By Kat Lewis
Are you trying to be a contortionist with your content, fitting yourself into boxes that are not meant for you? Are you struggling to produce impactful content consistently? Are you attempting to be a jack of all trades and, in doing so, discovering you’re a master of none?
These are all common challenges faced by thought leaders and entrepreneurs – but content creation doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when you have the right team behind you creating high-quality, impactful content is surprisingly easy. It’s a lot like putting on a dazzling circus show when you think about it.
Let me explain…
A day at the circus…
Earlier this year, I had the absolute pleasure of watching Cirque du Soleil perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Mind-blowing doesn’t really do their performance justice. But what does a circus show have to do with content creation?
As I watched each act of the show unfold, what struck me was how incredibly talented each performer was in their niche discipline. The contortionists bent their bodies into shapes you wouldn’t think were possible. The acrobats performed gravity-defying leaps and tricks. The aerialists soared above the stage with incredible shows of strength and flexibility. The juggler wowed us with amazing tricks with all manner of props.
Each performer on that stage had a very specialist role to perform and each of them did this perfectly, which allowed them to create a captivating show for those of us lucky enough to be in the audience.
So, the first lesson we can take from Cirque du Soleil is that it’s essential to have the right specialists in the right places. You wouldn’t ask the juggler to “fill in” for one of the acrobats – now let’s bring that back to content creation. Are you asking yourself to “fill in” roles that you’re not suited to or don’t have the skills for?
If you know you struggle with the written word, why are you spending hours trying to craft blog posts? Or perhaps you know you need impactful imagery for your content but rather than hiring a designer you’re trying to cobble something together in Canva. Sound familiar?
By trying to force yourself into roles that are a long way outside of your specialist skills and innate abilities, all you’re doing is wasting time and making your life more difficult – and we all know that time is our most precious commodity.
To break out of this trap, a top tip is to make a list of all the content creation roles you’re currently filling and simply assess your ability in each (be honest!). If there are some that you could do with some help with, start your search for specialists in content creation who can step into those niches.
Even if you’re not the one contorting yourself to fit many different roles, make sure you’re not asking your team to perform feats of acrobatics by jumping from one job to another. A designer typically won’t also be a great copywriter, or vice-versa. Honestly assess the skills on your team and compare them to the skills that you need to achieve your content creation goals.
What’s your safety net?
Another thought that occurred to me while I was watching the performance was how every stunt had its own set of safety protocols to keep the performers as safe as possible. These came in the form of safety lines attached to those who were flying above the stage or people spotting each other as they performed acrobatic flips and leaps.
Not only that, but all the performers involved will have received training in and, as a minimum, be competent (if not highly proficient) at following all those safety procedures.
I’m not saying you need a safety net for your content, but you do need a process to ensure the consistency of both your messaging and content production. We have a proven and repeatable process that gets results – our Content Creation ProcessTM – and we use this for each and every client.
In the circus, every performer will know which stunts need safety lines and which need spotters, enabling new performers to step in and out of the troupe seamlessly. Content creation is very similar. When everyone knows exactly what their role is in its creation, you can streamline and smooth out the process.
In some cases, that might mean that some members of your content creation team can perform more than one role. The trick is to know which roles they are expert in versus which ones they are competent in.
As the business leader, you will likely be the one providing the ideas and unique insights that go into your content, but that doesn’t mean you also need to be the person writing, proofreading, designing and uploading it. There are specialists in all of those areas who can take care of that for you.
So, lesson number two from Cirque du Soleil is to ensure you have a repeatable process that everyone on your content creation team follows to achieve the best possible results.
Putting together the right team
If you don’t already have all of the content creation specialists you need in your business, the next challenge is to find them. You want not only people who are experts in the skills you lack, but also a team who work together as, well…, a unified team.
Trust is crucial for the Cirque du Soleil performers to go on stage day in, day out and perform all manner of stunts. The bond between that team is tangible and you know they all have each other’s backs.
When you’re producing content for your business, you want that same level of teamwork and trust to be present. It takes time for these relationships to develop and, if you’re not planning to hire a full in-house team for your content creation projects (spoiler: you don’t need to) it can be hard to get that kind of commitment from a team of disparate freelancers, no matter how talented they are individually.
However, as you will know, putting together the right team is crucial if you want to produce content that gets results. Cirque du Soleil demonstrates the importance of having the right people in the right roles, with the right level of support and processes, all with a very healthy dose of trust thrown in.
Building this in your own business isn’t easy, especially if you’re not a large company. But that’s where we come in – a process-led team of content creation experts who know and trust one another; and who will always do our best to produce your best content.
We have specialist book editors, proofreaders, SEO copywriters, designers, content developers and publishing specialists in our team. While we’re all passionate about producing high-quality content that gets business results, we also know where we excel as individuals. We know where you fit into our team too – as the mastermind behind the ideas and concepts shared in the content itself.
As we produce your content, we each have our turn in the spotlight, but at the end of the process it’s your, and your content’s, turn to shine.
Want to learn more about how our experienced team can support your content creation efforts, whether you’re looking to write a book, launch a podcast or get a blog off the ground? Book a Clarity Call today.