Creating content is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert, attract dream customers, and really become known for what you do best. But if you’re not doing it consistently or cohesively you could confuse your reader and potential customers. And if you’re not leveraging that content to its full extent, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
It might surprise you to hear that if you have a content problem you have a branding problem—because your brand is the impression you leave and what makes you memorable, and your content is one of the best ways to define who you are and what you want to be known and hired for. In this article, I’m going to share a step-by-step on how to create an editorial calendar that supports your branding goals.
The most important thing you need to understand before you begin creating content is what you want to be known for. If you want to be known for your artistic hand-lettering, your content should support that expertise. If you want to be known for your methodical and strategic thinking, you should be sharing it in your content.
Try this: pretend as if you’re writing a book.
This is the exercise we use with our one-on-one clients and in our Braid Method Branding ECourse to help our students define what they really want to be known for.
You can download the worksheet that will help you outline your book title, chapters, and topics. Your book title is your expertise. Your chapters and topics are the content you will write, speak, or share—every single time you hit “publish.” The content boundaries you create with your “book” will give your content (and brand) so much focus.
Once you determine the kind of content that will help your readers, listeners, and viewers understand what you’re all about and begin to trust your expertise, you need to pick your sharing platforms. I want you to consider your PRIMARY sharing platform and the SUPPORT platforms.
Whether you’re writing, designing, speaking, filming, or streaming, your primary sharing platform should be where you put the most effort into your content.
Your support platforms are other places your content may show up—but the trick is you always want your support content to point back to the primary platform.
Here is a list of just a few sharing platforms to consider—these can and will change as your brand and technology trends evolve! That’s okay. Choose ONE as your primary sharing platform and a FEW for your support platforms.
Here’s an example of how your sharing platforms might work:
PRIMARY PLATFORM: Blog
SUPPORT PLATFORMS: Newsletter, Facebook Live (streaming video), Twitter, Instagram
Let’s say you post once a week—your most impactful and generous knowledge—to a blog.
As you can see in this example, all the support platforms always point back to the primary content you created. Your primary platform could also be a social media platform like Instagram, for example. In that instance, your support platforms always direct your audience to follow you on Instagram. I’m always being asked for my opinion on the best “primary” platforms, and my best recommendation is that it is a “place” you have control of (like your own website or newsletter) and something you enjoy creating—whether that be video, writing, podcasting, or simply sharing impactful images.
Now you know what kind of content you want to share, the platforms you want to share it on, and the frequency with which you’re sharing, it’s time to systemize your content creation! My favorite way to do this is to open a calendar—digital or physical are both great. I like to get nerdy with it and color code my sharing platforms. So for example, I might highlight every Tuesday yellow indicating a blog post. Then I might fill in my support tweets in blue and my Instagram posts in pink.
Sometimes I’ll build flexibility into my editorial calendar by simply knowing I need to publish a blog post or send out a newsletter on a certain day OR I’ll begin filling in my content calendar with specific topics I want to share. I also like to take into account program launches, seasonal themes, or special promotions I want to include in my schedule and wrap my content around those in a way that feels cohesive.
I want to tell you that there is no wrong way to create an editorial calendar, and you might try out a few different platforms and sharing frequencies until you find something that works for you. Now get to creating and sharing!
SHARE THIS +
The number one thing we hear over and over from our Braid Method clients, ECourse students, and newsletter subscribers is this:
I need to know how to get more clients.
We hear you. And honestly the question “how do I get more clients?” always makes us feel a little uneasy over here. Because the truth is this: there is no guaranteed formula, blueprint, or silver bullet that will get you more clients.
However… we do believe in attracting clients with confident positioning + compelling content. If you can position yourself as a trusted and relatable expert by consistently sharing your gifts of knowledge, and be able to articulate how it is you can help … well, you’ll have potential clients knocking down the door begging to work with you.
Can you imagine if your biggest problem wasn’t getting clients but having to say no and determining what to raise your prices to? That’s what we believe solid positioning and reliably good content does.
We offer exercises and a variety of scripts in our Braid Method ECourse that can help you with your positioning, but for now try this:
My name is ___[this can be your name + business]___. I offer ____ [this is your service or product] ____ for people who ____[this describes your dream client and what they need from you]______.
Got it? Good. Go update your About Me page, social media profiles, and practice saying it over and over again for those networking conversations. Now, we know that simplifying your positioning statement to two sentences might feel uncomfortable. We know that you do more than JUST that – or that those two lines don’t fully capture your entire story the way you want them to. And that’s where content comes in. But for now, if you can get super simple and clear on what it is you do, and for who, you are setting up the foundation of a brand that attracts and sells without confusing your potential client.
I’ll be writing more about how you can back up your positioning and dive deep with content (blogs! newsletters! podcasts! social media!) to evolve, explore, or deepen your expertise and attract dream clients next week.
Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a thing!
SHARE THIS +
Branding is not just a logo. Branding is not just consistent typography and colors. Branding is not just your brushed up mission statement. Branding is not just your website, your business card, or your email signature.
Branding can include all these things. But branding can also be so much more. That’s great news for your business, especially if you can create a brand that really captures your voice, your purpose, and what you want to be known and hired for.
The problem we face when we start to really see the whole picture our brand can paint for us is getting overwhelmed by the scope of it all.
We find ourselves asking:
“Do I already have a brand?”
“Do I need a better brand?”
“How much money, time, or energy do I really need to devote to my branding?”
“And once I do get my branding where it needs to be… how do I market myself?”
“Where does branding end and marketing to my dream clients begin?”
Is there a shortcut to getting your brand in shape?
Nope, no branding shortcuts here, but I can share with you some brand places you can start shaping up in the short term, with some guidance that can help you get there in the long term.
Your brand starts with your positioning message. But it’s gotta be straightforward and it’s gotta sound real.
This is your positioning statement. Do you know yours? Your positioning really pays in the first conversations and the first impressions your brand is sharing online and in person. Your positioning is being able to tell people what you do – in an instant. Write yours in two sentences – three tops. Be straight, be clear, then pepper in your personality with words that actually sound and feel like you. No corporate speak. No over-the-top puppies and rainbows either. Shape this statement up. It pays in so many ways.
Bonus branding points? Go in and rewrite your about me page to feel like an expanded version of your positioning statement. But this is where you can really feel more like “you” and add in layers of your own relatability, your own purpose, and how this relates to your dream clients. I like to even think of this like a “letter to your dream clients from me, a relatable expert who understands you.”
Your brand will inspire and attract your dream clients if you can start to share content that speaks to them.
Guess what, the more specific you can get about your dream client’s wants, needs, pains, hopes, dreams, and personality – the more you can share content that gets them inspired, gets them feeling like they are understood, and inspired to learn more about working with you. Your content can be blog posts, social media posts, or even just the content on your site. Your content should be a mix of your personal voice + your professional expertise. If you’re wondering where branding ends and marketing begins (i.e. “how do I go out and find my dream clients?”) then this is the best place to start. Meet your dream clients where they’re already engaging in content – but if you don’t have a message to share, then what’s the point of reaching them?
Once you’ve attracted & inspired your dream clients, do you know what you’re selling them? Do they know how to hire you? Is this the work you want to be known for?
Maybe knock it off with the a la carte menu of services – half of which you don’t even want to really do, but you include them because you feel like you have to show “you can do it all!” Think about the one package you want to sell. You can still provide the other stuff, but this is just an aside. What if you had to rewrite your how-to-hire-me page to really push one offering big, then think of the other services as “also’s and others” that take up maybe just the last 10% of your sales copy – a footnote really! The same goes for your portfolio pieces, testimonials and case studies. Only share the examples of work that you want to keep attracting, or you’ll just keep getting hired for work you don’t want to be doing anymore – because your brand is telling people that’s what you do.
Your vision, your positioning, your personal + professional voice, and your packaged offering are the most important foundation layers of your brand. This is the brand work you can create for yourself because they come from you! But steps and guidance along the way sure help!
Then you can worry about your logo, your colors, your type, your images, your website, your business card, (heck, your email signature!) even the tactical pieces of your marketing strategy.
Getting your brand feeling like you and feeling legit, is never a short and sweet process. In fact, these three big areas above aren’t so short at all are they? If you find yourself needing some support and guidance, these are exactly the areas we’ll be guiding you through in the Braid Method Branding ECourse for positioning yourself, defining your personal + professional blend, getting your business vision out of your head, on paper, and reaching your dream clients as the kind of creative entrepreneur you really want to be.
If you want to get serious about positioning, our Braid Method Branding ECourse will help you do exactly that. It will help you get to know yourself, what you’re good at, the image you portray, who you like working with and can really help, things you’re doing that are confusing or hurting your ability to focus on your area of genius, your method of working with clients, how to tell people what you do, and focusing in on your message so you can do some effective content marketing. Check it out here >>
SHARE THIS +