Entrepreneurs wear many hats. While we often see social media posts showing the highlight reel, it rarely shows the effort of the hustle behind the scenes. Amidst juggling clients, projects, administrative tasks, entrepreneurs also know that it’s important to boost their content marketing to run a successful business.
Here are some practical ways entrepreneurs can boost their content marketing starting today.
Narrow Your Focus
Instagram, podcasting, and emails, oh my! There are endless forms of communication. It’s this level of overwhelm that often leads entrepreneurs to engage in analysis paralysis. This phenomenon occurs when you have so many things to choose from that you ultimately choose (and do) nothing.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely researched all the benefits of SEO, email flows, social media engagement, and the rest. Those benefits are all real, and ignoring one can feel like leaving money on the table.
But here’s the deal: doing nothing is leaving all the money on the table and making your business stagnant.
Choose one thing to focus on and get to a place where you handle it exceptionally well. Determine where the greatest opportunity lies for your business within the scope of what you can handle. Then, once you’ve mastered that, you can consider picking another thing to focus on.
Keep in mind that some forms of content marketing take a lot of time to get started, but require a lower time commitment to continue—setting up email flows, for example.
If you’re still struggling to decide, go where your customers are now and focus on nourishing those relationships.
Invest in Automation
Don’t you just hate it when you spend hours of your precious time on repetitive tasks?
There’s a bit of controversy surrounding the use of automation in business practices. Whatever your opinion, it is an undoubtedly powerful tool that can help you focus your time and energy on revenue-generating activities.
There are plenty of apps you can use to automate repetitive tasks within your business that are well worth the cost. In fact, many of them are free.
Some key areas to automate in your business include:
- Social media posting
- Mileage tracking
- Email sequencing
- Chat inquiries
- Transcribing videos and podcasts
- Expense tracking
For example, you can automate your Pinterest sharing by setting up an account with Tailwind.
You’ll notice that not all of the items on this list pertain directly to content marketing.
Stay with me here.
By automating these tasks, you create more space in your schedule to initiate your content marketing strategy—or get one in place!
Know When to Outsource
Ok, I know what you’re thinking: outsourcing isn’t an option. You don’t have the money. It would take too long to teach someone else to do the job. No one is as good as you.
Fair enough, but don’t expect to get out of your rut anytime soon with that mindset.
The truth is, entrepreneurs get by with a little help from their friends. In this case, service providers can assist boost your content marketing. The truth is, even when you narrow your focus, there are still a lot of little steps to get from point A to point Z.
Consider social media content creation, for example. For a single post, you need high-quality graphics or photos that fit the dimensions of each platform. You need a caption that relates to your audience, showcases your skills, and keeps people engaged long enough to trigger the algorithm. Then come the hashtags, scheduling, responding to comments and dm’s, and so on.
Can you handle this yourself?
Will you have to sacrifice time you could spend on other revenue-generating activities?
If you’re caught in the vicious cycle of wanting to grow your client base but lack the time, it’s time to outsource. Hire a freelance writer to handle your blog posts, for example. Work with a virtual assistant to research hashtags and schedule your posts.
Start small with a few outsourced tasks, and scale up as your budget and workload increases.
Know Thy Audience, Know Thyself
Do your posts get met with the sound of crickets?
We’ve all been there.
Here’s a secret: you can use all the fancy tools and help in the world, but if your message doesn’t resonate with your audience, it will fall flat.
Identifying your target audience is the foundation of your content marketing strategy. The better you can understand your clients’ identities, the better you can shape your message to meet their expectations.
But it doesn’t end there!
You also have to look inside and determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your USP is your secret sauce, your edge against the competition.
In other words, it’s your voice.
Revisit the values and mission of your business. Write your personal mission statement and illuminate how it ties into your brand. Clarify your tone, the color scheme, the reason your business exists.
Today’s consumers prioritize authenticity. Entrepreneurs are often so interwoven with their business. Showcase your personality and speak naturally in your communications. The more authentic you are, the deeper the emotional connection between your audience and your content will become.
Take Notes Every Day
Inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient times.
Sometimes you see a phrase that stands out while reading an ad during your travels. Or you have an epiphany in the shower. Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea and lose it by morning.
You can turn these fleeting ideas into content for your marketing efforts with intentional note-taking.
Keep a notebook and pen with you to jot down ideas as you go about your day, or use an app like Evernote to capture inspiration points on the fly. Get a few, even, so you always have them on hand. Keep one by your bed for those subconscious sparks of genius. Just wait until you get out of the shower to write your latest idea down—there’s no real solution for that one.
Make note-taking a part of your daily routine by completing a brain dump. Start by unplugging, turning on some music, and setting a timer. Then, write any ideas that come to mind. These ideas could shape your next great piece of content or product.
You might not need every idea you come up with, and some flashes of inspiration won’t ultimately boost content marketing strategy. However, chasing those ideas and dedicating time to exploring them will help wire your brain for creativity and inspiration. In many cases, that spark is all that’s missing to take your business to the next level.
Seek Inspiration From Your Idols
Instead of watching the days go by and longing to be more like your idols, learn from them! Screenshot and save the companies and entrepreneurs who inspire you, whether it’s their content in general or a specific piece.
Your notebook will come in handy again! Add notes about what characteristics and features you admire, and use those notes to shape your content.
I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that copying?” Not necessarily.
The idea isn’t to clone their work, it’s about taking the elements that resonate with you and make them fit your image. That doesn’t mean you copy a project and change it so it looks a little different. It means learning from those who have gone before you.
Know Your Competition
In addition to looking to your idols for inspiration, you should also size up your competition.
Analyze your competitors to determine what they’re doing well and where they’re falling short. In other words, look for areas where you can swoop in and create better content.
For example, you might notice that your competition isn’t using video marketing on their platforms yet. This lapse could be an opportunity for you to connect with potential customers that they fail to engage.
You might sign up for their email marketing and get crickets after a few weeks. That shows an opportunity for you to build and engage your list to build rapport with potential customers.
Conversely, you might see something that they do really well and decide to focus on improving that area of your content marketing strategy.
Again, the idea is to seek inspiration and make it true and authentic to your company.
Develop a Sales Funnel
When creating content, it can be difficult to picture what happens after a potential customer interacts with your business. It’s often perplexing to map the customer journey and how close leads are to completing a transaction.
Fortunately, there’s a solution.
Set aside some time to craft a sales funnel. The traditional sales funnel has five stages:
- Awareness – someone learns that you exist
- Interest or Evaluation – someone starts to pay attention after you’ve caught their interest
- Decision – someone decides whether they want to buy from you
- Purchase – someone hits “buy now” and gives you money
- Retention – your customer decides it’s worth sticking around and seeing what else you have to offer
Drafting a sales funnel can help you know what subjects to focus your content on.
If you’re struggling with awareness, you might focus on social media and hashtags or your SEO strategy for a while.
If the interest phase needs work, you might develop a lead magnet, like a coupon or a webinar.
To help those in the decision stage, you could focus on educational pieces that highlight your value, like quick tutorial videos on YouTube, Instagram Reels, or TikTok.
An automated email flow will move customers from abandoning a shopping cart to completing the transaction. The same approach can help you retain customers.
Your precise strategy will vary depending on your business goals. However, these tips are relatively universal and can apply to any industry you’re in.
Create a Repurposing Strategy
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” It means you shouldn’t have to create content from scratch if you don’t have to. You can accomplish this by creating a repurposing strategy.
One of the benefits of content marketing is that it’s incredibly versatile. Your message is like clay—it can be reshaped and transformed as many times as you need.
Take a tutorial video, for example. A freelance writer can transcribe that video into a blog post to share the same information with a different audience. Your virtual assistant can then sweep in and take tidbits from that video to make shorter video clips for TikTok and Instagram. You can take those same tidbits to create graphic social media posts and quotes.
The options are endless.
Review and Readjust
Sometimes, when you want to boost your content marketing it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. Trends and audience preferences are always changing. Never give up!
Set aside time to review your work and track the analytics. Determine what resonates the most, then correct your course and create content on that topic. And hey, don’t forget that you can always ask your audience what they want to see.
The key is getting started and staying consistent. What will your first step be in improving your content marketing? Leave your answer in the comments.