This is a guest post from content marketing coach Avery Wilmer.
When it comes to creating content, there’s a lot of advice about having a goal for each piece you publish. It’s smart to think ahead and imagine how you might be using your content—will you encourage people to sign up for your mailing list? Get them to buy your product? Or book a discovery session with you?
Regardless of what the final call-to-action is, I believe every piece of content should do one vital thing: attract your community to you. Your community is made up of many different people, like email subscribers who find your messages entertaining, social media followers who like your posts about your kids, potential clients who want to work with you, and other thought leaders that want to collaborate with you.
But how do you make content that calls your community and invites them to get to know you? Here a few ways you can do that…
Share Your Authentic Self
This means talking to your readers (or listeners) the same way you would talk to a friend over coffee. Be authentic here—if you use the word “y’all” and pepper your conversations with Southern expressions, don’t be afraid to do the same thing online.
The reason you want to be yourself is that you’re looking to attract a community that’s a good fit for you. It’s drudgery to build a community that you don’t enjoy serving. Don’t let that happen to your business!
Give Supergirl Space to Hang the Cape
Embrace vulnerability in your community. This means you have to lead the way. You don’t always have to show up looking or sounding perfect. It’s OK to appear and simply say, “Ugh, today I’m not feeling like a rockstar.”
You don’t have to wait until you’ve “arrived” before you open up about your journey with your readers. In fact, your community wants to see your messy transformation. They want to see you struggle and triumph.
When you’re honest about where you are, you can give your followers permission to be vulnerable, too. That’s how communities grow together—by sharing the real, messy, and raw parts of their lives (and businesses).
Show Up on Time
Create a content schedule and do your best to stick to it. Even if you can only release a blog post or podcast episode once a month. Be consistent with your efforts so your community knows when to expect new content from you.
Of course, your schedule isn’t set in stone. If you say you’ll post on every week on Mondays but realize Thursdays would be a better fit, you can change it up. Just be sure to let your followers know when they’ll hear from you again.
Create a Blog Strategy
When it comes to content marketing, some online business owners fling a lot content out into the web and hope some of it lands. While you may see some results with this approach, it requires a lot of time, energy, and effort on your part.
It’s easier (and smarter!) to create a blog strategy. Once you have a plan, you can see how each content piece connects to the next one. You can easily lead your audience down a bread trail that leads to your next juicy offer.
Lean in and Listen
The worst mistake you can make with your content marketing is to assume you know what your audience wants. When you make assumptions, you publish good content but nothing ever happens. You can’t get any traction and you end up spinning your wheels. At this point, it’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated.
The solution to this is to be talking with your community regularly. Send out surveys, start discussions in your groups, and ask for feedback on your latest blog post or sales page.
If you take feedback gracefully and regularly ask for it, you’ll create a habit within your community. People will begin automatically weighing in when you have a new product or service. They’ll give their honest opinions and trust that you care about their feedback.
Be the Big Sister
Some online business owners get distracted from their true goal of serving their community. They begin trying to sell the audience things they don’t really need or products that don’t do what’s promised. Doing this damages your credibility and makes it hard for your readers to trust you.
While you can (and should!) make offers to your community regularly, do it right. Carefully scrutinize what you’re sharing before you post that link. Only promote products you truly believe in and creators you trust to be 100% ethical.
Think of yourself as the unofficial big sister in your community. Just as a big sister is fiercely protective, you need to be vigilant in caring for your audience. That means being honest about new products, disclosing affiliate relationships, and clearly marking sponsored content.
Focus on being intentional with the community you’re building around your content. Think about the top three words you want others to associate with your community so you can capture those vibes in your content efforts. When you’re clear about what you want to create more of, your content flows better and you enjoy publishing it more!
About Our Guest Blogger
Avery Wilmer is a content marketing coach. She teaches her clients how to make content marketing fun and profitable. She joyfully creates PLR content over at White Label Perks and can usually be found hanging out at her blog.