Running out of content marketing ideas? Having a hard time getting your message across among billions of emails, millions of tweets, blogs, and podcasts sent and shared every single day?
You’re not alone!
Many online businesses struggle to produce high quality authoritative content that could break through the “noise.” Many have difficulty coming up with fresh ideas to keep their audiences engaged, day in and day out. Like you, they find content creation hard work, not to mention expensive.
But here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be!
In Chapter 5 of his book Authority Content, Amazon bestselling author and systems guru David Jenyns talks about the “Three Ps” (3Ps) framework – a simple yet powerful system of creating and delivering truly great content that will build your brand and credibility in any market niche. What’s more? It’s time-saving and cost-effective!
Let’s find out more.
CHAPTER 5: PRESENT, PRODUCT, PROMOTE
When I was a kid I was in the Scouts. The Scout Leaders used to come up with games to try to keep us occupied. In one of these games the Scout Leader would call out “four minutes!” and the aim of the game was to try to guess when four minutes were almost up and then we’d sit down. Whoever sat down the closest to four minutes, without going over, was the winner.
We’d play this game in the Scout hall where there were no clocks and no external ways of keeping track of the time, so the idea was to try to count the seconds in your head. Try it sometime; it’s actually pretty hard to do. The brain is very good at expanding or contracting our sense of time passing.
Of course, the real aim of the game was to keep everyone quiet for four minutes while we concentrated on counting silently, but that’s beside the point. The reason I’m telling you this story is because one of my friends, Adam, used to win this game almost every single time. He was so good at the ‘four minutes’ game’ that some people stopped trying to count and just sat down when he did.
They didn’t know why he was better at the game than everyone else; they just figured that if they copied him they’d be successful.
Some people spend their whole life doing that. They try to imitate successful people without trying to understand precisely why they’re so good at what they do. That only gets you so far. All those kids copying Adam thought they were being smart, but what would they have done if Adam were at home sick, or if he decided he was bored with winning and just stopped playing and moved onto something else?
Fortunately, Adam was bad at keeping secrets. He eventually revealed that his technique was to rock back and forth, using his steps as a kind of pendulum for keeping his mental counting even and consistent. It wasn’t long before everyone played ‘four minutes’ by rocking around the hall and the game was eventually killed stone dead. The Scout Leaders banned this technique, but that’s a whole other story.
There are two great lessons I take from that memory. The first is that if I’m going to show you how to be successful at marketing your online business, I need you to understand exactly what Authority Content is and why it works, instead of just jumping straight into the actionable steps. Hopefully I’ve already got you to that place, but if you’ve skipped ahead in the book, please go back and read the first few chapters. I can give you the fundamentals, and I can give you the steps, but you need to understand both if you want to get ahead.
The second lesson – and I believe this can be applied in so many different areas of life – is that even when it appears as if you’re operating on a level playing field and even when there appears to be substantial competition, there are always ways to swing the odds dramatically in your favour. You just need a good system to follow.
So here’s my system for building authority in any niche.
What are the “3 Ps” of Authority Content?
We’ve already talked quite a bit about the importance of creating relevant content. Obviously this is a challenge. There are plenty of people out there who already know the importance of this strategy but fail to make any headway because content creation is time-consuming and expensive…
Unless you’re following the Authority Content system, of course!
The system I’m about to outline enables you to create a simple, straightforward process for conceiving, planning and delivering high quality content all year round. Yes, it still requires some effort and a little investment, but it removes the challenges of trying to figure out what to create and ensures that you don’t procrastinate or become paralysed by indecision.
The framework in which I’m going to introduce this system is called the “Three Ps” (3Ps), and as you might expect from the name, it consists of three simple steps:
These three steps in themselves are not the real secret behind Authority Content (we’ll get to this in a moment), but they allow us to consider the work we’re going to do in a clear, logical fashion.
“Present”is about batching your content creation, capturing as much quality, in-depth, rich content as we can in the shortest possible time and for the least amount of money.
“Product”is how we package that content into something valuable that people can easily access. It answers questions such as, in what format do we deliver it, how much we charge our customers or do we give it away for free.
“Promote”is simply about optimising the content and getting it consistently in front of your clients and as many prospects as possible.
The third and final step, the promotion of your content, is probably what you were expecting the majority of this book to be about and, quite possibly, the skills you’re most eager to learn. However, “Promote” doesn’t work unless you’ve really nailed the first two steps. In fact, the better the job you do with the first two steps, the easier the marketing element becomes.
When you get all three steps working properly you’ll create a traffic and conversion machine that is profitable for you AND beneficial for the customer. Never forget that our goal and motivation is to add value to people’s lives. We’re not going to simply create low quality articles and rewrite them numerous times for the sake of it, hoping to pick up a few links and trying to fool Google. We’re going to create truly great content, package it up into lots of different formats and share it with the people who need it most.
Most SEOs get it wrong by pumping out content for the primary sake of building links, while most content marketers get it wrong by putting out great content with little regard for optimisation. Authority Content lives in the intersection between great SEO and content marketing.
That’s how we Google-proof, search engine proof and future proof our work.
Please understand that this strategy takes work. Nothing worthwhile comes without at least a little effort but the rewards are worth it.
The Key To Success
In this section we’re going to answer the question that’s raised by the first of the 3Ps: “Present”. How do we create the maximum amount of content with the minimum amount of time and money?
Let’s say, for example, that you want to create a dozen videos. You rent a studio or set up your own – which doesn’t come cheap. You want to maximise your output, so you spend several days writing and polishing your script. The video has to look right and you’re not used to talking to a camera, so it takes you a dozen takes to get the first video right.
You’ve just spent a week and a chunk of cash to create one video, and you still have another 11 to produce!
At that rate, it’s going to take you months to get your first batch of videos completed, and you haven’t had time to even think about creating other forms of content, such as articles, ebooks, podcasts or infographics. Heck, you don’t even have enough time in the day to return a text from a friend, let alone put aside a week to create some content.
But there is a better way, the Authority Content way… you’re going to organise a workshop or live event. I say “workshop”, but it doesn’t really matter in what format you run the event. It can be a classroom-style workshop, a small interactive training session at your office or a VIP day for your best customers at a local hall. The key is to have a set date when you’re getting together some people from your target audience and then delivering some useful and relevant content.
I had to explain a little there since I always run the risk of losing a certain percentage of my audience when I use the word “workshop”. Immediately some people start thinking, “No, that isn’t going to work for me.”
If that’s the thought running through your head, I need you to push that to one side for now and pay careful attention to the next few chapters. Why? Because it doesn’t matter what excuse you might have for thinking that you’re the exception and that this won’t work for your business. That’s all they are – excuses.
Excuses are bad for business. They’re constructs that you use to give yourself permission to avoid doing something you might not want to do. Be honest with yourself. Your reasons for rejecting the idea of putting on a workshop –are they genuine challenges or are they just excuses?
How can you tell? If they’re challenges, you’ll find ways to overcome them. If they’re excuses, you’ll close your mind of to the possibilities of how it might work and insist that there’s no way of tackling them. That’s how you’ll know.
I could have come up with plenty of excuses for believing that running a workshop to promote my Metastock guide was unworkable. I’d never conducted a workshop before. People wouldn’t listen to me because I was too young. I didn’t know exactly what I’d talk about and if people would be interested in attending. I didn’t have a venue.
However, I was convinced that running a workshop was the way forward and so I found ways to overcome those obstacles.
For most people, excuses for not wanting to hold a workshop are simply a mask for not wanting to admit that speaking in front of a room full of people terrifies them. But that can be overcome with good preparation and practice. If you have a genuine, insurmountable phobia of public speaking, you can always get someone else in the business to do it, hire someone to handle the presentation on your behalf or just facilitate the event with other experts.
Whether you have reasons or excuses, please just put a pin in all of them for now. Let’s instead focus for a few minutes on the reasons holding a workshop is actually a really good idea.
- The simple act of holding a workshop will elevate you and your business in people’s eyes and will represent a giant step forward in establishing you as an authority.
- You can record the workshop and, in a single day, generate hours of useful video content.
- You can ask attendees to record a testimonial at the end of the session or during the lunch break, gifting you with potentially dozens of high quality endorsements, again in a single day.
- Your attendees will post to social media sites during the day, creating a buzz around your event and business.
- When you get a group of clients together in one room, the collective wisdom will produce amazing insights, helping you to generate ideas for expanding and improving your products and services.
- Many of the customers who attend your workshop will be transformed into dedicated, life-long, hard-core fans who will rave to others about you and your business.
- Invite your staff to attend the workshop and they’ll develop a better understanding of your products and services.
- Setting a date for your workshop helps you to avoid procrastination and forces you to get on with the task of creating a written structure for whatever it is you’re going to share.
Those are all great reasons for demonstrating that conducting a workshop is an excellent idea. However one of the most important benefits of holding a workshop is that, after the event, you’ll have hours of video content that you can slice up into useful content blocks and post online, gradually over the next few months, or even over the period of a year.
One content-rich workshop can easily produce 30-40 videos and fuel your content marketing efforts. Because the videos are in a workshop setting, in a teacher-and-students format, this content naturally appears more authoritative than if it were just you in a studio, talking to a camera.
Running a workshop is a game changer for everyone I know who has ever invested the effort needed to put one together. It’s enabled me to move into, and dominate, three highly competitive spaces: The Metastock industry, the SEO industry and the web video industry.
All three sectors are packed with individuals and businesses selling training and “done for you” services. SEO training and services, especially, are incredibly competitive. Yet I’ve been successful in all three fields by following almost exactly the same strategy.
Organise a workshop, record the event, and then use the video footage to create authoritative content that I can syndicate around the web to position me as an authority and create a consistent flow of new leads and clients.
Overcoming Your Objections
If you’re willing to push aside any reservations you may be feeling and follow me as I take you through the 3Ps, you’ll turn on a traffic and lead-generating machine that is unstoppable and, more crucially, is flexible enough to work in any industry and adapt to any changing circumstances.
That’s all the good stuff about this part of Authority Content, but it’s only fair that I circle back to some of the concerns that might have surfaced earlier. Let’s take a look at some of the most common objections people have to conducting a workshop and provide another perspective.
Objection #1 – Workshops aren’t suitable for my business.
I get this one a lot. Maybe the product or service you provide just doesn’t ft with the idea of 20 people in a room watching a PowerPoint presentation. It’s a fair point, but you just need to think laterally.
First of all, although we think of a workshop as being in a classroom setting, that doesn’t have to be the case. For our purposes, a workshop has a very broad definition and simply means getting a group of your target audience together in the same physical location on a specific date.
If you train horses, your classroom could be a stable. If you sell plantfood, your classroom could be a vegetable garden. If you sell fishing excursions, take a group of students fishing.
As long as you can get everyone together in the same place, ready to learn something and you have room for someone with a video camera, you’re conducting a workshop.
Objection #2 – I don’t know what to teach.
This is also a good objection but is also easily fixed with lateral thinking and a healthy dose of creativity. For my first workshop, promoting my Metastock Programming Study Guide, it was easy to come up with a curriculum. We simply expanded on the content we’d already created. However, I agree that not all businesses translate quite so easily.
The key is to get back into the mind of your customers and think about the problems they’re facing and the amazing things you can teach them to help solve those problems.
When I began creating workshops for my SEO services, I knew that what my customers really wanted to know was how to drive more traffic to their website and business and ultimately they wanted to know how to market themselves better online. So that’s what I taught them. It might seem strange to some that I would teach people how to do SEO for themselves when my business was about providing those services, but I think that’s small-minded thinking.
The fact is, start-up business owners often can’t afford a “done for you” service and would happily pay a smaller fee to attend a workshop and learn how to do this for themselves. Or pay a little less and receive a video recording of the workshop.
For more established businesses, our videos help to educate about the value our business offers provides. Most probably don’t recognise the work required to do great SEO. So, once they review my videos and articles they often decide they’d rather hire us to do the work anyway.
This approach is used by many different service providers. A one-day workshop demonstrating how to do something can simultaneously be an opportunity to show that your services solve a time-consuming, complex problem, and are well worth investing in. You just have to get over your hesitation of letting people peek behind the curtain and see how you do what you do.
As I said before, I’ve always taken the counter intuitive approach of revealing everything, from A to Z and this mind-set has helped my business grow exponentially rather than hold it back.
So, we’ve covered training businesses and service-providing businesses. But what if you sell a range of products or even a single product? How do you turn that into a workshop?
The answer in this case is to push your product into the background and focus on the related needs of your customer base. If they’re a customer, or a potential customer, ask yourself what related subjects would they be interested in learning about?
If, for example, you sell car wax, you could run a workshop on basic car maintenance. If you sell plant food, how about a workshop on creating and tending a vegetable garden? If you sell horse grooming kits, how about a day spent in a stable learning how to care for your horse?
So, whether you sell training, services or products, there are always topics of interest to your target market.
Don’t worry if compiling content for your first workshop is a bit of a challenge. With each event you organise, you’ll become more confident in your abilities, more attuned to your audience and more capable of identifying and serving the needs of your market.
Objection #3 – I’m a terrible public speaker.
This objection doesn’t apply if you’ve never tried it. If you’re simply assuming that you’re not up to scratch, I’d encourage you to at least give it a try before you decide it’s not for you. Putting your face front and centre, not just on the day of the workshop but also in the video content that you’ll subsequently be distributing online, may be essential if you’re a key part of your company’s branding. Remember, success is sitting just outside of your comfort zone.
Even if you feel like you have tried and failed as a public speaker, stick with it. No one was ever born a natural public speaker. It takes time and practise to improve – like all things in life.
If you’re building a business, growing a team and making a difference in the world, it’s a skill worth mastering. If you’re still fighting the point, perhaps for your first workshop, you could consider promoting someone within your organisation to be the public face of your business. They don’t necessarily have to have public speaking experience – although that would obviously be a plus – but if they’re knowledgeable and passionate about your product, they’re more than half way there.
Alternatively, you can hire a local celebrity or partner with a business that is in the same market but serves a different need. There are plenty of options for finding alternative speakers but again, I must emphasise, please only replace yourself as one of the speakers as a last resort.
Objection #4 – I’m new to the industry and no-one knows who I am.
Why would they come to my workshop?
Naturally, putting on an event is always easier if you have an existing customer base, however that isn’t a prerequisite for hosting an event. If you’re a newcomer to the field, you can push your way to the front of the pack by partnering with one or more established businesses.
Identifying potential partners is a case of finding that sweet spot between (1) large enough to have an existing modest-sized audience and (2) small enough that they would welcome the promotional opportunities provided by attending your event. The key is to find a handful of existing authorities to get involved, so everyone has the opportunity to get in front of a wider audience than they already have access to.
Another option is to partner with a related charity and run the workshop as a fundraising event in which all proceeds go to the charity. The charity provides you with legitimacy and an audience. You provide your expertise and a reason for people to attend.
Partnering with other experts and organisations also has value in that you’ll be able to add to your authority status by virtue of being connected to the people who already have status in your field. In fact, even if you’re an existing authority in your field, it may be well worth your while considering the partnership route for your event for this reason alone.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this excerpt from Authority Content. If at this point you’re still asking yourself, “Does this thing really work?”, then watch the video below. Listen to how one online marketing company turned a single masterclass workshop into a revenue generating digital product and tons of content marketing materials by following the simple 3Ps system.