I’ve been on the “content train” for a long time. Ever since I realized its impact on my business, I’ve been telling all of my other entrepreneurial colleagues, friends, and even strangers about the power of creating content. Some of them get really excited, some of them get really confused, and the rest tell me how creating content wouldn’t work for them because they aren’t creative.
Now I understand that the idea of being creative can be intimidating. Years of bad elementary school art class can put some negatives thoughts in your head. But in today’s day and age of the internet, no one (and I truly mean no one) cares about your artistic skill. What they do care about, is what you have to say.
Being on the “content train” I can rattle off tons of benefits to making content. The number one benefit is that it strengthens your brand, and gives you credibility. It allows people to get a glimpse of who you are, while they are being entertained or educated or whatever they’re getting out of consuming your content.
But this sounds like it only benefits entrepreneurs who run their own business, right? WRONG.
While there is a huge motivating factor for businesses to create content (i.e. make sales), using content to influence people can be used by anyone. In fact, you probably already know a time or two when you made a piece of content influence someone. Ever write an essay to apply for a college scholarship? Yep, that’s content. What about a resumé? A little sterile, but that counts as content too.
A college scholarship essay and resumé are good, but you only use them once or twice. Sure, you may update your resumé every couple of years, but that’s it.
What if you had something more valuable in your tool belt? What if you had pieces of content that showed up to anyone who Googled your name? What would that accomplish?
A damn good leg up on the competition. That’s what it accomplishes.
Say you’re interviewing for a new job. You apply, submit your resumé, and wait for an interview. Before you even hear back to see if you got an interview, the company WILL Google you. If they find nothing other than a typical social media feed, then you’re just another application to them. But what happens when they Google you, and they find your blog, or podcast show, or YouTube channel? They’re going to click on it and see what you have to say!
I actually have a story about a friend of a friend, who did this exact thing. She was looking for a new job in aiding homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She was super passionate about helping the homeless, and really wanted to help at a specific shelter in Philadelphia. One day we were talking, and I suggested that she make some content! She was confused, and didn’t know what I meant or how to start.
I told her to think of her past experiences of volunteering at soup kitchens, and to write about them. She wasn’t interested in podcasting or making a YouTube channel, but the idea of writing down a quick story about her memorable moments at the soup kitchen sounded like fun! So that’s what she did. It wasn’t fancy or strategically written. It was just her honest experiences and takeaways, written up into 5 minute blog posts.
So after she had 3 posts on her free website, she applied to the homeless shelter program that she’d been wanted to work at so badly. She did the usually resumé and cover letter, but then also included a link to her blog. Within days, she heard back from the organization. She got the job! And her now boss specifically told her that her blog posts were really nice, and gave insight as to who my friend was.
Talk about a leg up! She wasn’t the only person applying for the job, but she was the only one who had more than a resumé to show. That’s the power of content.
So it doesn’t matter what the circumstance is. You don’t have to be a business owner to benefit from making content. It could be written blogs, podcasts, video, or any combination. The whole point is, you have something valuable to say. And the right person can only consume your content if you make it first.
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