Content @ square ⓵

Last week, one of my group coaching clients asked this question:

How do I start a content marketing program from scratch?

I have a lot of thoughts on this question. I’ve recently interviewed a few well-known people focused on the expertise business, and recently had a conversation with my good friend Philip Morgan about which marketing channels to pursue in order to become an authority. That episode of our Offline podcast will be published tomorrow.

Before I get back to the question, though, let’s start with the argument about why content is so absolutely critical:

  • To escape commoditization, you need to develop authority to solidify your expertise in your market
  • To do that, you need to make stuff that demonstrates expertise
  • That stuff is based on your thinking, which means…content!

Now, it’s not enough to just whip some shit up and call it a day. The content has to be legitimately useful, with the possibility of direct application by your clients. Of course you’re not writing a recipe book, but something actionable, or that challenges your client’s thinking, is the minimum bar.

Now back to the original question: it all starts with writing. It’s taken me a while to arrive at this conclusion, and there’s plenty of advice about how to circumvent writing to develop content. That may be, but there’s no way you can develop expertise without writing.

So beginning your content marketing program requires you to choose 1) who it’s for, and 2) your unique point of view on the topic (or as I say, your worldview). Once you have that nailed, just start writing about the questions your clients ask you. See what I did here?

Forget the technology, forget sending out your thinking to hundreds or thousands of people, and forget a 12-month content calendar. None of that will do you nearly as much good as sitting down and writing something straight away.

What will you write today?

-Liston