A simple process to create digital content for your program, course, emails, sales page, podcast, and video that actually converts
One of the things we commonly hear from our clients is that content strategy for their coaching, wellness, or consulting business feels so overwhelming that they’re paralyzed before they can even begin.
Content is so important—even the word content is so pervasive in our everyday business language. Other than face-to-face interactions, which often also require content creation (think presentation deck or speech), it is literally the only way we can share our expertise and our passion with the world.
And this is how people come to know, like and trust us (AKA, become our supporters and/or clients). As small business owners and solopreneurs, building our loyal following is critical to our ability to scale.
There are so many ways to share content online: social media posts, social media stories, going live on social media, webinars, emails, web pages, videos, podcasts, online courses, and so on.
The analysis paralysis is real.
But what’s even more of a hurdle for most people is not where to put their content, it’s what they should be talking about within their content.
How to create content that converts
Do a little light stalking...
Okay, don’t actually stalk anyone… we don’t condone the violation of privacy (or other firm boundaries). But if you are pretty clear on who your ideal client (avatar) is, then you can probably find them online. You know which Facebook groups they’re in and who they follow on Instagram.
These groups and pages can be gold mines if you do a little digging. Find posts related to your niche, look at the comments, and take some notes (screenshots are fine, too!):
- What questions are they asking?
- What problems do they seem to have?
- How do they describe their struggle?
- What are they asking for help with?
- How do they seem stuck?
- What are they wishing for?
- What kind of words do they use to describe how they feel?
This gives you a great starting point for what to talk about in your content. Solve problems that they have. Use their words to describe the problem and the transformation you’re offering.
Once you’ve mined what’s already there to date, check back for just a couple minutes every day or two to see what else people are talking about.
Ask your people what they want and need
Listen, it’s exactly what it sounds like. This method is so simple it’s probably going to blow your mind. But just because it’s simple does not mean it’s easy. You’re going to have to get a little uncomfortable to get the really good stuff. I promise you it’s worth it because it doesn’t take that much time, and it removes all the guesswork.
Send out a survey
Create a questionnaire and ask people who are your ideal clients to fill it out. It only needs to have two questions—THAT’S IT.
Here they are:
- What is the #1 challenge you’re struggling with right now related to __________________________ [insert your niche / field of expertise].
- What is the #1 thing you want to accomplish related to ___________________________ [insert your niche / field of expertise].
These questions help you understand where to meet your client—what they’re struggling with and how it’s affecting them, and where they want to be—the transformation they need help with.
Now, it’s absolutely imperative that you only send this survey to people who are your ideal clients. If you ask your aunt Kathy, who is a 50-something affluent housewife living in a mansion in Beverly Hills to fill out your survey, and your business helps middle class women in their 30s who work for themselves and are struggling to create abundance, Kathy’s answers are very unlikely to help you solve your client’s problems.
If you already have an email list of prospects and/or existing clients, send an email asking them to help you out by providing some feedback that will help you create more valuable offers for people just like them.
If you’re still growing your email list, or it’s a mixed bag audience, don’t worry. You can go find those same people that you lightly stalked earlier on social media, whom you know fit your client avatar, and DM them with a personalized request to fill out your survey.
The more qualified responses you can get, the better your data, but really, even a few responses is super helpful.
Use your smartphone as (*gasp*) a phone
This is the uncomfortable part I mentioned earlier. You need to get in touch with a handful of people that filled out your survey and schedule a phone call with them.
I know that talking to people that you don’t really know about their problems can be a little scary for some of you, and trust me, I get it. But here’s the thing, the more you have to gain from the content you’re creating—let’s say it’s a really big online course and you’re hoping to make at least $20k off the launch—you absolutely HAVE to do this step.
This is why: these people will basically write your content for you. They will tell you exactly what problems to solve and exactly what life looks like on the other side. They will give you the exact words to use to describe the problems and the transformations in your sales funnel / email campaign. They will basically validate your idea for the course and help you course-correct (pun intended) the curriculum where you might have strayed away from what they really need and want.
And guess what, you are still going to ask the very same two questions that you did in your survey… Only this time, there will be loads more detail because they are speaking instead of writing, and you have a chance to dig deeper with them to understand if there are deeper issues holding them back from having what they want. Take really good notes and if possible, record the call so you can re-listen for anything you might have missed.
We use this method in our own businesses. We’ve had our ideas validated and we’ve been surprised to hear some problems we didn’t even know our clients had, which provided us with exciting ideas for new solutions. At the end of the day, we are here to be of service, so these interviews are without a doubt metaphorical pots of gold for us.
Plus, these conversations can be really fun! We do ours on Zoom and, with our interviewee’s permission, record the video call so we can go back later and assess body language cues to see which pain points were extra painful and which desired outcomes were extra juicy.
You can make some great connections within your community, and you’ll feel extra confident about your content when you’re done!
How much is too much?
Now that you know what problems you can help your audience solve, you probably have a bunch of content ideas brewing. If you are creating a larger offering like a program or a course, you’ve likely written a ton of content for your lessons and modules already.
But you don’t want to give it all away because then no one would need to pay for your services, and this is a business you’re running here. We want people at the sweet spot of having had enough of a taste of what you do that they like you and trust you, but now they’re hungry for more.
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Here’s a general guide for how much to give away based on content delivery type:
Very dense content like Course Curriculum / Group Program / eBook / Signature Offer
For these large and specialized offerings, you definitely want to share a lot of information. These are always going to be for paying clients only, so you can give them everything you’ve got. The way you’ll promote these offerings to your audience is by using the next two methods.
Medium length content like Blog / Vlog / Podcast/ Opt-in Incentive / Email Newsletter
For blog posts, vlogs, and podcast episodes, you can use the One Process or the 30,000-ft View methods we talked about in our freebie post. This means you share one small process from one lesson/specific topic you cover in your larger offer (1:1 sessions, online course, group program, etc.) OR the list of steps included to tackle a problem but without the detailed how-to for each step.
Micro content like Social Post / Social Story / TikTok / Short Email
Or you can go even smaller with your content, which can be especially powerful for social media and email formats.
Here are some ideas for micro content:
- Quotes from respected / revered sources related to your topic
- Compelling data points that support your topic
- Tips related to your topic (or a few directly from your program/course/blog post)
- Photos / graphics related to your topic
- Short videos (really short, like TikTok length)
Whatever you choose to share with your audience, do it with authenticity and enthusiasm. If you approach every piece of content, big and small, as an opportunity to serve your clients and provide value by offering solutions to their problems, you are on the right path, friend.