Content management doesn’t sound very exciting, but content management is not an option if you want to build your personal brand as a high-visibility subject area expert.
The following tips will help you create a content management system–an easy way to consistently plan, produce, and track your book and marketing content. Using a content management system to plan and track your ideas will save you great amounts of time and improve the quality of your writing.
Content management systems contribute to stronger brands by saving time and improving writing quality.
Advantages of content management systems
No matter how young you are, it’s never too soon to commit to a content management system. Content and the creation of a strong personal brand go hard-in-hand. Here are 3 reasons why content management systems contribute to personal brands:
- Efficiency. There’s an inverse relationship between project complexity and the likelihood of its completion. When tasks take too long to complete, or are stressful and energy-draining, they’re likely to be put off “until tomorrow.” As unfinished tasks mount up, it becomes harder and harder to get caught up, with the result that your prospects never experience your good ideas and your ability to offer concise, relevant advice. A content plan speeds your writing by making it easier to decide what to write about and by providing a framework for completing each article, blog post, or newsletter. Content plans also make it easy to recycle and reuse your best ideas.
- Focus. Individuals and firms with strong and lasting personal brands are rarely generalists. Instead, they stand for something; they have created a position which sets them apart from their competition. This requires constantly replenished content that focuses on a few, key themes and topics which reinforce their focus. Without a content plan, you’re apt to make reactive, hasty, last-minute content decisions instead of constantly reinforcing your position.
- Quality. Writing inevitably get better when there is a plan behind it. By identifying what you’re going to write, and when you’re going to write it, you have more time to choose your arguments, examples, and stories. Writing proceeds faster, because, by identifying topics ahead of time, you’re engaging your brain before you start writing. When you sit down to write, you’re likely to be surprised at how easy the words come, because your brain has already identified and prioritized your ideas. Faster writing, finishing your first draft faster, contributes to better quality by creating more time to edit and tweak your work.
There are many ways you can implement a content management system to create the content necessary to build your personal brand. Content Management options include:
- Lists and outlines. One of the easiest ways to create a content management system is to make use of your word processing program’s ability to create lists and outlines. Create a new file, possibly named “Master Topics” and store it in its own folder. List the major themes and ideas essential to the brand you want to create. Then, under each of the main themes, add and indent the titles of specific topics and deadlines. At a glance, you’ll be able to review your key ideas, the specific topics associated with each one, and the deadlines for completing each topic.
- Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets, created with programs like Microsoft Excel, carry the idea of lists much further. Place each topic on a different row of your spreadsheet. Use different columns to reference the keyword, or theme, appropriate for each topic, and use the other columns for deadlines, completion dates, and content ideas.
- Mind maps. Mind maps, created for software programs like Mindjet’s MindManager, add a visual dimension to your content plan. Mind maps organize ideas into “clouds;” the topics correspond to the main ideas and teams important for your brand, and the subtopics display specific articles, blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, or YouTube videos. There’s also space to insert due dates and completion dates, as well as track the number of comments or referrals generated by each blog post or web page.
What’s important, of course, is not so much the system you choose, but your commitment to consistently using it.
The effectiveness of any tool is based on your commitment to consistently putting it to work.
Content, an ongoing stream of helpful, relevant ideas, is the fundamental building block of a strong personal brand. A content management system can greatly enhance your ability to write the articles, blog posts, and newsletters, needed to build your personal brand. Your content management system permits you to plan your messages in advance and save time by preparing them as efficiently as possible. Equally important, a content management system helps you keep track of previously-written topic, so you don’t have to continually “reinvent the wheel” rather than building on what you’ve already written. What’s your content management system? Do you have one? Do you think you need one? Comment, below.