Creating and consistently executing a content marketing strategy can provide you a steady stream of leads down the road. The pitfall, however, there isn’t always an immediate reward for your efforts. As online fitness coaches, that is the trap many fall into, a lack of patience.
Establishing authority and bringing people into your sphere of influence is increasingly important in online coaching. Using a well designed content marketing strategy is exactly how we accomplish this.
The world of fitness is becoming overwhelmed with people taking a polarizing stance on marketing. There are varying degrees of “stances” for client attraction and there are people that support, and have seen success, on both ends of the spectrum.
When I see patterns like this emerge, I know only ONE thing is right. The truth is in the middle. The exact same way I established my philosophies for nutrition coaching after reading all the research showing success for every method out there. The truth was in the middle.
So, what’s a coach to do?
You need a mix of both long and short term marketing strategies to create success within your business. Today we will cover a thorough, and layered, content marketing strategy which is the backbone of your long term marketing.
In varying industries, some of the most successful marketers, still explain that content is one of their primary forms of both marketing and client acquisition. While there is a lot of noise these days, this simply cannot be ignored.
I paid attention, and I have seen the same result as them. It works.
Pillar content creation
As you may have guessed, yes, creating content is going to be key.
First, we will establish the form of pillar content we will be creating.
There are 3 primary forms of pillar content:
Writing can the form of blog posts, long form written posts on social media, and guest posts on other people’s websites.
Audio will primarily take the form of podcasts.
And, video can be Facebook or Instagram Lives, educational/content videos, and YouTube.
When coaching my clients through the creation of their content strategy we use a technique called layering. We must progressively add layers based on where we’re at in our business and the time and bandwidth available.
To begin, we may solely be focusing on Facebook and/or Instagram.
From here, we add layers.
It’s typically the second stage of your content strategy where I establish a weekly pillar piece of content such as a blog, podcast, or video.
If you are brand new, focus on Instagram and Facebook (or simply one platform) as your “pillar”.
Then, when experience and time allows, add one piece of pillar content that you create and distribute every single week.
The amazing thing about this, is that these pieces of content live on the internet forever. Your blog, podcasts, or YouTube videos, are there forever. Searchable and discoverable by your ideal clients that are searching for that content.
Once you’ve established your pillar content, the next step is establishing our distribution platforms.
There are 5 primary distribution platforms at your disposal as a coach:
This is not an exhaustive list.
In my mentorship, we identify where our ideal clients are hanging out, then place ourselves on those platforms. Start on the platform they are most active on. With time, the goal is to achieve omnipresence so we can appear in as many places as we can.
Other primary platforms based on your market could be: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Just as in our content creation, we apply layering to our distribution. Choose the distribution platforms that your bandwidth allows for, and execute. Layer on additional distribution when you’re able too.
When I am speaking about “distribution” we are speaking about the platforms we are using to draw people into the content we’ve created.
Ex: I create a podcast. This will be pushed to iTunes (and others), but I can also post about this on Instagram, Facebook, add it to my website, post it on YouTube, etc. With each platform driving people to my podcast.
Scheduling & time blocking
Alright, now we’re rolling.
We’ve established what content we are creating. And, we’ve established how we’re distributing the content. Now, we must block this into our schedule so it gets done.
There are 2 very important things we must now do:
- Schedule our content creation
- Schedule our content distribution
It’s quite easy to put pen to paper and map out your content strategy. However, it’s another beast to EXECUTE on it. And, let me tell you, you can’t take ideas to the bank.
You can’t take ideas to the bank.
Once you establish exactly what you’re going to do you must sit down and schedule this in and time block this into your calendar.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:
- What type of pillar content are you creating?
- What quantity are your producing?
- When are you creating it?
- When are you posting it?
- Does anyone else need to be involved?
Let’s use Instagram and Podcasting as an example:
- Instagram feed 5x per week, first thing in the morning
- Instagram stories daily, documenting the day
- Instagram live 1x per week on Monday at noon
- Podcast 1x per week
- Podcast creation (recording) Monday’s at 11AM
- Podcast post-production Tuesday’s at 9AM
- Editing audio, creating graphics & soundbytes, uploading to host, etc.
- Podcast distribution Thursday’s
- Posting to itunes, IG feed, IG stories, Facebook, and website…
When we start to break it down, there is more going on then we initially realized. This is why it’s very important to place these into your calendar like every other appointment. Content creation is vital for success. If we don’t schedule it in, odds are, it’s not getting done.
Consistency > complexity
You’ve got everything you need to create your ultimate content strategy. However, this is a long-term play for establishing authority in the marketing and drawing people into your sphere of influence.
Consistency is key with anything that’s a long term approach, just like it is with weight loss. We must establish the key things that are required every single week and focus on executing them.
Consistency of the plan is far more beneficial than the complexity of the plan. Creating a single blog post per week for years will serve you far better than creating 3 blogs, 1 podcast, and 2 vlogs, per week only for 1-2 months and falling off because you`re burnt out.
Apply the layering technique to start small, consistently execute, then layer on additional content and distribution. As you build these habits into your routine it will be easier and faster to execute. As your business grows you may be able to outsource time consuming tasks like video production, or audio production. Or your schedule may adjust allowing more time for content creation.
Focus on consistency over complexity.
Make your content work for you
This is very key.
First, every piece of content must be valuable and targeted towards your ideal clients.
Here are a few hacks to make sure that your content is working for you:
- Include a call to action with each piece of content you create. This provides a way for each piece of content to generate a potential lead.
- Research the most searched for content, or poll your audience to see what they want, then create that content
- Create content based on frequently asked questions that you can reference for education in the future when you’re asked those questions
- Create an in-depth client avatar which will provide you with a lot of content ideas
- Writing guest articles, getting on other people’s podcasts, and collaborating on social media are great ways to increase awareness and reach of your brand
Short term marketing strategies
Like I said earlier, we must maintain a mix of both short and long term marketing strategies at all times. If we focus solely on one or the other we hinder our chances for success.
My #1 recommendation for short term marketing and client acquisition is direct outreach using social media.
I’ve created a free guide where I detail my best short term marketing strategy: direct outreach. And, here, and only here, you can get access to my Content War Machine swipe file where I detail the exact strategies I personally use.