There’s nothing more terrifying than realizing “I need to develop some new content!” As small business owners, we’re already running ragged – now we have to create stuff so people can find our website and interact with us?

Yep, we do have to do that. We work with clients who have amassed a library of content who continue to get leads from that evergreen content. It continues to produce traffic and generate leads even years after being first developed. So how do you amass this great library of unique, informative content that drives traffic and generates leads?

There are only two ways: develop it yourself or get some help. Let’s explore both!

Do it yourself content development:

Writing about your own business (or writing at all) can be challenging – you didn’t go into your business to write stuff. You went into business to do whatever it is that you’re great at. And add to that, you now have to go ‘live’ on social media video, something that strikes terror in the heart of most entrepreneurs we talk to. It’s like public speaking AND marketing all wrapped up into one fearsome package.

When teaching people to do scary things (say, flying an airplane, or scuba diving), instructors don’t strap on a scuba tank and push the unwilling victim into the ocean. No, they take them step by step through the fundamentals in the classroom. They take tests to prove they understand the concepts. They practice in a controlled swimming pool environment before finally taking the giant stride off the back of a boat in the ocean.

Content development should be the same way. You know you need to produce more great stuff so people can find your business online. But you don’t know how to do that, and you’re not nearly ready to be producting live video.

Learning in a controlled environment in a workshop helps you understand how to write better content to achieve your website traffic and conversion goals. If you have a teensy bit of talent in writing, this is a good approach. You can practice with structure and with someone to help with the editing and content strategy. Further, you have guidance all along the way as you build your content development skills. Eventually, you can strap on the scuba tank and roll over backwards into the ocean all by yourself. A workshop can be a half day, two hours, or two hours a month – it’s whatever level of support you need. And the affordable, predictable cost of help with accountability is appealing to many small business owners.

Get help with content development

For some clients, writing is akin to poking one’s eyes with hot sticks, so even the mere notion of putting pen to paper and crafting something coherent is frightening. Even moreso, when you add in video and visual content. But you’re also fearful that having someone create content will result in less-than-stellar content – how could they understand your business? And you’re worried that it will cost too much.

A hybrid interview-based approach works really well for this situation. Interviewing the small business owner  on the phone on a particular topic or subject and then producing an article is the best way to develop content that is accurate. After all, the content developed will be using your own words. Sometimes interviewing business owners on video (recorded or live) is also a great way to develop video content. If they aren’t comfortable live, then try producing a recorded video session where they are voice-over to video. They can still be ‘on video’ but not really on the video.

Further, a structured interview-and-develop approach gives a budget-friendly approach to regular content development. Clients who are on these programs are able to produce good quality content on a regular interval, which is what their customers want.  This takes the scary out of writing and the terrifying out of video.  The workshop for the “get help” model will be centered more on developing content strategy and managing the ongoing process, rather than teaching you how to develop your own content. This is perfect if you don’t have the time, talent or willpower to stick with it on your own.

Both methods feature the most critical element:  accountability.

Without accountability, most small business owners approach to marketing is an exercise in extreme procrastination. “I’ll get to that later.” And later, which is code word for “never”, becomes the reason that your business has no online visibility and isn’t generating leads and customers via search.

Both approaches should start with a consultation. Your unique business situation, your innate talents and your time determine what’s best for you. There’s no right or wrong answer and both have costs and benefits. But you can’t ignore that content is critical – especially content that lives on your own land (website).

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