DEVELOPING YOUR BRAND AND CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGIES
Updated: Aug 18
Content marketing—both loved and hated by solopreneurs the world over.
On the one hand, it allows us to promote our brands to an enormous audience without spending a dollar. But on the other hand, we have to invest our time to create engaging content that will actually grow our business.
For those bootstrapping their business, having the option to invest time instead of money is a miracle.
The irony, of course, is that we’re already doing everything ourselves, making time an equally valuable currency. And you have to become a content machine to keep up.
So how do you get the biggest ROI from your time spent?
Strategic simplification. Let me show you how to merge your brand and content marketing strategies to get you where you want to go, faster!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BRAND AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 101
To grow a successful business today, you need to be ready to become a brand. I’m sure you’ve got all of the business details taken care of, but what’s really going to support your business growth is your brand strategy.
Now, your brand strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to dedicate time early on to lay your foundation. Without any thought or structure behind the type of brand you want to become, you’re just wasting your time.
Think about how you want to shape your reputation as a brand and define those brand essentials. This will give your business:
a customer to speak to
awareness about your goals and how to work towards them
If you haven’t yet done the brand discovery work, let’s kill two birds with one stone as we form both your brand strategy and content strategy simultaneously.
As a brand strategist, it’s my job to simplify things so that we can identify and amplify a select few gems that your brand will emerge from.
This simplification strategy enables increased memorability around your brand and business. It also simplifies your life as a business owner. (← More of this please!!)
To increase memorability around your business, we need to identify the themes that will shape both your brand and content strategies.
IDENTIFYING THE THEMES IN YOUR BUSINESS
To get the most from your time, you want to focus your efforts around a central brand message. Something you will speak to over and over again, so much so that it quickly becomes synonymous with your business. That’s the goal for memorability.
So let’s find the themes in your business that will inform both your brand and content marketing strategies.
1. Make a List of 10 Blog Topics
Start by making a list of ten topics you could write a blog post on that relate to your business. These should be topics that you could easily speak to, possibly for hours.
Don’t dismiss those seemingly rudimentary topics. Assume your audience knows little to nothing about what you do or your industry. What may be second nature to you is likely brand new to them.
With this is mind, make your list of ten blog topics.
2. Evaluate Your Topics
For each topic on your list, ask yourself:
does it align with the needs of my target audience?
is it something they might be searching on Google?
would they actually benefit from learning about it?
does it align with my services/offers?
Focus on getting as many yes’s to your list of topics as possible before moving on.
3. Recognize the Themes
With ten evaluated topics in front of you, write down the themes that exist within that list. These themes will often fall into these three categories:
the challenge(s) your audience is facing
the benefits and outcomes that are possible / they’re seeking
your unique methodology for achieving those outcomes
Your themes should touch on each one of these three categories. These are the things that directly speak to your expertise while overlapping with the needs of your audience.
For your brand strategy, you want to pinpoint the overarching theme. How can you use your three themes to craft one key message that will be used as your brand promise?
YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY PLAN
Those three themes you identified for your brand are exactly the same themes you’ll use to frame your content marketing strategy. Why?
Because the more your brand speaks to the same topics, the easier it is for your audience to associate that topic with your business.
What you DON’T want to do is overextend your messaging. This will just lead to mixed signals around what you do, lower your memorability factor, and make your content marketing efforts more exhausting than they need to be.
Use Your Brand Themes to Create Your Content Pillars
Use your three themes for three of your four content pillars. Your fourth content pillar can be a bit of a wild card. I recommend using it to build likability and relatability around your brand.
Decide how you can factor in more personal content, show the human(s) behind the brand, and increase the connection between you (or your people) and your audience on a personal level.
Factor in the tone of your brand and be strategic about this fourth content pillar. Keep the needs or personalities of your ideal audience in mind as you cater content for this pillar.
Make a List of Content Ideas
Under each of your content pillars, create a bullet list of content ideas that you could return to as needed for your brand’s content marketing strategy.
Go back to your list of ten blog topics and use those as content ideas too. In fact, this is a great place to start your content marketing plan. Let me show you how to turn those ten topics into 80+ pieces of content!
HOW TO REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT IDEAS
Why do content marketing if you’re not going to repurpose your ideas? If you’re here to maximize your most valuable currency as a solopreneur—that being time—repurposing content is the key!
You’re going to want to get my Content Marketing Planner. This has been a real game changer for my content marketing strategy plan. The Content Marketing Planner is a Notion template will make your content creation SO much easier—and frankly, enjoyable.
How to Turn One Content Idea into Eight Forms of Content
Inside the Content Marketing Planner's Repurposing Tracker, start by add one of your initial blog topics:
write the name of your blog topic
change “Up Next As” to “Blog”
the template will auto-populate the repurposing framework specifics
This will give you everything you need to repurpose that blog topic into:
While you may start with your initial content idea as a blog post, you can easily reference back to all of the content wrote for it when you are ready to create a reel for Instagram or a Pin for Pinterest.
Theoretically, with your ten blog topics you started with, you have enough content to sustain your content marketing strategy for at least ten weeks.
By developing your brand and content marketing strategies together, you're able to double down on both, leading to a more memorable brand because of the underlying strategy that connects the two.
Developing a strategy is hard to do on your own. Simplified strategy and memorable design is exactly how I help my clients earn more eyes on their marketing so that their next big client will have a chance to connect with their message, build that trust, and feel 100% confident that they’re the best person to hire. These brand strategy and design services are exactly where you start to do the same.
Jenny Henderson is a brand strategist and business mentor. She collaborates with service-based solopreneurs to design memorable brands that allow them to make a living doing what they love. Since 2020, her branding studio has become a place where small business owners come to learn to think like a brand.