How To Create Content
The Inventive Journey
Podcast for Entrepreneurs
How To Create ContentIdentifying where your largest community is. I always want my clients to get the biggest bang for their buck when they are looking at their content. So finding where the majority of your people are and targeting the top three to five questions, interactions, or response that you see most often is a really great place to start when you are looking to create content. Chances are you are already engaging with those people and working to answer that question anyway. So building the content is an opportunity for you to polish and fine toon that response and make it available to people easier, which will eventually save you time on the other side.
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The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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identifying kind of where your largest community is i always want my clients to get the biggest bang for their buck when they're looking at their content so finding where the majority of your people are and targeting the top three to five questions or interactions or responses that you see most often is a really great place to start when you're looking to create content and chances are you're already engaging with those people and working to answer that question anyway so building the content is an opportunity for you to really polish and fine-tune that response and make it available to people easier which will eventually save you time on the other side hey everyone this is devon miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that has built several businesses into seven and eight figure companies as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we have another great um guest on the podcast amanda derrick and she's one of our on our expert episode and today you know we've talked a little bit in a few of the other previous ones about you know how you do social media marketing and how you do linkedin marketing and other ones and we're going to change it up a little bit so it's kind of in that same vein but one of the questions we've really never drilled down to as much on is how you actually come up with the content now once you have the content we've talked about what you do with them how do you identify what is the content we should be creating how do we conceptualize that how to create it and then we'll get into a little bit about how you leverage it so with that much as an introduction welcome on to the podcast amanda thanks nice to be here so now before we dive into what is you know how to do all of the your expert areas of content creation and leveraging and whatnot maybe give everybody just a short background on yourself so how did you get into this why are you an authority on it and what makes you what makes you know what you are what you're talking about yeah so i actually have a background in mechanical engineering my undergrad was engineering based but i pretty quickly transitioned as i worked for boeing to working on content because i liked to translate technology into english so that somebody else could actually care about the story that we were telling and so that really stuck with me and i found it to still be a very scientific based process where you know you had a hypothesis about your client or your customer you tried to create a message that illustrated value for them and then you went back to them to see how that message resonated how we missed the mark and how we can improve um so i took that skill and eventually transitioned to some other industries doing lots of freelance work for anyone from apartment therapy to slate to patreon kind of just exploring different industries i really love meeting with entrepreneurs and different creators who have very specific and interesting value propositions that we can share with others uh spent some time in the travel industry which was really a lot of fun maybe a little less interesting at the moment but uh now have ad landed at content strategy full-time for a marketing agency so okay no that's uh very insightful and i think that's a fun journey i said typically you don't have engineers that go into content creation as much so kudos to you for a fun journey and that'd be another whole different episode that we could always talk about another day but now so now we dive into content creation and you know mike you know you hear everybody and it seems like it's you know people are hit you know chanting that you're hitting the note even more and more of we need content right you need a blog you need a podcast you need a way to reach your audience and whether it's for seo or for social media or for whatever the platform is you know content has kind of become you know what everybody's content is king right everybody needs it and yet most people one or either you know don't have if they're a startup or small business they don't necessarily have a huge team that can just write all the content in the world and or two they even if they have the team they don't necessarily you know they know they need content but what kind of content what should they focus on or how so how do you kind of go through that initial step of identifying what content you can do and then how do you tailor that to what you're able to do right in the sense that if you only have so many hours in the day do i write five blog posts do i do one you know video or how do you kind of identify that yeah so i think a big part of it is to first identify what the value proposition is that you're trying to communicate you know if your company or your your audience is geared towards a specific branch of social media if you've got 10 times as many followers on linkedin as you do on instagram you know the the first thing is really to identify where people are and then to look and say okay what questions are they asking when i'm getting interaction on a post what is it what is the feedback that i'm getting um what what kinds of questions are they asking other companies similar to mine that we could put out and have content be not just content for the sake of filling up a blog post and there is some truth to that that you know the frequency of your content does matter if you're looking for people to be consistently tuned in and grow an audience however if it's content that doesn't really have a solid value proposition that matters to the people who you're reaching it's probably not going to reach anybody else because they won't be interested in sharing it so identifying kind of where your largest community is i always want my clients to get the biggest bang for their buck when they're looking at their content so finding where the majority of your people are and targeting the top three to five questions or interactions or responses that you see most often is a really great place to start when you're looking to create content and chances are you're already engaging with those people and working to answer that question anyway so building the content is an opportunity for you to really polish and fine-tune that response and make it available to people easier which will eventually save you time on the other side no i think that makes perfect sense so now i'm gonna take that and and try to apply to real world examples so let's say and you know this is a case for us miller ip a lot and we'll just take that because that's the one i know but you take that and you know we do we do a few things we do things on you know our podcast and that but primarily within the firm social media is an example we're much more on linkedin than we are on facebook we just found that more professionals people are looking for our services generally tend to be more on the linkedin and are active on there than they are on facebook not that there aren't people on facebook i'm sure but if you're just say hey we have and i'm making them number fifteen thousand followers on facebook or on linkedin and we you know we want to start daily posting we want to post more content we don't really know where to start you know how do i then take what you just said and start to apply it how do i say you know do i go and you know stalk the other law firms and see what they're posting because you know where i found on the legal side and i would assume it kind of sometimes applies in some industries more than other let's take you know a dentist or others is a lot of times law firms are terrible about the content most time the only other things i see with law firms is they're saying hey we hired this new partner or we're looking for a new person to hire on to ours or here's our logo and use our services and so there isn't really a lot of engaging content so you're saying hey okay i've identified the platform i think we need to be on and i still don't know based on what others are posting it doesn't seem to be that all that engaging or helpful and nobody's getting much interaction then where do you take it to the next step of how do you if there isn't an easy you know if you can find whether competitors are working for them that's a good place to start out with but let's say you don't have a place to start out with then your competitors aren't doing anything or they're not doing it well enough to want to emulate yeah so in the case of the example you gave for linkedin you can do a little bit of homework just on what type of content is successful on linkedin very often it's fairly neutral linkedin is not usually the place that people look to be super polarizing or political um it's very often something that can tie into your community so you've talked about a pretty significant linkedin following right you know 15 grand there's nothing to sneeze at and those are people who have already expressed interest in what you're doing and so my recommendation there would be let's show them a little bit more of what you're doing if you've got a good following and they're already here let's give them a little inside look at what you're doing do you have a great client success story that you could share do you have an interesting outreach experience that you were able to participate in that could help another local small business get some visibility too and then they can share you back the opportunity to really tie in to your community whether that's through an existing client who can then share your story or through a partnership that you might have with an organization participation in local networking opportunities and things like that anything you can share like that where you can tag others and generate more of a community interest and give people an opportunity to interact is a great way to get started and often that content is fairly short it's not necessarily a whole huge blog post it can just be a small linkedin post with a great photo or a fun question and tag the people who were involved and people will feel like they're just a little bit more invested in what you're already doing all right no that makes perfect sense and now i'm throwing you out a different example so yeah you answered that one great now i'm going to give you a different er different question so now you take and a lot of the listeners a lot of people that are you know following the podcast they are a small business or a startup they're just getting started so they don't even have a following right and so let's say that you know they come out with and i'll make the next footwear right they come out with the next great sandals or the next great nikes or something of that nature and so they don't really know where because they're just getting started they're just getting started out they don't really know where their audience necessarily lies or and they don't have much of a following so how do they identify or conceptualize what content when they don't know where they're going to go with i mean do they start out doing homework and to see where other competitors which platforms are on and the question i've always had personally is you know it seems like sometimes just because other competitors are on a platform doesn't mean it's the right platform right meaning that they may be doing you know you may see a competitor that's doing a whole bunch on pinterest when they really should be on instagram or facebook or linkedin and you just had whoever was the person they hired in the marketing department was most familiar with instagram so they chose that and so how do you kind of identify where you should be at and what content you should put on it if you're if you're just starting out absolutely and you'll notice you know a lot of the platforms like instagram you have to have a certain following before you can really use more of the features right that would drive people to your content and take advantage of that so that's definitely something that's worth keeping in mind i think that when things are really very new especially if it's product based building content that really illustrates the value of your product is huge and very often that product the marketing material that you build for that can be repurposed across a lot of different places so getting a really cohesive and maybe this is even an internal you know marketing document that really shows one or two pages the discriminators for what you're doing for the service you're providing or for the product you've got a very clear vision of what your value is that you're providing to others then you can take that piece of content and have it kind of be we often call it like the wall of truths this is what is always going to be true about our brand these are the things that we will share consistently that our customers will know this is us and then those things can generally be built out into shorter pieces whether it's on linkedin or it's on instagram and maybe it's both where you can share little snippets of discriminating values that you have created in that baseline document i think a lot of times it's possible to kind of have your your product get away from you a little bit when you're just starting and you get really excited and you want to get manufacturing you want to get something out there you want to have a digital resource you know hit the internet so people can start downloading it but really making sure that you have an internal understanding of it for you for any marketing people you're working with for any sales people that you're working with to make sure that everybody is on that same page that internal content is just as important and strategic as what you choose to put out on whatever platform your preference is okay no i think that that makes great sense so now let's take the assumption whether it's the you know the law firm that i gave example the startup or whatever but i figured out where i need to put my content i've even got a few ideas based on what my competitor is doing you know i wouldn't at least from an intellectual property once i just go copy and paste their articles probably not the best idea because you're probably gonna get sued but let's say you know i've identified kind of the general topics i've been identified where to start posting it now how do i actually go about creating it meaning you know let's say i'm not you know most startups and small businesses they don't have the ability to hire on a full team right they can't just go and hire you know someone that does the content creation another one that does a posting and another one that monitor you know they just don't do this a lot of times they're doing it themselves or they have a very small team a lot of times to say whoever raises their hand who knows how to post oh i know how to post okay then you're in charge of it so how do you get the you know how do you go about doing the actual content creation as a startup or small business in the sense of you know how do you start writing if you're not used to writing or how do you start posting or should you you know you know how do you go about even tackling that even if i know now where i'm supposed to post and the topics i'm supposed to post on how do i get start how do you get started right so i think competitor research here can be really valuable uh you know to go and visit other sites other blogs and things to to kind of have a general idea of what is already out there not with the mind of mimicking it but just to be aware of kind of what clients in that atmosphere will expect there's definitely value to differentiating yourself and being able to show differences and different perks that you have but you do want it to feel authoritative and knowledgeable and not like you're just totally out in left field there are some things with content generally that i recommend to all of my clients we like to see a good number of headings your seo will be happier for this too that if if you do a little homework on the terms that people might be searching for to find these things and you have headings and subheadings that lend themselves to those search terms that's a helpful thing to have a lot of people are looking at sites on their mobile devices and so having shorter paragraphs more white space making sure your photos aren't too large to be viewed on a smaller device there are some things like that that you can do that are more you know housekeeping but they'll make it so that when someone does get to your content that it is more digestible for them i really recommend uh particularly for startups that are product based i like to see blog posts stay in like the 500 to 750 word zip code i i feel like once you pass that that it should probably be more than one blog because if someone is reading it and they're scrolling down on a mobile device they're probably getting pretty tired by the time they get to that point and they're not going to be able to internalize all of the value that you're trying to show them um particularly when you're looking to have more content if you're looking to build your content library don't worry about squishing it all into one big post that covers everything from a to z break it up do a series have something that that feels like a continuation of that thought but can still stand alone um and those things perform particularly well in atmospheres like pinterest where you can pin one article and have a great image for it and tag that it's a series on it and within that article now you can link back to the one prior or you can link to the one in front of it and so you're building internal linking at the same time that you're keeping your content really easy to handle some things like that and those are some great things and so now i'm going to ask you another question because i just like to ask questions but um you know you take so let's say you know there are a few different things and i'm just going off from my experience which is probably a bad idea but you know you take let's take blog posts you know kind of one that a lot of time you get started with because it helps you know you always hear it helps with seo right and you can drive more people to your site and then they'll stay longer and you'll they'll find more con value in that within that you know what it if i were to if you and i know it's a hard question if you're to focus on just the one thing that you should put your time and effort should it be hey i need a catchy tag line you know a title right or do i need the world's best photos or do i need the world's best you know actual written you know written content what is you know all of them need to be taken care of but if you're to start to i got to start somewhere and i'm going to bite something off where should you start out if you're as far as your focus of photos or titles or actual written descriptions or is there something else you should start out with i think that's kind of one of those places where your mileage may vary yeah if i'm selling a product online and i don't have a great photo of it i can say almost anything about it and it probably won't matter um so i don't want to tell you that the content in that case the words don't matter because they do but the chances of somebody making it to your words past a less than awesome photo are not great so in that case especially where if you want to catch somebody as they're scrolling through a linkedin feed or through an instagram you know the photo is what's going to really catch somebody's attention that being said i don't think that that has to be a huge investment um i think that you know that's just something that takes a a decent setup and and a little bit of photo editing and you can usually get there the headline i feel like should be concise and clear and reflect the brand that you have so if your brand is a little bit more tongue-in-cheek personable then the headline should reflect that too if you're a little bit more serious then the headline should feel right for the site that you're building it on um and it and that is the place where your seo is really going to thrive or not that headline matters a lot to your seo and so that's more of an organic traffic kind of a thing so if you feel like this is something that people are going to search for a lot and you're building up your site to the point where it's going to have authority and a google search ranking then that headline is going to play a lot but if you're looking for traffic through your own posts through linkedin or through advertisements that you're placing and things like that then your seo is probably not going to be as immediate of a need so i think that really identifying where you expect your traffic to come from is kind of the first step in deciding which one of those things to focus on neither of those things has to be a huge time killer it's really a matter of doing a little bit of homework and being conscious of the image that you're trying to share no i think that's all all great advice and certainly very insightful so now let's say that i've i figured that out right so we're kind of taking it step-wise first i figured out where i should post or you know what i should be doing identify the audience got my topic you know topics of what i should write on then i go and make my post whether it's you know doing a short post and you know a linkedin post or doing a blog article or whatnot now you talked a little bit you know when we talked a little bit before the podcast how do you go about leveraging that content content as much as possible meaning do you post it across all the platforms in this do very minor variations do you drill down deeper on one and post them you know multiple times you post the same post you know varying ways multiple times on different platforms or how do you leverage the content as best you can right so i do like i said i love to get a lot of mileage out of a single piece of content and often what that means is i'll build something larger like a five-page case study or you know a video something like that and then i will break that down into smaller pieces to use across other platforms and kind of the beauty of that is that it keeps brand really consistent because you're working off of something that's already been created and not trying to start brand new every single time which i really like to do especially if companies are in a place where they're using a contractor to do content for them it's not somebody who's internal who's spending time with you every day um who's really invested in your company and knows more of your vibe than somebody who is a remote contractor might so having a an outline for content like that really helps you be able to reach out to other resources as well i think that the the beauty of that content a lot of times when i'm working with somebody who they're saying you i just need to see more traffic i need to see more traffic and then we'll start kind of like we talked about say okay where where are most of your people finding you are they on linkedin are they in instagram are they on pinterest where are they at let's find those people and then do you have a really great client who's already established there do you have someone who is a great friend on linkedin who you can send those perfect new sandals to who's got a big linkedin following and who can do a joint review with you and can share more about your company and about the product that will reach more people i think that startups really depend on community and i noticed that a lot in my writing with patreon but the focus was always that we wanted these blog posts about these creators to sound very much like them i was writing them but they needed to sound like these creators it needed to feel familiar to their community to be identifiable and to really be true to who they were because people who are creative like that who are running small businesses whether they're product based podcasts audiobooks webcomics you know all of those things really come down to the fact that somebody has bought into the idea that they love what you made and those people want to see you they don't want to see me or another ghostwriter or a marketing person they want to see us see the person who is really behind this design or this product and so finding opportunities and sometimes that's a little uncomfortable to go out to your network and say hey you know what i would really love an opportunity to partner with you to be able to share a thought leadership thing that you have learned is another great way that you know maybe you're not ready to test a product but maybe you can do a joint blog post or a video interview with somebody who you're great friends with on linkedin who is interested in something that you're doing and you can build a community that way that's not necessarily directly related to your product but will eventually drive people to your content and will build you up not just as a thing but as a person and as a business so that more people can get to know more of who you are um you know if somebody doesn't care about who's making what they're getting then they're probably gonna go get it on amazon but for entrepreneurs and for startups and creators i feel like it's really important for them to tap into those communities reach out and ask people who use your product how you can help them share more about that or what they would share with people who are looking at your product if they could and just find ways to build up that conversation in really organic ways no i think that is all very excellent and valuable advice we're starting to wrap towards the end of the podcast and so i'm going to ask you know if you could give the one top top tip top advice you know telling somebody that's just wanting to get started doesn't know what they're doing what would be the one thing that you'd want them to walk away with or know as one tip as they're getting started i think before you get to producing content really making sure that you're clear on your company your product and where you want to go is huge because you don't want to create a bunch of content and then you know six months down the road realize wow i pushed all of this time and energy into that content that really doesn't ultimately fit with where the brand is so i would make sure that we would start with content that was very centric to the core values that you're providing as a business to make sure that that's evergreen content that it can be shared across platforms that you can take that piece of content and bend it so that it can be a linkedin post or it can be an instagram photo or it can be a pinterest and that as you share in all of those atmospheres that you try to have really solid best practices up front making sure that all your links are good on pinterest that you watermark your photos so people know how to find you and rather than worrying a ton about length or about quantity just making sure that it's very very reflective of what you're trying to do so that people can be confident as you ask them to share it well awesome i think that's some great tips great words of advice and never never enough time to talk about everything that would be fun to talk about so with that as we wrap up now people want to learn more they want to reach out to you they want to hire you they want to work for you they want to be your client they want to be your friend they want to be your investor they want to be any or all of the above what's uh what's the best way to connect up with you to find out more and to reach out to you yeah so linkedin's great i don't know if there's a way for you to share that easily um but finding me on linkedin is a great way to go um i have a more casual instagram that i use for some freelance work that's amanda moving forward and i'm always glad to make make new friends whether it's linkedin or pictures or all of the above so all right well i definitely encourage everybody to reach out find amanda derrick on linkedin or pinterest or any of the other platforms you may be on and uh it's certainly to get to know how to make great content well thank you amanda it's been fun to have you on talk a little bit more about content creation how to be an awesome content creator how to leverage it and how to make it work for your website um encourage everybody to reach out to you with more information now if you are a expert or and or you just want to tell your journey because we have a couple different types of episodes if you ever want to reach out to us feel free to go to inventivejourneyguest.com apply to be on the podcast we'd love to have you if you are a listener make sure to click subscribe so you get notifications as all the new episodes come out and last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything with your business feel free to reach out to us at millerip law and we're always here to help thank you again amanda it's been fun it's been a pleasure and appreciate you coming on thank you