Published on November 23, 2022 |
by Jameelah “Just Jay” Wilkerson
Most content creators can’t think like a CEO and that’s what keeps them from growing their business.
Many people have degrees that help them create amazing content for their followers, from video editing to graphic design, but only a few have had the chance to study the rules that govern entrepreneurship. You can post content every day, but the truth is that if you don’t learn how to properly monetize your business, you’ll never make a living from it.
So what can you do to reform your content strategy for 2023? That’s what Vanessa Lau did to shift her mindset from being a content creator to being a creative CEO.
Your offer is not all your business
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a primary signing deal, but if you just focus on that, you’ll never scale.
For years Lau put all her effort and energy into her coaching program and although it helped her grow her business from 0 to 7 million, over time she realized that she was blocked. Vanessa Lau is a corporate escapee who in 2018 quit her job as a marketing manager and started her own entrepreneurial journey. In less than a year, she’s managed to build a six-figure business that helps corporate escapees like her as well as content creators and new coaches expand their reach and grow their businesses.
According to her, instead of focusing on your core offering, you should focus on expanding your brand. But how can you do this in practice? A great way is to stop investing in ads and increase your organic reach instead. “There are so many entrepreneurs who are willing to spend 30,000 on ads, but not 30,000 on their content teams to expand their organic reach,” Lau said.
Lau believes that earned media is and always will be better than paid media. In fact, while the ads don’t overlap, when you’re creating content, you’re still building your brand. “I’ve been creating videos on YouTube for four years. The more content I create, the more it feeds off each other and everything grows collectively. If I wanted to stop creating content for an entire year, I would still get traffic from my videos. Whereas if I stopped serving ads, my traffic would stop immediately,” Lau said. The bottom line is: always think bigger, visualize your roadmap, and don’t get stuck on one path.
Don’t look for clients, rather create your own
Being a content creator allows you to build a community of fans who appreciate your work and are eager to learn from you. The biggest advantage of this is that you don’t have to search for customers, but you can create your own instead.
If you’re one of the many content creators whose subscribers still don’t show interest in what you’re trying to sell, it’s probably because you haven’t created content good enough to convince them of your value. As we said earlier, the best way to do this is to use organic content. These are several videos to help people identify their problems, show them how to solve them, demonstrate your expertise in the field, and then explain how the product you are selling could benefit them. “That’s how you create customers without paying to find them,” Lau said. “When I explained this in more detail to some entrepreneurs, their outlook completely changed.”
Here’s a quick example of how to put this into practice with four videos.
Video 1: Help people identify their problems or realize an untapped opportunity.
Video 2: Explain how to solve this problem or execute this opportunity.
Video 3: It’s time to sell yourself. Show your audience your experience in the field and why they should trust you.
Video 4: If people are still with you watching this video, they are now on board. This is the perfect time to sell your product. You need to convince your audience that what you’re selling is valuable and will help them solve any problem identified in the first video.
Differentiate between publishing and creating content
Many content creators get stuck at the start of their entrepreneurial journey because they don’t have the time to publish enough content needed to grow their business. “I used to create unique content for Instagram every week. In 2019 and 2020, you could get away with only posting two or three times a week. As such, I would create content specifically tailored to Instagram. However, as we entered 2021, I started noticing a change in the algorithm. It was no longer enough to post two to three times a week. To see substantial growth, you had to post more,” said Lau said.
New content creators can find this extremely intimidating as they often don’t have enough money to hire people who can help them. But there is a way to solve this problem. According to Lau, the key is to understand that publishing and creating content are two different tasks.
After years of hard work, Lau now focuses on just two main pieces of content per week, a long Youtube video and his weekly CEO newsletters. These are enough to feed content to other platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok. For each Youtube video, Lau creates five to ten 30-second timestamps to a one-minute sound clip that can then be posted on other platforms. Likewise, she can extrapolate mini-threads from her in-depth CEO newsletters and turn them into tweets. This helps it post content consistently without having to create anything new.
If you use this technique and stay consistent, you will eventually make enough money to be able to hire employees and delegate these roles to other people. This will allow you to have more free time to focus on other areas of your business. “With the time I recover from not creating 20 pieces of content per week and only creating two per week, I can now focus more on being the visionary for my business. Working on the business rather than in the business,” Lau said.
Photo Credit: Content Creator and CEO, Vanessa Lau, with permission