We have all heard of the phrase ‘back to square one.’ Indicative of starting over, refreshing, or going back to the beginning, this phrase has interesting cultural roots. Many argue that traces can be found in soccer commentary, board games, and even hopscotch. All of these tasks require the players to start in the same spot. You can’t begin 2 blocks away from the finish line in shoots and ladders just like you can’t skip over a mark in hopscotch. No matter what game you are playing or what activity you do, one thing rings true: you have to start at the beginning.
Think about a game you enjoy playing, for example, Monopoly. If you go into the game without a strategy you may overspend on a flashy but less profitable property like Park Place. In order to win, you should have a clear understanding of how the game works so you can build on your knowledge, skills, and expertise over time.
The same principle applies to your content! In order to attract, delight, and retain your audience you have to build a strong foundation for your brand’s reputation. That starts by answering the basic questions people have about your industry.
Beginner content is a wonderful tool to shape credibility and authenticity in your space. Let’s see how!
A famous quote from all teachers throughout time and space is:
There is no such thing as a stupid question.
When you create content, think of yourself as a teacher– a subject-area expert that answers the questions of their audience and forces them to think of new ways to apply that knowledge to their own work.
Content is there to teach, so let it!
Every content marketer desires to provide their audience with remarkable content, and sometimes that mindset takes us away from the basic questions audiences are asking. When I first dipped my toes in the world of digital marketing, I had so many questions about the basic function of marketing tactics and how to employ them, such as:
- How often should I blog?
- What format fits blogs best?
- How do I record a podcast interview?
- Why do I need the right domain name for my website?
Too often, these questions are labeled as information you should already know, leaving them overlooked by many content creators.
I challenge you to think about some of the questions you had when you first started your work in financial planning. I imagine some would look like this:
- How do I create a budget?
- How do I curb my spending habits?
- What is an IRA?
- When should I get a life insurance policy?
Your audience wants to know how to create and stick to a budget. They are interested in advancing their knowledge in investment opportunities and retirement savings, they just don’t have the tools to do this on their own. That is where you come in.
The Winner in Beginner
Society puts a stigma on beginners. We want everything to be advanced and can forget the work that it takes to get there.
By undertaking big-picture questions about your industry, you allow yourself the opportunity to engage with your audience in a new way. With care and encouragement, you provide them with answers to help further their goals. Tacking these questions helps erase the idea that some knowledge is more or less valuable. Just because questions about budget and retirement savings may seem rudimentary to you, does not mean that they are to your audience.
Knowledge is meant to be shared. Your expertise can help your audience in profound ways if you let it. By catering to the needs, wants, and desires of your audience you are building the foundation for strong and lasting relationships.
Don’t be afraid to unpack complicated and complex ideas. It is here where you will be able to speak to your audience and bring them the information they need to learn and grow along with you. After all, the simpler, the better.