Developing a Personal Content Strategy
Having a content strategy is extremely useful when working on various websites, apps, or products. But those same concepts that are used can be applied to ourselves. The focus of the content strategy is to ensure that what your company is putting out in the world is accurate and relevant to your product. In an era of social media, we are constantly putting information out there about ourselves. So, it would make sense to create a strategy to ensure that the information you put out about yourself is accurate. To help with this idea, I will create a personal content strategy for myself. To be honest, it’s needed since I rarely post on any social media or have updated information on other forums. Don’t judge me…
To start, let us break the strategy into six steps:
1. Audience & Problems
2. Content Audit
3. Content Ideas
4. Voice and Tone
5. Publish and Manage Content
6. Measuring Success
Audience & Problems
The first step is to identify the audience your content is for. Is this content for possible employers? Is it for stakeholders and clients? Or maybe you want to encompass everything and reach multiple individuals. Understanding who you’re creating this content helps determine what your content will be and how you release your content. This will also help you figure out what are the problems you are trying to solve. Maybe you want to get a job or land a client. That content may be different than if you are trying to spread information about a specific topic. So simply: Who = What + How.
Let’s use me as an ongoing example. We’ll identify this part moving forward as PCS (personal content strategy):
As a UX/UI student, the content I’m currently looking to put out is going to be for potential employers and myself. Finding a job is at the top of my list and I want to make sure that I am showing content that is appealing to various companies. However, I am also doing this for myself. I left my previous job and embarked on a career transition because I wanted to do something that I truly enjoy. This means that the content I release should be things that I am proud of and not just created to please others.
Content auditing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s going through the content that you already have out. You should look over your social media, resume, and other forums to determine if the already existing content is for the audience and problems you are trying to solve. Some content may need to be updated, while some may need to be changed completely.
Creating design is a new aspect of my life. A majority of my posts on social media are either personal posts or poetry I’ve written. Those things are important to me, but not really part of the content I’m currently looking to focus on. Instead of changing or editing things, it will make sense for me to create accounts specifically for the design content I want to share. Looking at LinkedIn and my resume, I may want to brainstorm how I utilized UX and design in my previous jobs and update the descriptions.
Once you’ve completed an audit of your content, you will have an idea of where there may be gaps. Start thinking about additional ways to get your content out there. Content can be shared in so many ways, such as posts, blogs, websites, videos, and podcasts. Choose the outlets that you feel best showcase your content. You don’t need to have all of these. A jack-of-all-trades is considered a master of none.
As determined from the content audit, it would make sense for me to create some new accounts for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Thanks to writing assignments given by DesignLab, I have already started a blog on Medium. Lastly, I think creating a website will be beneficial for many things, especially showcasing my capstones and case studies throughout my career.
Voice and Tone
Next, you should define what voice and tone you want your content to have. Determining this will allow you to have consistency in your content. This gives your audience something to expect and builds onto your brand/style.
Since I know I want my content to be tailored for potential employers, I would want my content to have a professional tone. However, as a creative writer, I want the voice of my content to be personable and raw. My content is an extension of myself and I want that to be portrayed effectively.
Publish and Manage Content
At this point, everything regarding creating and improving content has happened. You now need to make sure that you review the content you created and decide when you are going to release it. It might help to create a checklist and a timeline so you have everything mapped out for yourself. This will ensure you are putting out the quality of content that you want people to view.
My goal is to hopefully have a new job within 6 months after I finish my program, so by the end of January 2022. Using that as the end of my timeline, the timeline would be summarized as follows:
Once I’ve created accounts for my design content, I will set monthly goals to review. Since I will be starting fresh and trying to put my content out there, I will say I am aiming for at least 50 views and 20 likes for the first few months. Depending on the traffic and feedback, I will adjust those goals accordingly. Lastly, my ultimate measurement of success is being able to accept a job offer by January 2022.
I hope that this process of understanding and planning what I am putting out in the world will better prepare me for building a career in the design field and open new doors of opportunities. And as you are reading this, hopefully, it inspires the same in you.