How do you create a content strategy if you’re an entrepreneur doing it all?
Even better: one that actually works!
Today’s guest on the podcast is Erin Olilla (pronounced O-Lillah), a content strategist and creator who works with anyone from big brands to solopreneurs needing a plan. We did a flip episode because instead of having my guests on for me to strategize with, Erin came on and was my coach to help me with some content struggles I have in my own business. Perhaps you can relate. She specializes in how to make content work for each entrepreneur in relation to her goals. (I think it’s why we get along so well — it’s the same approach I take with marketing!)
Mallory: How do you know where to start with a content strategy?
Erin: The best place to start is by identifying what your current long-term goals are, and what your immediate short-term goals are. It’s okay if your goals change or shift, the important thing is to set a roadmap so you know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
If you enjoy maco-strategy, you’re probably the type that knows what you’re doing over the next two years, so you’re going to focus your content on reaching that target market so that you get there faster.
If you enjoy micro-strategy, you’re probably the type that plans for the next big thing. The next event, workshop, launch, offer, etc and then you go and create it, without totally seeing the overarching goal of how content fits into your business plan.
“You should look at content as a bigger picture, not just words.” – Erin Olilla
Mallory: I’m not short on ideas, but I hesitate to actually execute. How do I just start executing?
Erin: First off, you are so much further ahead than you think. The first step, if you don’t even have content ideas is to create a content pool. Track it in Trello, a spreadsheet, a piece of paper, the back of a receipt. Somewhere where you can start brain dumping content ideas in any form for your business.
“One drop of water in that pool is one topic, one idea. The pool stays there all the time. You don’t need to drain a pool every time you go swimming, right? If you splash a little water out of there. You’re literally just keeping this thing there that can house these ideas for you that you can pick from as you need, and add more as you get inspiration.” – Erin Olilla
• Put anything down that comes to you that is relevant to your business, even if you have no idea how you’d use it at this moment.
• Put anything you’re an expert in that you can talk about a lot
• Put anything you’re a beginner in and you’re just learning yourself, but you educated through your own learning process.
• Put down ideas you learn from other people’s post or content to spark ideas of what you can ask or create for your audience.
To execute, if you’re a planner, it helps to organize your topics so that you know what you can create and when by creating categories or an editorial schedule.
Others will want to pick the topic that is the most interesting to them and go with that topic when it’s time to create.
If you’re stuck but have ideas, backtrack into strategy and ask: “How will I use these topics?”
It can also be a mindset thing and it might be helpful to set yourself up to just do it.
Mallory: For all the perfectionists out there, if I have one form of content and want to add another, do they have to be about the same topic? I have a podcast, clearly, but I also want to start doing more Facebook lives. One hang up in my head is that I keep getting stuck on if the two topics have to be on the same thing or not, and how.
Erin: This is so normal and I see so many people stuck on this. The funny thing is people spend way more time talking themselves out of or through creating content than they would spend if they just sat down and created the thing.
Other people may be the opposite and know blogging is important, but they just can’t do it.
Just start doing it and stop trying to control every aspect of the process. [My summary of her words :)]
GUYS! It’s really just mindset blocks that you’re likely dealing with around content creation. THIS was the realization I had talking with Erin about getting unstuck.
Mallory: So, if mindset DOES seem to be a problem, what do you do?
Erin: I suggest, other than working with an actual mindset coach, that you sit with your feelings before you begin to create something.
> Where do you procrastinate?
> What are my fears for doing this?
> What’s holding me back?
Mindset can also be a huge motivator because if you find something you’ll like, you want to spend time doing it.
Erin: How often do you produce a podcast? How do you approach it logistically?
Mallory: I am actually not on top of things as much as you might think. I produce a podcast once a week and I typically know what’s coming up a few weeks ahead, but I don’t necessarily ahead on producing the content (shocker after hearing my blocks, right??)
I block off Fridays to do all my interviews and if I don’t have anyone in particular scheduled to do a live strategy session with, I pull from my content bank or a question I got that week from a client or potential client and do a solo episode. The organized side of my brain says I should go live on Tuesday to space things out, but my schedule says I should go live on Fridays since I’m already in content creation mode.
Erin: I agree and disagree.
If you’re already set up for Fridays and in the zone, just keep doing it because you’re ready.
But, if you do want to create themes the easiest way to do this is to do the opposite content. For example, if you were going to talk about why About pages are so important on your podcast when you go live, you could do the reverse opinion and do something like All of the mistakes people make with their about page.
You’re talking about the same thing, but still approaching it from different angles.
If you do the Facebook live, you could point them to the podcast that is coming out later that week. Your Facebook live needs to be quick though. Your people watching want to come for a quick tip and then go on. You don’t have time to expand on ideas a lot with this format and keep their attention.
Mallory: Should I transcribe my podcast instead of creating a new post of show notes in blog format?
Erin: Shownotes are so much more useful to your audience and great for organic SEO.
Transcribing is important though for other reasons. You can get it transcribed for ideas of what to put in the show notes.
Timestamps are important for the people that are scanning your podcast for content. If they scan the show notes and see a topic they want to tackle, they’ll listen to the whole podcast.
> Write a short introduction about the topic and why it’s important.
> Decide how many quotes you want to pull out of your podcast.
> Save your quotes so that they can be shared socially because it will open up your audience pool and get more eyes on your content.
> End show notes with additional resources.
“Strategy isn’t about coming up an idea that’s never been done before. It’s about taking all the ideas that have been done, and finding out how to either personalize them or implement them in your business.” Erin Olilla
Mallory: How do I repurpose the content I’m creating to make it go further?
Erin: If you’ve created something good, don’t just set it and forget it.
- Turn your Facebook lives into blog posts with show notes.
- Take the quotes you’re putting in your show notes and turn them into graphics
- Grab part of the audio and use it as a teaser for your podcast on social media
- For blogs or Facebook lives, you can reuse the content you’ve already created and upload it again with a new date and refreshed content
- If you have a podcast and want to go live, talk a podcast topic from last week.
- OR take a piece from your podcast and do a Facebook live on just that one section
- Record your podcast, and then before it’s released, do a Facebook live and talk about 2 of the 5 points for example, and then tell them to catch the podcast for the rest of the points.