There are over 543,000 new businesses started each month. The vast majority of them will fail.
Only a precious few will make it past the one-year mark – even fewer past year five.
Lasting growth is so much healthier than unsustainable fast growth.
Will you be among the one-third of businesses that make it to year 10?
Of course, you might be saying to yourself, I’ve got this!
After all, you’re passionate, dedicated, and an authentic expert in what you do.
You’re energized and ready to take the world by storm.
But are you actually growing?
That’s not such a simple answer.
To answer, I'm going to share with you my six-step framework to content success that I teach in a myriad of places: Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course, and live in G.R.O.W., my coaching membership community for marketers.
My 6-Step Framework for Serious Growth Through Content
Ready? Let’s dive in.
1. Know Your Foundations: What Makes You Different? (Your CDF: Content Differentiation Factor)
This is where you start. Not your keywords. Not your content creation. Not your audience.
CDF is my original concept, standing for “content differentiation factor.” It’s what lets you stand out from the other 500 million blogs online.
Think of it as your unique angle, the perspective you have on things created from your own experiences that no one else can possess.
It’s the reason you’re uniquely positioned to help your audience better than your competitors.
Identify it, articulate it, and build it into your content strategy. Starting with the question of what makes me different? forces you to pause, stop, and consider what will make you stand out in your industry.
Another perspective of my 6-step framework:
2. You Should Know (and Speak to) Your Audience
Who are you out to help in this world and what do you know best? Only after you’ve answered those questions will you be able to define a rooted brand that reaches far and wide to your audience.
Yes, that means you need a topic of expertise and an audience persona.
Knowing your topic area and your audience accomplishes two things. It:
- Keeps you focused. You’ll produce the content that reflects your expertise and that your audience wants to read. Nothing else.
- Keeps you real. Fake it ‘til you make it doesn’t work here. Real expertise produces real value that inspires real conversations with your audience.
Make sure you know what your audience wants to hear about before writing ANYTHING.
3. You Should Understand Keywords & Pull In Traffic With SEO Content That Attracts
… and I don’t mean just pulling in traffic on the weekends when people are bored.
If you’ve nailed your SEO and are building a base of content through consistent publishing, you will see a steady uptick in traffic from the search engines.
According to HubSpot, 65 percent of all e-commerce sessions in 2019 started with Google.
4. You're Building Authority Over Time (You Have a Content House)
If you want to become a true content hacker (which is fancy language for growth-focused content marketer), you must build a rock-solid content house. And if you’re following these steps, you’re already well on your way.
You’ve got a content house if it’s:
- On your turf. You need a website, not a third-party platform like Facebook that could pull the plug on overnight.
- Audience-oriented. You know who you’re writing for and WHY.
- Loaded with expert, original, SEO-optimized content. Not to mention that you’ve got great landing pages, too.
- Maintained. There are no leaky roofs or squeaky hinges – you take care of old content and keep it working for you.
- Budgeted. You have a clear budget in place to make consistent content creation happen.
A solid content house won’t blow over in a storm, or when the Big Bad Wolf comes around.
5. You’re Committed to the Practical Side, & Are Consistent at Giving Value
Do you like mantras and affirmations? I’ve got one for you:
Consistent value over time builds success.
Repeat after me.
Consistent value over time builds success.
But a commitment to consistent quality doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. You know you’re growing when you’ve also nailed:
- How to delegate (and knowing what not to delegate)
- Hiring the right employees or freelancers
- The creation of repeatable formulas … aka processes that support quality and success
6. You Have an Editorial Calendar, Post-Publishing Plan, Maintain Old Content & Thrive
You’re growing if you know that building a brand is only half of the equation.
The other half? Making sure it’s got the right environment for it to grow.
I call that the brand ecosystem.
Your brand ecosystem is the secret ingredient to success. It’s everything around your brand that nurtures it, such as your authority-generating content house and your commitment to consistent quality over time – hey, am I sound like a broken record yet?
If you’ve got a healthy brand ecosystem, you’ll know. If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about…
Are You Ready to G.R.O.W.? Join the Community Now
Brand growth doesn’t happen by chance. It takes consistent, dedicated effort and a few smart decisions to become a leader in your industry.
When you join our live community full of authentic experts and heart-based marketers, you’ll get the personalized coaching, specific direction, and live encouragement you need to nurture your dreams and G.R.O.W.
If you care about what you’re doing and are in it to win it over time, this is the place for you.
Not ready for live training? Get a headstart building real content strategy and marketing skills with our FREE Profitable Content Strategist Skills Guide.