In the 4 years I’ve been running Content 10x, I’ve learned a LOT.
I could probably write another book on everything I’ve learned about what it takes to run a business – I’ve already written one on how to repurpose every type of content!
When I was recording this podcast episode, it was exactly 4 years since I signed our first client up to Content 10x.
Now, this feels like a pretty big milestone to me, but I’m conscious that everyone’s business journeys are different. What’s great about this though is that all business owners experience unique things and learn their own lessons along the way.
So, to mark the occasion I decided to share just 4 lessons I’ve learned from my 4 years in business. These are some of the biggest and most important lessons I’ve learned and hopefully you’ll find these useful to your journey too.
Press play to listen to the podcast episode…
Or read on to discover what my 4 big lessons are…
1. What got you here won’t get you there
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying or something similar to this before. It’s something all business owners will have come across at some point, and unfortunately, it’s something we forget about.
It’s normal to get stuck in your ways, especially if things are ticking along nicely. But moving forward often requires a shake-up and a way of doing things differently.
I heard a revised version of this saying on a podcast a long time ago (sadly I can’t remember who said it) but it’s stuck with me ever since. The person said:
“What got you here will CATASTROPHICALLY prevent you from getting there”
This really struck a chord with me because it’s so true! It’s not just that doing things the way you always have could delay you from moving forward…
…it could actually prevent you from realizing more success in ways that you never dreamed of!
Yes – you have to be flexible as things change. The tools you use, clients you serve, and even team around you will all change over time.
Being open-minded can not only make these transitions a lot easier for everyone to adapt, but can help you to see the potential ways in which your business could take these changes and really see what new opportunities they create too.
However, it’s not enough to just mix things up out of necessity. Of course, you need to find a new tool when your previous one is no longer supported – but what about finding a new tool because you want to see how you can expand the value you give to your customers – even if your old one works just fine?
Think about it like training at the gym. If you perform one exercise again and again, your body gets used to it. You might still find it challenging, but the results you were once getting aren’t as great. You’ve reached a plateau.
It’s the same with your business. When you reach this plateau, you need to challenge yourself in new ways to keep making gains.
It can be a hard lesson to learn (and it was for me), but a vital one if you want to move your business to the next level.
2. Treat content like an investment
Now, I never thought that content was a short-term thing, but I think it’s a far longer-term play than people realize – and comes with bigger rewards too.
It’s a lot like an investment portfolio. You can’t invest a little and expect big returns the very next day. While this can happen in both the content and the financial world, it’s often not the best strategy!
A better strategy is to build over time. Just as you’d build your investment portfolio. You should research what to invest your time/money/effort in first, then review what’s working well for you, and finally optimize. If things aren’t performing as they should, change them.
While you’re reviewing, this is a great opportunity to pick out the best pieces of content for repurposing and boost those returns! I discuss how to do this well in my post How to Create a Content Treasure Trove for Unlimited Repurposing – do check that out.
As you create and publish content, it compounds like interest. And one day, you’ll start that equity release! That piece of content you publish today could generate returns tomorrow, in a month, or two years from now. It could be what moves someone to make a buying decision or get in touch with you.
So the lesson is this: content isn’t a quick fix, approach it like you would a financial investment, and nurture it so that it pays dividends in future.
3. Stay focused on your goals
This may seem like an obvious tip, but in the content marketing world, it’s so easy to lose sight of what’s really important and start chasing metrics that aren’t really relevant to what you’re working towards.
This is definitely a trap I’ve fallen into before. It’s so easy to get sucked into worrying about likes on social media posts or views on your blog posts, when really these aren’t what you should be paying attention to at all.
For example, if you start a B2B business podcast with the following goals:
Then what metrics should you be focussing on?
You’d be surprised how many people become fixated on podcast download numbers, just because they’ve started a podcast. In this case, none of these goals align with tracking podcast downloads so this is a metric you don’t need to worry about!
Instead, you might want to think about how many referrals, leads, or clients have come to you as a result of your podcast. Or if your website traffic or social media has increased.
Keeping your goals front of mind is really, really important to staying on track with your business development. So don’t get distracted by vanity metrics. Focus on your end game and the metrics that will actually help you get there.
4. Find a system that works for you
I’m incredibly passionate about developing systems and processes so that things run smoothly in my business. Having a set plan in place streamlines everything from my day-to-day running of the business through to my content creation.
I could talk all day about the benefits to having these in place, but the most important lesson I’ve learned around it is that you have to find one that works for you.
Your business is completely unique, so what works for someone else might not be optimal for your business. The best thing is there’s no one right way to these things!
Developing a process for how you create content, for example, can help you be consistent, create more content, and create better content. This way you’re not fitting it in here and there or struggling to get content out on time.
You could be creating content in batches, weekly, or working to a completely individual process. What I’ve learned is to try different approaches, find what works best for you, and (just like with lesson #1) review how it’s going every so often.
And don’t shy away from expert help (perhaps this 4.5 lessons instead of just 4)!
If you’re creating content, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to manage the end-to-end process from creation to repurposing and finally publishing by yourself – while still focusing your efforts on other areas of your business that need attention.
Bringing in experts to help can be a fantastic way to invest in your content and your business to ensure you get the best results possible. If you were building an extension for your home, you wouldn’t follow YouTube tutorials to do it all yourself after all. You’d consult an architect, a bricklayer, a roofer, a plasterer and so on.
Treat your business to the same expert help you’d expect in other areas of your life.
So, those are my 4 (and a half) lessons I’ve learned in four years…I hope these have been useful to you and help you on your business journey.If you’re looking for experts to help streamline your content creation process, look no further. At Content 10x we help maximize your reach with end-to-end repurposing services. Find out more by checking out our services here.