Who’s ever fallen into the trap of running your guts out on the content/social media treadmill? You know, where you’re so hell-bent on showing up consistently and sticking to your schedule that you start to numb out a bit and lose the point. It’s hard to admit, but a case of quantity over quality, or letting cadence reign.
The treadmill happens when showing up takes priority over your value. You know, the ‘ole that’ll do, just get it out there. Obviously there’s a bit of that in every piece of content we produce - you absolutely do have to get to the point where it will be enough, or we’d never publish anything.
But I’m talking about when this ‘just punch it out’ approach is more chronic. Where your value slips as a result. This is not a good thing. It’s not just a waste of time, but it will damage your brand and your reputation over time.
Quality & consistency go hand in hand
Producing quality content consistently, on the other hand, has a cumulative effect. The deeper you go, the more value you offer, the more likely your audience will want to know more, so it makes sense to understand that context and provide them with the next logical step. You can create that context, provide the next logical step for your audience AND make it easier to produce better content consistently by creating and incorporating awesome flagship content pieces.
It’s not a new idea, but nonetheless, here’s my take on how to use flagship content in a framework that’s going to serve both you and your audience.
What does quality mean?
Quality, to me, means that it’s of value to the people you’re making it for and its presentation or delivery is of a standard that adds to their experience of that value.
Value and quality are similar, but I’m not sure that they’re the same.
It’s a bit like someone doing an awesome podcast interview, but the sound quality sucks and you can’t hear it properly. I might think the content is perfect, EXACTLY what I want to hear and therefore of high value. Except that I can’t hear it properly. My experience of the value is diminished because the overall quality isn’t there.
And what we value is an individual thing.
Does quality mean a 4,000 thousand word blog post, beautifully formatted and presented?
Yes, maybe it does.
Does it mean showing up on Facebook Live everyday, without fail, with a killer, super-actionable tip?
Yes, it could. If that’s of value to your people and that’s how they want to experience that value.
But it’s not about the length of the article, or the video production, or the amount of times you show up. It’s about the real value you provide and how your people experience that value.
Experience has depth
We humans love to ‘experience’ things, don’t we? Look at all the stuff we do in the name of ‘experience’! No wonder it’s a popular word.
But what makes a good experience? What makes an experience positive, something we remember, something we talk about and something we want more of?
Our good experiences are the ones with depth. Deep experiences can mean more to us than the actual thing itself because of their context. Even a simple, or seemingly mundane experience may be remembered and cherished because of the meaning we attach to it. It’s the context that gives an experience depth.
Context deepens the content experience too
Just like all the other things we experience in life, content is also experienced in layers - layers that build on each other.
So take that 4,000 word blog post, for example - that could be the most epic, most mind-blowing, dead-set value-packed, on-point thing ever written, but without context, it’s still not all it could be. It needs to fit in. It needs a path to it and it needs a path after it so that those layers of experience become part a journey that has a cumulative effect.
Content and context need an anchor
When you think about a journey, you generally think about getting somewhere, right? Even if that ‘somewhere’ is just enjoying the journey itself, the journey is anchored, it has a reason. And it’s the same for content.
Knowing how to solve the burning problem your people are experiencing is a good basis for giving your content an anchor, but making a specific piece of content that actually embodies that mission is even better. And the reason is simple; because then you can build a content journey around that mission that deepens your audience’s experience at every step of the way.
Start with why
When you start with your why, your mission, it’s easy to come up with flagship content ideas that will really be of value to your audience. They’re the pieces of content, whatever the format, that solve the problems they struggle with. It’s the stuff you do best, the foundation of everything you do, it’s your way, your voice, your style, your thing.
Flagship pieces are loved by your customers because they’re something that actually helps them with the problem you know all about.
Your why is the anchor.
Your flagship pieces express that why and provide the context.
And your internal links provide the journey.
Content that’s linked creates a journey
… the next logical step
If you’re taking the time to focus on your mission and create excellent flagship content, then you want to be thinking about how it fits into the bigger picture of your audience’s journey with you. Show them you understand by making it easy for them to take the next step.
When you create flagship content that’s based on your mission, it’s much easier to produce other content that supports and feeds those flagship pieces and expresses your value to your audience. Your concepts, your philosophies, your approach, the things you want to become known for are now easier to be clear about when they’re anchored and they have context.
Deepen that experience and show your audience you understand their journey by highlighting that context and showing them the next step. Logically and helpfully guide them to more, the next bit, more depth, another touchpoint, another piece of the problem solved.
Do this by linking your content, not only in the logical flow of subject matter between pieces, but by including actual links between each and every piece.
Ask yourself, what would they want to know next?
What questions come up from what I’ve just shared?
What other content does it relate to, or that I can create, to continue this path for them?
Better for you, better for your audience
This makes it easier for you to produce better content because you’re putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and walking the talk. You don’t have to recreate the wheel every time - you know your stuff and all the bits that give it context - hang onto that thread and over time and draw out every detail. This is how you make your content more specific and more valuable.
Which is also great for your audience, of course. Now they get to experience even deeper value as you guide them along their journey with you. A journey that’s logical and helpful - who doesn’t like that?
And just as an added bonus, it’s good for SEO too. Search engines love this kind of content architecture because it makes their job easier. Google loves great content just as much as your audience does and like your audience, it’s the links that make it easy to determine the relevance and authority in what you’re producing.
So it’s not exactly rocket science, but with a bit of thought and planning, you can make your content much better and much easier to produce. That’s good for you and good for your audience. After all, content is about human relationships, so when the why’s clear and it’s supported by a simple framework, beautiful things can happen.
Ready for more?
So now if you're all fired up and ready to jump into creating some of that amazing flagship content for yourself, hop over to How to create killer flagship content to learn how.
You can also download a PDF copy of the framework here so you can stick up and keep focused when you're creating for your audience - remember to start with your mission, align all of your content to that mission through flagship pieces and link it all together to create a journey.
I’m talking about this framework in the Like A Boss virtual summit that starts on 1 July.
The Like A Boss summit is designed to inspire, switch you up a notch and make all sorts of lights go off in your business head. It features 15+ bosses sharing their best knowledge nuggets in short, easily digestible video trainings.
When you sign up for the summit, you’ll not only see a video of me going into the detail of everything you’ve just read here, but you’ll also be able to download the framework PDF so you can start applying it to your content today.
If you haven’t already, you can sign up for free here.