When you lookup Matt Ragland’s title within the Buffer weblog search bar, you’ll come throughout this article from over a decade in the past – when Matt nonetheless referred to himself as an “aspiring blogger.” The time period doesn’t apply now, as Matt has grown in leaps and bounds.
Matt’s come a good distance since that article, rising audiences into the 1000’s, launching a YouTube channel with over 67,000 subscribers, podcastst, newsletters, courses, workshops, and now, an agency to assist different creators.
On this interview, he shares his ideas and recommendation about content material creation and social media.
How he’s been a creator for greater than a decade
From making YouTube videos to running a newsletter, Matt’s longevity within the house means he’s seen all of the dips and development within the creator financial system. And as he factors out, the democratization of content material creation signifies that anyone can do or discuss something. This implies the platforms required to create and share content material are extra accessible than ever.
“My content material gained traction after I began specializing in productiveness recommendation on YouTube, particularly bullet journaling. Though I’ve at all times seen myself as a generalist, my YouTube channel tells a unique story,” shared Matt. “The turning level was after I embraced the “bullet journal man” persona, which helped me construct a good portion of my viewers. Of my 60,000 subscribers, round 60 to 70 % are there for bullet journaling and productiveness content material.”
However the blessing of democratization is a double-edged sword. Differentiating your self turns into troublesome, with many creators discussing the identical matters throughout many channels.
A fast Google search on any subject reveals 1000’s of creators discussing it, every with their distinctive spin. This saturation can result in what Matt and plenty of others name “paralysis” – the overwhelming feeling of getting too many choices and never understanding which route to take.
Nevertheless, there is a silver lining – one which brought on Matt to pivot his content material away from his hyper-specific niche that also grew to become oversaturated. “Mirroring the midweek curve, as my viewers grew and advanced, I started to broaden my content material matters once more, catering to those that have been curious about a broader perspective on productiveness and life. With a devoted viewers, I’ve the liberty to debate a variety of topics.”
This can be a testomony that after you construct real, genuine connections together with your viewers, they’re curious about listening to your ideas on something. Within the huge sea of accessible content material, authenticity turns into the lighthouse guiding real engagement, and Matt’s creator journey underscores this. As he put it, “The great thing about dedicating effort and time to viewers constructing is that you just carry that viewers with you, irrespective of the brand new ventures you undertake. It offers a basis to share new concepts.”
In a world the place everyone seems to be sharing, those that communicate their reality, stay per their voice, and interact authentically are those who stand out. It isn’t about being the loudest within the room however being probably the most real.
In essence, the creator’s dilemma is not nearly producing content material; it is about producing content material that actually issues. It is about navigating the overwhelming panorama with a compass of authenticity, guided by real intent and a deep understanding of 1’s viewers.
How Matt makes use of the ICE framework to create content material
How do you persistently uncover concepts and produce content material? When you’re like Matt, you utilize the ICE framework, which stands for Influence, Confidence, and Ease, and is a technique utilized by growth marketers to prioritize duties and initiatives. After all, the ICE framework isn’t restricted to only advertising; it’s a flexible instrument that may information creators of their content material journey.
- Influence: This measures the potential impact of a specific subject or technique in your viewers. Will it resonate deeply? Will it drive engagement or result in significant conversations?
- Confidence: How certain are you in regards to the potential success of this subject or technique? Have you ever seen it work earlier than, or do you’ve got knowledge to again up its potential?
- Ease: This gauges the feasibility of executing the subject or technique. Is it one thing you’ll be able to simply implement, or will it require important sources and time?
Matt’s strategy to content material creation usually entails rating potential matters or methods primarily based on the ICE framework. By scoring every factor on a scale of 1 to 10, he can decide which matters will possible be the best. For example, a subject that guarantees excessive affect, instills confidence, and is simple to execute would rank excessive and thus be prioritized.
Drawing from his experiences working at startups like ConvertKit and Podia, Matt emphasised the significance of experimentation. “I am going to do that factor for six weeks, after which I will measure the outcomes,” he shared. This iterative strategy, mixed with the ICE check, permits him to refine his content material methods over time, making certain they continue to be related and efficient.
6 puzzle items to capturing and retaining viewers consideration
Capturing and retaining your viewers’s consideration is each an artwork and a science. Matt shared some invaluable insights on methods to successfully have interaction and monetize your viewers which are relevant to new and seasoned creators.
- Begin with a publication: “Completely, it is essential to have a method in place to leverage the eye you obtain, particularly on social media,” Matt emphasizes. His prime recommendation for newcomers? “Start a newsletter as quickly as doable.” Platforms like ConvertKit may help you arrange a touchdown web page swiftly. The objective is to be able to seize subscribers when your content material features traction.
- Foster engagement: To create a sustainable content material ecosystem, Matt suggests integrating your publication sign-up hyperlink throughout all of your social media platforms. “Persistently publish content material each on social media and in your publication,” he recommends. A welcome e-mail that prompts new subscribers to share their pursuits generally is a goldmine for content ideas. “This strategy fosters engagement and naturally guides you in the direction of matters that resonate together with your viewers,” Matt notes.
- Concentrate on one major social channel: For these simply beginning out, Matt’s recommendation is obvious: “Concentrate on one major social channel.” Constructing a core viewers on one platform after which repurposing content material for others generally is a game-changer. “Some creators learn their outdated tweets or LinkedIn posts on TikTok. It is about leveraging what you have already created,” he shares.
- The ability of video podcasts: “You probably have the sources, I imagine a video podcast is probably the most high-leverage content material proper now,” Matt states. A single podcast episode may be repurposed right into a plethora of content material, from YouTube movies to Twitter threads.
- Assume long-term: The attract of passive earnings as a creator is plain but it surely requires energetic effort to arrange and preserve. He shares an instance: “For a $150 product in case you purpose for $500,000 in annual income, you’d must promote to round 3,333 folks and herald round 70,000 subscribers a yr at a 5 % conversion price.” This underscores the necessity for a long-term and diversified technique. For instance, you can have a $100 course, a $1,000 cohort, and a $10,000 teaching program.
As you absorb all this recommendation, take into account Matt’s warning, “Managing all this as a solo creator may be overwhelming. It is virtually a full-time job.” Bear in mind to assume virtually about what you’ll be able to deal with together with your present workload without burning out.
How Matt makes use of iteration to enhance content material
Whereas the attract of recent tendencies and ways may be tempting, leaping from one to a different can result in an absence of consistency and readability in a single’s content material. Matt’s recommendation? Select a path, set a timeframe, and provides it your all.
It is simple to get caught within the whirlwind of recent concepts and methods. Nevertheless, as Matt emphasised, there’s a variety of worth in committing to a route. “You simply gotta go for it for just a little bit,” he shared, highlighting the significance of dedicating oneself to a selected path.
However dedication does not imply stubbornness. One of many key insights from Matt’s journey is the significance of iteration. After dedicating time to a specific technique or subject, it is essential to step again, consider the outcomes, and refine the strategy if needed. “I am going to do that for six weeks, after which I will measure the outcomes,” Matt defined, emphasizing the significance of setting clear analysis intervals.
By way of common assessments, creators can determine what’s working and what’s not. This iterative course of permits steady enchancment, making certain content material stays related, participating, and impactful. Matt identified that this mix of dedication and suppleness usually results in success.
“After three or 4 months, you will have just a few very particular methods of speaking and experimenting,” he famous, highlighting the insights and instinct that come from constant analysis and refinement.
Whereas the world of content material creation is huge and ever-changing, the ability of iteration stays fixed. By committing to a route and repeatedly refining one’s strategy primarily based on suggestions and outcomes, creators can navigate the complexities of the digital panorama with confidence and readability.
How Matt is constructing real communities
The power of community can’t be overstated – and never simply any group, however one constructed on real connections and shared experiences. Matt’s journey provides a chief instance of this. He spoke fondly of his Slack group for dad entrepreneurs, a distinct segment but genuine house the place like-minded people come collectively.
“I tweet about being a dad and stuff that I am experiencing as a father,” Matt shared, highlighting the natural nature of the group’s inception. It wasn’t about chasing numbers or tendencies however about connecting over shared experiences. And the outcome? A thriving group that grows organically, with members who genuinely care in regards to the group’s core values and one another.
Constructing such a group may appear daunting, however with the best strategy, it is completely achievable. Listed below are some insights from Matt’s expertise:
- Begin with authenticity: Earlier than you consider numbers or platforms, ask your self: What am I genuinely keen about? What experiences or insights can I share? For Matt, it was his journey as a dad entrepreneur. Discover your distinctive angle.
- Leverage automation however maintain it private: Matt used instruments like Zapier to streamline the invitation course of to his Slack group. However he ensured the contact remained private. “Individuals are simply displaying up within the slack. I do not know who they’re. However I do know that everybody within the group now has both utilized instantly via one thing I’ve written so that they have some context with me, or they have been really helpful,” he defined.
- Have interaction and hear: Constructing a group is not a one-time job. It requires steady engagement. Take heed to your members, perceive their wants, and adapt accordingly. Bear in mind, it is a house for them as a lot as it’s for you.
- Have a good time small wins: Each new member, each significant dialog, and each shared useful resource is a win. Have a good time these moments and use them as motivation to continue to grow and nurturing your group.
In conclusion, constructing a real group is about extra than simply numbers. It is about creating an area the place members really feel valued, heard, and linked. And as Matt’s journey reveals, with authenticity and the best strategy, it is a objective properly inside attain.
Matt’s creator journey highlights a core reality: real resonance with an viewers trumps fleeting tendencies. Listed below are the highest takeaways from his story:
- Authenticity is essential: Real connections together with your viewers result in lasting engagement. Being true to oneself and one’s experiences fosters belief and loyalty amongst followers.
- Strategic planning with the ICE check: Prioritize content material creation utilizing the ICE check (Influence, Confidence, Ease) to make sure efficient and significant content material that resonates with the viewers.
- Concentrate on one factor earlier than increasing: Begin with one major social channel to construct a core viewers. As soon as established, repurpose and broaden content material to different platforms.
- Take an iterative strategy to your content material technique: Decide to a content material technique however repeatedly consider and refine it primarily based on suggestions and outcomes. This stability of dedication and suppleness ensures content material stays related and impactful.
- Group constructing via real pursuits: Create communities primarily based on shared experiences and real pursuits. Steady engagement, listening to members, and celebrating small wins are important for nurturing and rising these communities.