Ahhhhhhhhhh – there are too many topics! But wait….there’s not enough!
Oh my goodness, I have all the things to write about….but I have no clue what to write about.
Jeez Louise! That’s quite a pickle and one that is ohhhhhhh so common. I hear it from colleagues, clients, and friends alike.
SO – if these thoughts keep creeping through your head, trust that you are NOT ALONE in the struggle to create content that actually connects to your people.
First and foremost – one reason for the “too much, too little, AHHHHHHH!” spiral is that we often have a disconnect between who we are as a person, who we are as a company, and how to marry what we stand for between the two.
It’s not that your topics are not good topics. It’s simply that they may not be the topics for WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS.
And this, dear reader, comes down to understanding the core pillars that you stand for; the things you are PASSIONATE about, INVESTED in learning more about, and CONNECT to who your audience is.
What are Content Pillars?
Your content pillars are the three-four primary categories that all your topics will fall into. These categories capture the essence of who your company is, where you’re continually improving your expertise, and what you’re passionate about in relation to how you serve your audience (AKA: your raving fans).
It is important to note that not all topics you come up with fall into your categories. For instance, I love my wine and often post Instagram photos of the wines I try on my personal page. HOWEVER, wine does not connect to any of the pillars for The Write Harle (even in creating content. Well…it helps me in the creation process at times, but I digress). So, any topics about my love of wine do not make it into my blog.
The categories form the foundation of your business-being, giving you a structure to build on, helping you to zero in on content topics for your business
An example of The Write Harle’s content categories include:
- Brand and content strategy (no surprise there being a brand strategy company)
- Mental health and psychological safety (since I’m a well-known award-winning mental health advocate and all)
- Leadership and entrepreneurship (as I specifically support business owners and leaders in their companies)
All the topics I develop must fall underneath one of these three pillars. It wouldn’t make sense for me to write about technology growth in Canada nor would it make sense to talk about how to properly wash and groom a dog (even though I have two pups of my own).
How to Determine Your Content Pillars
It’s not as simply as saying, “here’s my content pillars!” It takes a wee bit more investigating than that. Really, there are three key things you must identify to determine your own content pillars.
- Identify WHO your people are. Who is it that you connect with most and why are they attracted to you? While it may not make sense for a brand strategist to develop content on mental health, I’ve learned that this is a big reason why a number of clients choose to work with me in the first place BECAUSE they relate on a human level here and gain value from the insights I provide from my willingness to share about living with depression and anxiety while running a growing business.
- Identify WHAT you stand for both as a person and as a business. I learned this from local Calgary entrepreneur, Lourdes Juan when I heard her speak, stating, “what does your brand stand for?” Yes, she runs an amazing urban planning business, along with a well-known spa. However, she also began the non-profit the Leftovers Foundation and Fresh Routes because of her passion for solving problems in the community and often speaks not on urban community planning, but on food disparity. THIS is a big reason why her for-profit clients work with her. She stands for the community beyond her businesses.
- Identify HOW you intend to further your passion in service of your clients/community. What are you doing in your community to demonstrate these category pillars? Clean Club Calgary is a fantastic grassroots cleaning company in Calgary. BUT, the owner Judith Virag, believes in improving the industry as a whole. As such, she creates content that highlights the work she’s doing with IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) to develop training and programs for Canadian cleaners. She has many blogs on how to clean, but she also has articles and does a number of interviews around the business of cleaning. She is committed to raising the professional standards of the entire industry over and above the work she and her team do every day.
Once you know the who, what, and how of what you’re doing and why you’re able to identify what content pillars make sense for your business. From there, the topics that make sense for your blog become easier to identify and write about.
So, before you leave the office for the day, take a moment and start asking: who connects with you and why; what do you want your business impact to be known for; and how are you furthering this aspect of your business for the greater good of your community and industry.
From there, it’s all about strategy and planning. And that’s when the fun of creating consistent content that connects truly begins!
If you’re not sure how to do this, well, then, connect with me and we can have a super awesome convo about how you can start to find your own business content pillars.