Creating content is one of those things you know you need to do, but… ugh. It’s stressful. It can take all your time without landing you any clients. After 30 years in the content marketing world, it’s still no surprise to me that small business owners don’t really like thinking about it.
Let me tell you a secret: content creation can be fun. Really. When you have a plan and a strategy designed for YOUR business, everything flows and you see results. Today I’m sharing Judy Kane’s story, but before we jump into that, let’s get clear on what creating content is really all about.
Content Creation Definition
I can not tell you how often I hear people confuse social media and content. They are not the same thing. Social media is a type of content, just like blogs, articles, e-books, workshops, webinars.
The definition of content creation I want you to have is anything you produce that educates your audience about your expertise, products, and services. Typically, “content” refers to educational material, whereas “copy” refers to anything created specifically to sell.
A client’s story with content
As a small business, creating content ranks high among critical activities. It also ranks high as something that causes stress. At least, that was where Judy Kane of Aligned Consciousness was when we started working together. In fact, Judy was nearly paralyzed by the volume of what she felt she needed to do. Over the past year, she has learned what she really needs to focus on and is actually having fun with her content creation.
Judy sat down with me to talk about her journey.
How to be happy with your content
Susan: Thank you for taking the time to do this. I think people will really enjoy it.
Judy: I’m happy to do it. We’ve certainly had a lot of fun together over the past year or so.
Susan: I was thinking about that. You’ve taken every program I’ve offered.
Judy: Yeah, I know!
Susan: Okay, before we start talking, tell my readers a little bit about Aligned Consciousness and what it’s all about, why you do what you do and where you see it going.
Judy: I help people rewrite subconscious self-limiting beliefs. I work with coaches to get connections and relationships with them to be able to help the coaches’ clients to work with subconscious beliefs and I also work with individuals.
I don’t come from an entrepreneurial background. I was corporate IT for most of my life so this isn’t something I’ve done for a long time, but I started the business in 2014.
My goal is attract individuals who would like to change things that have them stuck and also create connections with coaches so that I can help their clients.
I’m also finding that there is an interest in a more group approach with some coaches. To work with a group of their clients in online workshops. So in terms of where I’m going in the future, that looks like something that I’m getting more and more interested in.
Susan: That’s really cool. Imagine the impact you can have working with more than one person at a time.
Judy: I know!
Susan: You and I have been working together now for over a year. What was your biggest content challenge before we started working together? Where were you finding yourself stuck on this entrepreneurial journey you’re on?
Biggest frustration with content: Not only are you learning about how to put the content together, but if you don’t have a clue of all pieces and parts of how to get it out to your audience and every case needs to be learned, that’s a lot all at once.Judy Kane
Judy: I think the biggest frustration I had was there were so many tools to learn at the same time. I’m not afraid of using tools and I’m pretty trainable, but when you’re trying to do marketing and you’re not used to creating the content and you don’t have a proficiency with any of the tools, it’s overwhelming. Not only are you learning about how to put the content together, but if you don’t have a clue of all pieces and parts of how to get it out to your audience and every case needs to be learned, that’s a lot all at once.
Susan: So how did the work we’ve been doing together help with that?
Judy: Well, I was trying to figure out what came first. I’m not even sure anymore.
Susan: Let me refresh your memory 😊 You had a Content Planning Intensive with me, and then you came into my Content Writing Course and then you came into my Content Clinic, the monthly membership. Along the way you received the Content Planner and gave me a lot of feedback to make that a better tool for people. So that’s the progression.
Judy: You also created an individual content marketing plan for me in our Content Planning Intensive.
Susan: Oh, right. That was actually the first thing we did together!
Judy: The intensive was really useful in terms of thinking about who my audience was, where they were on this journey, and to tailor the messages to be most effective for my audiences—basically discovering my own content creation definition! Your planner had a lot of good information about what kind of content would be most effective and how to get people’s attention.
Some of the most useful things I’ve learned from the bootcamp and the content clinic are how to write headlines, and how to maximize my content by repurposing. I’m no longer spending more time than I need to develop content.
Susan: What kind of results are you seeing from everything you’ve learned and are implementing?
Creating content has become really pretty comfortable for me.Judy
Judy: Creating content has become really pretty comfortable for me. I do a blog, newsletter, and Facebook. It’s manageable and not an overwhelming thing. I don’t do an intensive amount of work with my marketing because I’m only doing the things that are effective for my audience.
Susan: That’s a great point, Judy. I want to reiterate that you’re not doing daily content in every single place out there because you’ve honed in on what is effective for your audience and what works for them and for you. That means you get to do things on a more regular schedule and that helps with sanity in life.
Judy: Absolutely. You are so good at always helping people understand they need to know what’s getting good results. You teach what numbers to look at so that you can tell what’s working and not to spend a lot of time on the stuff that’s not working. That’s important.
Susan: Yes. I am a big fan of not doing work you do not need to be doing.
Judy: Yeah, absolutely. Efficiency’s a very good thing.
Susan: Would you say you are getting the clients and the relationships that you need to reach your business goals?
Judy: Yes, I am.
My most effective way of getting business is with networking and building relationships with coaches and with individuals I run across. But when my clients are looking at what I can offer, I’ve got a place where they can sign up for the newsletters and that’s a growing subscription number. People are finding it useful. My blog and Facebook posts show a presence, that there’s a regular amount of information I can share with people.
Susan: That’s really important: consistency and showing up. People take note of it.
What advice do you have for somebody who is in that place you were with feeling overwhelmed and maybe not doing as much marketing as they want or feeling like they’re doing everything on earth and going crazy?
Judy: I would tell them to talk to you. (Note from Susan: I did not tell her to say that! 😉)
You’ve got so much wisdom and experience on different ways to get people’s attention and what’s effective for different markets and stuff. Getting advice and guidance on the highest priorities for content and what they need to focus on will change things for them.
My second piece of useful advice is to join the Content Clinic. That’s where I take all the weird things that I don’t know what to do with during the week. That has been a huge help because I know each week if I’ve got somethingI’m stuck on, there’s a place where I can go and find out how to do it. That’s invaluable, really. And even if I don’t have a challenge one week, it’s interesting to hear what other people are working on. Sometimes we even talk about tools I hadn’t thought about that might be good for me.
Susan: It’s great brainstorming in that group.
Judy: It’s the brainstorming and the general marketing advice, but also just the specifics on, “gosh, I’m stuck with this particular application. It’s not doing what I want or I have no idea how to start with it.” You’ve been so helpful with all of us going the applications and figuring it out. I don’t know of another place where you can get that.
As small business owners, it’s so easy to just do everything on your own and try and struggle through it. You don’t need to do that.Susan
Susan: It’s fun. You’re very good at bringing me interesting things to figure out. I like what you said that as small business owners, it’s so easy to just do everything on your own and try and struggle through it. You don’t need to do that.Finding a mentor or a place where you can go and get support from other people really makes a difference and it gets you further in your business faster than trying to figure it all out.
Judy: Oh, absolutely. Or first spending a whole lot of time and realizing it’s not even the right tool to do what you want.
Susan: Yeah, unfortunately a lot of people end up spending time using the wrong tool because they don’t know where else to turn. So if I can help people figure out where they should be focusing their time, that’s great. My mission is to preserve the sanity of one female entrepreneur at a time.
Judy: You’ve got so much experience and you’ve used all these things for so long that you make it look effortless, and I think we’ve all built our proficiency up. We’re much better at all these things than we were when we started.
Susan: You’ve made tremendous progress since we’ve been working together. But don’t you worry, Judy, I’ve got more things to teach you.
Judy: I have no doubt about that. I’m sure there’s a whole bucket full of stuff there waiting for me.
Susan: Before I let you go to enjoy this beautiful weekend, do you have any other thoughts or anything else you would like to say?
I can’t emphasize enough that the experience you’ve got with the technical side plus the actual content knowledge is so valuable.Judy Kane
Judy: Just that I can’t emphasize enough that the experience you’ve got with the technical side plus the actual content knowledge is so valuable. It’s just really useful and you’ve been so generous with sharing what you know with people and really focusing on what it is they specifically need to get what they want done. I appreciate you and all of those qualities that you have. So, thank you.
Susan: And I appreciate having such an eager learner like you in my fold.
Judy: Oh, thanks.
Susan: We will end it here.
Go check out Aligned Consciousness and see what Judy is doing because it is really cool. And if there’s any block you have in your life that you can’t through, Judy can help you out with that.
Learn more about the programs Judy recommended. Book a complimentary content call and we can talk about where you are and where you want to go with your content marketing!