The Calculated Creative

Creating a Content Machine

3 Steps to Attract More Paying Clients

You’re not getting work because you aren’t attracting eyeballs.

But how do you create content that attracts them in the first place?

By building a content marketing machine.

Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps:

Step 1. Just Start Posting

Goal: See who responds — this is about building a habit and finding your audience.

At this stage it’s all about developing a habit, because the most difficult piece of this entire puzzle is literally the first step: getting started. It genuinely doesn’t matter WHAT you post about as much as it matters that you do it regularly. Whether that’s once a day or once a week, post to the platforms that feel right to you and do it on a consistent basis.

Remember, the enemy of good is great and we’re not trying to build your empire in a day. This first step is all about building the habit.

Step 1 checklist:
- Don’t overthink it
- Use a scheduling app to help (Buffer is my favorite)
- Stick to your cadence!
- Find someone to help hold you accountable if that helps
- Dedicate an hour or two every week to focus on this task alone

Step 2. Add & Refine

Goal: Learn what content is working and do more of it. Build 2-way relationships with your followers.

If you’ve been consistent with your posting, you should have enough posts under your belt to start to understand what resonated with your audience. Look at metrics! We’re all brands, and we’re also all “numbers people” now. Understanding what content generated likes, comments, shares, etc. will help you know which topics to keep in your rotation and which ones to ditch.

Now’s the time that you can also start using other social channels to share your best-performing content. If you started posting on Linkedin, maybe give Twitter a shot. As you add in new platforms, you’ll start to pick up on the nuances of each — don’t expect to learn this all in a day and give yourself some time to learn along the way.

The good news is, because you’ve already built up your posting habit and know what content is working, you can easily repurpose your best–performing pieces to use in new channels.

Step 2 checklist:
- What content got the most engagement?
- What topics did you enjoy the most?
- Are you speaking directly to your target market?
- What about your content draws attention? (Stop the scroll)
- Can you rework older posts that did well and give them a facelift?

Step 3. Crank Up The Volume

Goal: Do more to get more

Very few people make it to this final phase because it can truly take years to really dial in the first two steps. Being a content machine can really be a fulltime job! But it’s possible — and rewarding — to get to this step, because if you’re maxing out this plan, you’re really on the path to becoming an industry heavyweight.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of what content is working on which platforms and you have your schedule up and rockin’, it becomes a game of maximizing what each platform can handle. Places like Instagram have more linear feeds, which means that you can burn your audience out if you’re posting too much.

A platform like TikTok, though, can handle as many as 10 posts a day because its algorithms serve up content to different people at different times.

Step 3 checklist:
- How many posts can each platform handle?
- What are the nuances of each platform?
- What are the best times to post?
- Are there other tools you can use to maximize your reach?

Because this process can be so dependent on your own goals and content you may find that your audience doesn’t use specific platforms. Or that you really only have time to master one. This process is by no means a one size fits all but more of a guideline to help keep your eyes on the prize.

Even if you only ever prioritize step 1, and you’re able to keep that engine running for a longer period of time, you’ll be many steps ahead of where you’re at today. And that’s the goal. Small steps, over time. Because the longer you’re able to continue posting the higher your chances of getting to where you want to be.

Quick Recap:
1 — Just start somewhere, anywhere.
2 — When you know what’s working AND you have a solid habit, add and refine your content plan.
3 — DO MORE and watch the new biz leads roll in.

A few tips:
- There is no “one size fits all” plan — it’s up to you to learn what works for YOU and your audience.
- Starting is better than not starting.
- Take small steps over time.
- In content land, there’s no such thing as too long…only too boring
- In order understand quality you first have to go through quantity. Reps build strength!
- As with all creative work it will suck at first until you get better at it and THAT’S OKAY
- Don’t give up on other processes for bringing in work. This is a long term strategy that should work alongside those

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

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