In early 2016, while creating my annual plan, I started, as always, by reviewing Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map. I chose four core desired feelings to help choose my goals for the year – Intentional, Consistent, Brave and Connected.
Throughout the year, I realized that these four words that I’d chosen to guide my year were also a perfect representation of what I’ve always considered to be the cornerstone activities of a content empire. Keep reading to find out what content activities have the biggest impact on growing your business using content.
What is a content empire?
A content empire is any business that leverages content to intentionally build an engaged community, increase trust and create connection by offering high-value information throughout the entire lead-to-customer journey and experience.
Benefits of treating your business like a content empire
- Allows you to truly be of service and put generosity at the centre of your business plan (and generosity ALWAYS comes back to you)
- Increased traffic and visibility
- More affordable than relying on paid marketing and more consistent than relying on word of mouth (although, it helps you build up your word of mouth referrals too)
- Allows you to prime your list into being ready to become a client or customer
- Saves you time once the systems and your funnel is in place
The Four Cornerstone Activities of Your Content Empire
To the left is an infographic that shows the four cornerstone activities of the content empire.
These four activities are the foundation of my signature program, Your Content, Your Empire, where I teach creative business owners to become their own content strategists and get creating smarter content on a regular basis.
Let’s go into each of the cornerstone activities in more depth:
(1) Crafting (and Maintaining) compelling and trust-building sales funnels
Related Core Desired Feeling: Intentional
Getting back to the heart of your business and its whole raison d'être is to be of service through your products and services for YOUR people – the people whose lives will be made better, easier or more delightful by what you have to offer.
Sales funnels can get a bad rap for being pushy and manipulative, and that can be true. I know I’ve been stuck in a sales funnel vortex that made me feel icky and looking for nearest exit, but that’s not the sales funnels that we’re talking about here.
A sales funnel (more accurately described as a trust funnel or value funnel) is about being intentional with your content. It’s about providing a journey from discovery for your audience – from welcome, to learning more about you and eventually inviting them to work with you or to buy your product. Used this way, sales funnels don’t come off as sleazy or salesy – they come off as caring and thoughtful.
So while the other cornerstone activities bring people to your website, crafting your funnel allows you to create an intention for that traffic and provide a meaningful journey
Want an easier way to create your sales funnel? Sign up for the Profitable Sales Funnel masterclass.
(2) Creating core content bundles on subjects that boost your subject matter expertise
Related Core Desired Feel: Consistent
Core content bundles revolve around your weekly blog posts*. When used this way the topic guides the rest of your content for that week and what you’ll be publishing on your social media accounts, your email newsletter, your live videos and other type of content you create on a regular basis.
*Note – insert your frequency and type of core content you create. It could also be videos or podcast episodes.
Publishing regular content supports your business in so many ways, such as bringing in new leads, establishing you as an expert, preparing and educates your readers for something you’re launching or doing a promotion for in the near future.
By thinking about your content as core content bundles you can build in workflows and systems into your content – making them more manageable and proactive. This is a HUGE piece of Your Content, Your Empire – content systems that help you get consistent. It helps you take something that many people find to be a really daunting task (content creation and strategy) and transform it into buckets you just need to fill with your content each week. Here’s an example of the weekly buckets in my own content strategy – 1 blog, 1 newsletter related to blog post, 3 tweets per day based on blog post, 1 Facebook page and Instagram post.
Content bundles help you take something that many people find to be a really daunting task (content creation and strategy) and transform it into buckets you just need to fill with your content each week. Here’s an example of the weekly buckets in my own content strategy – 1 blog, 1 newsletter related to blog post, 3 tweets per day based on
Here’s an example of the weekly buckets in my own content strategy – 1 blog, 1 newsletter related to blog post, 3 tweets per day based on blog post, 1 Facebook page and Instagram post. Seems simple, but it has a really big impact on my own business.
(3) Engage and Experiment with Different Types of Visibility-Boosting Activities
Related Core Desired Feeling: Brave
One of the best ways to leverage your content and grow your own audience is to include Visibility-Boosting Activities in your strategy. These include anything where you’re being introduced to new audiences by a third-party and providing value through sharing your knowledge.
Things like: guest posting, being interviewed on podcasts/videos/blogs, participating in summits, speaking at events, participating in collaborations, hosting join webinars, Facebook ad campaigns to cold traffic, being a guest expert in a group or program
These things immediately establish you as a vetted expert by someone their audience trusts.
(4) Actively Seeking Opportunities to Engage and Connect with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs
Related Core Desired Feeling: Connected
And finally – the pièce de résistance – is connecting and engaging. Not just with potential customers but also peers and like-minded entrepreneurs (even those in completely different industries).
Cause even with all the perks of getting to be your own boss, running a business can be lonely business. Content is a window to connect with other people and to be of service.
By connecting with people, talking to people, just getting to know your peers, other entrepreneurs and the people you serve will allow you serve from a place of compassion and generosity.
Plus – there are so many opportunities that come out of connecting (collaborations, partnerships, relationships and more). It’s the true wildcard cornerstone activity of the bunch – the unexpected extras that will come from focusing on this cornerstone, will be magical for your business.