Is there a question you don’t know the answer to? It could be:
- What business could I create?
- How do I get more sales?
- How do I build a community?
- What should I sell?
- Should I write a blog / start a video channel / record a podcast / be on LinkedIn?
- If I held an event, would people come?
How do you feel about your question? Does it make you squirm? Or eager to investigate? Are you willing to share that you don’t know something?
When I was thinking about how to write about You Are The Media’s (YATM) Creator Day 2022, this wasn’t the intro I expected to write. But when I opened my workbook I saw a question I’d written ‘Love this question!’ next to – and I don’t currently have an answer:
Now, I believe and stand for a lot of things but ONE? That’s a tough question.
How questions help you create stand out content - and build your business
Questions are great because they get you thinking. If you’re going to create something, you need to start asking questions:
🧐 Who is it for?
🧐 What is it for?
(If you’re a fan of Seth Godin, you’ll recognise those as the starting point for anything you’re working on from a social media post to a business idea.)
You Are The Media Creator Day ticked all three of those boxes. I didn’t expect to laugh so much at a business event. That was one of the surprises.
All the speakers sparked curiosity and they did it in surprising and delightful ways:
😜 Emojis and gifs
💩 Toy poo emojis
🙋 Audience participation
🤣 Physical comedy
And they all encouraged the audience to ask questions and discover what creativity and innovation looks like for them.
🤔 What are the barriers to you creating content?
🤔 What are your potential customers searching for?
🤔 Where is your focus?
🤔 ‘Should’ you really be dedicating time to others’ demands and expectations?
🤔 How can you create surprise?
My 9 takeaways from YATM Creator Day
Your wider audience is the black outer circle. Anyone can see what you’re sharing but these people are unlikely to buy from you. They could be friends, former colleagues, competitors, or passers-by.
You want to land on the dartboard where you can score points.
You can then have offers which are focused on one section, or niche.
2. Understand the message you want to share
Mark Masters opened the day by talking about how what you create is not for everyone, it’s for some.
He said: “When you start, no-one is going to care. You have to be ok with that. When you start it’s not about a massive audience, it’s about your craft.
“When we understand the message we want to say, that’s the cornerstone of what we want to create. When we understand that, people step forward and want to take part and want to share.”
I know I mentioned this earlier in the article but Jon said surprise increases engagement by 400%! 🙌
I need to work on being more surprising!
4. Give people the opportunity to move around your ecosystem
Emily and Alan Braithwaite from Yellow Tuxedo talked about online visibility and search engine optimization. I was delighted that they put your website in the middle of that ecosystem and then mapped out all the ways people come in to your world including email, social media, and content. They even brought along a door, to show all the doors in to your business online.
5. You can make really good use of brand shots in presentations
Emily and Alan again! I thought their brand photos were brilliantly versatile for putting in a presentation. If you’re wordy, like me, the visual aspect of online business can be baffling. I’m always on the lookout for ideas and now I have brand photoshoot goals.
I’ve since found out that they take all their photos themselves using their smartphones. So I’m going to set the timer on my phone and see what I can create.
6. Stick closely by your personal brand superpowers
It can be easy to be chameleon-like in business and change to fit other people’s expectations. But it’s much easier to stand out by being you.
Ella Orr told the story of how she went from teaching to social media marketing and the process she went through to develop her personal brand. She said: “Your personal brand will take you from being ordinary to extraordinary.” I completely agree.
7. Know what you’re meant to be focusing on
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have several different ideas for things you could be doing on the go at once. Copywriter and best-selling author Sarah Townsend spoke about the importance of knowing where your focus needs to be and balancing your passion projects so you don’t get derailed.
8. There are lots of opportunities for you to put your own stamp on your content
Joe Glover, from the Marketing Meetup, spoke about email and how it’s key for keeping your community engaged. If you’ve ever received an email from Joe, you will know that his greetings are legendary. I got one today which said: “Hey Rachel, you example of goodness in this world.” How’s that for a warm glow?
Joe walked through all the ways you can make your emails more you. Look 👀
It wasn’t just Joe’s presentation that got me thinking about this. Everyone who spoke had a different way of presenting, added their own unique approach, had ways of getting people thinking and involved.
You can create content in any way you like. As Mark says, the people you are creating for will get involved with it. Others will scroll on by and that’s fine.
9. A welcoming community
You Are The Media is incredibly friendly. I met lots of great people, including Christophe, Stewart and Lucy who were in my creator group. A key part of the day was encouraging each other to produce content and so we split into groups to talk through our ideas.
I’m looking forward to heading back to the seaside again, and in the meantime I’ll be joining in online.