Let's talk about what your first B2B (Business to Business) blog posts or videos should look like. You have decided to create content. You want to put that content out in a packaged way, so that a business owner, one of your prospects, can appreciate it, and you want to get it right.
First you’ll identify the question that your prospects are asking, and answer it in such a way that they can quickly grasp your expertise on the subject. Now you must decide how to present this content. There are plenty of factors to consider when producing B2B content and it’s easy to fall prey to complication. Simplicity, however, is the key to successful execution.
There are three types of content to produce: your best practices, the things you’d like to learn more about, and what you are prepared to do today. In between these categories lie an intellectual, a perfectionist, and a pragmatic approach.
I’ll show you why the pragmatic approach is the best option of these, because it is the fastest way to get moving on content creation and create a foundation that can be built on exponentially in the future.
Identify the Question Being Asked by Your Prospects
Once you identify the question being asked by your prospects and clients, you want to answer that question as fast as you possibly can. If you need to support that answer, then you can do so with a given framework as necessary. If this framework needs support, then you can use subheads to support it.
How long should the post be? The post should be about a thousand words in length. And if you're talking the content out, or if you're making a video about the content, then it should be about 10 minutes of purposeful content.
But you're going to reject this, because it sounds too simple. So let's go a little bit deeper here, so we can appreciate why we push back on the simplicity and what executing on simplicity will get you.
Quick backstory for reference. This question came up in a paid group that I'm in. A lady asked a question about creating some new content pieces. We talked about all the different frameworks, options, choices and all of the complexity involved with that. In that conversation, she eventually asked about workflow, how she might create these content pieces quickly and effectively, and then even more complexity showed up.
By the time we got through discussing all of those details, I was thinking to myself, “She'll never make it. We have filled her head full of too many options.” This should be simpler. This got me thinking. What is the simplest approach, and why do we reject that simplicity? Why do we bring on more and more complexity? I'm going to try to answer that for you right now.
What Kind of Content Creator are You?
If you want to be a content creator, you're probably going to fall somewhere in between these three major categories of what you want to create:
- Content about the best practices you already understand.
- Content about things you'd like to learn about, in order to do it better.
- Content about you're prepared to do today.
Where do people fall on this grid?
- First, there are those who live in the balance between category (1) knowing what the best practices are, and category (2) always wanting to learn more, to make sure that those best practices are best refined. If you are over here, you are one of the intellectuals, always learning, always studying, always trying to find that greatest, sharpest edge. Anything wrong with this? No, there isn't. But you suffer from analysis paralysis. You studied so much, you've learned so much, that you just kind of get stuck in your own brain.
- Then, there are the people who are balanced in between category (2) always wanting to learn more, and category (3) what they're prepared to do today. You are the perfectionists. There's always this balancing act of, “I know what I should do today, I know what I want to do today, but I want to make sure it's right. Let me make sure that this content I'm creating is on the cutting edge. It's got all the details, it's got everything just right about it, because I don't want to publish the wrong or bad thing.” Anything wrong with this? No, except that you suffer from doubt. You always doubt what you’re currently doing, because you’re looking for the newest, greatest, latest thing.
- The third category are people who know what to do today. They do it in respect of category (1) the best practices they currently understand, and category (3) the actions they are prepared to take today. You are the pragmatists. “Here's what I know. Here's what I can do. I'm just going to do it now. And then we'll just have to see what comes.” The pragmatist suffers from imperfect execution. You’re going to make some content, and it may not be the best. You may have to figure it out along the way, but that's the risk you live with.
The Value of Taking the Pragmatic Path
I think the worst place to be is swirling between these three things. You bounce between one and the other, and you never quite land in a category. I think the best place to be is that of the pragmatist. Keep making content. Make content the way you know how to do it today, and do it in alignment with the best practices you already understand.
Why is that thinking so powerful? Well, let's go back to our core framework here. If you'll just do this over and over again, what you'll have at the end of the month or the year are a certain number of content pieces. You will have all this content that you can then upgrade, improve, deepen, refine, or repurpose, but you have building blocks that can be used to create the next thing.
Once you have enough content pieces, then you're welcome to go back and look. Are you still meeting the best practices? What new things should you learn? What new content piece can you now create?
The most profitable loop is to start with being a pragmatist. Answer the client’s question that you know you can answer, and deliver the best possible answer you can. Structure that answer as elegantly as you possibly can, and put that in front of the people who are looking for that answer. I think in the end, that's the most profitable place to begin your content creation, and that rhythm I think you'll find exponential for you.