To get better results from your content creation you need to create better content.
Today this is more important than ever because more content creators are publishing more content every single day. If you’re not producing better quality content, then you’re being left behind.
But how do you take your content creation to the next level?
In this post, I’ll share my top seven strategies for you to take the quality of your content creation to a whole new level. These are the strategies that I personally use and the ones I coach my clients to use.
How to Create Breakthrough Results
A breakthrough or breakout performance is when your usual level of performance – say a 3 out of 10 – suddenly becomes a 7 out of ten.
We often say someone is an overnight success when they’ve had a breakthrough like this. But the reality of how this happens is very different.
Boiling water in a kettle is a great example of how breakthrough results happen.
You start by adding cold water to the kettle. Then you put the lid on and turn up the heat. For a minute or so nothing happens. Then suddenly the water starts to rumble, then steam appears, and the kettle starts singing.
To create breakthrough results in your content creation here are seven strategies you can follow.
1 Do the work
The first way to create breakthrough results for your content creation is to address the elephant in the room. This is the one thing you cannot avoid if you want breakthrough results in any area of your business or your life.
You need to DO THE WORK. There are no shortcuts to success.
If you’re not willing to do the work, then you might as well stop dreaming about what you want and click away right now.
If you are willing to do the long hard yards, then stick around and I’ll show you some specific things you can do today.
And, if you want an inspiring resource for this, read Steven Pressfield’s book, Do the Work. You can read it in a couple of hours.
2 Create a project
I’m a big fan of doing my work in projects. Projects are great for two big reasons.
- One, they focus your attention.
- And two, they’re a short burst of activity because they have a clear end-date.
You can have projects for one-day, one-week, one-month or 90-day projects.
To create your Content Creation breakthrough, you first must decide what type of breakthrough you want.
The top three content creation projects are:
When you’re just starting out with your content creation the number one thing you need to focus on is getting it done. Build habits, systems and practices to help you be consistent. Examples of Content Creation Production Projects include:
- Write checklists for your process
- Identify elements to automate or outsource
- Experiment with different workflows to find out what is faster and more efficient
- Batch content creation eg instead of writing every day, spend one day writing all of your content for the entire week
- Schedule specific times for specific content creation activities
When you’ve already consistently creating content then you want to focus on your skills to create better quality content. Examples of content creation skills development include:
- Learn to write in different ways. eg more casual, more formal, shorter sentences
- For video creation – talking to the camera, improved lighting techniques, faster editing, adding sound effects or motion graphics
- SEO and finding good keywords to create content about
- Design better graphics or add humour to your scripts or posts
- Manage your tasks and time more tightly to get more done in less time
When you’re consistently producing good quality content you can start to look for ways to expand your reach and leverage your content. Examples of ways to leverage your content include:
- Add a new publishing channel eg turn your videos into a podcast or a book
- Seek out partnerships to create or promote your content in new ways to new audiences eg be interviewed on other people’s podcasts or do joint videos
- Source ways to earn income from your content
- Outsource parts of your production to free you up to create more or better content
- Rework existing content into new formats eg take a slice of your longer YouTube video and turn it into 30 seconds video for Instagram or LinkedIn.
3 Follow a Map
I often wonder how the great explorers did it. Someone like Christopher Columbus is a great example. His only plan was to head west. Yep – we’re going that way!
He was heading off into the great unknown. While he thought he was heading to the Orient (Asia) he bumped into the Americas instead.
If you want to raise the level of your content creation, then don’t sail off into the distance. Instead, get a map or a framework to follow. It will speed up your journey and minimise your errors.
That’s why I created the Content Creation Canvas. I created it because I needed it. I needed a map and a reference point to say, ‘do this next’.
You need to find your framework to follow. And probably the best way to do this is in our next strategy.
4 Find your Guide
Have you heard of Joseph Campbell’s Heroes Journey?
Campbell was a writer and professor of Literature. In his studies of mythology and religions, he identified a consistent story – the story of the hero. It’s the story of an ordinary individual living an ordinary life who is challenged to tackle a new adventure.
One thing that is common to all these stories was that the hero had a guide – someone that helped them tackle and overcome their challenge.
To take your content creation to a new level, you need a guide also. You need someone who is going to help you by showing you different actions to take.
This might be an individual coach, a group program or to follow a map as suggested in the previous principle.
Who is your guide to better content creation?
5 Review your Work
In the post, on Content Creation Process, we spoke about the three big mistakes people make.
Most content creators spend all of their time, energy and attention churning out more content.
But they fail to have a proper completion process when it’s done. This means that one piece of content blurs into the next. Even worse, they don’t learn from what just happened.
You want to avoid your mistakes and you want to repeat the things that worked.
A simple practice to overcome this is to spend time reviewing your work. And you want to do this in a particular way.
- You want to avoid being your harshest critic – there is nothing to be gained from beating yourself up for the mistakes you have made. Instead learn from them.
- And the goal is not to be like your Mum and blindly love everything you did either.
- The best way to review your work is as a neutral spectator.
Remember, the goal of your review is to make better content next time.
My tip is to take written notes of your reviews so you can monitor your progress over time.
6 Measure Your Progress
What’s the most important thing you can do to maintain your motivation and inspiration? Is it:
- Follow your purpose
- Start with why
- Have an accountability buddy
- Make progress
And the winner is… (d) Make progress.
I’m currently in Sydney. It’s a 1000 kilometre or 600-mile drive my home to Sydney. It takes about 10 hours of driving. But I love it. It’s a wonderful feeling of making progress by watching the scenery and counting the miles tick by.
To measure your progress there are two essential things you must focus on: your actions and your results.
The more important of these is your effort or activity. You can’t always control your results so staying on track with the actions you take is the crucial thing to focus on.
7 Build Your Skills
In an earlier post, I shared this slice from an interview between comedian Steve Martin and Charlie Rose.
Comedian and actor Steve Martin:
“Nobody ever takes note of (my advice), because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’ …but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
If you want to get better results from your content creation, then you need to get better at producing content.
I’ve taken Steve Martin’s advice to heart. If I can be so good, they can’t ignore me, then I’m going to be successful on YouTube. And this is why I don’t do a lot of self-promotion on other places like Facebook etc. I would rather be spending that time developing my video skills.
Five Steps to Grow Your Skills
Here are five steps for you to follow Steve Martin’s advice and work on your skills:
- Make a list of the skills you need to succeed in your area of content. For me, around video this includes writing better scripts, performing better on camera, being funny, improve my editing speed, etc.
- Once you have your list, then pick one to work on.
- Create a project around improving it.
- And do the work to get better at it.
- Then move on to the next one.
More on having a Content Creation Breakthrough
Today I’ve shared my seven best strategies for you to have a content creation breakthrough.
To get better content creation results you need to get better at content creation.
Now for the big question: what are you going to do to improve the quality of your content?
Remember, if you’re not growing, learning and improving then you’re probably falling behind.
You might also like these three related posts:
- Content Creation Process – Three Big Mistakes People Make
- Overview: Content Creation Canvas: Build thought leadership, attract new clients
- The most important thought leadership skills to develop
What action are you going to take to improve the quality of your content creation?