Why content creation is important for your creative business
Content creation is an integral part of growing your brand and your business.
Content helps you to establish and nurture relationships with your audience, building community. It involves sharing your unique genius with them, in the interests of service and making their lives better.
So you see, content creation is not an extra or a nice-to-have. That’s where many of us go wrong and miss out on so many opportunities to get to where we want to be.
It’s so easy to neglect your content creation when things are going well and you’re busy. However, doing this is to the detriment of ensuring that the abundance you’re enjoying isn’t just temporary.
Content needs to be a priority if we want to grow and thrive.
Forms of content creation
The number of ways to deliver content are as wide as your imagination.
Content can be written. Articles, blogs, email marketing campaigns, guides, books etc.
Visual content can include art, illustrations, doodles, infographics etc.
Audio content can include MP3 files, podcasts, radio shows etc.
Video content is especially powerful and can be delivered directly, via a channel (e.g. on YouTube or Vimeo), as well as through social media (lives, Tik Tok, IGTV and more).
Experiential content can include: apps, community spaces (e.g. Facebook groups); meet-ups, workshops, webinars, festivals, installations, pop-ups, performances etc.
9 ways to create juicy content that grows your creative business
The following strategies can be applied to all types of content. Alongside the tips, I’ve shared examples of how I take advantage of them, in my creative business.
1. Observe your own behaviour
What are you drawn to when you are consuming content? Observe your own behaviour for a little while.
What kinds of content delivery speak to you? What’s compelled you when it comes to how others showcase their perspectives, work or knowledge?
Look at how other people/brands that you – and your audience – love are creating content. How can you draw inspiration from them but keep your original stamp on things?*
I have various idea banks which I add to, whenever I come across content that sparks an idea for my own. I capture them on a Google Doc when I’m on my laptop and in a collection when I’m on Instagram. There are so many other ways you can do this – do what works for you.
*It’s super important to be yourself and not to plagiarise. Remember to give credit whenever credit is due.
2. Determine your themes
Themes are a framework at the centre of my own content creation. You can think of them as the different chapters/aspects/layers/angles of your story and the way you serve your audience.
Selecting themes for your creative business will not only give your content creation a solid back-bone but, it will ensure all your activities are tied to your bigger goals.
I talk more about themes in this post.
My themes have remained pretty much the same for several years, albeit with some refinements. They include: creative living, creative practice, creative business, buy African, wellness and personal growth.
3. Hoard questions
If you’re showing up*, it’s likely your audience is often asking you all sorts of questions. In real life, in the DMs, via emails, in communities you belong to, etc.
This is the best way to create content you know your audience wants. Store these questions somewhere and work your way through answering them, using your content.
Of course, filter them and only address what’s relevant. “How I take my coffee” might not be such a useful piece but then again, if you’re an artisan coffee producer, that’s a different story! Here’s another place your themes can come in handy – in helping you sort through the questions you receive.
My editorial calendar has a tab for me to gather the questions I receive from different contexts, in one central place. Access my editorial calendar template here.
*If you’re not showing up, here’s something to help.
4. Solicit questions
Proactively ask people to share their questions with you. You know what your expertise is so give them prompts that are within your sphere. And do this regularly!
It’s a way to engage your audience and also to serve them.
Add the questions you receive to the idea bank mentioned in the previous tip.
I ask a question with every Instagram post I publish and I regularly use the question feature in Instagram stories. The added benefit of the latter is, it’s a way to spark conversations. When somebody submits a question, not only can you respond publicly but, you can begin a private conversation that’s the potential start of a meaningful new relationship.
5. Tie-in with events
Consider what’s happening in your world and the world around you, that’s relevant to your business and your audience. This could include life or business milestones; launching new products/services; national/international days; local events etc.
How can these events inform your content?
I share a super handy resource for this, in the free tool which I explain further, at the end of this post.
6. Look in from the outside
The details of your days, life and practice, that you probably take for granted, are extremely compelling to people on the outside! Just think about how much you enjoy consuming content that lets you into the worlds of others.
Behind-the-scenes, work-in-progress, day-in-the-life, “how I…”, “my story/my journey” – these are all great vehicles for establishing and nurturing an intimate relationship with your audience.
The amazing thing about this type of content is: every journey, every day and each project is different. Thus, you have material forever!
7. Take a stand
Be bold about what you believe in.
Keep your values centrestage.
Create content that responds to other people’s content. Perhaps you’re in agreement and reinforcing a message; or maybe you have an opposing view!
You don’t always have to create original material. There is huge value in curating content for your audience.
It’s not cheating and it’s not being lazy. Remember, your audience looks to you as an authority in your space. They trust your expertise/perspective/taste etc. They’d rather you filter and tell them what’s good and worth their attention, than scour the endless internet themselves, not knowing how to determine what’s quality and what’s not.
Let curation be a tool in your content arsenal.
I’ve used this approach to curate Pinterest boards celebrating African creativity – a subject that ties in directly to the products and services I offer. It’s years since I started and some of the boards still appear on the first page of Google searches.
9. Be curious
Many times, my content ideas come from situations or ideas I want to explore. I approach these questions as I would journaling prompts – fleshing out my thoughts and then “packaging” them as content.
In fact, this very blog post started off that way. I love content creation and I never run out of ideas. I know from talking to many people, including creatives, that this is not the case for many! I was curious to explore why I find it easy and to look at the strategies I’ve created for myself.
What do you want to explore, that would also serve or delight your audience?
Bonus strategy: Preempt customer questions
Save yourself a lot of time spent on customer service, by thinking ahead about what questions people might need answered and creating content around them.
How to wash it. How to install it. How to successfully work with a graphic designer. What “usage rights” means. Etc.
You’ll know the possibilities when you look at what questions you regularly have to answer in your business.
A word of caution
Remember to keep your audience at the centre. Content creation is not about you. At least, not if you want it to be a vehicle for building community and growing your business.
Always remember who you’re creating for and what benefit you’re bringing them.
Remember: we look to content for a variety of reasons. To learn, to be inspired, to be entertained, for affirmation and more. Use your content to serve your audience in all of these ways.
Embrace even more systems and thrive!
It’s important to choose content delivery methods and themes that light you up. When content creation is a joy and a pleasure for you, it shows, and your audience will enjoy it more too!
I hope you’re now feeling inspired and confident about all the wonderful content you’re going to create, all the people you’re going to touch, and as a result, all the ways in which your personal brand and business are going to grow.
To help you maintain these high vibes and momentum, I’m sharing the editorial calendar template I created for my own business.
It’s available, along with:
- A demo video
- 9 specific content ideas to get you started (that’s 2 months of weekly content!)
I can’t wait to see more of your content!
What are your content creation struggles?
Let me know in the comments below or DM me on Instagram @lulukitololo.