It’s a simple idea yet so complex: you need to be there for your audience when they do not know who you are. Get ready, this Content Creation Advice for 2020 is time tested and true but you may want to check to see if it’s worth the read… So test yourself.
FIRST TEST: Who does this idea apply to? Who should read and take heed of this blog post? The most obvious beneficiary of today’s truth is the “personal brand”. This is ANYONE who has an expert skill or talent that connects to their livelihood. Mindset gurus, funnel hackers, realtors, doctors, lawyers, accountants, therapists, life coaches, sports coaches, fitness experts, nutritionists, Arbonne consultants, Mary Kay, Tupperware, It-Works and That-Crazy-Wrap thing… all of these and more thrive on the idea that you are a supplier of expert product and services. All of these names and more thrive when there is an audience of groupies who believe in you thoroughly. How you get that audience is what today’s truth is about. If you fit this list or perhaps are a marketing director working on figuring out your next move in content… keep reading.
SECOND TEST: Do you want clarity and home work? We’re gonna start with figuring out where you need to be mentally but that doesn’t do much unless you have actionable steps so… the back half of this is full of ACTIONABLE STEPS to start working on this TODAY. If you are willing to have your thoughts challenged and you want access to a path forward (which is free, btw – no sales hitch or gimmicks here) then read on.
Now… what the heck would that mean? Why, “Be There for Your Audience when they don’t know who you are”? Does that mean that you do not have an audience?
Um. Yes. (Sorry, you know it’s true.)
Thought leaders in the branding space often talk about building a tribe. If you think about it at the most simple, you always build something from the ground up. A house has a foundation dug down, footers installed, maybe a basement, and then we build upward. As you are building a tribe (or a following or an audience, use whatever term you fancy), you are trying to penetrate a market and get into the space that you know is the niche you will serve best. You identify a group you can help, that hopefully you like, and that you believe you can build trust within. You start with low or no followers – or more often, a few quick and easy followers that you’ve already managed to gather in life but they don’t see themselves as followers (yet). The onus is on you to telegraph the reason why you are worth participating with, why you are worth listening to. This is for the paltry small following you may have and for the future followers you want to add to your ranks.
In life we don’t just get a platform by birthright, we have to work for it yet I see that many people don’t immediately agree with this. The sense of “overnight success” has created an irrational belief that there’s some magical climate within which you just suddenly stand out. The truth is, the magical climate exists but it never comes with the word “suddenly”. It takes dedication and long work -this is a long haul game… In fact, I’d like to pause and coin a phrase that may help you as you move forward. You see, I believe that you are an expert (read up on that here: https://c47films.com/are-you-out-standing-or-outstanding/ ). Experts who know they are experts risk being haughty, self centered jerks. We all know that guy but we also don’t like him so that’s NOT the attitude a content creator should work from. Instead, we need to exhibit the “Humility of the Expert” which is to say that a true expert knows that he is excellent but also knows that 1 – he’s not all knowing but 2 – that he too is subject to the same content climb as all other experts. We all start at zero and grow in proportion to our effort. So, exhibit the Humility of the Expert and work hard…
But, what does that hard work look like?
These days, the end product of that work looks like 1. Valuable Education 2. Inspiration and 3. Entertainment. And, while valuable education, inspiration and entertainment does not have to be given away for free it does tend to be true that the more you can give freely to express how valuable your expert ideas and knowledge are the more likely people will feel as if they know you, they will like you and begin to trust you. So, all this essentially means that you need to be prolific and liberal with your content.
With a whopping viewership of zero, and this is a hard pill to swallow for some… you need to market even though nobody knows who you are. You must spend the time building from the ground up. I do not know why that became counter intuitive because it used to be that we all understood you have to spend marketing dollars to build awareness before you can sell. This is as old as it gets. But for some reason in social media and in modern times, we feel like we need to have a following before we put in the effort.
It’s backwards and it’s not real.
It has always been the case that you start as an unknown and build from there. So be there for your audience, even when they have no clue who you are. Believe that they are your audience, now. It helps you know, to affirm to yourself that they will be people who will listen to you and that belief will help you be prolific with your content.
Do it a lot. Do it frequently. Do it with as much energy as you can bring to the table, and over time you will build your tribe. So be there, so you can be known.
- Identify your Super Power. If you are not clear on where you are unique and have a valuable voice you must find it. There a popular ven diagram that may help.
- Ask yourself these Passion-In-Action questions to discover the name of your new work:
- What Pisses You Off?
- What Breaks Your Heart?
- What Problem Are You Trying To Solve?
- NOW: Name the niche. Give a 1 to 3 word name to the niche you will serve where your Super Power and your Passion align.
OK, now you know who you are going to serve… now how do you get the message out?
- Start by getting past preconceived notions that you will be good at content creation – that is a skill and it must be built just like you must build your following. You will actually grow together, which is interesting and valuable because the ones who are with you for the long haul become your biggest advocates in the journey. Embrace that.
- Create 1 piece of content (try a video) today and launch it. Tag some people and talk about it with them. See what data you get back.
- Set a schedule for your content. There are 2 sides to this coin… 1 is your Production Schedule. When will you create and what will you create? (I suggest doing it in batches and scheduling out the releases). The other side of the coin is the Release Schedule. Plan that too. — DO NOT over commit. You will regret it. Keep things manageable and grow.
- Execute on the plan.
Here is a Video Series we created to walk you through a comprehensive content setup. Watch 1 per day for a week to keep it manageable. 😉 I am ALL about doing things in a sustainable way because that breeds long term success.
PRELUDE VIDEO: This video is best typified by the hashtag #BeKnown. My daughter asked me if she needed to be famous. I accidentally blurted out a “yes”… and then I told her a story that set some boundaries around the notion and the lesson in this has great value for all brands who wish to become well known.
Key #1: Get Over Yourself (Self Permission to temporary suck)
At it’s simplest, this is about MINDSET. You must accept that you are 1. An Expert and 2. You are NOT a Video or Branding Expert and 3. You are not held to the standards of #2 by the vast majority of society. Owning this truth will be power or you.
Key #2: Zen Cellphone
This key is pretty easy to wrap your head around – USE YOUR CELL PHONE. Don’t over complicate this journey. You can buy all sorts of “gear” and really it becomes too much. Remember this: “complexity is the enemy of action”. This video lays out the basics of the tech you must consider to make this easy and repeatable.
Key #3: Batch Your Work
This video is LIBERATING. It is miserably hard to start habits and worst to keep them going – especially the good ones. So many people try to do “a video a day” or some big lofty goal like that. DON’T DO IT! Do BATCH Your Work instead. This video is full of strategy on how to accomplish this. It also includes basic scripting help.
Key #4: Scheduling
Batching your work is one half of scheduling. You schedule your time strategically and you’ve “batched your work”. If you want to really get this down though, you must also consider when you release your video (or blog or photos or whatever you do… maybe Live Streams, too.) Scheduling is critical.
Key #5: Listening
This last video is a great tip that most Americans in business – especially entrepreneurs – struggle with. I say that because I am an entrepreneur and many of my peers fall into the High D or High I categories on the DISC personality profiles. We all need to listen more and then, because that is excellent data, respond with value laden answers.
Note: If you desire more on DISC, go to this link for learning about HIGH D’s: https://lift-leadership.com/disc-a-peek-into-the-dominant-driver-personality/
Visit this link for learning about HIGH I’s: https://lift-leadership.com/disc-a-peek-into-the-influencer-personality/
About the Author:
Josh Pies is a video advertising & branding expert. He’s spent most of his life work-shopping ways to get attention – be it sales for his first business which he started at age 4, customers for his property services company at age 23, or laughs and viewership on his first National TV Show at age 26 where he was producer and head writer. He believes in getting attention and loves the power of modern content creation for what it can do for businesses and personal brands.
Josh is the executive producer of C47 Film Associates. C47 Films has produced one feature film which is available on Amazon Prime, three TV Series, eight documentaries, and TV and web ads for brands as various as Kodak, The John Maxwell Team, and the US Department of Labor. Josh Speaks at events on the topics of video branding, how to stand out as a professional, and the power of purpose. Josh lives in Orlando Florida where he, his wife Shannon nd their three amazing kids play on the beach or in magical castles as often as possible.