By Georgia Kirke
How would you like to generate six months of high-quality content in just 60 minutes?
A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with Airmanual Co-founder Alexis Kingsbury on his podcast, De-stress Your Business. We talked about some of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make in content creation and how you can generate half a year’s worth of content in just one hour.
The big question Alexis asked (and one you’re probably also asking now) is: how?
Hacking the content creation process
Most established entrepreneurs know their business and industry like the back of their hand. They understand what they offer, what customers need, and how they can present solutions to client problems. However, they need an effective way to get that knowledge out of their head and onto paper without having to spend hours (or even days and weeks) on it.
The WBR team has created a specific process for business leaders to draw out these ideas and whip them into a shareable, customer-centric piece of content. I like to segment this 60-minute activity into three core parts:
- The first 20 minutes for brainstorming
- 10 minutes for expanding your ideas, and
- A final 30 minutes for the writing itself.
Let’s explore each of these segments in further detail…
The first thing you’ll need to do is set a 20-minute timer and grab a pen and a piece of paper. Next, divide the page into five equal boxes titled:
1. Challenges: What keeps your ideal customers up at night? What’s holding them back from where they want to be, and are they aware of these challenges?
It’s worth noting that in some cases, some of these challenges may actually turn out to be myths. They think that there’s something holding them back, but in reality, there’s no barrier to their goals. They just need to challenge their existing beliefs – and replace these misconceptions with something more attuned to reality. In this case, add the myths/misconceptions to Box 5 (more on this later).
2. Opportunities: Once you’ve fleshed out the challenges, it’s time to move on to your target audience’s opportunities. If you take away their challenges, what are they free to go after? What’s the ONE thing they really want?
These goals may be commercial, but there could also be some personal goals in there. In my experience, most of our ideal customers – entrepreneurs – are in pursuit of some form of personal freedom. It all comes down to truly understanding the opportunities your audience is looking to capture and hashing them out on paper.
3. Strengths: What are they already good at? What do they have in their personal toolkit that can help them get to where they want to be?
4. Weaknesses: What skills and traits do they lack that would help them? What areas are they only just competent or incompetent in?
Just like their challenges, your audience’s weaknesses stop them from achieving their desired business results. But there’s a clear difference between the two. While challenges are often externally driven – such as a lack of time – weaknesses are often internal and more specific to the customer. For instance, a challenge to productivity could be a lack of time, while a personal weakness that affects your productivity could be poor organisational skills. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t waste time sharpening weaknesses but rather delegating them. This awareness helps them to see the areas in which they need support, and it helps you to spot them too.
5. Myths and misconceptions: What misconceptions are they holding on to? What myths need clarifying? What are all the limiting beliefs that are currently holding your ideal clients back?
In WBR’s case, some of our ideal customers believe that they can’t author a book because they have dyslexia or ADHD, or because they weren’t considered academic in school. But that’s not true. Being an author doesn’t equal being a writer. You can speak your content and hire someone to write it up for you, for example. Understanding and writing out each of these categories allows you to very quickly tap into the key areas that your audience needs help with. Ultimately, you can then frame your content around these areas and provide a viable solution for them.
Expanding your ideas
Next, you want to set a timer for 10 minutes. At this point, you should be focusing on the notes you’ve drafted – your target audience’s challenges, weaknesses, opportunities, and any misconceptions they’re holding on to.
Highlight as many of those as possible that speak clearly to your audience and that you can expand on quickly. Eliminate any that are duplicates or not actually relevant to your ideal client.
The writing itself
Having picked out the core ideas you want to focus on, it’s safe to say that you now have a cache of headlines – topics that can guide the rest of the content creation process. It’s now time to spend the last half-hour speaking or writing down 150-200 words under each of those headlines.
150-200 words is 2-3 short paragraphs that expand on that key point. It’s not much, and you could speak it in mere minutes.
For some people, shorter content is actually harder than longer content because they have to put effort into distilling their thoughts. If that’s you, that’s totally fine. Go for the maximum word count available for one post on your social media platform of choice.
It’s an incredible activity that works when you’re sharing snippets or creating other bits of shorter content that feed into the rest of the funnel that you have in place. For instance, if you’ve written a book, you could share bits of what your audience stands to gain from buying your book. How does your book counter or solve their challenges and weaknesses?
If you have a book already, rather than listing out your ideal client’s challenges, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, why not race the clock as you go through your book one page at a time, listing all the key insights, takeaways, one-liners and lightbulb moments? Then craft posts based on those.
This allows you to provide value to your audience instead of sharing mixed or inconsistent messages. And it can save you a small fortune on ad spend and social media management.
One key thing to be cautious about, though, is veering off topic. Whether you’re sharing snippets from your book or promoting your personal brand, it’s important to keep the content very specific to the headline.
What if it doesn’t come naturally to you?
The beauty of this whole exercise is that it takes you out of your own head and helps you achieve more in less time. All you have to do to feel confident about the process is remind yourself that you already have the knowledge. You don’t need to spend time redeveloping it; you just need a little pressure to get it out of your head and into a workable structure.
The secret is not to overthink. You already possess the knowledge, so go with the flow (or in this case, the clock) and get it out there. Unlike with your longer-form content, this is a matter of done beats perfect.
If this doesn’t come naturally to you – which is quite common among busy business leaders who aren’t in the world of content – take a long look at the headline and work out the WHAT, WHY, and HOW.
- What does this mean?
- Why does it matter to your audience?
- How would someone go about implementing it? What’s one actionable insight?
Write down a few sentences under these questions, and you’ll have content ready to go. Alternatively, you could “speak” the answers to these questions into a real-time voice transcription software like Otter.ai. You can then edit the transcript for further clarity and correctness.
It’s important to note that understanding your ideal customer is the key to creating high-quality content in record time. For any of these processes to work, you need to first understand what makes your target audience tick, what problems they need help solving, and how your expertise fits into that need.
Is this something you’re clear about?
If you’d like to learn more about how to “de-stress” your content creation journey, book a free Clarity Call to find out how our team of experts can help.