Let’s talk for a minute about content.
Now sure, anyone can create ‘content’…
But ‘content’ is a bit like ‘art’:
It’s technically easy to create anything that qualifies, so there’s an appealingly low barrier to entry – but of course that means HUGE variations in quality.
If your biz has any kind of online presence these days, how you sell is only as important as how you advise.
Attracting the right prospects is about advising in the right way, and demonstrating your authority effectively.
So authority content has become something that sets many businesses apart, demonstrating they know their stuff and driving more (and better) leads.
The cool thing about authority content is this:
You don’t have to be a great writer to do it well.
I work with business owners who enjoy writing, and others who don’t.
Either way, they’re almost always the people best-positioned to create their biz’s authority content.
Not because they’re skilled ‘content writers’…
…but because they’re subject matter experts.
That’s what your audience really needs when they have a problem:
Someone with experience, specialist knowledge and the ability to communicate a solution.
So creating authority content is more craft than art – you don’t need to write like a bestselling author to be effective.
You just need to be able to make a claim, make it interesting to your target audience (your ideal potential customer) and show why understanding that claim is useful to them.
Devesh Khanal of content marketing experts Grow & Convert evaluates a lot of written content as part of his agency’s work with clients. He says:
The best articles are good not because of the claims, but because of the details that prove, backup, or add color to the claims.
The more details the better, and the more original the details the better.”
And who’s the best person to write about those details that demonstrate your specialist knowledge?
Because even if you THINK you aren’t really a writer, when it comes to your biz, you already are.
You have a unique combination of experience and perspective, and an unrivalled ability to help your ideal clients or customers with their specific problems.
You have conversations every day about your niche that could help people better understand their issue, if they were a fly on the wall…
(Yes, even the arguments. Especially the arguments!)
You likely have more relevant facts and figures than a content writer could research in the scope of the average article…
If you’re like most biz-owners, you have some strong opinions (oh so many unshakeable, outspoken opinions!)…
And most importantly:
You have first-hand experience of the kinds of problems your people need solving.
When you express that in articles, on podcasts or in presentations, you can demonstrate your unique position clearly and consistently – all without needing a creative writing degree.
With that in mind…
Here’s three quick tips for creating compelling authority content for your biz:
1 – Insights trump facts
Don’t drown your readers in facts, just use them to back up the important stuff:
Your unique opinions, insights and experiences of situations they can relate to.
Share the knowledge you earned the hard way, the failed experiments, the Eureka! moments, the home truths.
Back up your claims like Devesh advises, but don’t overdo the scientific evidence…
Just remember what Stephen King says:
If you bury your reader in too many bland facts, “you’re not writing prose, you’re writing an instruction manual”.
And of course, remember that the goal of your authority piece is to HELP someone…
Focus on a problem and help them move nearer the outcome.
No, you don’t have to solve the problem completely (that’s what your product / service is for!) but providing a better understanding of how they can do that gives your content actual value, AND demonstrates your authority.
2 – Be contrary
Have an opinion, philosophy or practice that’s contrary to the majority view?
Put it out there. Express it again and again in your content. People want to hear the alternative side of things…
They want to see sacred cows taken down, villains exposed, lazy beliefs challenged and conventional wisdom replaced.
To get started, ask yourself:
Not only will it be more interesting to read or listen to, it’ll also enhance your brand and attract kindred spirits (aka your ideal clients and customers).
3 – Don’t forget the details
Writing is a form of telepathy.
And the more detail you include, the easier it is to communicate your ideas to your readers and have them reappear fully-formed in their mind.
And again, the bonus of creating your own authority content is that YOU already know these details (content writers can find them, or even make them up, but it’s a longer process).
Tell stories. Get descriptive by creating ‘Snapshots’ that put the reader amongst the action:
Say what the weather was like on the day you had your big breakthrough with your product… who was present and why… how it felt when you told someone who mattered… and what the immediate consequences were (false starts are always entertaining!)
You can even throw in a few cultural references to keep things lively.
The goal: to help your piece of authority content position YOU / your biz as a unique source of value.
Because you’re one in a billion.
I’m now working with growing businesses to help them explore and develop more effective authority content, as part of my Selling Unique process.
If you’d like more info on how I can help your biz do that, so you continue to create amazing authority content that generates quality leads, head over here.