What’s does Chinese cooking have to do with business and content marketing?
You can’t do content marketing without content
In fact, you can’t so any good marketing without good content. Writing content has become the secret sauce of successful people and their organisations. If we let our people rule your life, you’re lost the game before it starts. Keep going and make a start.
Build your brand, build your enterprise and rise above the noise in the marketplace and the average by creating great customer service and better customer experience. And a great side benefit could be an improvement in your lifestyle by being able to work more from home.
Why waste energy feeling bad about your marketing, when the same energy could make you more focused and more successful. The main thing is to keep the focus of your writing on what is important to your customers and your market segments.
“What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second or for a day or forever. Great content creates space for people to pause and reflect, and that space is where transformation happens”. Jolie Miller
Your information and knowledge management is a key to good content marketing
A few simple well-chosen words can change someone’s day or even their life. So managing your information and knowledge over a long period of time will give you the material you need for making a difference whenever it is most needed.
Whether you are a business, non-profit organisation a community or an advisor, who you deliver appropriate content to will be critical to you growth and sustainability.
Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson
Once you build up a knowledge base it will deliver back to you like having a Christmas present every time you want one.
A digram of the information and knowledge process that I have used for many years.
Over the years I have created hundreds of thousands of documents, tools, processes, templates and presentations for business, non-profit organisations, communities and their advisors. Every idea you get becomes a stepping stone to some future successful piece of content.
I have created our own unique ‘knowledge warehouse’ and ‘knowledge factory’ which helps us to be super responsive to our customers. Dream big about the content you need to produce and never be afraid to fail. The more you create the more you can create.
Having a structure to my week and days is critical
I love writing, writing about business, non-profit organisations, communities, health and advisors is my full-time job. Without a structure in my work week and daily activities, I believe my productivity would slip dramatically and my focus on thought leadership would diminish. Millions of words mean nothing without a structure.
There are obviously interruptions all the time, but by scheduling each day’s activities and focusing on particular topics, it allows me to stay focused as well as accommodate other activities and interruptions in my life.
I structure my week around the topics I am interested in. I believe that one of the best way to become more productive does not require any great skill or intelligence, but rather the discipline to become a master of your work routines.
The following is my weekly routine that I have been following for the last six years. A routine that helps me to produce a level of output in my writing that defies disruptions and other excuses.
- Monday – Marketing and social media.
- Tuesday – Relationships, business, non-profits, communities and
- Wednesday – Management and finance.
- Thursday – Planning and product development, innovation.
- Friday – Health and well-being, lifestyle, technology.
- Saturday – Projects, personal,
- Sunday – Free-for-all and time for thinking and reflecting.
No longer do I have the problem of getting started, my writing just seems to flow the minute I sit down at my computer. I believe I have created an environment and the right routines to maximise my output while doing the things I like doing.
There should be no doubt that you can do something similar with the topics you are interested in as will as improve your organisation’s performance.
“If you had problems sleeping last night, then that’s a good sign you need to start doing organising your time differently”. Peter Sergeant
How will you organise your work week and the topics you write about to maximise your potential?
I enjoy an early start to the day as there are no disruptions, and I find the hours between 5.00 am and 8.30 am are my most productive. I don’t have to wait for ideal conditions, I already have them.
Everything else I want to do including hobbies, I fit in as required and if I miss a topic it has to wait until the next week. This routine allows me to have flexibility for both business and private activities and basically have a very organised approach to getting things done.
I keep to this routine every day without variation simply because I believe that it is the right repetition that becomes the important key to productivity.
While it may take you time to develop the routines best suited to the way you want to work, it will be well worth it in the long run.
What are the things that help me to do this?
Some might say a tight routine like mine will not be conducive to creativity and innovation. Well, I find the routines I have set intensifies my creativity and gives me insight into becoming a better thought leader.
Should I feel like a break, I take it, there is no good ‘flogging a dead horse’. If inspiration won’t come I stop and visit a nice place in our garden or elsewhere and just relax, think and reflect on what is going on and needs to be done.
Things critical to my routine being maintained include:
- A supportive family.
- A home based business.
- A good contact, task and project management systems.
- No having to commute. What a stress relief and time saver.
- Using travel time to write lists of my ideas.
- Established routines I like to guide me.
- Good habits and discipline come with practice.
- Some understanding of Big Data and content marketing.
A word on handling emails
Handling emails have become a big chore each day, but it has to be done. It is important to handle emails well as most of them will be from customers or will contain information you have been seeking.
I find any sloppiness in this area only leads to problems, frustrations and stress that I don’t need or want. So developing a system is of utmost importance, to you and your stakeholders.
Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, has two acronyms he follows religiously for managing and sending emails – O.H.I.O. and L.I.F.O.
O.H.I.O. stands for Only Hold It Once. That means if you see an email that takes less than two minutes to respond to, respond immediately.
L.I.F.O. stands for Last In First Out. That means handling newer emails first. He says this works because then the older stuff gets taken care of by someone else.
Choose your words carefully
Some are more powerful than others as Yehuda Berg relates. “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble”.
Words easy to say, many times harder to put into the right context.
What should you write about?
- Listen carefully to your customer. Practice intensely listening for opportunities to serve them better in memorable ways.
- Become a thought leader in your field. Write about what you hear with a truly creative and innovative idea.
- Be passionate about your work. If you don’t believe in it, don’t expect others to be interested in what yoiu have to say.
- Take pride in the quality of your writing. Make your writing easy to read in a language and style appropriate to your target market.
- Be consistent in your approach and delivery of content. Focus on aligning your content with customers problems, frustrations wants and needs.
- Never write negatively about anyone. Help to lift people to where they can reasonably expect to achieve their aspirations. Even negative people need help.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Maya Angelou
The worst crime you can commit is to look the other way and tell yourself it not your problem, I have better things to do with my time. If you can’t write, learn, if you can’t learn, find someone to write for you, but whatever you do keep improving your content and content marketing.
[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]
There is no perfect way to organise your content, writing and content marketing. All the best businesses, non-profit organisations and communities all have different ways of organising their marketing efforts. Some do it really well, others don’t.
The impact you have with your content will be measured not so much by the content you write, but by what happens to other people when they read it. Focus on being a thought leader and being a catalyst for helping people take appropriate actions.
When you allow bad habits to take over, they can impede your productivity significantly. Bad habits are insidious, they creep up on you slowly until you don’t even notice the damage they are inflicting.
We all have our own unique way of organising what we have to do, the important thing is that it works best for you, so that your bad habits and bad content are at least minimised by your routines and continuous improvement.
Probably the most important words that have influenced my writing are, starting, time limits, chunking, discipline and finishing. And if you stick to the truth, the truth will stick to you as transparency and trust are critical.