Biz Tips: Solopreneurs make mega marks for attention

Biz Tips: Solopreneurs make mega marks for attention

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Solopreneurs make mega marks for attention

Solo entrepreneurs — especially those just starting out — face an assortment of challenges. Besides the usual and expected financial obstacles, they must create content to meet today’s social media demands.

Heidi Cohen is a good source for guidance. She is an “actionable marketer,” speaker, professor and journalist. She shares practical advice on social media, content marketing, small business and life.

Cohen talked with marketing entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar about content creation for the solopreneur.

Solopreneurs should create certain types of content to maximize their visibility on social media.

“Create a combination of mega-content — monthly or quarterly — and consistent content — weekly — to attract share of audience attention,” Cohen said. “This SOAA is a new form of appointment media.

“Optimize profiles for maximum social media visibility even if you don’t participate,” she said. “Include branded visual; website and blog URL; phone number; physical address; and hours.”

Using Cohen’s method, batch transformed content into shares for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Adopt content to specific social media platforms. Include a link to original content, attribution, and image or video.

She advises using social media scheduling tools to be present and respond on a regular basis. Options include CoSchedule, AgoraPulse and Buffer.

“Maximize social media results for mega-content,” Cohen said. “Start by scheduling publication to maximize attention. Also include influencer outreach and secondary sharing platforms such as Reddit and Growth Hackers.

“Share a mix of quality content to develop your reputation in each social media community,” she said. “Start by deciding what you want to be known for on each platform. Who are you talking to? Social media provides multi-directional communication and distribution.”

Business or personal

Context and image are important.

“Solopreneurs must decide how they want to be viewed on social media,” Cohen said. “Consider how you will distinguish between business and personal.”

Even with limited resources, solopreneurs can maximize their content-creation results. Create a combination of consistent content such as email newsletter, blog post, video or podcast either weekly or every other week.

Cohen said a great example of consistent content is the Ann Handley email newsletter.

“Add mega content — either foundational one- to four-year — or crowd-pleaser content — one month — to attract a wider audience and establish thought leadership for keywords,” she said.

A great mega-content example, according to Cohen, is the LinkedIn Sophisticated Marketer Guide. It expands one piece of content into other offerings.

“Here’s a mega-content lesson,” Cohen said. “Start with one piece of big-rock content. Then continue to cut up the content-marketing turkey. Think of your content as Lego blocks. They’re interconnected.

“Even solopreneurs — OK, it’s a small biz — can create mega-content,” she said. “An example is Orbit Media Blog Research on blogging statistics and trends. Ensure that every piece of content has at least one call-to-action.”

Cohen refuses to fall into the jargon trap.

“I’m not a fan of the word ‘repurpose,’” she said “I prefer renovate or transform. Content must be contextually relevant to the platform.

“The key to social media success is to become part of the community on secondary platforms like Reddit and Quora,” Cohen said. “Instead of letting notes pile up, set weekly appointment to review them. Also remember that as a distribution channel, Instagram doesn’t work for every business.”

For added social media success, Sklar suggested publishing on Medium: “It’s a great platform that attracts people inside it.”

If solopreneurs use a publishing schedule, it can boost their social media marketing.

“Publish fresh consistent content on a weekly or every-other-week basis,” Cohen said. “Use this content to batch your social media shares — but avoid cookie-cutter shares.”

“Consistent content fuels ongoing social media shares for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest,” Cohen said. “Plan ahead to schedule them for highest consumption.

“Schedule mega-content to maximize audience attention,” she said. “Publication timing is a free tactic. Your content has only one opportunity to make a good first impression.”

For mega-content, Cohen said solopreneurs should be available to fuel the social media conversation in real time during the first three days. For republishing and syndicating, she advised using LinkedIn publishing for business-oriented content and Medium for all types of content.

“Consistent content is key to building trust,” Cohen said, citing one of her articles about how to build content-marketing trust.

“Consistent content is key to developing an audience that wants your content,” she said. “If you don’t follow a regular schedule, it costs you a lot more to reach people.”

Cohen said solopreneurs should be less concerned about marketing and promotion. Otherwise, their content will fail.

“Keep content focused on your audience’s needs so that they actively seek, consume and act on your content,” she said. “Create audience and reader expectations at the beginning. Publish one form of content on a weekly or every-other-week basis. Hit Send on the same day at the same time each time.

“Think like a traditional media entity to build a content consumption habit,” Cohen said. “Consistent content publication is the new appointment media. It builds reader anticipation.”

She said email subscribers should know a solopreneur’s mailing frequency up front.

“Don’t hijack your email newsletter for promotional purposes,” Cohen said. “Email is the original social media.”

The distinction between mega-content and consistent content should matter to solopreneurs.

“Mega-content is the foundational and crowd-pleaser content you create either quarterly or monthly,” Cohen said. “Its goal is to attract new readers and prospects.

“Consistent content is content you create on a regular basis either weekly or every other week,” she said. “It serves to maintain a communication channel with your audience — again, share of audience attention.”

Cohen said it is vital not to underestimate capabilities.

“If Ann Handley can write a regular personal email every other week in addition to being a globe-trotting marketing keynote and content chief, so can you,” Cohen said.

She has more examples of consistent content in her weekly Actionable Marketing Guide newsletter, which is available for subscription.

Several tools will help solopreneurs keep their existing content viable on social media.

“Use your analytics to determine your strongest content,” Cohen said. “Also perform a regular content audit one to four times per year.

“Update your existing content to keep it relevant,” she said. “Increase value with related data and links.”

Cohen offered an example from Buffer.

“To augment your publishing schedule, update at least one piece of content per month,” Cohen said. “For solopreneurs with one-plus years of content, plan your social sharing by month to ensure you use your evergreen titles when they’re appropriate.

“Avoid cookie-cutter social shares,” she said. “Batch social shares using charts, quotes and data points. Use tools like CoSchedule, AgoraPulse, Hootsuite and Buffer. Use content-creation scraps to test different social media presentations.”

Solopreneurs also can track the value of their content marketing.

“To ensure your content marketing yields value, include at least one call to action and track distribution with an Urchin Tracking Module — better known as a UTM — to your analytics,” Cohen said. “Use a variety of analytics tools including Google, email tracking — from your email supplier — and social media tracking.

“For another useful approach, I love to collect my tweets from Twitter chats — especially ones I have been a guest on,” she said. “It’s a great way to share all my tips and ideas in one shot. Also, it’s part of my library of potential ideas to write about later.”

Adding to her library, Cohen and Sklar continued their discussion on Facebook Live.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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