15 Content Ideas to Help Your Audience and Boost Your Authority
To build your authority and boost your profile as an expert in your industry you need to be providing massive value to your target market on a regular basis. One of the best ways to do this is to produce content that solves problems for your audience. Content is arguably one of the best “field-levellers” available: it allows you to compete with much larger competitors; it’s cost-effective and it’s meritocratic, i.e. the more relevant, useful and interesting your content is to your target audience, the more targeted prospects it will attract.
But what do we mean when we talk about “content”? Content is any of the following:
That’s quite a list. You don’t have to produce each one (and many may not be relevant). Simply choose the content types that resonate with you and concentrate on those. However, we do suggest you eventually move into audio, video and public speaking. If you dislike these formats, you’re certainly not alone but they’re worth persevering with: the reach of video and podcasts are just too great to be ignored; and live speaking is undoubtedly the best way to network, meet other experts and start building a fan base. Can you succeed without them? Sure. But you’ll succeed faster with them.
Here are some further content ideas that you could create to establish your authority as an expert in your field and to start getting noticed by your target audience.
15 content ideas to help your target audience
- How-to guides. Help your target audience solve a problem with a series of step-by-step instructions, workbooks or checklists. How-to guides are often packaged as “blueprints”, “systems”, “workbooks” or “formulas”.
- Create a mini online course. There are sophisticated software solutions for delivering an online course but, for your purposes, this is not necessary at this stage. You can simply deliver your course as series of blog posts or as an email course.
- Answer “Frequently Asked Questions”. Answer every common question in your field. Provide detailed answers and point out pros, cons and potential traps for your prospect. This builds trust and authority. (We know a building contractor who has filled his books for the next year by advising prospects on how he would approach their building projects even if he might not get the job).
- Describe your tools and setup. Do you swear by a particular piece of software or hardware to get the job done? Share these with your audience. Walk them through the equipment and resources they’ll need to achieve a particular result. “Buy this, don’t buy that; you need this, that is not essential… Set it up this way etc”. This information will save your prospects and immense amount of time.
- Interview other experts. Approach other experts and ask to record an interview with them over Skype (you can use Pamela for PC, or Call Recorder for Mac) for 30 minutes as you believe your target audience would learn a lot from them. The expert increases their marketing reach/improves their authority/can pitch their product or website and you will benefit from useful content and the “halo effect” (being associated with other experts boosts your credibility). Learning to interview experts is a phenomenal way to build your brand and profile. Video interviews have an added benefit: once you have the video you can create audio, text, slides, infographics etc. from the original source material: lots of content for the price of one.
- Case studies. Do you have past clients who used your product or services and achieved phenomenal results? Approach them and ask to interview them over a coffee and write up their experiences. Ask them to share their story: everyone loves to talk about their success, especially if it involves overcoming adversity.
- Help your target audience start something. Can you help your target audience start something the right way? For example, if you’re a personal trainer you might produce a guide, “How to start training for a marathon simply, safely and effectively”; if you’re a web consultant you might produce course, “E-commerce site best-practices: how to avoid expensive mistakes and maximize sales”. If you can help your prospects at the start of their journey, you have their loyalty.
- Show them how to replicate something. Is there a popular result your target market is trying to achieve? e.g. they want to recreate the polished look of big-budget ads without the eye-watering price tag; or they want to reproduce a popular art effect or they want to buy their first investment property. Show them how to achieve a popular result from scratch. This is a great way to establish your authority as an expert.
- Give them shortcuts. Look back on something that took you a long time to master. With hindsight, could you have become proficient in half the time or less? What would you omit if you had to learn it again? What would you concentrate on? What’s important and what’s trivial? Teach your more efficient method to your audience.
- The clock’s ticking. Can you teach your audience something valuable in a particular number of days?, e.g. learn to program in 10 days; land your first Fortune 500 client in 1 month; double your trading account in 90 days etc. We like the idea of learning something in a specified period because it gives the impression of progress. We are attracted to the idea that we can be in a better place than where we are now in a short amount of time.
- Action plans. A popular content type is the action plan – timetable of what action to take over a series of days to attain a desired outcome. Your target simply has to follow the plan set out for them in order to succeed. Action plans are popular because they remove the guess work and instils hope in your audience: turn up each day, do these tasks, and you will be successful. That’s a seductive message.
- Provide encouragement. Can you help your target audience through a difficult time? Can you provide practical advice to help them overcome a challenging problem? Or give them hope when they’re thinking of giving up? Sometimes the only way around a problem is through it – show them the path and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Share your experiences. Specifically, help your tribe avoid mistakes. If you can help your target audience avoid pain (e.g. financial, legal, physical etc.) you will increase your authority and your followers’ loyalty. What did you do wrong? What could you have done better? If you were to do something again, what would you do different? And, of course, what went well? What worked? Sharing your stories is one of the most effective ways to grow your profile. Remember, stories sell.
- Checklists. Pilots and surgeons use checklists to prevent mistakes and assure predictable outcomes. Similarly, you can create lists to help your audience avoid pitfalls and achieve their desired results. Checklists are easy to follow; your readers will feel success is achievable; and checklists create a sense of progress being made as each step is completed.
- Best-Ofs. Create lists of “the 10 Best X… WordPress booking plugins; bodyweight exercises; ways to secure your website; ways to learn a new language etc.”. Lists are easy to consume and remain incredibly popular.
- Useful content – content that your audience will love – is all about solving problems.
- If you’re trying to market and monetize your expertise, realise that you are in the content business.
- As you create more content you will identify new product opportunities (e.g. courses, training, videos, software, workshops…) that you can monetize.
- Take a blank monthly calendar or spreadsheet and identify a piece of content you can create each day or week. (Try to create something – 300 words – each day if possible). This is your basic “content schedule”.
- Maximise your content. A video can be broken down into audio, text, slides, infographics; an audio file can be part of a podcast; slides can be used in course, and so on. Create once, use many.
- Be sure to share your content. Don’t just create it and leave it on your website. Spread the word on social media.