My 1-Day-Per-Week Content Machine That Consultants Can Replicate

A few months ago I launched my own newsletter, The Authority, which provides the subscribers with exclusive content, addressing the consultants’ pain points, breaking down important statistics, and showing the behind-the-scenes of my own consultancy. 

There is a question that I received from one of the subscribers, which I have been asked on many occasions before:

“Could you give us a few ‘secrets’ how you are able to produce such a large volume of content?”

This is a big topic and answering it in a rounded way within the newsletter seemed too restraining. It is also a subject that I want to bring to the consultants’ attention outside of my subscriber base (if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, make sure to do so here). 

Today, I will be revealing my secrets to content production – my ‘content machine,’ if you will.

My 3-step approach to generating and promoting a large amount of content on a regular basis

My 1-day-per-week content machine My 1-day-per-week content machine by Luk Smeyers

Consistency is one of the key elements of getting measurable results from your content. Your content machine should be well-oiled and diligently maintained.

I see fellow consultants post a LinkedIn article every few months and then fail to get any meaningful traction and leads. That’s because one-off pieces that are published outside of a larger strategy will never deliver the type of returns that a robust content machine can.

For more than 10 years, I was consistent and persistent in building my digital presence. I wrote close to 150 case studies, articles and columns. My ultimate writing focus: ‘What knowledge did I acquire that would be valuable to share?’ Experts write. 

That’s where a content machine comes in, so let’s dive into it.

Step 1: Identify your content inspiration sources. As a consultant, you have plenty.

The reason I receive such positive feedback on my content from my target audience – the consultants – is because I make it relevant. I address their pain points. There are three main sources of inspiration that allow me to develop content around my audience’s pain points:

  • The market research I commissioned before launching my services. I hired an agency to conduct independent research that would allow me to get a deeper understanding of the most pressing challenges my audience was experiencing.

    I believed I already had a solid understanding of the consultancy world. I used to be one myself and experienced many of the same pains. However, through a series of interviews with high-level consultants, both those working as independents as well as those working for medium-sized and large consultancy firms, I was able to uncover new angles and learn intriguing insights.
No matter how much you think you know about your audience, there is always more to uncover. Never stop researching their needs, habits, and challenges.

  • My communication with the consultants via my newsletter. 'The Authority' (the name of my newsletter) is split into multiple sections and the very first one – The Big Question – is dedicated to answering the questions that come directly from my subscribers. I encourage them to submit their questions and take the time to provide insightful answers.

    The questions that come in allow me to consistently fine-tune my strategy by always keeping my finger on the pulse of my audience. They are also an endless source of content inspiration.
  • My communication with clients. Be it via email, LinkedIn messages, phone calls, or Zoom chats, I take note of the pain points that come up in my communication with the clients and turn them into content that other consultants could benefit from.

    Of course, my articles never reveal any private information from said communication. Rather, it is used to identify the topics that my audience will find relevant. I save the emails in a separate folder and go through them before sitting down to write an article, prepare a presentation, or plan out a training session. If a particular topic is identified as a pain point for one client, chances are that many more people struggle with the same issue.

Keep your audience at the forefront of your mind and your goals, and use your unique story to show them how they can implement what you’ve learned to achieve similar results. That's what I did all those years.

Step 2: Create a content hub that will centralize all your content efforts

There are many ways to create a system that will allow you to publish your content, send out newsletters, schedule social media posts, and track all of the efforts. Hubspot is the system of my choice.

This platform does multiple things for me:

  • It hosts my website and my blog, where I regularly publish content
  • It allows me to grow my subscribers’ list and send out newsletters
  • It offers a social media scheduling solution
  • It's an amazing CRM tool, collecting automatically all the movements & activities of my prospects, clients and interactions
  • It collects data (a lot!)

Irrespective of which system you choose to go with – and, believe me, there is plenty to choose from – you must always be mindful of the four foundations that make for a robust content hub:

  • Aggregate content around the subjects of clients’ pains and gains
All your content – be it in the form of speaking engagements, blog articles, case studies, social media posts, or webinars – must be authentic, relevant, and insightful. As a consultant, one of your main priorities should be to build trust and visibility.

Read: Why Marketing In Consulting Is All About Building Visibility And Trust

  • Track relevant keywords and optimize your content. Google is our new boss. That’s just the reality. One of the most efficient ways to recruiting new clients and growing your business as a consultant is to be discovered by your prospects in an organic way.

    When your target client googles a pain point in search of relevant content, your goal is for this client to easily come across your website and discover insightful information that addresses the pain point.
  • Collect data and measure the impact of your strategy. Increasing your visibility as a subject matter expert is not a straight-forward journey. It requires a consistent evaluation of your efforts, identifying the weaknesses in your strategy, discovering new opportunities, adjusting what you do and how you do it, and then starting all over again. Without regularly auditing your strategy’s impact, you will not be able to improve it.

    I assess every piece of content that I put out. How many people read it, click on CTA buttons, how much time is spent on my website, how much engagement at what times of day my social media posts generate, what’s my newsletters’ open and click-through rates, what percentage of website traffic comes through organic search, and so on.
  • Set up a TLC strategy (from Traffic to Leads to Clients). Measuring your efforts should be done within the larger mindset of TLC. How much traffic does your content generate? Out of the X number of readers, how many convert into leads (in the form of readers contacting you directly, downloading your ebook or case study, subscribing to your newsletter, etc.)? Finally, out of the Y number of leads, how many convert into clients?
    This is the foundational element that many consultants do not invest time in. Are you really surprised then that you can’t measure the tangible results of your content efforts? 

Step 3: Set up a system for promoting your content – the machine.

Almost 100% of my content – blog articles, social media posts, newsletter – is published and promoted according to a schedule. While I, of course, engage with my network on social media often spontaneously, my own content goes through my content machine.

I have a content calendar for months in advance. To make sure I keep it relevant and timely, I allocate spots on the calendar to the topics that come up at that point. 

A snapshot of my content calendarContent calendar by Luk Smeyers

All my social media posts are thought-through and scheduled at least 1 month in advance in order to capture all my content efforts in that time period. 

A snapshot of my social media schedulingA snapshot of my social media scheduling by Luk Smeyers

The newsletter goes out every other Wednesday. My articles are summarized in quarterly summaries. The inspirational quotes I come across or include in my articles have a home too

I revisit and update my blog articles to make sure they remain relevant. I repurpose my content and present it in multiple forms – infographics and visuals, blog articles, shorter social media posts, etc. On average, I repurpose a single article 10 times.

It’s a system that took a bit of time and effort to set up but is practically effortless to maintain now that it’s fully operational.

I spend 1 day per week producing new content and loading it up in my content machine. The rest of the week I simply monitor its performance. 

Do not be hesitant with promoting your content over and over again. I often get asked whether my clients get fed up seeing my content on their stream and in their mailboxes. The answer is ‘No.’ We all live very busy lives and it’s highly improbable that every single post and promo that I put out is seen by every single prospective/existing/past client.

That’s why I promote and repurpose my content over and over again. I maximize its chances of being consumed by as many of my prospects as possible.

Conclusion: 4 things you can start doing tomorrow

1. Gather insights about your audience. As a consultant, you are interacting with your clients on a daily basis. Use these interactions to better understand your audience and produce content that’s relevant, authentic, insightful, and timely. Never stop trying to uncover new insights about your audience.

2. Centralize your content. Create a hub where you can store all of your posts, visuals, presentations, etc. Ideally, set up a connected system that allows you to promote your content in a streamlined way.

3. Collect and assess your data. Constantly monitor the performance of your content – the number of clicks, social engagements, exit rates, reading time (very important to me!), etc. – and use the data to make strategy decisions.

4. Schedule and automate your content production and distribution. Dedicate 1 day to loading up your social media scheduling solution with a stream of content, prepare the necessary visuals, distribute your content to promotional partners, and so on.

  • Create a content calendar to keep track of your content strategy
  • Set up automated scheduling that will allow you to efficiently promote your content
  • Identify ways to repurpose your content on a regular basis
  • Invest time in setting up your content machine – it will save you a ton of time and energy down the line

Make your system efficient by setting up schedules and dedicating time to feed your machine with content.

Last, but not least, repurpose your content. 

Start loving the boredom of consistency and repeatability. It’s the backbone of your authority — and your business. Through the (boring) repetition, you will learn the deeper patterns, challenges, risks, and solutions that 99% of your competition will never know, because they weren’t willing to put in the work. 

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