4 questions to ask yourself to create better content

There are four major questions that I ask myself when creating content, but sometimes when I have to guide my clients in their content strategy journey, the question of “I have nothing to share” arises. There’s an inherent fear in our human brain to second guess every poor or really good idea we might have. There are many ways to guarantee you create a piece of content that will help your audience grow and see you as an expert. 
 
Regardless of your industry or channel, these 4 questions are pertinent:
  1. Who are you speaking to? What are their doubts, pains dreams, fears, wants? Grab your ideal client persona and imagine you are having a real time conversation with them. (Tip: Use dictation on your phone or computer so that you can have a stream of consciousness and not be worried with spelling)
  2. What does the client transformation look like? What is their starting point before working with you? What will their point B be like, after they have worked with you?
  3. What kind of relationship and tone of voice do you use when talking with your clients? Reflect it. 
  4. What makes you, you? Telling your story and infusing your experience, errors, and victories will help people engage.
 
Let’s quickly unpack these.
 

1. Know your persona: who are you speaking to?

 
Persona exercises aren’t done to make you feel good and on control, they are meant to give you a guide of how to talk to them through your marketing efforts. If you can, speak to a real person that match that persona about their doubts, pains, dreams, fears and wants, and see if there’s any threshold between these and the offer you have.This is why we create personas, not just to create a cute brand identity (or strategy) and move on. There’s data, analysis, movement, a real person that is reflected on that exercise who very much wants to get the value you have to offer, you just need to learn to speak their language and motivate them to do so.
 

2. What does the client transformation look like?

 
Do they go from being confused about their TV choice to being sure they’ve gotten the right product? Do they go from having a mismatched home to a perfect balanced, aesthetic pleasing, visually clean home? What do they care about for that transformation to be relevant? How is it that your offer helps them achieve (not what you make for them, but what they can achieve).
 
When creating content, remember why they’d need to read in the first place: what’s the transformation for them like? Where are they at (A) and where will they be (B) once they work with you? Defining these for your ideal client will help you create content around the pain points (A) and create a positive response which will help you take them to an ideal stage (B).
 

3. What kind of relationship and tone of voice do you want to have with your audience?

 
and
 

4. What makes you, you?

 
Knowing the kind of relationship you will have with your audience as a company or individual is primordial for a cohesive marketing strategy. You can’t be someone you are not in front of them and expect to come across as genuine, or be completely cold and void of personality as a company because people simply can’t relate to that. The extremes are true as well: being extremely open or not open at all (removing humans of the business from the equation). People buy from those they like, and to like someone, you need to align with their values and beliefs — sure, there are nuances. Sharing your stories and your beliefs will help people relate, specially so if you can do that using your voice and look. 
 
Are you a happy and fun person who loves baking on the weekends, but you’re a profession photographer putting your work on Instagram? Then, let’s say that on Instagram Stories, you would mix these two things to make funny series on stories to teach about lighting and the way it affects texture and shape, while using bread as your subject. Sharing your personality, habits, hobbies, and creating content go hand in hand in a way that only you can create.

Look at this post. There is the content that adds depth to who you are, and shows the perspective that you have to your followers of the world (content that brands). This is the space you have to share your beliefs, values, your lifestyle, and be transparent about issues that you and your clients/audience members care about.

Then, there is the content that helps you grow your medium, also by sharing your beliefs and values, but also by asking something in exchange (“sign up!”) or by creating traction to another platform (“visit my website to purchase!”). This content allows you to grow your reach (how many individuals see your brand and content) and impressions (how many times your content is shown) on the platforms.
 
The last type of content is the ones that sells, which is by directly exposing the solution to the audience / client and asking for the sale. You can also introduce testimonials, messages and user generated content from people who buy your product, which you can share with your current audience and will also serve as social proof for future prospects. 
 
All in all, these four questions are just a starting point. Creating content takes time and preparation, and therefore, I also suggest you separate one day every week or at least every other week to work on content for your business, schedule them in bulk. The way I create content is as follows:

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