December 12, 2018

What Does it Mean to Create Cornerstone Content?

What does it mean to create cornerstone content?

I use the term Cornerstone Content a lot. I mean, a lot.

So I thought it was time for a deep dive into what exactly I mean when I encourage business owners to create cornerstone content.

Cornerstone content is your very best stuff, used in all kinds of ways to drive revenue into your core business. Cornerstone content should get you noticed as a thought leader, and make you money.

Great. Fantastic! These are things every business owner wants. Now – how do you create that cornerstone content, so you can get to these great outcomes?

Get Clear on Your Point of View

This is job one when it comes to creating great cornerstone content or really any business development activity.

Your point of view is the flag you pitch into the dirt. It’s a distillation of what you stand for.

What do you believe so strongly in, what is it that you and your team do, and who do you do it for? And equally important, who DON’T you serve?

So get very clear about your point of view. Get very clear about who you can help and who you can’t. Get clear on who you want to help and who you don’t want to help.

Don’t be afraid to be bold. Don’t be afraid to be provocative. That is exactly how you find your true fans. Expressing your one-of-a-kind point of view will help your true fans find you – and it will help those who are NOT your ideal clients understand that you might not be the right fit for their needs.

There are lots of ways to get clear on your POV. One method that I’ve found especially helpful is to define your 3 Unique Attributes.

For example, in full transparency, awhile back Predictive ROI took 2 full days to hammer out our POV, and this 3 Attributes exercise was pivotal. I describe this 2-day retreat in detail in episode 676 of the Onward Nation podcast. I encourage you to take a listen.

Our 3 Uniques:

  1. We help clients get clear on their point-of-view.
  2. We help them create high-quality cornerstone content that cements their POV into the hearts and minds of their audience with consistent thought leadership.
  3. We help clients drive revenue by transforming their content into a Trojan Horse of Sales, which you can learn more about this strategy back in Episode 600 where I break it down in full transparency.
    You can see these 3 attributes on display in nearly everything we do – including this article!
    So after you take time to hammer out your distinctive point of view, what is next?

Create Cornerstone Content

I use the term “cornerstone” very intentionally.

Just like when constructing a building, that cornerstone is literally that first stone or block that is set in the foundation. It’s THE crucial foundation point. And so that cornerstone also drives the direction and alignment of all of the future stones.

That’s what your cornerstone content will do. It will be foundational to what comes next in your content strategy and your business.

Also, this is the fun stuff. This is that rockin’ awesome blog, podcast, or video series you produce or have been thinking about. Whatever medium you are most at home in, that is most likely going to be your cornerstone medium.

But it doesn’t stop with just one medium – you don’t want to be a one-trick pony.

The reason you are creating this cornerstone content is not to have a once-and-done piece of content for you and others to admire. You need to get your content out there in multiple channels.

So creating cornerstone content means you are slicing and dicing that content so it looks like you are EVERYWHERE!

A true thought leader is across multiple channels.

So if you have a spectacular podcast, take that audio content and create a blog post or two out of it. Pull out 10 or 20 tweets or Instagram posts to drive interest back to the podcast. If you have video content – maybe you could turn that into a series of posts or even a book.

The point is, creating this cornerstone content means getting it out there over multiple channels, to let people know about your thought leadership, and make you money.
Yes, you may be asking:

Okay, so how does that help me in generating leads and revenue into my core business?

  1. First is the Trojan Horse of Sales – Your cornerstone content is not only valuable to your biggest fans. It can be a value to the people who you dream of having as clients – your Dream 25 prospects. With the Trojan Horse of Sales, you open the door to a relationship with an invitation to an interview. Weeks or months after the interview, after the good vibes from the pre and post interview chat and the interview itself – you could be in a unique position to help that Dream 25 prospect solve a problem in their business, or work on a project that would benefit you both.
  2. Sponsorships – I assure people all the time, you do not have to have a million downloads a month. You need a connection to a niche market.

Here’s an example: a client of ours has a podcast with less than a thousand downloads a month. It also happens to serve a very niche market. It is also THE podcast in the industry, a significant industry with some very large players. So one of those companies reached out to our client and said, “Look, we really like the work that you’re doing. We think that the podcast is awesome. We’d like to be a sponsor. They’re getting ready to ink a six-figure sponsorship deal because it’s not based on audience size. It is based on the right audience serving the right niche with a very, very specific piece of content.

So that’s what it means to create cornerstone content. It means getting clear on your point of view and driving revenue into your business.

See – I don’t call it “Cornerstone” for nothin’!

Stephen Woessner

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.