Letting go of perfection: not all your content needs to hit the #1 spot
When you’re marketing your coaching business, done beats perfect. By which I mean, when it comes to producing your articles, blog posts, podcasts, etc. if you’re continually striving to create the so-called Perfect Post, then you’re wasting your time.
That’s hard to accept for some, especially if you like everything to be just right.
If you’re a perfection-striver, consider this: on average people see about 5% of the content you put out there. Perfection may be a worthy goal in many walks of life (for example, the search for the perfect pistachio ice cream!) but for marketing content, maybe you need to reframe it: the key isn’t to be perfect, it’s to get it done.
Time to focus less on getting it right, and more on getting it out there.
Not every song can top the charts
Now, just for a moment – bear with me, here – imagine you’re Dolly Parton…
To date, Dolly has written 956 songs. Only 25 of them got to #1. That’s not to say the other 931 were no good. There are legions of fans who would probably defend each and every one. But only 25 got to #1.
Nice to have as it is, #1 isn’t the goal. Even a megastar is focused on getting the song out there.
Embrace the fact that you might turn out 956 pieces of content, but very little of it will be #1 (or go viral, as the nearest equivalent in this analogy).
Some of your content will resonate with one part of your audience, some with another. And yes, some will be a hit, engaging with everyone. But if all you do is chase the hits, you’ll never release anything.
Instead, you’ll be stuck in content creation mode, spending too much time and energy on trying to connect with everyone. Better to get it out there, let the social media algorithms do their thing, and connect with someone.
Instead, focus more on creating a ‘body of work’
Here’s a challenge: name a coach (or any provider of a service) who produced one perfect piece of content and never needed to do any marketing ever again.
Of course, that’s ridiculous. Business doesn’t work like that. No matter how enthusiastic the reaction to an individual article, podcast or video presentation, you’re always going to have to produce another one. And another. And…
And ultimately, it’s that body of work, that ‘back catalogue’, that collection of content that is the solid structure of your marketing efforts, not one or two golden greats. So, let’s focus on that, on producing a solid body of content that appeals to the different audiences within your audience.
Niche and micro-niche
How do you create a solid body of content? A few suggestions…
- Look closely at your target audience. There are niches within your niche. And yes, it’s nice to score a hit that everyone loves, but the rest of your content can resonate just as deeply, albeit with a smaller, more specific group of people. (To continue the music analogy: not everything is Top 40 but some will climb high on the country chart, others on the jazz or hip-hop charts, and so on – it’s not always about the crossover appeal).
- Create content that takes the reader/watcher on a journey, from stranger to client. Part of this is making your content personal, allowing who you are to come through and allowing potential clients to get to know you and not just your website and services.
- Don’t assume that people will see your content in the order you post it, or even all of what you post. Make each piece of content stand on its own. By all means link them, but each piece of content should also be freestanding, have a value in its own right.
- Repurpose your content to maximise its impact. Part of the diversity within your target audience is the different ways they prefer to take in your information (by reading, watching, listening, doing…) and by repurposing your content you can appeal to a wider slice of your audience.
But… “I have to get it just right!”
No, you really don’t. Does your content need to be factual, accurate, insightful, inspiring, attractive, informative, engaging… yes, ideally it’s all of those things and more.
But it does not need to be perfect.
People may admire perfection but they don’t necessarily trust it. The phrase ‘too good to be true’ encapsulates that sense of distrust. People are, however, prepared to trust a bit of personality.
Besides, perfection takes too much time!
Your audience has limited time and so do you. What’s going to grab and keep people’s attention? One perfect blog post every three months? Or a short interesting and/or enlightening piece weekly? The second option means thirteen times more content out there, telling people what you’re all about.
It’s not all about the hits
So channel your best Dolly Parton energy and embrace the fact your content won’t all be #1s, and they don’t need to be. Some posts and podcasts will become ‘firm fan favourites’ but they’ll all be part of your back catalogue. A solid body of work.
The key is to engage with your audience. Don’t be perfect. Be interesting, approachable, accessible. Be fun… but save yourself some time and energy and don’t try to be perfect.