Are you an entrepreneur or marketer who struggles to come up with consistent ideas for your content?
Do you want to create more original content to attract and engage new customers?
I sat down and spoke with Founder of Creative Flow, Una Doyle.
Una is a business coach who specialises in working with creative entrepreneurs to help them profitably achieve their creative ambitions.
She believes that consistency is the key to developing a successful online business and has developed a unique strategy which has helped her to create super valuable content while running the day to day activities in her business.
“I started Creative Flow because I am passionate about helping creatives to become successful entrepreneurs.
Most creatives are not taught or trained how to grow and run a business. They are busy being successful artists, fashion designers, photographers or filmmakers.
My job is to help them stay focused, delegate unnecessary tasks and build their business.”
As well as being a sought after business coach, Una is also a content marketing practitioner, who produces amazing blog posts and live videos every week for her audience of creative entrepreneurs.
Creative Flow TV is her live weekly Facebook show where she focuses on helping her audience become creative business successes.
The Creative Flow blog is updated frequently with her own brand of personal development content and common solutions to problems that her customers face daily.
Her content and distribution strategies have helped to increase awareness of the Creative Flow brand, but she believes that the driving force behind her marketing success over the past few years has been her ability to be consistent.
“Consistency has been key to my success. It’s definitely helped me to develop my business and grow my client base.
All of my communication is focused on adding value to my target audience’s lives.”
Consistency is not just good for brand building, it is also important for audience engagement and retention.
Think about your favourite TV programme or Netflix series; it shows at the same time, every day/week on the same channel. Similarly successful fast food brands manage to maintain consistency in the taste and quality of their food across its various outlets.
Consumers are fixated with brands who can deliver consistent quality products.
The challenge that most business owners find themselves stuck with when trying to come up with consistent content is a lack of time and/or resources to commit to the creation process.
The task of staying consistent and ever present in front of your desired target audience can seem like a burden and sometimes impossible.
Fortunately, Una has developed a clear and thorough 5-step strategy which has helped her to build an audience of loyal fans AND grow her successful coaching business.
Step #1: Be Stickable.
“Stickability is one of my keywords for this year. In the past, I would take on a strategy, do it for a while, eventually get bored and start thinking about doing something else.”
Businesses with turnovers of less than $/£1 million should focus on marketing and sales as their primary activity.
However, a common trait amongst Entrepreneurs is the ability to be easily distracted and consistently seek shortcuts to help in scale their business, also commonly referred to as “Shiney Object Syndrome.”
“As a creative person, it is very easy to be distracted by shiny new objects. If you want to be successful at anything, stick with a plan and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by things outside of that plan.”
How to develop stickability.
The key to sticking with one course of action is to always keep your overall goals at the forefront of your everyday actions.
Equally as important as reviewing your goals every day, is to review your “WHY”. Think about what motivates you; is it your family? Your love of fast cars? Any philanthropic activities you are involved in?
As the saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and remember that there is always a learning curve attached to each new shiny object you decided to distract yourself with. That learning curve can steal days, weeks or even months away from your primary activities.
Step #2: Specificity
“One of the ways I am able to be so consistent is that I am focused on a very specific audience.
Focusing on a specific audience means getting to know them intimately and researching their pain points consistently.
This specificity has allowed me to develop a plethora of ideas for content and topics to discuss on my weekly Facebook Live show”.
Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, recently wrote about his experience delivering a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs.
After various complaints from the attendees that their marketing activities were not generating any ROI, he simply asked two questions:
“Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there? (if not) why should they care (about your content)?”
One of the keys to successful content marketing is to niche down as much as possible and focus on ONE specific audience at a time.
How to get specific.
Getting specific comes down to how well you have researched your target audience.
For example, rather than focusing your content on attracting “construction contractors” think about the niches within that audience. Look at creating content for “electrical contractors who specialise in working on public buildings”.
Una isn’t focused on coaching just “entrepreneurs” her content is focused on engaging with “creative entrepreneurs”.
“Whenever I think about creating content, I always consider the professional strengths and weaknesses of my audience.
For example, I know that my audience struggles to stay focused on individual tasks, they become easily overwhelmed by taking on too many projects. They struggle to delegate their work to others who are ‘non-creatives’.
Alternatively, they are very strong at being innovative and solving problems. They are also very focused on achievement.”
When you create new content ask yourself the Joe Pulizzi question: “Why should my customers care about this?
Also consider whether you are just rehashing content which already exists, if so, what makes your piece unique and audience focused.
Download Una’s AWESOME new eBook: “21 Tools To Increase Sales”
Step #3: Be Disciplined.
“Sometimes, when trying to stick with a content schedule, there comes a point where you might not feel up to it. It’s not easy to maintain the discipline required to be consistent.
In these instances, you have to remember who you are creating your content for. It’s important to my audience that I show up consistently.”
Discipline is key to maintaining a consistent flow of content. If you are genuinely creating valuable and actionable marketing messages for your audience, they will come to depend on you for information pertaining to your niche.
Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner which covers breaking news from the world of social media; whether it’s Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn or Twitter. Michael is considered to be the leading authority when it comes to social media news and reviews.
He runs a weekly Facebook Live show called “Social Media Marketing Talk Show” which is every Friday @ 11am EST.
He also has a weekly podcast which focuses on the strategies and tactics used by some of the leading social media experts from around the world.
His audience of over 400,000 marketers DEPEND on him to deliver them consistent, up to date information on how they can improve their work and become better professionals.
No matter the size of your audience, whether it is 10 or 100,000 people, someone, somewhere depends on your content to help them solve a problem or fulfil a desire.
How to be disciplined:
The key to being disciplined in your content marketing strategy is organisation.
Una’s weekly Facebook Live show airs every Wednesday @ 4.30pm on her Creative Flow business page.
“My ability to be organised is very important to the execution of my weekly show.
Each and every Wednesday I have this appointment in my diary. However, it’s not just about my show which begins at 4.30pm, it’s also about the 30 minutes before and after the show.”
I have a checklist which helps me get set up and a checklist for after the show. My after show checklist helps me to distribute it to the right channels, promote it further and have it repurposed into a blog post on my site.
My live show gets most of its views once it’s finished, so it’s very important that I give it that extra push so it has the opportunity to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible.”
Creating checklists or cheat sheets to assist with your content creation process is an excellent way to help you become disciplined in staying consistent.
Not only does it reduce the time that you spend each week having to create content, it also helps the process become a system within your business.
Step #4: Setting Standards.
“Before I started my Facebook Live show, I had to think long and hard about my ability to commit to it on a weekly basis.
Once I made that decision to go ahead, I realised that in order for me to attract clients who have standards, I must also set my own standards and demonstrate that through my content.”
The standards that you set when executing your content marketing strategy will help you to build an audience of individuals who share the same values as your brand.
Setting standards by delivering relevant, consistent and high-quality content, helps you to build an audience of individuals who share similar values to your brand.
How to set standards:
Your content marketing process should receive the same attention that your customer service standards enjoy. Carefully crafted content doesn’t just fall into the ‘marketing’ category of your business. It can also be an extension of your customer service experience as well.
Software brand Leadpages have a dedicated library full of helpful tips and tactics which are available to customers (I am a customer) and noncustomers. Their content sets a standard which consumers will feel is reflective of the Leadpages product.
Setting standards means showing up consistently, being helpful, relevant and specific.
Step #5: Environment.
“Environment is often something that entrepreneurs don’t think about enough when it comes to creating content, but it is probably the most important out of all of the points I have mentioned.
You have to plan in advance. Not only when, but where it’s going to take place.”
A content marketing strategy is a blueprint which outlines how you plan to engage with a specific audience of potential customers.
If you are undertaking the strategy and executing the strategy yourself, or with a small team, then the process can be time-consuming.
You have to set yourself up to win. During the creation process, your environment plays an important part in you achieving consistency.
How to create a conducive environment:
Being a creative thought-leader means being able to connect the dots between acquired knowledge and delivering it in a fresh, relevant and timely format.
Una says that creating structures around your environment will help you to win with the creation process.
“Each and every week you have to plan out in advance how and when this is going to happen.
I had to create a structure for my live show from scratch. In my office I have a background, my mic stand is set-up in a certain position and a light set at a particular angle in the corner of the room.
These may sound like small things but they help me to get into my creative flow.”
Having a structure which you step into each day or week will help you to deliver your content from a position of strength, which means that when its time to deliver that content, your audience will be able to see the best of you.
How do you plan to start creating consistent content?
“My content is designed to be helpful and engaging. If my audience like my content, then I focus on converting them email subscribers and later down the road offer my services as a coach.”
Comment below and let me know how you plan to be stickable, set standards and create a structured environment.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get Una’s AWESOME new eBook “21 Tools To Increase Sales” now.
Also published on Medium.