How To Create Content That Positions You As The Expert
Bored with writing blog posts? Or think you’ve got nothing to say?
I’m going to give your quick, actionable tips that will take the boredom factor out of creating content like blog posts, position you as an authority at what you do and get you noticed for doing something different.
Social Media Messaging That Builds Authority
It’s Monday morning. You should be doing something boring, like emails or editing or filing receipts. But if you work from home and you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be idly scrolling through some form of social media to see what everyone got up to at the weekend.
Some of those people will be your friends, some will be your competition and some will be both. But most of their posts will be saying and doing exactly the same thing.
‘Look at my cute dog’.
‘Look at my cute kid’.
‘Look at my yummy breakfast’
‘Look at this cool cake I made’.
‘Look how far I ran’.
‘Look at this lovely image I shot’.
Look, look, look, look. Look at me. Look at my work.
Go on. Pick up your phone and go have a little look on Facebook or Instagram. (Don’t be too long – I’m trusting you).
See what I mean. These posts are nice but they are like junk food. They don’t fill you up with knowledge. The post might show you something beautiful, but it doesn’t feel like you’re learning anything of real value or making a meaningful connection. ‘Sit back and admire’ doesn’t really inspire anyone to take action.
The key is showing the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
The right message is one which positions you as the expert in your field and and a prospective client needs to receive that message not just once, but several times.
When you market your business, above all things, the most important goal is to reinforce the idea of you as ‘the expert at what you do’, so that it feels like choosing anyone but you is too much of a risk.
How Building Authority Lets You Charge What You Are Worth
So let me ask you something.
Would you trust me to build your website? You can find my work here, by the way.
Of course you would (well, I hope so anyway).
And why do you trust me?
Because through my website, my social media presence and through articles like this one, I show you that not only I can build great websites and have good technical knowledge, but that I specialise in solving your specific problems as a photographer or creative business owner.
Some of you reading this may have been in my audience for some time.
You will have seen me sharing my knowledge, tips and expertise many times. You will often see posts and content from me (clue – if you visit my website, you’ll see more content from me in your social media feeds).
Now I could relentlessly post about beautiful websites I’ve built, but I don’t do that because people tune it out. Posts like that just become part of the ‘look at this thing’ background noise.
What’s the common thread running through all of this?
My website, packed with useful content, that I direct you to again and again. I don’t just direct you to my website of course. I direct you to a specific piece of content that will solve a problem for you. And that (hopefully) is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Establishing my expertise as website designer for photographers is crucial when it comes to attracting new clients who want to choose me as a specialist, even if it costs a little more. Most people would rather pay that little bit more, for the peace of mind of knowing that they have hired a safe pair of hands.
So here’s my question.
What are you putting out there that people really, really want?
Using Your Blog to Create Content That Solves Problems For Your Audience
Here’s how this relates to your small, creative business.
Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer, writing a blog post about a lovely wedding you’ve shot. I bet this is how it goes…
“I had the privilege of shooting the (insert dramatic adjective) romantic / to-die-for / enchanting wedding of XXX.
Set in the beautiful grounds of (insert venue name because you think it helps with SEO), the ceremony was filled with love / doves / flowers / tears of joy.
Didn’t they look lovely?”
Obviously I’m paraphrasing a bit.
Great news! The couple who star in your blog post are going to love it.
Not so great news. You’ve already got their money, so why on earth are you writing a polite recap of a day that’s been and gone?
And writing up blogs about shoots is boring for you too, right? Same old, same old. And if it doesn’t excite you, it certainly won’t excite anyone else.
When everyone is shouting ‘look at me’, instead you can be saying ‘let’s take a look at how this relates to you and what you need.’
This is why people buy wedding magazines or read wedding blogs. Because they are looking for information that will help them plan their own wedding.
So here’s your challenge…
You need to place yourself in the role of ‘expert’ and ask yourself:
What needs do my ideal clients have?
What problems can I solve for them?
What are they likely to be most worried about?
What expertise can I share with them that they won’t already have?
Every blog post you write, even it’s about a shoot or a piece of work you’ve done for someone, needs to be written with your future client in mind.
Here’s an example. Read both of these and tell me which one you’d be more likely to click on.
“Head over to the blog to see Sarah & Rob’s beautiful beach wedding. It’s gorgeous!”
Not bad, but kind of bland, right? Beyond Sarah and Rob and their immediate family, the appeal is pretty limited.
Now, try this instead:
“Are you organising a destination wedding? Find out how Sarah & Rob organised their dream wedding in Hawaii on a shoestring budget and created a beautiful outdoor space for their beach reception with just a few accessories. Sarah’s top tips will save you money without compromising on style.”
Boom! This is going to appeal to a far wider audience because they can learn something useful whilst enjoying your beautiful images. Once you start to look at all content creation from this perspective, it stops being a chore and starts getting exciting. Every piece of content creation, from social media to blog posts, becomes an opportunity to solve a problem for a potential client.
1. Identify your clients’ pain points
- Make a list of the things your clients are most likely to be worried about. Be as specific as you can.
- Make a list of tips that you know due to your experience and expertise. Again, be specific.
- With the questions above in mind, write two or three blog posts (or could be videos) to answer those questions.
- These blog posts will be your cornerstone content and act as lead magnets. ie. mindblowingly good content to kickstart your relationship.
2. Give your best content a facelift
- Find past posts which show off your most killer work and rewrite them with your future clients in mind.
- Ask yourself what was it about that job / thing / shoot that other people in the same position would love and learn from? Was it the people you photographed? Great. Give two or three tips about how to relax and enjoy your own wedding.
- Was it the venue? Cool. Point out two or three locations where they can get killer shots. Was it the killer sunset? Explain about planning your timeline around golden hour.
- Don’t forget to re-title those blog posts to appeal to your ideal clients and not your past ones.
Want to see some great examples?
Check out Donal Doherty’s blog, packed full of incredible wedding planning advice and resources.
And don’t miss Shelly Mantovani’s site, Toast of Leeds. Her wedding guide area signposts visitors to all of her wedding planning blog posts and her YouTube channel, all about planning wedding photography.