Startup Content: Writing You Need When Starting A Small Business | Michael Luchies | Skillshare

Startup Content: Writing You Need When Starting A Small Business

Michael Luchies, Entrepreneur & Writer✎

Startup Content: Writing You Need When Starting A Small Business

Michael Luchies, Entrepreneur & Writer✎

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10 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:13
    • 2. 5 Types of Content Your Startup Needs

      2:13
    • 3. 3 Things to Know Before Writing

      2:41
    • 4. The Value Rule

      1:27
    • 5. Descriptive Content

      3:49
    • 6. Website Content

      4:20
    • 7. Blog Content

      5:58
    • 8. Email and Newsletter Content

      2:56
    • 9. Social Media Content

      3:42
    • 10. Complete Your Worksheet

      0:34
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About This Class

Startup Content: Writing You Need When Starting A Small Business is a fast-paced, action-oriented course geared to quickly turn your startup into a brand worth following. 

As a student in this course, you’ll learn:

  • 5 types of content you need 
  • 3 things you need to know before writing anything
  • The 'Value Rule' 
  • How I approach content when working with small businesses and in my own marketing efforts
  • How to create 3 quick blog topics for your first three blog posts
  • Tips and tricks when writing each type of content for your business 
  • And more! 7eebe523

Meet Your Teacher

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Michael Luchies

Entrepreneur & Writer✎

Teacher

Get closer to your dreams and goals with my help. 

Want to find the right name for your business? 

Want to learn how to become a freelance writer? 

Looking for the perfect mission statement, tagline, or vision statement for your business?

Look no further! My name is Michael Luchies and I'm an entrepreneurial writer who guides entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses towards growth with content. 

I am the Founder of TrepRep, Co-Founder of the Write Your Startup community, an experienced communications manager, amateur standup comedian, former contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine, TEDx alum, former Interview Editor and Podcast Host for Under30CEO, and Copywriter for Propllr. I have spent the past 12+ years help... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: whatever your goals for your start of our you can't accomplish them without content, it's impossible. While you're an entrepreneur and probably a writer, you can't avoid contact, and that's what we're gonna cover today. In this course, I'm entrepreneur and writer Michael Lucchese, and my life's work is focused on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs build their brand and connect with their audience. All contact. I first started writing over 10 years ago when I started a business and I needed a marketing, but I didn't have a budget helped build that business just from contact marketing. I've since published ghostwritten well over 1000 articles, and I'm a contributor for Entrepreneur that featured Mentioned and Forbes, fortune freelancer Tex and more. In this course, we will cover the five types of content that you absolutely need in your start up a small business. And for the project, you'll complete a short worksheet with one task related to each type of contact. Thanks for giving this course a chance. I created it to give you as much value as possible, So stick with it. Let's do this. I'm excited. Let's get started 2. 5 Types of Content Your Startup Needs: five types of content your start of needs and will cover each Five of these in this course will start with a brief introduction. Here. Go into a few things you need to know before writing each type of content, and then we'll dive into each just a bit. The five types of content you absolutely need in your startup or small business are descriptive content. This describes your business product service or app in a way that appeals to your target market. Number two is website content. Not only do you need a website, you have to have content on your website that helps search engine bots search and rank your site and content that once a visitor gets to your site, speaks to them and tells them what to do next and why they should do it. Number three is blawg content, and, yes, you still need to have a blawg. There's different trains of thought on this, but I definitely recommend that you do have a blogger. I'll quickly explain why, along with giving you a few additional tips, we're also going to create three topics for your 1st 3 block posts. Make sure to follow along on the worksheet and submit your work through the year. Projects. Section number four is email and newsletter content, and this includes any type of marketing form, campaign or newsletter. Sign up a quarterly newsletter that you would send out to investors or your network, and you should at least have one of these in the fifth type of content. Your startup or small business definitely needs is social contact. You have to be on social media, right? The answer is yes, but you don't have to try to dominate every aspect of every platform. So to recap the five types of content that you are going to need for your small business, start up our descriptive content website content, blawg content, email and newsletters and social media content. But before we can start with each of these, there are a few things you need to know that will make sure your writing will have maximum impact on your audience. 3. 3 Things to Know Before Writing: When writing content for your business, there are three things you have to consider with everything you write, whether you're writing the content for your websites home page ah blawg Post or an apt description in the APP store, the three things you need to have in mind before writing are your goal, your target market and your voice and brand. So looking at your goal, you need to ask yourself this question. What do you want to accomplish with this piece of content? Everything you write and the way it's structured will depend on your goal. The goal will also determine your call the action, which is like a question or what you give your audience to get them from Point A to point B . So if you're writing a home page for your website and your goal is to get people to your contact page email, you you might have a called action at the bottom of the page, like visit our contact page now to get started. Number two is your target market. Who are you talking to? A lot of people also described This is an avatar. The specific audience you're speaking to so example would be a 35 year old mother who works from home or 50 year old business owner of technology companies. Number three is your voice and brand. You need to make sure to stay true to yourself and voice here. You want to bring your personality into your brand. You want them to get to know you on. The only way you can do that is if you give a little bit of yourself in your brand. So a lot of startups will use the CEOs personality somewhat to shape their brand. That I think that's, ah, great way to approach it, especially in the early days. So a lot of small businesses also go wrong here when they're having too many people, right block posts that are all supposed to represent a single brand, so you want to make sure to keep it consistent. So definitely work in your personality and even your sense of humor when your brand is is more human. It will have a better chance of connecting with your target market, and that means more sales. So you want to contain, maintain that consistent voice and has mentioned the last bullet point here. Limit the number of cooks in the kitchen. So if you're working with freelance bloggers, freelance writers on your content, try to stick with a couple or make sure that they can translate your voice into the content . If it's all over the place, your audience really won't be able to connect with it and thats gonna hurt your brand. 4. The Value Rule: so we know that we need to know the goal of the piece of content the target market were writing to and the voice and brand that were writing it from before. We get started on the five pieces of content that are extremely important for your business . One rule you need to follow with every single piece of content. Is this the value rule? You must provide value. If you can't answer the question. What value does this provide to my target market? With these, you need to start over. You need to make sure you're providing value to your reader with everything you write and share in some way. So this could be showing them how to do something, giving them a little bit of entertainment. Giving them new information or providing them with a deal are unique opportunity. If you get in this habit, if you get in the habit of providing value and everything you write, you'll start to build an audience around what you do and build trust and interest within your target market. So remember, with every piece of content, you right? No, your goal. The target market you're writing to the voice and brand you're writing from and make sure toe always provide value. Now let's take a quick dive into each of the five types of content you'll need to have or your small business or start up. I'm really excited to share this with you guys. Let's go. 5. Descriptive Content: If you can't describe what you're selling and how it provides value to your customers, you can't expect customers or investors to be able to understand why they should buy into your company or product why they should believe in it. Every business needs descriptive content and usually a lot of it. Now here's an example of descriptive content for my Web site. Something that I've written tripper up turns passion expertise in your years of hard work into content that connects with your customers. Now this is a short, descriptive sentence I have on my website that speaks the entrepreneurs who are my target market. So if they got into this point, they already know that I'm speaking directly to them now. Descriptive content must relate to your potential customers by explaining to them the value your product or service will provide. You can't make it too much about yourself. You need to make it about them. So if you're launching an app, your descriptive content will be how you describe your app in the APP or Google Play store . If you're creating products to sell on Etsy, this would be what you write for the item details section whatever your product or service is, you need to be able to describe it, and that's where descriptive content will come into play. So descriptive content includes apt descriptions in that or Google play store taglines. The about section off your website in any time someone ask you, tell me about your company or about your product. What you respond to is your descriptive content. So even if you're having a face to face interaction with someone, this content is going to come into play there, which means it's really important, not just for your website or online. But when you have those investor meetings or you're at a networking session looking at the keys to writing descriptive content, let's first look at your goal. Your goal with descriptive content is to interest and engage the reader to taken action. So if writing that description for the APP store, you want to quickly explain your app in a way that appeals to your target market so they'll take the action of downloading it. You want to describe your business and your products and services with descriptive content , so for your worksheet, and make sure to submit your answers in the your project section. We're going to start creating descriptive concept by writing a one sentence description of your business that will appeal to your target market. Like the one from my website. Make sure to highlight the value your business or product or service will bring to your target market. Now going back to my sentence trip up turns your passion, expertise and years of hard work into content that connects you with your customers. The value this alludes to is that we're going to connect with their target market and turn them into customers. So he increasing their sales now create that one sentence. And even if you don't complete the full worksheet, I want to see your sentence and to give you feedbacks, so make sure to submit your project for some help. There on guys. This is really important. Like I said, even four year one on one introductions. If you're going to a social event, have this sentence in your back pocket. So when someone asks, Hey, tell me about your business, you can pull this out. Descriptive content is extremely important, so please fill out number one on your worksheet and make sure to submit it in the year Project section 6. Website Content: the second most important content for your business after descriptive content is your website, and this is going to include home page content about content product pages, which will also include some descriptive content as well. So looking at your home page when working on your home page content are I recommend having a short pitched to attract your target market, something that applies to them and gets them to read MAWR. You then need to lead them to take a specific action. So keep your content brief and targeted and lead them two in action, whether it's visit your about page or product page or to contact. So the about page is your second most viewed page on your website, and it needs to tell your audience who you are as it applies to them. So you're longer elevator pitch and why they should buy from. You should go here. So always start with an introductory paragraph for two explaining the value you provide to your customers. So one example I really like this far is that about Page is concerned is Hipmunk. I had a chance to interview their CEO while back when I was an interview editor they've done a fantastic job here. The first headline you see don't let travel planning drive you nuts hits all the key points it shows their personality speaks to us. Someone who's sick of planning their own travel in tells you a bit about their company while making it about the visitor, not just about them. Now, the one step you need to take before creating any website contact is creating a site map. So this is where you lay out what pages you need, and after you do that, you can then write the content and lead your visitors on a journey from visiting your home page to purchasing a product or signing up for your newsletter. Whatever your goal is, your site map should be designed to accomplish that goal. Now there are many ins and outs of website concept, but here are a few tips so that one's always focus on your customer. You can't make it too much about yourself. No offense, but they don't really care about you. They care about themselves, so present your business as it applies to them. Keep content extremely brief on the home page. Let images drive the user experience I would recommend writing the content first and then creating the images to help drive experience and have a single called action that ends each page. If they've gotten to the end of the page, they're very likely to take the next step. Give them that next step, so provide that. Call the action. For example, Call or text me today to receive five free tips on growing your business with writing, and then you could have a link. They click. You should always have a call that action. Otherwise, visitors literally won't know what to do next and who knows what they do? Probably click off your website so there are plenty of S E O considerations which that search engine optimization. How your website will rank in search engines, but still you always want to put your visitor first. If your content is Onley based on optimizing your website for search engines, it won't connect with your visitors. You'll get people to your site because of the S E O, and then they'll click off because you're writing to a robot instead of writing to them. Needs to appeal to them. As Donna Miller says, Make your customer the hero. So if you're really gung ho on making sure your website content is strong when it comes to s CEO, which is awesome and you should be one of my favorite resource is is the S e o table by search engine land dot com. To check that out, visit search engine land dot Come backslash s CEO table. So looking at number two on your worksheet, we're going to create a call that action for your home page. Once again, make sure to submit these in your project section. I want to see your awesome calls to action and give you some advice as well. 7. Blog Content: blob tells your story and explains who your company is and why your brand and products are worth supporting. Also drives traffic to your website. Increases your search engine optimization. Having a wide base of block post gives you unlimited opportunities to rank in search engines and bring in new visitors, depending on what they're looking for. If you have a wide range of log posts, you're bound to bring in a large portion of your target market. It also positions your brand and you if you're writing from your own viewpoint as an industry leader and helps develop stronger customer relationships, and it gives people a reason to come back to your site again and again, what your other content does not do. And one of the toughest parts of knowing where to start when creating a blawg is knowing what to write about. So for your project, we're going to create three topics for your 1st 3 posts. Now the more you know your target market, the easier these will come to you. But assuming you're just getting started, here's how we'll come up with your 1st 3 topics. So number one is why I started or why we created this business. This explains your story and why the business was started. It's a good way to connect with your target market for an attractive title. Feel free to add in the value you provide to your target market. So an example for my business year connecting entrepreneurs with their audience. Why I launched Trepp Rep for number two here. Ah, list that touches on a pain point of your target market. So an example. Here's 10 reasons freelance writers fail to help entrepreneurs build their brand. Now this is gonna be a list that touches on a pain point and helps your audience know what to look out for. So in this post 10 reasons, freelance writers fail to help entrepreneurs build a brand. They can learn from these points and be on the lookout if they work with a freelancer. And this also will give me an opportunity to carefully explain how my business is different and how will be able to avoid all of these pain. Points number three. The third topic is I call us quick formula X ways to use why to accomplish Z. So an example here. Eight ways to use content marketing to increase sales in your business today. So in the second block post idea, we touch on some of some of the potential pain points that your customer might experience. But in this article, we're going to explain how they can make changes that will positively impact their life. A little positivity here. I prefer toe have more posts like this than just ones that try to scare the crap out of people, which you will see in a lot of other blog's and that a lot of other companies use. It's important to mix up the style of posts on your blog's. Just make sure you're keeping your voice consistent and properly representing the brand that you're building now. I'd advise deposit right here and come up with your top three blawg topics to write into your worksheet. So pull out that worksheet and get started on that if you still need blawg topics. If this hasn't helped, you know, get someone who fits your target market, get him on a 10 minute phone call and recorded. I use free conference call that calms really easy to use, and it's free. Asked this person about your product. What they look forward, making a decision what they care about and what they don't and ask them what information they would like to know about your business products service. This should give you lots of topic ideas for your first few block posts. Now, if getting started with blogging, if you don't want to start your blawg from scratch, you can consider using medium ah free publishing platform or you can even publish on LinkedIn. It's a great way to get started building up in audience creating posts. LinkedIn is really great if you're talking to business professionals or business owners, and also so make sure to keep your few your first few posts. Simple. Just just get started. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Just right. Ask for feedback from your target market or from people in your network. Send it to your mom. Send it to people you work with. Get feedback and work on your writing style. Really just get started. Build your brand and build your voice with with your early writing here, eso provide. You want to provide valuable, interesting and relatable content, and you always want to include a call the action make sure there's some step that you want your reader to take next, and the final point here is blogging is extremely important, but you don't want to start a blawg if you can't commit to at least one post a month. So if you're starting a blawg, make the commitment to post once a month and set deadlines for yourself in your calendar. I live by my Gmail calendar, so if you don't think you can commit to one post a month, that doesn't give you an excuse not to get started going medium or linked in or another platform out there and published some articles. You can also look at industry related logs or websites that are accepting guest contributors. There's a lot out there. Get started, get writing and prove your writing. I'm really excited to see your blood post ideas, so make sure to submit them in the project section 8. Email and Newsletter Content: email and newsletter content will play a significant role in your business no matter what, Even if you're not going to create an email newsletter like many businesses do. Looking at email content, for example, it could help you save time, create a few template responses based on what questions you get often. So if you have a contact form water people asking. You have some templates that you can copy and paste as a response, while changing a few things to personalize it for the person you're emailing. So one of the most valuable aspects of email content and this has worked amazingly well for me is your email signature. This is where you can put relevant information to share with whoever you're emailing. For example, many evil service servers highlight video links to make them extremely visible and easy to play. So looking at my email signature here, I've had over a dozen people who have contacted for the first time say they watched my video just because of the way it pops up. This has created an instant connection with them in a jumping off point, so provide a couple of links to information that your average customer would like to know in your email signature. A good place to start is with the block posts you create, based on the topics we worked on earlier in the course. Looking at newsletters, I recommend having a newsletter of some sorts. So whether this is to update your investors every quarter or a weekly update of what's going on in your business that you send the customers, there are tons of tools out there to help you. With this. I would look at mill chimp or constant contact you both, and the really easy to use. So then, looking at your worksheet, what we're going to do here is create are top our audience, our goal in frequency for our newsletter. So make sure to fill that out and also submit your project section. You need to know your audience who you're speaking to, who the specific newsletters for the goal, what you plan to accomplish with it and the frequency. So from once a month or once 1/4 once a year even have worked with businesses who just do an annual one, and it works really well to engage their audience. The people that they haven't spoken to in a year. So start very simple. Even if it's sending your friends and close networking update every three months, do something and make sure to put deadlines into your calendar. Like I said, I used Gmail calendar. Put those deadlines in there, so you remember and you send it out. This is another thing that if you do, make sure you keep consistent with it. Don't just drop off. People think something happened to you. 9. Social Media Content: Let's talk about social media. Social media is a tool of every business should be using, and I imagine and hope that your on social media and are using it to promote your business . So looking at the content, part of social media content includes social media descriptions. So those are your profile pages what you're writing, which does help you get found if you're writing and effectively your posts, what you're actually posting in interacting. And my biggest piece of advice here is focused most of your effort on the platform that your target market is using the most. Don't try to do everything. You're spreading yourself too thin if you do that, so my target market, My ideal customer, is usually around a 35 year old entrepreneur. This person is unlinked in and uses it frequently, so that's where I spend most of my time. I've published over 200 articles on LinkedIn have gotten several clients. As a result, let's look at a few additional tips when writing social media content so you want to erase ghost town platforms. This means you don't leave platforms out there. You don't leave a twitter account up if you haven't posted in a year. Don't do that. It looks like your business is dead. Focus on the platform your target market uses the most spend. I'd spend twice as much on this than you do on any others. Don't only talk about yourself. You need to find other things to share. Whether that's hot topics in the news don't go political religion, of course, and let unless it directly applies to your business. But find other things to share and talk about. You can't only post things about yourself. Interact. This is huge. This is huge. You need to spend just as much time, if not mawr, interacting with other accounts. Then you are posting yourself. So if you spend an hour creating posts and scheduling them on a scheduling to which we'll talk about just a little bit here in second. If you spend an hour doing that, you need to spend an hour going to different accounts, liking different posts, re sharing them, commenting on him, responding to him so you need to respond. You should be responded to every customer, every person in your target market that's sending you questions or interacting with your account and you should be going out there finding other content, doing other things to bring people back to your page and use a scheduling tool. So I use buffer. Have also used me Edgar and Hoot Suite and Buffer lets you put posts in a queue hundreds at a time if you have a premium account so you can spend three or four hours on a weekend scheduling for the next month. Obviously, like I said, you want to make sure you're going in there and interacting with the different accounts. I wouldn't just set it and forget it. That's not what social media is. Four. That's not how to build a big brand in today's age, but you can use one of these tools to help make it easier on some of some of them can actually suggest posts that you can share with your social media networks as well, and then use your already written blawg posts to promote on social media. That's a great asset to have. If you have a lot of block close, you can share those you can share quotes from them, just gives you a wide base of content to share, so you're not continually sharing the same things over and over and over, which will make you lose followers 10. Complete Your Worksheet: seriously, guys, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Had a blast putting this together? Hope was extremely valuable. Now, time to fill out your start of content worksheet. I want to see your work and I want to help you. I will be spending time through these respondents. Please submit dancers in the year Project section. Of course. Good luck with your business and your content efforts on. Please follow me. I will be creating more forces in contact to help you grow your thank you.