What is your online business’s number one asset? I hope you answered “me.” Because once you recognize that fact, and get down to putting “you” to work, you are going to be well on your way to a profitable online business.
The fact that you are your online business’s biggest asset is good news and bad news. The bad news is, no one can do “you” for you. You can’t outsource this. The good news is, once you start doing “you” right, you become unstoppable. Because most people either never get that they are the difference-maker in their business; or, that fact scares them so much they never gather the courage to make it work for them.
“You” are delivered to your audience through the content you produce. Content used to be very easy. Not anymore. And it’s not so much that it’s become hard, it’s just that it requires more effort on your part these days. Let’s look at how content has changed.
It used to be that you could literally build a profitable online business without ever having an original thought. You simply became an affiliate marketer for every product ever produced, and you sent out the content provided by the product owner. When I promoted affiliate products, I remember being provided with everything I would ever want to post anywhere. Canned emails to send to my list, banners to use in advertising, even blog posts to use on my own blog. When social media came about, suggested tweets were even provided.
If you’ve been around online business for awhile, you probably remember getting dozens of identical emails from different marketers. My favorites were always the ones that claimed they’d gotten the product owner to give a special discount only to their list. Did these guys truly not realize everyone was sending that same email?!
Your audience is not accepting this silliness anymore. Why not? Because the focus has shifted from buying products, to buying you. No matter what market you’re in, selling stuff online has become a crowded profession. There’s a lot of junk out there. And people don’t know who to trust.
Also, if you think you have an online business, but you don’t have a social media presence, you really don’t have an online business.
What all of this means is, you can’t get away with dumping all of your content out of a can. It’s got to be fresh. It’s got to be your unique voice.
Discovering your unique voice is akin to stumbling upon a bottomless mine of gold. But that’s an article for another day.
Today, I’m going to share with you how to develop the content of your content. What can you say that will make your market look to you as the leader? The person they know, trust and like. And, consequently, the person they buy from.
Step one: The goal of your content is to engage people. That’s how you build the “know, like, trust” relationship with them. So, as you’re developing your content, ask yourself, “Is this something people will want to hear about, talk about, and spread to others?
Step two: The key to engaging people is to provide them value. People want to hear about, talk about, and spread stuff that is valuable to them.
There are three solid ways to provide value to people.
Teach people “how to” do things in your market that will make them successful. That’s what I’m doing right now. Write a long article for your blog on how to get rid of belly fat if you’re in the fitness niche. Share it on Google+ and LinkedIn. Then break it down into bite-sized tips for your Twitter and Facebook postings. You can pin the article on Pinterest, or make a graphic containing a key quote from the article, and pin that with a link to your blog.
Keep your audience up to date on new developments and changes in your market. You want them to feel comfortable with the fact that if they follow you, they will always be up to date on what’s happening. In this sense, you are like a news reporter for your market.
Part of building relationships is showing people that although you are a business, you are also a person. No one likes to be all business, all the time. And the best way to show people you are just like them is to entertain them.
I don’t mean you have to be a comedian. Entertaining can involve sharing personal stories about your life, sharing meaningful quotes from you and others, and sharing funny graphics or graphics of things they can relate to in a personal way. Most entertaining is done on your social media platforms, but it’s also a good idea to go deeper with an entire “off topic” blog post every now and then.
The Secret to Unleashing “You”
So how do you really capitalize on the incredible asset that is “you?” The secret to doing this is to write like you talk. This is only a secret in the sense that most people don’t do it. Instead they worry about what they should say and how they should say it.
It is very important that you get this into your head ~ social media is a conversation. Start thinking of it like this. When you talk with your friends, do you stop and think about what you should say and how you should say it? No. You just “be you.”
I recognize that writing is a little different, but not much. You may have to tweak a little to get what you want to say down to 140 characters, or to make it easy to read in the absence of the voice fluctuations that an in-person conversation benefits from. But learn to say things aloud and then just type out what you’ve said. “Social media is a conversation” is your rule for all content creation, including blog articles.
Okay, that’s enough to get you started. Get out your “you” and start cranking out valuable, engaging content that educates, informs and entertains your audience. And let me know in the comments below if you have other tips for creating unique content for your audience.