Time and again, entrepreneurs come to me and claim they can’t create content consistently because they don’t have time to do it – and/or they don’t know what to create. And yet, nearly every single time, we discover that the thing that’s really tripping them up is something else entirely.
So let’s look at three real reasons creating content can be so hard…
#1 Can you woo your ideal customer?
It’s very hard to write content if you don’t know your ideal client very well. I’m sure you’ve heard all about client avatar exercises. Maybe you’ve even decided what she wears, what she reads, where she shops, and what she drives. But, do you know the content to create to intrigue her? Or make her stop what she’s doing to watch or read?
Often times when we dig into what clients are struggling with for content, we see there’s a lot of struggle around creating for their ideal customer.
It can be a simple lack of clarity around what content would appeal to her and also support the client’s brand. Or, it can be centered more around a lack of confidence that what they’re creating is actually valuable. This confidence issue is many times tied to our own expert bias habits. The things we excel at and support our clients with very often come relatively easy to us. So, we discount their value to others. Instead, we should remember that they are only easy because we are experts. Clients come to you because they need your expertise in something they can’t or (or don’t want to) do. So even if it is “easy” to us, it’s not to them!
The good news is that both a lack of clarity and worrying your content isn’t valuable enough are two stumbling blocks that can be solved by talking more to your ideal clients or customers. Schedule 15-min chats with them and offer to answer their questions in exchange for some market research. Spend some time researching their habits in appropriate Facebook groups or meet ups. You will find that you get clearer on what to create by listening and observing. You’ll also likely see that what they need is inherently valuable to them even if it’s second nature to you.
#2 Where are you going with this?
Another common issue we uncover that makes content challenging to create is a lack of clarity around upcoming offers. This is true of ongoing services as well. If you aren’t clear on what you currently offer to clients and how it serves them – or what you plan to offer next – it can be very difficult to know what to create.
Creating content consistently takes a lot of time and effort. It also takes a ton of headspace as well. If you don’t know how the content you’re creating ties in to the bigger picture of your business plans, creating it can feel almost pointless. This, in turn, can be very demoralizing so you simply avoid doing it at all. It’s sometimes easier to use the time and effort involved with creating rather than dig deep to discover a deeper issue, like not having clear packages or offers.
When this happens with clients, I recommend taking a step back to look at the bigger picture before attempting to create again. Take a global view of the next 3, 6, or 9 months and plan out your offers. Review your current offerings to ensure they’re clear and strategic. Remember that you want to focus on benefits and outcomes, not features, when you’re doing this review. Your potential clients come to you for the transformation you help them with – not 6 calls and weekly email check ins.
Once you have this sorted, it’s time to pick one offer and create content that leads potential clients on a journey from where they are now to where they want to go. Start with content that helps them identify the problem you can help them with. Create content that highlights various ways/stages/steps of the transformation process. And of course, create content that focuses on the outcome — the transformation — that occurs when their problem is solved.
By creating content that leads to a specific offer, you are helping educate them on how you can help them. You are providing a way for them to self-select and find the way to the transformation they’re seeking. This brings a greater purpose to your content and ties it more concretely to your offers, your revenue, and how you support your clients or customers. This is often very motivating and helps energize you around your content creation which makes the process so much easier!
#3 But how?
If clients have the first two issues nailed and are still struggling with content, it is most likely a systems and process issue. Creating content consistently takes a ton of work. It’s time-consuming and laborious – and you have to devote time and energy to it all the time to be consistent. Add in a lack of process to make it run smoothly and it’s a recipe for disaster. A small hiccup turns into a missed post, then three, then five and then you can’t remember the last time you created something new.
The solution here is to create a step-by-step system that lays out who on your team is responsible for each step from drafting to promoting content. This also includes establishing consistent guidelines for all the little steps that aren’t hard but are time-consuming and easy to forget. Once it’s all documented, it is so much more efficient to create and ship content.
A proper system removes the ambiguity of who does what, when and how! It also drastically reduces the number of questions from your team on a day-to-day basis as they support you in creating it.
The End Result
When content creation is a challenge, it’s easy to blame lack of inspiration or lack of time. But, the three stumbling blocks outlined above are often the true obstacles when you dig deeper. Focus on getting clear on your ideal customer and your offers so you know what to create. Then, establish a clear, coherent, and efficient system to take the guesswork out of the how!
Your content calendar will certainly thank you.