We’ve all heard that Content is King, and over the years, I’m sure you have heard a zillion sermons on the power of creating business content. This isn’t one of those sermons that promises, “If you post it, they will come and buy your stuff.” However, I don’t post a lot of content because it sells my books or brings me business… I post a lot of content because it creates engagement, which in turn builds relationships. When people see lots of content from me on various channels, they tend to reach out more. “But Ted,” I hear you saying… “Businesspeople don’t want to see my personal stuff on social media or blogs, right?” Wrong! They DO want to see what’s going on with you personally. It humanizes you and creates those oh-so-important windows to connection—and not in a self-serving kind of way, but as one person reaching out to another to offer support, encouragement or solidarity.
“It’s that interstitial that helps you connect with people when you are not actively connecting.” ~John Andrews
Here’s an example. Many of you know that my Mom passed away in 2015. Just recently, her best friend also passed, and I’ve known her my whole life. So when I posted about it, people reached out. And each response to that post was a genuine offer of sympathy. These are very human touches and can be created without words. Even just a like, or sad face or another emoticon is genuine and gives you an opportunity to respond with gratitude and re-connect with that person. And connection, my friends, is what it’s all about. I don’t care if you’re a motivational speaker or a shoe salesman—the heart of your content strategy should be about building relationships.
This Isn’t About Building Your Personal Brand.
I want to be clear about this. Creating lots of content on a daily basis, especially on social channels isn’t about branding. It’s about encouraging and empowering communication, engagement, and relationship building. Last year in my Straight Talk blog, I wrote a post about Social and Communications Platforms are What You Make of Them. I talked about the challenges and opportunities that social platforms present. Yes, there is annoying advertising. Yes, there are folks there that only post negative content. However, you’re in charge of what you respond to, and how much you want to post yourself. We can either complain, or we can take advantages of those opportunities.
Creating lots of content (and lots of different KINDS of content), gives us the opportunity to share that content across social platforms in a way that fosters relationships between individuals. Take Real Estate, for instance, which truly is a relationship-driven business. There isn’t a single agent or brokerage that couldn’t benefit from producing lots of content, sharing it on social channels, and following up with people who like or comment on those posts. And I’m not talking about listing advertisements or pitches to come see an open house. I’m talking about people-related content. What’s happening in your community? What’s going on in your local school district? What’s growing in your garden? Where’s a great place to get barbeque in the summer? How do you know which HVAC contractor is worth their salt? When real estate content is hyper-local and/or helpful to homeowners in a way that’s relevant to how they like to live—that’s the kind of content that can spawn a lot of social posts. The more you post, the more people will be drawn to your social content, which makes them curious about your human journey. “Gee, I didn’t know Joe Realtor ran in the local marathon, and look—Jill Realtor adopted a new puppy!” Even personal appeals for advice on a topic can develop into opportunities to connect with people (and not just because you want to sell their house).
It IS About Connection
The bottom line is, the more you can connect one-on-one with people, the more likely you are to develop some kind of relationship, whether business or personal. There are so many people who I connect with regularly, via their posts, mine, or past content we have created together that I serendipitously share with them. The more people see your content, the better the odds you will stay top of mind for them… especially if it connects with them emotionally, which personal content tends to do more than business. Social platforms give us the opportunity to do that on a scale we could never imagine before because the more you respond to a type of content, the more you’ll see from the person who created it. Here’s what my business partner and best buddy, John Andrews, says about the importance of this in his LinkedIn post Why Create Content?
Remember, Content is King, but Connection is Queen—and she rules the house! #ContentMarketing… #RonR