This is a tough topic.
When I think about it my head starts to spin so hard I think I’m going to take off. I have to sit down, take a deep breath, and then begin to ask a few key questions.
But first of all, we’re assuming you’re at the point where content marketing is a key strategy you’re going to use or are already using.
The top brands like RedBull all the way down to small chiropractic or naturopathic doctors write articles, post pictures, make videos, have podcasts, do contests, and quizzes all to keep top of mind and provide as much value for their audience as they can.
The keyword here is audience instead of customers. Audience includes everyone who consumes your content that is, isn’t, or was a paying customer as some point.
What kind of clinic or wellness service are you marketing?
A key distinction is whether you are running a larger branded clinic with multiple practitioners, or are simply working as a solo practitioner.
If you’re a lone ranger, working for yourself, or if you’re working in a clinic but trying to build your personal brand to get more clients then I would highly encourage you to create your own content. This is because content can provide a very intimate connection when done right. If the brand you are building is you… then you want your voice, your attitudes, opinions, interests, and language to be prevalent in how you connect with your audience.
You want your patients to walk into your office and say, “wow, you talk exactly as I expected based on what I’ve read or seen of yours.” You want to be able to provide the most authentic you, in every interaction with your audience.
But if you’re building a bigger branded clinic it might not be as necessary to create your own content. Although, I do encourage if you have multiple partners, to each make an investment in the brand and contribute content if you can. But in general, the personality of a clinic’s brand is partly going to be a fabrication, and a conglomeration of different ideals and values put forth by the founders or partners.
You want to make sure that your content represents your brand personality accurately. Which means you can hire someone else to create the content as long as they follow the instructions and guidelines you outline.
However, just because it’s a bigger brand, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a so-called spokesperson or lead personality. This is often necessary if you’re doing video content, whereas written content can easily be from a third party without many questions asked.
To summarize, a solo practitioner should try to create the content, or at least have a very strong input into the final product and have it fit their personality. The brand is your personality. And if you’re marketing a bigger clinic with multiple practitioners, you can more easily outsource your content because it isn’t as closely tied to your personality, but the brand’s personality.
But there is some grey area and some more questions will help.
What kind of content are you planning?
I referenced briefly before that different content types might be more suitable to outsourcing. Blogging, articles, e-books, and written or graphic content can be outsourced much more easily than video or audio content. While individuality can show through written language, the apparent author need not be present or even mentioned.
Video and audio content are more personal. Unless your content is simply instructional in nature, the person or persons being recorded are incredibly integral to the reception of the message. Your audience picks up a lot more from the body language, energy, passion, and attitudes from the speaker than with reading.
So if you’re a solo show, being in the video is a necessity in my opinion. You want to grow that connection from audience directly to you. And if you’re a branded clinic, it’s less necessary that the practitioners are directly involved. But if you’re putting someone in front of your audience, be mindful of who they are, what they represent, and what happens when your audience builds a connection to that person instead of you.
Do you have the skills to create content?
It’s not enough to just think you should. While it may be extremely beneficial to have your personality running throughout all of your content, there can be some huge hurdles that make it virtually impossible to do it yourself.
Writing is an art. Some people do not have adequate writing skills to be able to create content for their practice. Maybe their levels of spelling and grammar aren’t up to par. Or the explanations in paragraphs just don’t come across clear. If you’re battling with this, hiring just a freelance editor can still allow you to create the content you want and need, with your personality, but bring it up to a higher standard. This also will help you to improve as you go along and see what the editors are doing. Simply hitting publish on your poorly written articles won’t give you any idea of how to improve, just that no one is reading it, or worse yet they will choose NOT to buy from you based on it.
The necessary skill sets continue to get more advanced as you move into graphic, audio, or video content. However with these it’s much easier to outsource the “recording production” while still creating the content (ultimately written or spoken messages).
Do you have the desire to create content?
It might be that you have skills to create it. You’re competent with explanations and grammar. But you just hate it. You’d rather run naked through a thorn bush and jump into a bathtub of lemon juice than sit in front of a blank word document to write another blog post or script for a video.
If it’s a mild pain point, suffering a bit to get the benefits might be all you need, but if it’s excruciating… don’t put yourself through it. Hire someone.
I’m lucky in that I really enjoy writing. Structuring ideas, choosing words, it all excites me! And it might for you too if you give it the old college try.
Do you have the time to create content?
Even if you do have the skill and desire, if you simply do not have time it’s not going to get done. I’m not talking, do you have a full day to sit down and write articles? I know most of you don’t. You have work, administration duties, social life, a spouse, and kids. But, it is completely possible to write a new article once a week by working on it for 15-20 minutes a day.
It’s also amazing how much extra you can get done by turning off your TV as well. It’s a matter of how much do you want to succeed, not how much free time does your current schedule have. You will make time if you want it enough.
If you have larger projects, instructional videos or podcasts (what is a podcast?) for example, you will likely need a full day or two to make them, PLUS the time to prepare which can be done in the short margins of the day as well.
Let’s say you do have ZERO extra time, and you can’t cut anything from your schedule. Hiring someone to create content for you will also be useless. Despite what you might think your content will not be effective without some involvement on your part. You will need to help plan the scheduling, topics, personality and style, monitoring and managing; it all takes time to make it work.
If you’re spending the time anyways to manage and communicate with those producing, you might as well have a more personal connection with your audience and do as much of it as possible yourself!
Content baby steps for practitioners
Start with something manageable when you start to produce content. Set a schedule and stick to it. Who knows, you might start to acquire the skills, desire, and make the time to do it.
My suggestion is often to start with a short blog post every week or two weeks. Once you get into that habit, slowly build on it by making your content more in depth, adding visual elements, distributing in more places like your customer email list, social media profiles etc. and continue building more.
Not only will you start with baby steps in content creation, you will also need to be patient with the results and allow for gradual increases in interaction and interest.
Content isn’t a quick fix for a poorly performing business, it is a mindset, one of service and value. Give value to others in the most generous way possible and you will eventually receive value in return. It is how you should approach your entire business, and content is just another avenue of generosity and service.
Although, I likely don’t have to tell you this. Helping others is why you became a wellness practitioner in the first place!