I work with many organizations that have small marketing departments (in some cases, departments of one). One of the biggest challenges in creating content – in particular, creating blog posts – for their social media calendar is that they feel a pull between doing their work and blogging about it. In cases where the business or nonprofit is very small, the challenge becomes even greater. Blogging (or creating any content for your social media channels) can be seen as a waste of time because you’re not doing, you’re blogging.
Talking about what you do vs. doing it is actually a challenge for any “marketing” activity, but for our purposes, let’s stick to blogging.
As I work to get myself on a content calendar, I’ve really felt challenged by this myself. On one hand, I have a lot of client work to get done, and a limited amount of time to do it in. On the other hand, I want to make the same commitment to my social channels that I make my clients make. Add in that I’m one person – I do everything, including the books – and I can totally sympathize with how challenging it can be.
What have I done? Well, I look back on the pointers I give my clients to help myself out. Here’s just a few:
- Write about what you know. This is probably the oldest writing trick in the book, but it really works for content creation. Start by creating content about what you’re working on and what knowledge you can share with your clients or others interested in your industry.
- You are not Tolstoy…and you don’t have to write War and Peace. Don’t try to explain your whole mission in one blog post, and don’t commit to writing long form content right away. Start short. If you share what you know, you’ll find it a lot easier to create your content.
- Don’t just rely on yourself (or your marketing department). I love hearing from marketing departments, but your customers might be more interested in hearing from your practitioners rather than from your marketing team. Get the people who go out and do the services your organization provides to give you content. If you’re worried that your practitioners aren’t writers, then interview them and write up the actual copy yourself – but look to them for information.
Do you have any content creation/blogging ideas for small businesses or marketing departments of one? What are your challenges? Do you ever feel the push between “doing” vs. “blogging”?
I spend most of my time helping people get their social media communication on a schedule (and then pester them to stay on that schedule), and several months ago, I knew I was in a situation that many of my clients were familiar with. I needed to put my money where my mouth is and get myself on a schedule. After all – if I spend all day long making my clients use their communication tools, I probably should as well.
However, I was never very comfortable with how my site looked. It was thrown together – thanks to a free WordPress theme and some rudimentary html skills I picked up back in 1996* – but I didn’t like it. I was actually embarrassed by it.
Enter Laura with Red Table. I met her through a friend, and she helped me get my act together, so that I have a site I can be proud to send people to when I write about online marketing. With her help, I have something I really love, including these really sweet business cards:
Over the next few weeks, I will be slowly revamping my own content schedule and I have some fun stuff planned – from interviews with friends in the marketing world to answering questions that I get a lot. (A lot a lot). Hope you enjoy the new look as much as I do.
*The best $10 I ever spent was on a basic html book back in 1996/97. I still use it to this day. No joke.