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One of my favorite hobbies is to cook (and eat!)- so it’s pretty often that I find myself using cooking and baking metaphors with my clients. We talk quite a bit about the “ingredients” of a successful business, as well as “proper cook times” for new initiatives, and so on.

An area that’s vital to consider is the metaphorical nutritional ratio of the content you develop to promote your business.

You need to plan your content as a well balanced meal in order to build the right relationship with your fans, friends and followers.

We’ll talk about the right balance in just a minute; before that, let’s discuss the different types of content you might create.

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the idea that content should do at least one of the following- you might consider these the five food groups of good content:

Good content should

  • Engage
  • Entertain
  • Inspire
  • Educate
  • Inform

The best content actually does more than one of these at a time. The idea behind this list is to give you a purpose to your content and a framework for what you include. If you want your content to engage, you might use more stories and anecdotes. If you want your content to entertain, maybe you’ll use more jokes, humor, or irony. If you want your content to inspire, you might focus on motivation and inspirational themes. If you want your content to educate, you might offer a step-by-step approach or tutorials to teach. Finally, if you want your content to inform, you might fill it with facts and statistics.

The thing to keep in mind is that your content really does need to be a well-balanced meal- it should include elements from each of the five groups. This is vital as you build your profitable popularity, because if you focus on one type of content at the expense of the others, you will be missing out on whole segments of your market- and of yourself- that you can unite within your business.

Let me explain. If you focus quite heavily on entertainment at the expense of substance- you might be seen as fun-loving and playful- which are both great- but will you be seen as serious enough to be hired? Entertaining content serves an important role, but too much of it, and you risk being popular without being profitable. Likewise, if you focus on informing with heavy statistics all the time, you risk your process being seen as “too much work”- and so people will stop paying attention, and are unlikely to purchase. And so on.

The idea, in my way of thinking, is to provide samplings of all types of content within your business. Sometimes you want to make your clients laugh. Sometimes you want to make your clients think. Sometimes you want to teach or train them on something important. Sometimes you want them to feel inspired and able to move ahead.

In order to effect these outcomes, you need to first realize what you want them to experience, and then you need to focus on your content delivering this experience.

The more consciously you build your well-balanced content meal, the faster people will come to sit at your business table.