Content has grown in importance so quickly that it can sometimes sound like an empty buzzword. To cut through the noise of constant content production, you need to create authentic content. But what does that mean? Today, we’ll give you some tips about creating authentic content.
We’ll show you the most important question you must always ask when you create content. Plus, we’ll show you the three Cs of authentic content.
The most important question to answer before you create content
“Why should I care?”
In every single piece of content you create—whether it’s as large as a website or small as a social media post—you must answer this question for your clients and prospects.
More than ever before, people can search for and find content that educates, entertains, and makes them feel emotions. With an endless stream of information, people don’t have to settle for content that “sort of” talks about the things they care about. If people don’t care about your content, they’ll move on until they find something they do care about.
If you have an idea for content but can’t answer the question “Why should I care?” you should reconsider that piece of content until you can.
How do you figure out what people care about?
Before you ask this question, understand that not everyone will always care about your content. And that’s OK. The goal in content creation isn’t to appeal to everyone, which is a trap that’s extremely easy to fall into. Instead, the goal is to find your audience and then speak to them authentically (more on that in a minute).
The best way to figure out what people care about is to listen. This isn’t just after-school-special advice. Your success relies on relationship building, which requires you to listen constantly. Whether you’re communicating in person, through virtual one-on-ones, or indirectly via social media posts, consider what your audience is saying. This is where media like Facebook Groups can help you filter for the audience you’re targeting more effectively.
The 3 Cs of authentic content
To create authentic content, it’s smart to use the three Cs. Here are the three Cs of authentic content, in order of importance.
No matter which media you use to create content (e.g., writing blogs, recording podcasts, creating infographics), the most important aspect for authenticity is being clear.
Simply, if people can’t understand what you’re trying to tell them, they’ll likely think one of two things. Either you don’t know what you’re talking about or you’re trying to mislead them. Neither is a position you want to be in.
To avoid this common problem, always ask yourself, “Would a non-expert understand this and care about it?” This can be challenging to answer, especially because you are an expert. But constantly asking and answering this question is the surest way for you to be clear in your content.
In addition, avoid using buzzwords, jargon, and soft language to describe what you do. Instead, be direct and considerate. Clarity breeds authenticity.
While you should always aim to explain things in ways non-experts can understand, you don’t want to swing too far in the other direction by patronizing people. A good technique for threading that needle is by being concise. The more efficiently you can explain your point, the more likely it is for you to build trust with your Buyers and Sellers.
In short, tell your audience what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then review what you’ve told them. Don’t make your audience guess or wonder. Again, if they aren’t sure what you’re trying to say, they won’t stick around.
Cleverness can be a deal maker. It shows that you understand your audience and can easily elicit an emotional response. However, there’s a reason it’s third on the list in terms of importance. If you try to be too clever—for example, by creating memes on social media that don’t resonate with your audience just because everyone else is doing it—you’re more likely to come off as inauthentic.
To be clever requires an intimate understanding of what makes your audience tick. Fortunately, many real estate professionals have an innate sense for cleverness. However, if forced to choose among the three Cs in your content, always aim for clarity first, brevity second, and cleverness third.
In our next post, we’ll show you five steps to creating more authentic content.
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