If you’re already creating work that others are engaging with and enjoying, dig deep and keep going.
The podcast that gives you joy, the blog that gets you leads, the email that people respond to, the videos that get you noticed. One thing you shouldn’t do when things get tough is to press “pause.”
It’s hard enough to attract and grow an audience – the moment you stop producing content, is the moment you let the air out of your balloon and lose what you’ve been building.
This article looks at practical tips on how you can ensure that you keep going: Steady. Curious. Creative. Committed. Able. It’s about being all of these things, month in, month out. By continuing to create and share work that has your values embedded in it, you’re giving yourself space to keep growing.
Why Now Is A Good Time To Build
You may find that you now have slightly more time on your hands and the opportunity to put more effort into your audience-building.
The people who put themselves in the best position to emerge from this, and indeed any crisis, are the ones who choose to continue building and sharing their narrative, in a context-appropriate way. This doesn’t mean saying that for you, it’s business as usual and merely focusing on selling. That sort of approach will not only annoy in the here and now, but could permanently damage your reputation.
Here are some resources to help you reboot your strategy, set your course and then keep that momentum going:
Figure out the one word you stand for https://www.youarethemedia.co.uk/one-word-you-stand-for/
Create work that people buy into https://www.youarethemedia.co.uk/create-work-that-people-will-buy-into/
Create so-called, content pillars, https://www.youarethemedia.co.uk/blogging-presents-a-huge-opportunity/
Build trust from scratch https://www.youarethemedia.co.uk/build-trust-from-scratch/
Why You Should Keep Going
Persistence pays, particularly when you can see what it can bring you, beyond just achieving your personal content production milestones. It can benefit you in so many ways:
You get better
the longer you keep going, the more comfortable you become with your chosen medium. You become a better writer, stronger presenter, sharper and more on-the-money with your messaging, the more you practice.
You create themes
The longer you prevail for, the more you discover a common thread and inter-related themes running through your work. For instance, a common subject around my writing at the start of 2020 has been around turning a side project into a commercial venture (this is what happened with You Are The Media).
People become aware of you
If you only start posting now when everyone else is, it’s like beginning the marathon with thousands of other people at the starting line. If you persist, ensuring that you’re in it for the long haul, there’s more of an opportunity for others to get to know who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
You have your own, self-created space no matter what
Spending time creating over a long period of time becomes, in itself, a place of solace. It feels good when the world look rosy, but it’s even better when the world turns turbulent.
Changing your mind and stopping is less of an option
If you have spent time finding a rhythm and others come along to and enjoy your work and your audience grows, you recognise that you can’t stop. A long pause doesn’t come into the equation, this realisation gives you the edge you need to keep creating.
You can reach more people over time
Being persistent helps you grow an audience that is 100% yours. The longer you are playing, the greater the opportunity to build something that is sizeable and that people want to be a part of. Who would want to cast that aside?
How You Hang On In There
Here are some tips to make sure you hang in there and don’t run out of steam:
Find the thing you enjoy and which align with your commercial imperative.
Things feel so much easier when the message you share joins up with your main business. If it can align with, and complement, your main business you’ll have created a huge asset. Click here to read how to make a side project work.
Give yourself ample time to produce content.
Producing content can’t be rushed, if you give yourself a goal of two pieces of content per month and leave it to chance and the last Friday of the month, then it’ll always be an uphill battle.
Establish a system.
Start off by collating all your ideas. The best ideas occur in the least likely places, i.e. not when you’re expecting them, such as in the shower or when you’re going for a walk or run.
I use Evernote for collating ideas, but any Notes space or app will work. Once you have your ideas, divide them into topics or themes and ask yourself five or six questions related to each separate topic. Find a quiet space, with no interruption, to then answer those questions. This Q&A approach can then become the bedrock of your content.
Stop looking for perfection.
Don’t get hung up on perfection when you’re looking to build an audience. The clock is ticking and you don’t need to become fixated on producing the perfect piece of work. It’s better that people actually get to see or hear what you produce in a timely way.
Acknowledge people giving you the thumbs up.
It’s great when others appreciate your work. It makes you more motivated and helps you keep going. So, when someone comments or shares – respond, recognise their engagement as an opportunity for building a deeper relationship and thank them for joining the conversation.
What’s The Pay Off For You?
Let me highlight some of the return you can get on your efforts:
You find better clients, more easily
When others see that you have a proven, easily demonstrable track record and they understand what you specialise in and stand for, business development becomes so much easier than going down the cold-call, sales route. Your content becomes your shop window, something that draws people in, based on the help you provide.
You grow a loyal audience
When you connect with people who appreciate what you create and also identify with your views and ideas, your audience grows. The longer you stay active for, the greater the opportunity to build an audience you’re proud to serve.
You build your confidence
This all comes down to self-fulfilment. Creating work that others connect with, makes you feel good. Your early days may make content production seem a lonely practice, but in time it should become a place where you bring people together (on and offline), and this brings both personal and professional fulfillment.
Let’s Round Up
If you can keep going with something – a regular email, an ongoing podcast, a rolling blog or video series – you get better at it and find its benefits seep into all areas of your life, not just your business.
Whilst we live through uncertain times, the very act of producing content and creating something that resonates with or helps others, is an act of empowerment – a place of strength to build from and all the better weather the challenges that lie ahead.