Steal this play
4 min read

Steal this play

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 2,663 subscribers spend five minutes getting better at content creation and strategy.

Creating new content plays prevents your game from getting stale.

Because if you create content with the same formula, same topic, and same format over and over again, your audience will get bored. Then they’ll unsubscribe – literally or mentally.

After creating content consistently for 3+ years across multiple channels and platforms, I’ve learned and created a handful of plays that I know engage and help my audience, while fueling my strategic goals.

But one play drastically outperforms the rest.

It’s a play I call “document the journey.”

Documenting the journey is exactly what it sounds like: content that shares your journey by leading with a milestone you recently accomplished.

That journey can be pretty much anything: your path to switching careers from a teacher to SDR, your quest in finding the best hot sauce from every state, or your mission of interviewing 100 CEOs this year to learn how to run a business.

But how you share that update is incredibly important.

If you’re not careful, you may unintentionally end up bragging or being irrelevant.

Here’s the formula I use:

  1. Share update with excitement
  2. Provide context to introduce the journey
  3. Include highlights that show progress
  4. Show gratitude
  5. End with passive CTA

This is by no means the only way to share your journey. I mix other ingredients in there from time to time pending the context.

And it goes without saying that each step above has to be sincere and genuine. You should be excited about your achievement, and your gratitude can't be phony (people will notice). Otherwise, why post about it?

Let’s break down an example so you can see it in action, then create one of your own.

Here’s a post I published a few weeks ago:

Here’s a breakdown of the post referencing the formula I shared, plus some additional notes:

On an average day, about ~20 people sign up for CSR. But this documenting the journey the post above generated 150 in one day. I also saw a noticeable jump in LinkedIn followers too.

I know these numbers overall aren’t huge, but any play that gives me a ~10x jump is worth doing. That’s why I want you to steal this play.

This play is extremely effective because it entertains and informs, all while driving awaress and interest for your journey.

Notice the order. Entertain and inform is for your reader. They’re always served first.

Awareness and interest is for you/your goals. You eat second.

Flip the order and you’ve cooked up a braggy post that will leave a bad taste in your reader's mouth.

Notice the tone in the post above: I don't try to come across as knowing it all or an expert. I'm on a journey, learning as I go. And others can learn from it too. Humility goes a long way here.

Warning: Use this play selectively. If you’re sharing an update every single day or week, it loses its punch. Plus you risk being too redundant and boring people.

A week after my post, I saw it catching on.

Brandon Fluharty, rock-solid content creator and 7-figure seller, ran the play for his newsletter:

I had just met Brandon on my podcast where I learned he had a newsletter, but I hadn’t signed up yet. (One of those, “Send me the link” scenarios that I forgot to follow up on).  This made it a no brainer – I jumped to his profile to get subscribe. (It's great BTW).

If you're wondering, documenting the journey isn’t limited to LinkedIn. Monday.com made a phenomenal video sharing the insane process behind creating the most impressive B2B commercial I’ve ever seen* for their Super Bowl commercial:

(*I haven’t even seen their final ad yet and I’m bragging for them. That’s how good this BTS video is.)

Even if you’re not working with a multimillion dollar budget (which is 99.9% of us), you can still record videos on your phone and share low-production videos to keep your audience up to date with your progress. Don’t worry about marketing polish. People like the real deal.

So there you have it, my best content play, yours for the taking.

Try it this week.

You will attract new followers AND build trust and credibility with your existing audience by taking them along for the ride.

Holler at you next Saturday,
Devin

If you want more content plays worth stealing…

You might want to check out my course Content Strategy for LinkedIn.  "Documenting the journey” is just one of the 10 plays I break down so you can create memorable content your audience loves. (Reminder to use code “CSR” at check out to save some cheddar.)

Here’s a review from Giano after watching it this week:

Now I’m following his journey.

✅ Did you get value from today’s episode? If so, I’d be honored if you shared this link with your friends or on LinkedIn. Here’s an example from Aviva Spotts for inspiration.