I frequently get asked, “What did you do to grow your brand?” And although I have put many new efforts into my business over the past few years, hands down the one change that continues to bring exponential growth is unique content.
The re-brand helped. The image quality really helped. The collaborations were so valuable. But unique content has proven to be the strength behind the numbers and the right connections. And it continues to grow my reach even when I’m not trying. And you can do this, too! As business owners I know we are all so busy, but friend, it is high time you start channeling all these efforts into work that works for you. Aka once you do the work it will continue to help grow your brand behind the scenes while you move onto other things. In more popular terms, “Work smarter, not harder.”
How do I know that creating unique content is so powerful? I have seen it grow my business over the last 2+ years. Posts that I wrote back in July of 2015 are still being re-tweeted and re-pinned and bring in new connections through comments, emails and social media. One of those posts that continues to pop up left and right was the how to breakdown of my client Welcome Packet back when I was planning weddings. Just the feature image of that post alone has been pinned on Pinterest over 11,900 times… that I can track. And there are 4 other images apart of that post that are also pinned in the thousands of times. Today I went into Google Analytics and looked at the behavior flow of unique visitors to my site since that post was written on July 15, 2015. To date, that simple post that literally just tells my audience what I put in my welcome packet, continues to be the highest viewed page on my website with over 27,000 landing page views. (Landing Page Views = The first page a website viewer sees. So all those social media shares are bringing readers directly to that post first and then they go on to explore other pages and posts within my site!)
(That’s exactly what I look like when shooting images for the blog! It is glam, y’all! Captured by Alex and Cammy)
And that’s just one blog post we have written. I’m not sharing these numbers with you to make you think my content is all that, but rather to show you how a simple piece of unique content has created considerable growth in my business.
And in case you still don’t believe me that creating unique content is worth it (yeah I see you nodding your head but your eyes are glassed over!), I want to give you 5 reasons to give creating unique content regularly a go as apart of your business efforts… starting now!
- Your unique content will establish you as the expert. Once you define who your ideal client is, you will want to show them that you are capable and ready to work for them, right? This isn’t about boasting that you’ve got it going on, but rather the goal here is build trust with your potential customers. By talking to your customers and audience through unique content, you can quickly show them that you know what you are doing. At the time I wrote the Welcome Packet post, I was actively working to build the branding side of my business. My main goal for that post was to show my potential branding clients that I really wanted to dive in with them across the entire scope of their business to create valuable and tangible touch points throughout their entire service. It now serves my business in various ways, but it originally helped establish me as an expert as a brand designer and attract my ideal client. I was booked solid for the next two years with branding clients after that post!
- Your unique content will help you build community. Building trust with industry peers is another relational facet of creating unique content. The creative community is a huge source of encouragement and referrals for your business. Building community around my brand was huge for me in 2016. And just as you need to show your potential customers that you are capable of doing the job, putting unique content out there shows your peers that you are a professional and care to uplift the industry as a whole! Building trust with fellow business owners is vital in your efforts to network and establish relationships that you can lean on for support throughout your journey!
- Your unique content does NOT have to be a novel. One of the things I often hear biz owners say is, “I don’t have time to write content.” And when I dig a little deeper what they are really saying is that they don’t have time to write long drawn out articles to convey everything under the sun that has to do with their business. While I do believe that your content should be very clear in conveying your point, I am here to say that you do not have to create a masters level thesis here! When blogging, SEO experts say that your posts should be at least 300 words. I am not an expert in the SEO world, but I do know that when I take care to really explain the steps of a concept well and the why behind it, 300 words is definitely doable. And if I don’t hit 300 words, I don’t freak out. Life will go on. If my readers get something valuable under 300 words, it will all turn out just fine 😉 But as a general rule, I do hit that mark. Don’t be afraid to create content around a topic or concept that isn’t novel long material! If you need a little help figuring out how to break your content down and creating an editorial calendar, read this post!
- Your unique content doesn’t have to be mind-blowing. The number one rule of good content is that is must be genuinely helpful and solve a problem for your readers. BUT that doesn’t mean it has to be mind-blowing, innovative, world-conquering content.. to you. Remember YOU are the expert. By nature, an expert knows more than ones who are still learning. Things that you already know or that simply come easily to you, may be mind-blowing to someone else! In 2016 I wrote another post on how to make your Gmail signature look pretty. Let’s be honest, this is not mind-blowing material. I know plenty of very successful business owners who do not have a fancy email signature and they are thriving just fine. But I like my signature and got asked a few times how I did it, so I put it in the blog post idea queue. I whipped up a quick screen sharing tutorial video showing how you can create one and thought that surely it was the silliest thing I had ever written. That little post is only 122 words ;), but it continues to pop up in my Facebook feed from friends tagging me in various creative business groups when someone asks how to elevate their email signature and landed me a speaking gig this past January for Carrie Grace’s Creative Hub Conference! Carrie had never met me, but watched the tutorial video and that is how we connected. Over an email signature. I mean seriously, I can’t make this up! Her’s is adorable by the way 😉
- You can write about what you like! If you constantly feel stuck when it comes to figuring out what to write about, start with what you like! Just because content should be helpful, does not mean it has to be stuffy and boring. And you don’t have to write about everything in and around your business. You can choose to focus your efforts on topics that truly interest you. In fact, I guarantee your content quality will drastically improve once you quit trying to cater to things you don’t care about. For example, I have a business that specifically exists to provide resources and educational content for other business owners. But you probably haven’t found an article around here that breaks down taxes or bookkeeping. That isn’t to say those facets of entrepreneurship aren’t important. I would argue that they are extremely important and can wreck you if not properly tended to. But guess what? I am no expert in numbers and taxes and the books. It would take me forever to finish a helpful and actionable blog post to help you in this arena because I am just not passionate about it. Who knows? Maybe I will have a guest blogger break the numbers side of your business down for you one of these days, but the point is that it is OKAY to scratch your own itch (I hate that phrase!). It is okay to write what you know and what you enjoy. If that’s numbers, well then you go girl (or boy!)! Email me and you can write about it here 😉
So there you have it! My top 5 reasons why you should start creating unique content today! What are you waiting for? Go and do friend!
And if you have any questions, leave them in the comments!