The Olympics are back, and you know what that means. It’s time for story after story about athletes who have overcome a HUGE, life-changing challenge – a devastating injury, a family member in serious trouble (health, job loss, crime) – to compete on the global stage.
Why have the Olympics become known for its storytelling? Because NBC (and other media) knows that kind of story engages audiences who aren’t that interested in sports or that particular competition. It piques their interest so they keep watching to see how the story ends.
Every athlete has the opportunity to cultivate a personal narrative and brand during the Olympics, from the most well-known to the least-known. As a content entrepreneur, you can learn a few lessons from them to help your training and compete for your content business.Even lesser-known athletes at the #Olympics cultivate a personal narrative and brand. #ContentEntrepreneurs could learn a few lessons. #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet
Here are some ideas to put your content business on the medal stand (or at least get more attention.)
1. Cheer on others
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team sat in the stands to cheer on the men’s competition, and the men’s team did the same the following night.
Show up for other content creators and entrepreneurs in your niche and make your presence known. Give them virtual applause, engage with their content, and even tag or mention them in your content.Cheer on other content creators and entrepreneurs. Give them virtual applause or tag them in your content. That's been part of the strategy for @Twitch streamer Tamer Gargour. #ContentBusiness #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
2. Do your best
Doing your best is not the same as being THE best. Lauded U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky ran one of her fastest 400-meter freestyles but came up just short of gold. Though disappointed at her first loss in an individual Olympics event since 2012 in London, she told NBC proud she had done her best.
Being No. 1 is nice, but you don’t control all the factors that determine that. A new competitor could come along. An algorithm or two can change.Gold Medal Lesson for #ContentEntrepreneurs: Being No. 1 is nice, but you don't control all the factors that determine that. Instead, do your best to create a great #contentbusiness. #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet
Microinfluencer Rebecca Calvo says she felt she would never stand out in the fashion niche because so many other people did it better. But she didn’t stop and eventually found a tilt that works for her and her growing audience.
3. Be memorable
William Shaner is the 20-year-old who won gold in the men’s 10-meter air rifle competition. Where is he from? Rifle, Colorado. I didn’t even know air rifle was an Olympic sport. But hearing that interesting tidbit of trivia on his hometown made me remember him.
What about your content business is memorable? The Tilt founder Joe Pulizzi realized early in his entrepreneurial life that people recognized him for wearing orange. He used that as a competitive advantage when he founded Content Marketing Institute (even the snack foods at events were all orange) and continues it today (see The Tilt logo on this page.)
Pick one or two things (they don’t have to be life-changing or HUGE things.) As best as possible, work that memorable thing into what you do, say, promote, etc. If it’s a quirky fact or story, add it to your about or bio page. If it’s a video that found big success, create more content around that (behind-the-scenes stories work really well.) If it’s a shoutout from a high-profile audience member, incorporate it into your brand partnership proposals.
4. Make a statement
The German women’s gymnastics team wore full-length unitards instead of leotards to make a statement against the sexualization of women in the sport. In this era, taking a stand on an issue can be critical and relevant to your content business. More and more audiences want to know who they’re doing business with, and that’s especially true in content businesses where the content entrepreneur often is the face of the brand.
To be successful with content today, you have to have a point of view. This means alienating some so you can have an audience of others.To be successful with content today, you have to have a point of view. Alienate some so you have an audience of others, says @JoePulizzi. #contentbusiness #creatoreconomy Click To Tweet
Make a plan to share this point of view with your audience. Use it in your livestreams. Incorporate it into your content mission statement. Recognize the work happening around it with a donation from a portion of your affiliate link revenue (and disclose to your audience). Partner with a nonprofit organization to publicize their work. Just make sure whatever you do is relevant and authentic (or it will backfire!).
5. Go for less popular
Swimming and gymnastics attract a ton of attention (and money for the athletes from wealthy countries), while sports like taekwondo get little attention. That’s one reason countries like Jordan and Vietnam focused on competing in taekwondo. It was a sport with little or no competition, increasing their chances of winning medals.
Yep, even the Olympics involves a tilt. And so should your content business. Pick a content tilt that isn’t saturated with competitors and serves the unmet needs of a niche audience. And go after that medal-winning performance for your content business.
About the author
Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.