hours to create the ‘oh my gosh I must watch this now’ mentality
Create buzz around your event and schedule some social media posts and newsletter around when you’re planning the schedule, reminders a few days before and on the day itself. Ask people you collaborate with to promote it to their audience too.
Remember that with online events like this there are SO many opportunities to repurpose the content. If you host a Blab, add the replay to your newsletter and the fun parts of the discussion with the video into a blog post. If you do a Periscope series then put all the videos with accompanying links and notes into one or even five blog posts onyour website or create an optin from them.
If you host a webinar, note down all the juicy Q&A’s at the end and make each into a future blog post or break them down into a 3-part blog series.
However you decide to promote yourself as an entrepreneur be sure to shout about it… everywhere.
I’m Kerri Walker, a PR Consultant and Coach originally from the gorgeous New Forest now based in Kent, UK. I sprinkle a little PR and marketing magic onto any business looking at raising their profile in the media. I also coach business owners and in-house teams to do their own PR like a pro.I can find a newsworthy story the media will crave in any business owner and any company.
Day-to- day you can find me in my home office sourcing juicy media coverage opportunities for clients, hosting coaching calls, writing articles or picnicking at the beach with my son.
To be frank, creating content for your business can feel like a never ending shitstorm.
It’s not one of those jobs that’s done when it’s done.
We have to keep coming up with MORE ideas, MORE updates, MORE creative ways to communicate, MORE excitement…
But sometimes that idea machine stops whirring (even for the butterfly brains like me).
I have a totally foolproof strategy for dealing with that though.
First step, cup of tea. I’m English. I embrace the stereotype.
Second, I pull out my trustier-than-supersized-control-pants bag of tricks, also known as a bumper list of places to find unparalleled content inspiration (but that’s just a mouthful).
Today I thought I’d share a handful of those sources of killer content (and trust me, there’s no way you’ll leave empty handed):
Follow the editorial example.
Nobody does titles better than the original “content on command” publications – glossy magazines.
Flick through one of the magazines in your recycling bin and make a note of the titles that catch your eye.
(Remember, the topic doesn’t have to be relevant, but which titles make you want to stop and read? Write ‘em down.)
Now think about the topics you focus on, and how you can tweak those titles to suit them.
So (in true “here’s one I made earlier” fashion) if I page through that old Cosmo sitting beneath my sofa, I might pick:
Would it kill us to be nicer to each other?
And turn it into… Would it kill us to share more content for free?
The cheat sheet: what to watch read listen to this month
And turn it into… The cheat sheet: 10 yoga poses for a healthier, happier you.
The secrets of staying in love
And turn it into… 5 secret swaps for vegan baking
The 20 smart decisions you’ll never regret
And turn it into… 20 brilliant biz books you’ll regret not reading sooner
Pro tip: Use these as templates to create your own scripts and add them to your swipe file for next time you’re feeling stuck.
Get in those groups
Dip into a handful of your favourite Facebook groups (the ones where your target audience might be hanging out).
Type your niche topics into the search bar and hit enter – you’ll end up with a feed filled with relevant discussions.
Jot down any issues or questions that you could respond to, and add them to your idea bank. Remember, it doesn’t matter how old the threads are – that topic will still be of interest to someone somewhere.
Pro tip: Copy and paste the responses to each question into a Google doc. Knowing what advice is already being shared will help you figure out both what’s missing, and how you can add your own flavour to the topic.
I know what you’re all thinking. There are NO IDEAS in Facebook groups. Well to prove you wrong, I’ve just hit up three groups I love and search for Instagram – here’s what I found:
I manage more than one Instagram account (mainly from my phone) and am looking for advice about apps that might help me with this. Specifically, I’m looking for an app that monitors the comments you receive and notifies you.
What Instagram apps do you love for writing on and pimping your images?
I want to up my game on Instagram, but I don’t know what content would relate to my writing business (it’s not really a visual biz!)
Are there any free tools I could use to schedule content on Instagram?
I want to start an Instagram account for my business but the username I want is already taken, but there hasn’t been any activity in over a year. What would be your plan of action?
What do I do about people using my photo and name on Instagram? I’ve found three different accounts with my name and photo!
Should I watermark my Instagram shots?
Do you schedule Instagram content weekly or for the whole month?
If you create graphics on your computer, how do you upload them to Instagram?
Any tips for creating better Instagram photos when the lighting is poor?
How do you respond to Instagram comments that are a single emoji?
Are there any tools for tracking your Instagram statistics?
Seriously. That’s content GOLD right there.
(for more on how to find what your customers are already asking, check out the Map & Go Matrix)
If you’re a shameless Evernote evangelist like me (and our fabulous Jo), you will have SO MUCH STUFF stored in there. I’m sure some of it will be beautifully filed away, but some of it won’t be.
Pro tip – Install the Evernote Web Clipper to easily swipe any online content that inspires you.
I have masses of random things stashed away that I’ve forgotten all about. Dig through your notebooks and see what you come back with.
Yes, I also had a ton of shopping lists, creative projects I wanted to try and fun stuff to read… but amongst that?
Some seriously killer content.
Do you see how with minimal effort you can come up with so many ideas from stuff that’s already out there?
It’s not about recreating EVERYTHING from scratch, it’s about putting your creative spin on ideas that have already been planted. This post is by the amazing Daire Paddy. Daire Paddy is a word-weaving maniac with paint under her nails and a penchant for peanut butter. When she’s not creating amazing online content you can find her jamming with the rest of Team Diva, or over on her site. http://dairepaddy.com
Do you feel frozen with procrastination, fearful, drained or stuck when it comes to content creation for your business?
You are not alone, I hear this ALL the time, so no shame here!
I recorded a video on changing your mindset around content creation to get you going.
Killer Content Academy Video Transcript:
How To Overcome Mindset Blocks To Create Killer Content
Hi! It’s Jo Gifford here from KillerContentAcademy.com and I wanted to do a quick video on mindset around content creation because it is something I hear all the time.
When people sign up for my free tips and my free hacks, and tips on content creation I always ask them,”Guys what is it that you’re struggling with?”; and so often the emails come back saying:
I just feel frozen, I feel like I just can’t get around to do my content creation for my business, I feel drained when I come to sit down and do it.
I hear it over and over again.
If that is you, you are not alone, first of all, so no shame around this. It’s totally fine, it’s normal.
There’s a few things that I have to say around that.
Knowing what to say gives you confidence
Number 1 is knowing what to say, how to say it, what your customers are already asking for, and really standing confidently with a whole raft of ideas will really help to stop that sort of procrastination, that barrier that you have.
I have on my site for free, my quick 10 x 10 creation hacks for super quick idea generation for content and I will leave the ink in the post below.
A move on up from there is my Map & Go Matrix, which is a paid product but this walks you through layers of building on your personal paradigm baseline which is like your special source, your you-ness, your uniqueness; all the stuff you know, allthe stuff you can add into the conversation, and we add to that with,”Okay, where are your clients and what are they already asking for?”
Let’s use that information.
Let’s kind of build on that with those triggers and stories, and news trends, and let’s layer it up again with some formats, and framework.
Once you’ve got those things in place, you’ll feel so much more confident.
You’ve got the free option there with the 10 x 10 creation hacks or the Map & Go Matrix which builds on that, which is a $49 product.
I will leave the link for that below as well. If you sign up for my stuff you’ll get free tips all the time anyway so it’s all good stuff.
Start from where you are.
We know that when you stand in your power and you are super confident that you’ve got a whole load of ideas, it becomes easier to know what to say, and the draining part of it becomes- and I’m sure you guys will resonate with this when you’re like, “Right, I’m going to create a post for my business. Should it be in long form, should it be evergreen, should it be like a mammoth. ‘Ultimate Guide To…’, should it be like a lifestyle blog thing, should it be mainly images, how many images should it have, how many words should it have?” – and the list goes on until you end up going to make yourself a coffee and forgetting the whole thing.
I’m sure you’ve been there. I know that I have, and what I want to reassure you with is that it’s okay to start from where you are.
It’s okay to not be the expert on SEO, on blogging, on vlogging, on all that stuff.
You’re the expert in your stuff, okay, and just start getting your message out into the world will really help to build your confidence.
Honestly, what I really encourage you to know and to really feel into, is that:
It’s okay to start from right where you are.
Work in a way that feels natural to you
Maybe you know that vlogging is your real strength, that you can sit and talk to a camera for ages, then roll with that and start from that place.
Maybe you are absolutely fine sitting down with a microphone and just jamming out some ideas, you can start with that.
Maybe you like to work in small chunks and sort of sit down, and write stuff, and come back to it, and really focus in small chunks, you can start there.
Working in a way that works really well for you and for your strengths, and your skills, armed with the knowledge of all the stuff that you have to say really helps make that switch of mindset.
Remember importance and role of content to stay focussed
Also, don’t forget guys, content creation is so important for your business.
It shows behind the scenes of who you are, it lets us connect with you either before we buy or sign up for your stuff.
We can have a flavuor of you and your brand, and your work.
Your content is out there working for you 24/7.
It is absolutely gold dust and not starting to put your message out to the world is holding you back.
I want to hold your hand and help you with the first baby steps, or if you are ready to start to outsource then there’s ways to build that into your workflow because hey, we don’ have to be brilliant at everything.
You could outsource your ideas, you could outsource the writing, you could outsource the imagery, you could outsource all sorts of things but knowing which bits you need to outsource as well is part of the mix.
Do leave me a little comment just down below and let me know what it is you’re really struggling with, I would love to hear.
This April, I invite you to overcome your fears of being on camera, and to participate in the Vlog Every Day In April challenge (yep, that’s the #VEDA part, not Luke Skywalker’s dad with respiratory issues).
Use the prompts here below, or free-style whatever works for you, and come back to this page every day to show us your best blog moves in the comments.
At the end of the month, you will have a whole library of video content that we can play with, re-purpose, and get your message out to the world.
Note your fears, and how you move through them as we progress throughout the month. Note how your confidence increases, how you flow when recording audio.
There are no prizes for doing all 30 days. Just try one day and then try another.
You could also use April to record a series of videos for an opt-in, video series product, mini TV show or blog series and use us here to stay accountable. Get creative, and use the challenge in a way that works for YOU!
How do you feel about vlogging and video?
Who inspires you in business and why?
What have you learned recently about yourself in your biz?
What plans are you working on for 2016 and beyond?
What do you get asked ALL the time about?
What would we be surprised to know about you?
Where do you love to work, and why?
Where do you live? Tell us about your home town.
What is your morning routine, if any?
What have been your 3 greatest accomplishments in life so far?
When do you feel the most focussed, and why?
What is your all time favourite song, and why?
How do you get inspired?
What is your super power?
What part of your biz do you love the most?
Tell us about a recent happy client story from working with you.
What courses have you taken recently, and how did they help your biz?
What piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
Walk us through your ideal day.
What was the last time you laughed out loud?
Who are your top 3 entrepreneur mentors and why?
React to a piece of news today – what can you comment on?
Have a look on Twitter moments, and react to something happening over there.
Explain to use what you do, and how it changes people’s lives and businesses.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Read a blog post in your sector today and give your opinion on it.
Ask your social media followers and friends what they would love for you to vlog about today – go wild!
Which blog post of yours has been the most popular? Read it out/tell us about it.
Tell us how you got your very first client.
Wrapping up – vlogging pros and cons and your #KCVEDA wrap up video.
Don’t panic if you don’t do a video every single day. This about getting used to using your camera for video, and getting used to being visible. It’s a biggie.
If a full on vlog feels too huge, try the following:
a Blab with a friend
A Google Hangout
A Periscope or Meerkat live feed.
If you are using Periscope, make sure to use katch.me or to save your broadcasts on your ‘phone so you don’t lose your videos.
Feeling camera shy? You could try narrating slides in Quicktime, or creating a super quick video using Adobe Voice for iPad.
Use the hashtag #kcveda to share your wares on social, and of course pop back here daily with your videos so we can all cheer you on.