I’ve been doing a whole bunch of planning (out on our new balcony!) and that’s typical for me at this time of year. I’m a huge planner and I literally just finished the Planathon last week with Amber McCue. I do it every year and it’s a great way to plan out the first quarter in 2021.
I also just finished hosting the Content Ecosystem Challenge last week, which was so much fun!
Even if you didn’t go through the Content Ecosystem Challenge with the group, consider joining in the next time I hold it because it is a ton of fun and you will learn so much, particularly if you want to know how to make the most out of the content you’re creating.
Because in reality if you create content without a strategy, there’s no point, right? It will serve no purpose.
On almost every live that I have done inside The Empowered Hustle Community this year (when you join you’ll get access to all the replays!) I have said there’s no point having a blog unless you have got a monetary strategy behind it.
In the beginning when I first started my blog back in 2012, I remember someone on a podcast saying that I should blog, blog, blog. I can’t even remember who it was and it was just something random, but it stuck in my head because I’d heard it over and over again from other ‘gurus’ too. Blog, blog, blog, blog. Write, write, write. And the people will come…
I remember doing that solidly for three months. I was writing at least one blog post every week and I remember getting to the three month mark and feeling really good because I had been so busy. Writing a blog post a week is a lot of work!
It certainly kept me busy, but I remember getting to that point and thinking, but why am I doing this? I’m certainly not making any money and I’m not even getting traffic to my blog. Nothing is working!
It was just kind of like, so what is the point?
If you’re going to blog and write content, it’s very much about making sure that you’re doing it for a reason. There has to be a very clear call to action or reason that you’re creating that content.
Now every time I sit down to write a blog post it’s because I have a goal in mind. I have a clear strategy for how the blog post fits into my business.
If you don’t have a strategy figured out then you’re just doing what I like to call ‘busy work.’.
The reality is we don’t have an online business until we’re making money.
If you were to go to the bank and say, Hey, I started this business! I’ve registered it and everything. I’ve been so busy for the last three months, writing all this content, so can you please give me a loan?
They would look at you and go, You’re not making any money. What are you doing? Where’s your strategy?
That’s why I’m saying that there is no point blogging, writing all that content, without a strategy in place. The most common strategy by far is to have a clear call to action.
What is a call to action?
There’s only two real options for a call to action. You’re either asking people to join your email list or asking people to give you money. Those are the only two call to action options (or CTAs). You should not be asking them to do anything else.
Fundamentally, if you just do that one thing and make that one switch, you will be set.
Make sure you connect
But let’s make sure that your content not only converts, but also connects. I have learned over the years that if you simply just throw in the conversion piece, aka the call to action, in a piece of content without the connection piece, then the reality of that piece converting is going to be a lot less.
Be strategic with your call to action.
When I’m writing a blog post, always without fail I include a call to action to either join my email list or to go and check out a product. Do it the right way every time and your audience won’t get annoyed.
What is the right way? Only promoting a product that makes sense in the context of the blog post. And make sure that you start off with something like… “And if you’re ready to xyz, then here’s how abc will help!” You can apply this to your lead magnet invite too.
Social Media CTAs
With social media, it depends… It depends on my sales plan. It depends on what I’m doing content marketing wise or what I’m promoting. That’s why I’m saying you need to have a really strong strategy around why you are doing something.
And social media is a little bit different too. You definitely have to pay attention to where that content fits in your overall strategy. But if you were sharing content that was specifically about either your free lead magnet or your blog posts, then that would be the clear call to action. You could say, Go check out my blog posts and pick up the free gift! That’s how I manage that.
Make sure that the connection piece isn’t missed either because I see a lot of people stumble when they don’t have the connecting piece in there.
There are four simple things that you can do to make sure that every piece of content you create converts into a sale. Whether it’s a blog post, a social media post, or wherever else you are producing and distributing your content.
Use this simple process to increase conversions from your efforts.
4 Simple Steps to Create Content That Converts
Step 1: Be Clear On Who You Are Helping
Step one of making sure that your content connects and converts is making sure you are clear on who you’re helping and what is your niche.
In the Content Ecosystem Challenge, I talked about four different buckets. Your business will fit in one of four different overarching niche buckets:
Then there’s obviously sub niches within those, but predominantly those are the four main ones. So you need to make sure that you’re clear on which of those four buckets your business fits into.
Wealth is pretty straightforward. If you’re helping people make money, if you’re helping people in their career or to start a business, all of those types of things fit under the Wealth niche.
Health is anything to do with mental or physical health. Niches like weight loss, self care, and self development fall under health. Even your relationship with yourself fits under the Health niche.
If your business is about helping others build a relationship with another person, that’s the Relationship niche. Relationships are all about interactions between two or more people. So if you’re a dating coach, therapist or family counsellor, you fit under Relationships.
And then Passions is everything else. So if you are someone who is a vet and you help people with their animals, you’re under Passion. Crafts also fit under Passions. Gardening, hiking etc. are also niches that would fit under Passions.
Figure out what bucket you fit into and be very, very clear on that niche and who it is that you are helping. You can even take it a step further and figure out your ideal customer.
Step 2: Understand Their Pain Points
The second step is to make sure that you understand the pain points of your audience.
What are they struggling with right now? Any content that you write needs to address those pain points. And if you don’t know their pain points, it’s going to be really difficult to attract an audience and actually sell something to them in the future.
I have a student right now who’s just joined the 30 Days to $5k Program and messaged me to say she’s super excited to get started but wanted to give me a heads up to let me know her situation. She has an audience and an offer but is making zero sales. She’s struggling and not sure what’s going on that she just can’t make the two connect.
What was the disconnect?
I had a quick look at what she’s doing and immediately saw that it’s the connection piece that’s missing. She hasn’t addressed her audience’s pain points nor clearly explained the transformation she was helping them achieve.
This often happens when we aren’t clear on our niche, who we’re helping and serving, or what their pain points are. When that happens we aren’t able to clearly communicate back to them how we’re helping them through our offers.
And you know, I get it because that was me back in 2016. I spent over 200+ hours that year creating mini courses but wasn’t clear on how it helped the end user. So I want you to make sure that you’re doing these first two steps right. They’re foundational.
If right now you’re sitting there thinking you’ve already done all this before, I’m here to challenge you. If you are not making money or the amount of money that you want to in your business, then go back and look at steps 1 and 2. Because you need to have that dialed in and constantly check those pain points in particular if you want to have a successful business.
Like I said to everyone inside the Content Ecosystem Challenge, I constantly ask my new subscribers: What are you struggling with right now? And right now is the key piece, because that makes sure I am not missing anything in the offers that I create in the future. I address their most pressing, current needs. It’s a key piece to make sure that you’ve dialed in and focused on what their struggle is right now.
Step 3: Clearly Explain the Transformation They Can Expect
Step three is to clearly explain the transformation that someone will go through to get to their Island B aka their dream destination.
What do I mean by that?
Simply explained, Island A is where your audience is when they are experiencing their pain point or struggle. They are currently on Island A. They want to get off of Island A and over onto Island B where those pain points and struggles are no longer, right?
Like life feels amazing for them on Island B because they’ve ditched all the problems back on Island A. They’ve left those pains behind, packed their bags, and jumped on that plane! They are now over at Island B, hanging out on the beach and sipping a MaiTai.
You need to clearly tell them how your solution is the boat (or plane) that transforms them from Island A to Island B.
Like what does that look like, in tangible terms? This needs to be tangible otherwise it won’t hit the mark.
So what do I mean by tangible?
When I say tangible, I mean that you want to use feeling words to describe their transformation.
The example I used last week in the Content Ecosystem Challenge was about the transformation I went through in 30 days to make $5k early in my business. And here’s how you do this: you need to become a really good storyteller. You need to be able to tell stories that connect with your audience. There’s that word again — connection.
So here’s the transformation story I told to demonstrate 30 Days to $5k:
Susie wakes up at 5:00 AM. She hasn’t set her alarm. She has literally woken up with the sunrise. Stretching, she wiggles her toes and jumps out of bed because she is so excited to kick off the day. She walks into the kitchen, grabs herself a cup of coffee, and doesn’t even look at her phone. Last night she put her notifications on silent. She knows that she doesn’t even need to open her emails because life is stress free.
Heading out onto her balcony, she watches the sunrise and practices some JST.
She journals for a little bit, feels the sun on her skin and remembers how different life was for her just a few short weeks ago, before she started 30 Days to $5k. Before she started, life was crazy chaotic…
She used to get up in the morning at 4:00 AM to the sound of her annoying alarm and instantly feel stressed because she would pick up her phone… The notifications would be going off and she would have several missed calls from her boss from the night before wondering what was happening with the meeting they were doing today.
She would hop out of bed, drag her butt to the kitchen and pour herself a cup of coffee and immediately start reading her emails and regretting that decision. Most days she felt crap. She definitely didn’t have time to get out to the balcony and enjoy the sun. No, she is now going to jump on her computer and start putting out the fires that have been happening overnight because she works for an international company. Now, about half an hour later, the kids are wandering into the kitchen and demanding breakfast…
But now, as Susie reflects on what life looked like just a few short weeks ago, the kids are starting to filter into the kitchen.
She hops out of the beautiful lounge chair that she was sitting out on on the balcony, wanders back into the kitchen and sits down to chat with them. They’re not demanding that she make breakfast right now. No, she has empowered them to do it themselves. She went through the instructions with them last week on how to do all of this. It’s sitting up on the fridge, so they know exactly what to do.
Life feels great. Amazing in fact.
Her notifications start dinging because she has now got her notifications switched to come on around 7:00 AM. Now, as she looks down at her phone, she can’t believe it. She has already made a thousand dollars. Literally $1,000 has come into her Stripe account overnight because she set up a sales plan and an automated conversion funnel that pretty much brings in 80% of her income overnight.
All thanks to Lise and her Empowered Lab membership.
That, my friends, is a tangible transformation story.
It needs to be very clear about the offer that you are promoting and the transformation they can expect. Don’t be afraid to mention your program or service in this.
Step 4: Create a Content Mind Map
The last step in all of this is to create a content mind map. That is simply taking the topic or niche that you’re writing about and making sure that you identify all the different pain points around the outside, and then ticking off which of those you are going to address in your piece of content.
Ideally you don’t want to address more than three of those pain points per piece of content. If you’re addressing them all, then they have no reason to buy from you. So be strategic in what you do with your content mind map. The whole idea is to address the pain points of your audience in the content you create.
You also need to decide what the call to action will be for that piece of content. Often I put that at the very top of the mind map. I do this on paper, but you can use one of those mind map tools online. Generally, I put the CTA at the top of the page so I’m ready to set the tone for what the content will be. Then I make sure to address two or three of the pain points that I’ve identified.
All the while, I weave in a story thread. Remember how I said story is how we connect. The pain points and the story all weave together to get the audience to Island B.
And story doesn’t have to be super long. It could be as short as a paragraph. It just needs to be something your audience can relate to. Show the audience that you get them and understand where they’re at. Clearly illustrate and communicate that to them…
…And that is often because you have been there, right?
But what if you’re not an expert with a degree or diploma in your niche to back you up? There’s something called a relative expert…
A relative expert is someone who is a few steps ahead in the journey of helping someone get to Island B. All you need to be is just a few steps ahead of your audience to be a relative expert. Your only prerequisite would be that you yourself have actually walked in those shoes.
Knowledge vs Experience
Another point that needs to be addressed is to make sure that whenever you create content–and particularly whenever you are selling an offer–that you yourself have done what you’re teaching.
You cannot sell things that you have learned and not actually done. There is a big difference between having knowledge and then having experience through that knowledge.
So be careful… just because you learn something doesn’t mean that you get to go and teach that. You have to walk in those shoes first.
Let’s quickly recap the four steps to create content that converts:
Step#2: pain points.
Step three: tangible transformation story.
And step four: create a content mind map with clear call to action.
These four steps will ensure that every piece of content that you create in your business connects and converts.
Do it for every piece of content you create
This is the process that I go through for every piece of content. And generally when I’m talking content, I am talking long form content for the main channel that I’m producing content on. Generally that’s my blog. So that’s normally a blog post. But it could also be a Facebook live or for a YouTube video.
Your main content channel is wherever you are producing the most amount of content. That’s where you want to apply these 4 steps.
Applying these 4 steps doesn’t have to take long either. I make it a habit to capture pain points into a spreadsheet or screenshot anything that I see in my FB group and then add it to an Evernote folder. I have a very clear understanding of my audience’s pain points because I’m constantly asking those questions.
And if you remember, when you joined my Empowered Hustle community on Facebook, I asked you some questions at the very beginning. I capture those questions and address them in the content that I create.
Keep asking questions
You just want to make sure that you are asking questions, recording those answers and making sure that you’re always addressing current pain points.
Trends will emerge as more and more people come into your world. As you start to collect this data, you will see that people have similar pain points at similar parts of the journey. But I can guarantee that you will come across some responses that you just won’t have even thought of.
How does that then impact your audience? That is why you want to make sure that you’re asking those questions and asking those questions often.
If you want to dive deeper into this and learn how to take that tangible transformation from the above four steps and actually apply it to your business, then I would love to invite you into The Empowered Lab.
This is by far my favorite program. I know I say that about nearly every program I launch, but honestly this is my favorite because of the transformation I see in the people that go through the program.
My business runs on funnels and if you’re at all interested in learning all about conversion funnels, it’s one of the many things we cover inside The Empowered Lab.
So if you have any desire to set yourself up for success in 2021, this is the membership program to help you make consistent money from your online business that you can count on.
Go through steps 1-4 for your own business.
Who are you helping?
What are their pain points?
What is the transformation you’re guiding them to?
Then create a content mindmap. What is your main content channel and your CTA?