Expert Q&A – Killer Content Creation

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This week’s Simply Smart Social Expert Q&A was all about creating killer content that brings you clients, sales and a super loyal tribe.

Our guest expert? The ever-inspiring Jo Gifford, of Dexterous Diva and Killer Content Academy fame.

How do you align your content to your overall business objectives?

The main goals of content creation are:

  • increased visibility
  • increased authority
  • loyalty
  • engagement
  • feedback
  • product validation
  • list growth

All of these things eventually lead to more sales.

Depending on your phase of biz, concentrate on what you need to.

For example, if you need to increase your visibility, then the way you create content would be structured towards making your content work harder for you – re-purposing as much as you can, using and leveraging platforms, guest posting, researching where your peeps are, and building stories that connect you with them.

So when it comes to finding those content ideas…

I start off with what I call the Power Paradigm Baseline – who you are, what you know, your experience, your personality, your approach to things.

Layer it up with triggers – your audience are already out there asking questions, find out what they are asking, and where, then give them answers. React to social media stories, trends and news headlines in your niche.

Spark stories based on observations, personal experiences to connect.

Then build on formats and frameworks that connect you with your audience in a way that works naturally for you.

What do you mean by “repurposing” content?

Repurposing content is all about making it work harder for you.

For example, say we know that your audience wants to know about the best inks to use for calligraphy. Perhaps you answer this in a blog post, with imagery. You could also repurpose the post as bullet points in a slide deck and add it to Slideshare. You can then add this to LinkedIn. You can also narrate the slides and add to YouTube. You could do a Periscope showing us the process. You can take key points from the post and slides and make imagery for Pinterest.

Think beyond using one post for one thing, and make it work across platforms.

Here are 20 killer content repurposing ideas your VA can handle right now.

How do I make my content stand out above all the others that are doing the same thing?

  • Your take on things (part of the Power Paradigm Baseline), your expertise and your UNIQUE viewpoint that makes you YOU (and makes us love you!)
  • Your execution of it. Someone may have written an epic post on a subject, but you can make yours KILLER by making yours better designed, making it easier to share, with more value, perhaps a content upgrade, perhaps some calls to action.

There is also what is known as the skyscraper technique – you can stand on the shoulder of giants, of the work that is already out there – effectively take a skyscraper and add 20 floors on top.

For example, I created this post on visual content, which was a strategy for SEO for one of my sites. It’s essentially a curation of excellent resources from the interwebz BUT, I designed it, added great copy around the headings, added a content upgrade element, calls to action, and made it pop.

This is another example, for my site Killer Content Academy. Again, I curated really handy links, made the post super visual, added my tone of voice and personality, rounded it all up with a PDF download, and BOOM.

Remember, no-one else is YOU, or has your humour/quirks/taste in music/terrible love of 80’s stadium rock (*cough*)

Are there any sneaky tips we can use to help us define who are target market is and what they like through the content we create?

I would say knowing who your audience is, or at least the pains you solve with your biz is essential anyway. So, even though I don’t totally vibe with the Ideal Client Avatar theory, I do know that my audience is all stuck with content creation, with overwhelm, time and productivity issues, and need to start from where they are, everyone is at a different stage.

That said, you can absolutely use content to test and feedback on what is working, how they are responding, what the reactions are like, and what questions arise.

I can’t stress enough, making sure your peeps know they can comment or hit reply is GOLD DUST. Reach out to your list often as you grow, make sure you get their feedback. Invite them to share what they need, to validate your ideas, to be part of a conversation not a broadcast.

For someone who is just starting out, do you think it’s better to start out with one content goal in mind, or should we be looking at everything?

I would say starting is more important than perfection. Grow this thing one piece at a time.

Next up, map out some ideas. What are your peeps asking? How can you help them? Once you realise HOW MUCH you already know, and HOW MUCH you can already say? You will feel so effing empowered Wonder Woman will have nothing on you smile emoticon Done is better than perfect.

Good enough is better than unsaid.

How do you feel about written content versus video content?

We all create in different ways. Some of us find writing easier, or maybe you prefer sitting in front of a camera, or jumping on a ‘scope. Work in a way that feels EASY and good for you.

Also, remember to keep going, you will find it all easier as you go. Once you create in one format, REPURPOSE that bad boy to catch your audiences on other platforms.

Remember guys, you are adding value to your peeps. If they love what you are saying and you help them? They don’t care if your site looks shit while you start off, or if you have a spot on your nose on your videos…DO IT!

If engagement is low on a piece of content you thought was great, what would you do next?

Metrics are your friend here. Look at Google Analytics and your email open rates to see if you can spot any patterns. Try headlines with a killer open rate formula, try split testing emails. (This is a super handy tools to help you out with headlines.)

More than anything, ASK FOR FEEDBACK. Shoot a few peeps from your list an email and ask them how they are finding your stuff, what can you do to help, etc.

How do you go about starting to build an email list? Do you email all your previous clients who have bought a product?

You can do, yes. Also, make sure there is a prominent place on your site to sign up for updates from you, perhaps with an opt-in that is of value (that can some second though).

Basically, just make it easy for peeps to visit your site and to hear from from you. Tell them what they can expect to hear about too.

Once you are further down the line there are all sorts of list-building strategies – challenges, JV’s, FB ads, opt-ins, split testing pages, etc.

But for anyone starting out? A simple Mailchimp signup box on your site, and keep in contact with your peeps.

Extra resources:

Jo - killer content academyMore about Jo…

Jo Gifford is a recovering overwhelmed entrepreneur with an addiction to making things easier.

Champion of working smarter and creator of the Brilliance Ignition Process, she has a loyal global audience and a stellar client list of biz owners making big sales and a big difference.

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, she is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner (main coping strategy= juniper berries. Ok, gin).

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.

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A big thank you to Jo for lending her expertise to the group – next up, Simple Video Strategy to Maximise your Social Impact, with Niamh Arthur. Come join us!



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