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DESIGN BUSINESS MARKETING

The Content Concertina – Easy Ways to Create Content

I get it. Creating content has become a huge burden. Whilst it’s necessary in any business today, finding easy ways to create content can feel like a huge pain in the behind.

As designers we are juggling client work and the pressure to put that first. So, time is a big issue. We can be average at communicating our own value and being clear on what our message should be. Being creatives comes with fear of judgement as standard. Plus ‘perfecta-creating’ can mean we never actually get that content out into the world.

Easy Ways to Create Content

Do easy ways to create content even exist?

It doesn’t have to be quite so hard. For me it comes down to 3 key things:

 

Do easy ways to create content even exist?

 

It doesn’t have to be quite so hard. For me it comes down to 3 key things:

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Getting Clear on Your Message

 

Finding easy ways to create content is made that much harder if you don’t know what you want to say in the first place.

Comeback to your brand strategy for inspiration:

~ Your purpose

~ Your perspective on your industry and your client’s industry

~ The pivot your client wants

~ Your prowess and what you know

~ The personal rewards or benefits of working with you

~ The problems you see your clients facing

~ Your process and your product. What you offer, examples of what you’ve created and how you do it differently

Get clear on these key aspects of your brand and then expand on them. When you explode out some of these key points I’m sure you’ll unearth plenty of topics things you could talk and teach about.

I find a mind map is helpful when it comes to doing a brain dump on this.

Easy ways to create content will follow on when you feel inspired by what you can share.

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Adopting a Consistency Practice

 

A consistency practice is about creating the conditions to allow you to create master content with ease on a regular basis.

The key to being consistent in anything is that the task or action you choose has a purpose. If it doesn’t have a purpose in your business and yield a return, you’ll be far less likely to do it on an ongoing basis.

When it comes to creating the right environment to support consistency there are 7 things to focus on.

  1. Keeping it simple

Don’t make it hard for yourself, choose one thing to create consistently that is the most purposeful.

  1. Being realistic

Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve and don’t over stretch or over commit.

  1. Self-management

You need to block out time, schedule it and then commit to that time… you guessed it, consistently. Sometimes you have to do it even if you don’t feel like it.

  1. Accountability

Having a trusted cheer person who knows what you’re committed to and why will ensure it stays top of mind for you.

  1. Self-Identity

Be aware of your thoughts and actions. Are you someone who is consistent and does hard things, or are you a procrastinator, someone who doesn’t see things through? When you catch yourself slipping into the self-identity that stops you from being consistent, make a choice to think and act differently.

  1. Perspective

Remind yourself why you’re taking this action and why it’s important to you and your business. Reframe those thoughts about it being too ‘salesy’, leaving you open to judgement or risking rejection.

  1. Reward

Give yourself a pat on the back when you consistently commit to what you set out to do.

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The Content Concertina Method

 

So, you’ve got content inspiration and you’ve developed a consistency practice to both allow and support you to be consistent with your content. Now we can work on a method for making it easy to create that content.

First, I want you to remember rule number 1: Content isn’t just your social media posts. The opportunities for valuable, inspiring, captivating, and engaging content go beyond that.

Rule number 2: Focus your energy on a content format that plays to your strengths, and you can commit to.

Rule number 3: Whilst it might not be social media you prioritise, you must do something. You can’t do nothing and expect results!

Step 1 – Create Your Content Foundation

The basis of the Content Concertina is that you start with one foundational format that is content rich and has some message meatiness!

Examples of such a piece of content would be a blog, a podcast, a masterclass or webinar, a presentation, case study or video tutorial.

This is something to commit to creating on a regular basis. You can change it, but I suggest you try and be consistent – there’s that word again – and not too erratic.

  • It’s something you become known for
  • It gets easier to produce as you become more practiced
  • You become more efficient
  • It’s something sustainable you can stick to for all the above reasons!

Step 2 – Expand and Stretch the Content

This is the kicker. Because this is the crux of finding easy ways to make content. Just like a concertina has a bellow that can be stretched and expanded, that’s how you should think of your Content Foundation piece.

Take that content foundation and stretch it as far as you can. Into as many media channels, formats and styles – long and short, visual and text based – as possible.

A blog can become a story or carousel post. You can use key passages or compelling messages as the voiceover for a reel. Take the key points and talk about them in a short live on Instagram. Repurpose it as the topic for a guest podcast pitch or guest blog.

A podcast can become a reel, a carousel or multiple static posts. You can be super savvy and record a YouTube video along with the audio. The main points can become the framework for a blog, a story, a masterclass or even the basis for an opt-in.

A case study can become a story, or a series of posts or a reel showcasing your work. You can publish it on your website in a blog format, share a testimonial post or before and after. It can be incorporated in your email welcome sequence or proposal document, or in an email to your subscribers.

This is just about how creative you are with the narrative and ideas you’ve put together.

Step 3 – Make that Content Sing!

Finally, to continue the concertina analogy, you make some noise. Leverage that content and put it out into the world. Content isn’t much use if no one sees, hears or discovers it.

Share your hard work far and wide: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, in an email newsletter, a link or feature on your website, an SEO optimised blog or case study, in relevant Facebook groups and communities.

So rather than producing each piece of content in isolation and constantly striving to find new ideas each time, turn content on its head. Make one hero or foundational piece of content the thing you invest most in and look for all the ways to leverage, expand and stretch it.

My final word on this is an important one. It’s not cheating! There are no prizes for making content creation hard. If you really want easy ways to create content, the Content Concertina is a very valuable principle to apply.

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Bec Hughes | Mentor to Designers and Creatives

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