Ready to talk about the huge mistakes that you’re probably making with the content and copy you’re creating for social media?
Let’s do it because spending hours churning out content without being aware that you could be wasting a colossal amount of your time just does not make sense.
UNLESS, of course, you create content for fun and the focus is not on growing your small business.
Read on for 7 mistakes with content that you are likely making and – CONFESSION- I’ve made some of these errors myself.
That’s why I’m confident that sharing these mistakes, and the fresh action steps you can take to correct them, will help ease your stress.
Now before we dive deep into the mistakes I want to declare this point out load.
If you know how to get good ROI on your ads, you should absolutely go all in, guns ablaze, and spend dollars on traffic building.
You know how much I like frameworks and equations so think ads + time spent building community on social media = growth
Once the sales come in, you’ll need to scale right? This means automation and systems BUT, I’m thinking some of you may not be quite there yet.
So a good alternative for you is to make sure that once people get to your social media platforms your content is specific.
It should be geared cleverly toward their pain points and the solutions your product or service provides.
You also want to make sure that what you say, show, and tell on your sites set you up as an authority figure.
This is important as your customers funnel down to your landing page (or check-out page) on your website.
Ok, that’s a mouthful. We’ll get to landing pages another time but let’s put the focus on content for now, shall we?
A Content Revamp
I’m a metrics junkie. I like getting in the weeds of data to get the right kind of fertilizer to up-level your content. So I did some digging.
I figured that if I went back in time and looked at the content my students created before they joined my coaching programme, Simplify, I’d see a huge difference in what kind of content they posted back then and what they were posting now.
I dug around and sure enough, there is a before and after story. Before most of my current students joined Simplify, their content lacked focus and was misdirected.
The after, however, looks the complete opposite. Their content is targeted, specific. This makes me pretty certain that a content makeover is possible for you.
There are 7 things you should focus on if you want to stop the mistakes you currently make with your content.
Maybe you have heard some of them before. Hey, some of this advice is as old as the hills. BUT, if you’re like me, there’s something rewarding and inspiring about a message meeting you at the time you’re ready to receive it.
Your Content Love Language
As I go through the content mistakes you’re making, I’ll put some action steps that you can take directly after each tip. I don’t want this to become bookwormish stuff.
And I want you, after reading this, to able to spend one day in your weekend giving your content some love.
Now that I’m talking love language, I have to tell you something. When my team and I help support a client or student through a content revamp, I make sure to get inside her thought stream and inside the needs of her desired clients.
My fundamental question is: what is her customer looking for when they land on her social media pages? That is the psychological connection I want to make sure I’m covering in any content revamp.
Let’s Dive In So You See What I Mean.
Content Mistake No. 1| Don’t Be A Generalist
In this post HERE I talked about the importance of community and creating relevant content before you launch a product/service online.
What I want to re-emphasize is that on social media you want to approach your content as if you’re a specialist. So show up as you are, an expert.
That means forget about sharing simple tips and insights anyone can Google. Those are easy to find, and generalist by their nature.
You want to give your fans unique insights, your personal stories, your hardcore tips, your unique propositions.
Show up as the specialist in your area. This is so important, you need to own it and in my best Rhianna voice, you want to: “Shine bright like a diamond!”
I always tell my students to show up and speak up. Here is what I want you to know; people rarely buy from people that are generalists or from people that are timid.
So when I say approach your work, your words, and your content with confidence and to do so as a specialist, what I really mean is that you should tuck your shyness away.
It may feel difficult but you need to own your work and claim your worth.
And if you suffer from Imposter Syndrome take a look at this video whose take on it will make you feel less intimidated about showing up boldly.
Action Step: Whenever you create content on social media don’t be lukewarm with it. Stop giving away Googleable ideas without infusing them with your personal stories and specific insights.
Content Mistake No. 2| Trying To Be A People Pleaser
Ok, I want to talk to the newbies now, as this is a huge mistake with content that’s often made by those now wading into the water. When you’re spanking new to creating content it’s easy to get super concerned about whether people like you or not.
You’ll wonder what folks will say if you do A, B or C and put it out there on social media. The opinions of others seem to matter the most at this stage and with it the urge to shrink.
Look, I get it. We all desire to be liked but shrinking yourself and allowing it to reflect in your content is as exciting as watching a snail crawl across your garden.
Yes, if you decide to become a people pleaser and write generic stuff that’s tepid you will certainly get less ole’ talk and criticism. You’ll also get noticed less, poor engagement and in the end, less business.
Watered-down content does not serve anyone, least of all your personal brand.
Be Authentic. What does that even mean?
I am not saying to be someone you’re not. Authenticity matters as I preach here in this story>>>Can We Talk About Authenticity On Social Media? <<<
However, you have to be willing to be less liked by people who really do not matter and be more authentic to who you are instead
There are so many people who embody this, like Jessamyn , the cannabis smoking, overweight yogi. You can also check out Roxanne Gay, a brilliant writer who developed an alter ego on Twitter with an acerbic apple vinegar tongue.
They both show up unapologetically as themselves and their fans love it. The truth is you can’t be to everything to everybody but you can be something to somebody by creating content that reflects your spirit and being.
Here’s the lesson…
Not everyone is going to like you. It does not matter if you’re thin, fat smart, dull, witty, funny, loving or if your products and services sell like Ali’s doubles or not.
There are people in the world who just won’t like you or your stuff. And that’s O.K. Here’s why. For every person who doesn’t like you, you’ll attract hundreds if not thousands more who really love you. If you take real and take good care of them, they’ll likely be your customers for life and bring more of their tribe with them.
Action Step: Don’t water down your content to please people who don’t matter. Save all your emotional bandwidth for people that sign up to know you and learn about your offers i.e. your fans, customers, and loved ones.
When you try to get everyone to like you, you inevitably water down your message, create standard (a.k.a. boring) products and, lose impact.
Content Mistake No.3| Creating Content Without a Game Plan
Content encompasses a lot of assets, right? When you create a video, a newsletter, a blog it’s all content and if you do it right all the bits and bobs can be powerful centerpieces in your digital ecosystem.
But none of it happens without a plan. So let’s have a heart-to-heart. You with me? This is where things go awry.
Without a plan, you’ll always lack focus. I admit planning takes time. It requires dedication and the tick-tocking of a good few hours and I get the frustrated moans from my students all the time.
There is so much to do with and in your business. When I ask you to think strategically about content, it will seem as if I’m asking you to push a big rock up Green Mountains.
But you know what? When I get that push back, I pull a big ah-ha moment from my back pocket. Fact: You can’t sell if you don’t market your business, and you can’t market if you don’t plan!
So if you look at my business—or have been around here for a while—you’ve probably heard me say clearly. “Planning allows your business to prosper and profit.
It gives you confidence because you’re showing up from a place of generosity, and it brings peace because once it’s done. It’s done.”
So I really need you to think carefully about the value of planning.
Planning Helps You Work From A Place Of Peace
Another idea I keep sharing with my students is the notion of check listing their content’s purpose.
In my own business when I create a piece of pillar content, I run through a simple series of questions. The aim is to make sure I’m hitting my objectives with my content.
Now admittedly these questions won’t work if you’re creating content that’s wild, unexpected, zany, controversial, ticklish, etc.
However, it works a hell of a lot if your content is educational, inspiring, and entertaining which is what the algorithms are favouring anyway.
You can use this list to dominate with your content creation—and also it helps you get really specific with content marketing.
Another bonus? If you’re in a hectic launch period, planning your content and check listing it at least 4 -8 weeks in advance will help you sell from a place of peace and abundance. You’ll be prepared.
Judette’s Content Planning Checklist
- Do you have a strong singular idea?
- Are you using simple sentences to communicate and have you removed those extra words and jargon to tighten up your message?
- Is your headline clear?
- Are you providing a clear, takeaway benefit to your reader?
- Have you wrapped your content in your own original stories, numbers, anecdotes so it becomes relatable
- Did you tell and show your desired person how to put your idea or concept into action so she can get results now?
- Is your content challenging your followers to take action?
- Does your content have strong CTAs i.e. are you asking your reader/listener/viewer to share it with others, tag a friend, answer a question?
Action Step: Make sure you’re not always creating content on the fly without purpose. If you nail 5 out of eight tips from my list, you’re more than halfway there.
Don’t underestimate the power and value of this action step. Planning will help you maintain a consistency that you probably don’t have right now.
Content Mistake No. 4| Don’t Do Social Media Without Growing A List
You’ll hear me talking about this all the time and I really want you to lean into this really hard. Social media is sexy, it’s fun, it creates impressions and it gets attention.
I love it but I don’t love it so much that I refuse to acknowledge its limitations. You don’t own your audience on social media. As much as I will always encourage you to use it to build your brand. You shouldn’t stop there.
You need to bring people onto your own private island via your email list.
From there you can sell, pitch, add value unreservedly. An email list comes in hot when you’re in launch mode which is just a fancy way of saying you’re in marketing mode.
To get sales other than running ads, you need to make sure you have an audience that is really excited about what you have to offer.
This is where an email list comes in. I call an email list the Shirley to your Temple.
Related: Why Are Email Lists Important
Content Mistake No. 5| Don’t be Stiff
I’m gonna be honest. You need to forget the stuff you learned about writing in high school. You’ve got to de-programme if you want to halt the content mistakes you’re currently making.
This goes back to the days when you were around 14, and you learned how to write an essay and be formal with your language.
Ya’ll forget about it!
Some rules no longer apply, least of all the stiff formal language we used in essay writing. In those times we were tested for our penmanship and made sure a conjunction never had a comma before it.
Times have changed, huh?
We use emojis for punctuation, we start sentences with heaven forbid, ‘but.’ Listen up, your content does not have to be stiff.
The friendship filter:
I love how Marie Forleo coined the term “Friend Filter” in her copywriting course, and how she nailed it with this example. It’s a kind of a “who wore it best,” scenario, but for your copywriting.
Here are her two drafts of an invitation with her “Friend Filter” on.
First Draft: “Dear Customer, we’d like to take a moment to inform you about our upcoming two-day customer appreciation event being held next weekend…
Second Take” Hey Jen, Wanna come to a party next weekend? I’d love to see you. We’ll have organic food, drinks and you’re welcome to bring friends…
Which party would you go to? It’s a no-brainer, right?
A couple of rules to remember:
1) The Power Of One. When I started my career in TV journalism my father would say: “Look at the TV and deliver your stand-up as if you’re speaking to a friend behind the TV screen.”
“Just one friend,” he would say, and I believe that rule applies now with your content creation. Write for one person, that desired customer. Tailor your words with a vibe that communicates that you know and understand her.
2) Even if you work in corporate I think it’s important to remember that your writing is done for another human being just like you.
Action Step: From now on, think of one ideal customer, think of her as a BFF and apply that friend filter. If you wouldn’t say it to your bestie, don’t say it to anyone else.
Personally, I love reading posts, scripts, stories that feel like a warm blanket. Either way, experiment and find your own groove but always keep a personal touch.
Content Mistake Tip No. 6| You Forget To Make Your Content Shareable
Customers want to become raving fans. Your content should give them that opportunity. This is what I like to call the cheerleader moment. It makes a big difference in how easily your content gets spread over the Internet.
Let me explain. Cheerleaders encourage, they whip crowds into a passionate frenzy. They bring the energy.
Your content should be doing all of it. Most of all, it should be making it easy for people to tell their friends about it. So be a cheerleader for your content.
Choose clear and simple domain names if you’re writing blog posts of pages. Have clear calls to action on your social content. Invite people to follow you around social, direct them to your long-form content on your blog.
Remember, when people fall in love with you and your brand, they’ll want to be connected to you in every way they can. Give them permission to do so.
Action Step: Make your content easy to share, Include CTAs, use short domain names. Don’t assume your audience knows what you want them to do. Tell them (kindly, of course) what action you’d like them to take.
Content Mistake No. 7| You’re Not Repurposing
Repurposing helps so much with making sure your content has Daddy Long Legs and is able to stretch out in many directions.
I write one long-form piece of content each week. Some people call it Hero content others, like Gary Vaynerchuk, call it Pillar content. ***Potatoes or Potahhhtoes,** it matters not what you call it.
The one thing I want you to take away is when you create a piece of Pillar Content 80 percent of your work is done for at least 7-14 days.
This buys you time to work on other areas in your business.
It also allows you to operate from a place of peace without feeling like you have to post every freaking day. Raise your hand if you feel a headache coming just thinking about it.
Your Pillar Content should be evergreen and it can be in any format: blog/video/ podcast. It’s always best to choose the format you’re good at and passionate about.
While you’re at it make sure it’s a channel you own.
Creating pillar pieces means you are creating several streams of content at once. I like to think of it as meal prep.
You spend hours chopping, cooking, and packing things into containers on one day, and the next 6 days become so much easier because all your meals are taken care of.
Your smaller pieces of content or short forms, as I like to call them, serve as promotional material for your pillar content which can lead to big conversions.
Don’t Get Lazy With Repurposing
Ok, you’ve got how it’s important to create one killer piece of content and repurpose it to fit the rest of your marketing strategy. Here is the last mistake to avoid.
Don’t repurpose without thinking things through. Repurposing doesn’t mean you have to copy and paste the same content on other platforms or use an app to do the heavy lifting.
This is lazy, and it can actually hurt your marketing strategy.
Not all platforms are the same. If you were to copy and paste content identically into two platforms, they would have different impacts.
The biggest thing to remember across the board is to adjust your call to action (CTA). Make sure the CTA makes sense for the platform you’re posting on.
For example, if you were to say “link in bio” or “swipe up” in your content, those terms would make sense on Instagram but not on Facebook.
That’s why it’s important to adapt your content so that you can use it on multiple platforms in the most effective way.
Action Step: Create pillar content you can spin in a few different ways. This will help you free up your time, get more eyeballs, and set up a conversion strategy. Repurposing is a must but remember one size does not fit all, so repurpose with intent.
You Should Know This
These action steps are important but please don’t feel like you have to do them all at once. My website and blog are my water cooler spots, places I go to every day with my developer. We hang out there and tweak and improve things over time.
You can do the same with your content. The actions step doesn’t require a 24/7 conveyor belt of mindless activity. Focus on the tactical things that need to get done in priority.
So give yourself a deadline and do a content revamp. Wanna know why? Small biz success in today’s world = Great Content. It’s as simple as that.