You want to build an audience. You need to build and audience. You MUST build an audience. The bigger your audience, the faster it will grow. The more it grows, the bigger the pool of fans, customers, members and recruiters you will have to draw from.
And to facilitate that evolution, it would help if you attract them with engaging content that already nudges your audience toward fandom from the outset. With a little planning, not only can you do that, but you can create a week’s worth of good, engaging content in about an hour and a half, even if you don’t think you’re a great writer.
The easiest way to build an audience is by creating great content for them to consume. And the best way to get them to come consume it is to design it to help them solve their most annoying problems. If it does, not only will they remember it, they’ll share it for you.
The way to create fans from your audience base is by creating content that begs for engagement. And you can create engaging content quickly: simply Define your Focus, Feel The Pain and ask “Why, What, How?”
Many people don’t like to write. And just as many, if not more, just don’t think they can write well enough to engage and audience. If you fall into one of these camps, the easiest way to overcome these limitations (or fears) is to have a simple, repeatable process you can follow.
If you have a process like the one here, you don’t have to be creative. You don’t have to be poetic. You don’t even have to like it. If you ARE creative and like writing, then this process will speed up and tighten up your writing. If you AREN’T and don’t, then this process will provide the structure AND content of your piece, step by step.
It really is just three simple steps:
1. What is the general focus of your content going to be? What are the 3-5 specific topics you are going to cover? Make a list. On paper. Now. It won’t take more than a minute or two.
2. What are your audiences emotional needs around each topic? What are the informational needs to help them do something about it? For each of your topics AND for the general focus, list as many things that your audience might worry about as possible. And for each of those concerns, list 3 or more tips, tools or ideas for dealing with the problems.
== Why should they read this?
You’ve likely already got this covered in your
“emotional needs” list. Try to list 3-5 ways the
information to come will help them
== What facts do they need to know in order to achieve/overcome/cope?
You’ve told them WHY they should read it. Now
give them the information they need to know BEFORE
they leap into the action steps coming next.
== What actions to they need to take to do it successfully?
Now they know WHY they need to read the piece. And they have the groundwork in place to understand the actions they need to take to accomplish the stated goals. So now give them the action steps. Make them as elaborate as they need to be, but not any more elaborate than that. Now simply set it aside until you have a few minutes to flesh it out. Viola! A coherent, engaging piece firmly rooted in an issue that will motivate the reader to not just finish reading it, but to undertake the action steps.
That’s it. Three simple steps to planning out several weeks’ of content in minutes and easily busting out content in your spare time. In fact, the post you’re reading right now was created using this exact technique, right down to the Why, What, How? formula. And it could be used as a blog post, a video script or even the basis of an infographic.
Danny Thompson is Associate Publisher and Business Marketing Specialist for H&F Media Group’s “Outdoor Lifestyle” family of magazines, Specifically, Gone Outdoors, distributed nationally and Alabama Active, the company’s first regionally targeted publication. If your market includes fit, active, affluent people– either nationwide or locally in and around Alabama– who like to travel, call Danny now. (205) 733-1343