There are no prizes for guessing that the first category of people are building up strong original personal brands and achieving thought leadership in their fields. The second category are well informed but neither original nor leaders.
Why create content?
If you want to new opportunities to come to you, you'll have to do something remarkable and get noticed. Call it inbound marketing, the law of attraction or magnetism - it all boils down to you creating value for people and on the internet this is likely to be content that solves problems.
Showcase your expertise
There are plenty of great examples out there, my favorite is Chris Brogan. He runs an eponymous blog about marketing and his work ethic is second to none. On a normal day, Chris will publish two or three posts of good quality and once or twice per week he'll publish a killer post that gets read, shared and talked about for weeks.
Chris Brogan started blogging back in the nineties and his blog has shifted focus a few times (which happens to be one of the key benefits of having your own name blog). Throughout the years, his blogging has launched him as an online persona and social media star, as well as a public speaker and published author. Chris has built up businesses off the back of this and he makes as much as $22,000 per day consulting corporations.
This is obviously a shining example but the point is that Chris Brogan has built his personal brand on content. He has provided vast amounts of value to people for free and this has no doubt required sweat, tears and toil. Chris would be the first person to say that if he could do it, so could you.
But I'm no expert (yet)
And if you haven't got expertise to show off? Use your content creation as a way to learn more about your topic. As you write a blog post, you will inevitably have to research and read others' posts and this is how we learn. By interacting with other content producers in your field you are on the way to becoming an expert.
I don't claim to be an expert but my own blogging has certainly required that I read plenty of blogs and I discuss, share, engage with other bloggers on a daily basis. The more you get into it, the more output you'll be able to achieve. Ideas and thoughts keep popping up, you turn them into content and you enhance your brand.
What type of content?
I listened to a podcast by Mitch Joel the other day and I picked up on something worth repeating. He said that you have to use the media that you are comfortable with, in his case it's writing and radio/podcasting. He says he says he is not into pictures and videos for a number of reasons, having a face for radio is one of them apparently!
This makes perfect sense to me, if you like writing you probably want to look at blogging. If you can talk the hind legs off a donkey, try podcasting. If you are a visual person and think a pictures speaks more than a thousand words, get a photo stream going. Finally, if you like editing and adding captions to moving pictures, you will want to start vlogging.
Where should you create it?
Once you have established which one or more forms of media you are going to use, you should have a look at technology and the different platforms out there.
- For blogging, check out Wordpress
- For pictures, check out Tumblr
- For vlogging, check out YouTube and Vimeo
- For podcasting, check out iTunes
- For webinars, check out GoToMyMeeting.com
The giver's gain philosophy of the online world is what really makes a difference to your personal brand. Producing quality content is a far better way of reaching clients and employers than aggressively marketing yourself whether it's via email, social media or cold calling.
Do you create content for your brand and where?
For more on blogging, see How Blogging can Boost Your Personal Brand.