One of the jobs of your content is to give your audience an idea of what they can expect when they work with you.

And yet too many business owners create a bunch of surface-level content (that’s really a “101-level” of their work) out of the fear of “giving everything away.” The belief often is: “If I really go deep here, then I’ll just attract a bunch of freebie seekers who aren’t actually going to pay me for my work, and are just going to consume all of my free content.”

This can be an outcome of creating “value-based” content, especially when you aren’t creating TRUE educational content that speaks directly to Right Fit leads—part of being “Right Fit” is that they are purchase-ready, and therefore inherently NOT a “freebie seeker”—and that invites them skillfully into your right-for-them work. But when you’re creating that true educational content, any amount of “value” that you share through your free content becomes a natural “onramp” into your work, and you will attract Right Fit leads directly to your digital doorstep because of it.
Want to create TRUE educational content that brings Right Fit leads directly to your digital doorstep? Read on ⤵️

Before you get started…

Here at WholeCo EVERYTHING we do is foundations-focused (alongside being self-trust-led!), because we know that while SOME strategies work for SOME people (and other strategies work for other people), the foundations are the same across all (service-based, which—when we say it—includes coaching, healing, consulting, etc.) businesses. And when you are equipped with the foundations, you can make pretty much any strategy that you desire to use actually WORK for you. Whereas when you aren’t equipped with the foundations, you have to constantly search for a new/better/different strategy because each strategy will only work unreliably/inconsistently at best.

Using the Sustainable Success System™, we know that before you can get into building out your Marketing foundations, you need to already have your Audience, Offer, and Messaging foundations in place, first. (The Sustainable Success System™ starts at Audience and works step-by-step throughout the rest of the circle.)

We’re not going to go into the depths of each of these foundations here, as there are several per element of your Sustainable Success System™. For now what I’ll say is that you need to know:

  1. Who your Right Fit client—for the offer you are intending to sell—is.
  2. What offer you are intending to sell through your educational content.
  3. How to talk about this offer in a way that is both transparent about what you can promise and magnetic to your Right Fit client.

(By the way, we build your relevant foundations inside our content marketing incubator, Marketing Magnified, so that you actually CAN craft extraordinary and effective content.)

Once you have these foundations at least 70-80% “done,” you can confidently move into building out your Marketing foundations, part of which is learning how to create true educational content that brings Right Fit leads directly to your digital doorstep.

How to Create TRUE Educational Content (that attracts clients, not freebie seekers!)

Step 1: Brainstorm relevant content topics.

How do you choose what to talk about in your content?

A lot of online business owners make choices based off of some combination of…

  • What they see other business owners doing
  • Various lists of content prompts or ideas
  • What they think they “should” talk about in order to make sales

The problem with this approach to finding content topics is that…

  1. Most other business owners are just as clueless as to what to talk about in their content as you are. (Yes, even if they have a big following, and even if they are explicitly saying, “Here’s topics to talk about in your content”—because the truth is, most of them are still operating from the strategy level, rather than the foundations of content marketing level. Meaning: what works for them may very likely not work for you.)
  2. Lists of content prompts or ideas, while an ok “jumping off point,” very rarely are nuanced enough to speak directly to YOUR Right Fit client, which means that most of these content prompts, if followed directly, end up speaking to a too-broad audience. Not to mention, MANY of them actually speak to a NOT purchase-ready version of your client, which is how you end up creating a TON of content that brings in very few, if any, potential clients/leads.
  3. It’s very likely that you don’t actually know (yet!) what attracts the purchase-ready version of your Right Fit client, so following what you think you “should” (as gathered from all sorts of differently sources, intentionally or not) is at best unreliable, and at worst entirely unproductive.

This is why knowing 1) WHAT offer you’re intending to sell through this content, 2) WHO is a Right Fit for that offer, and 3) HOW to talk about that offer in a way that naturally attracts your Right Fit potential clients into it—your Audience, Offer, and Messaging foundations—is so dang important.

Think about this with me: the person who already knows that they want or need either your work or the result of your work, what is it that they specifically are experiencing in their life right now? What questions are they asking? problems are facing? experiences are they having?

If you’ve got a piece of paper or a doc open, I invite you to list at least 10 ideas. Then move on to the next step.

Step 2: Choose one idea and distill it down.

Chances are you’ve already got some strong ideas of the “problems” your Right Fit client (for this specific offer) is facing. But I’ve got a question for you that will help you make them even stronger: could you FULLY solve this problem in ONE piece of content?

Undoubtedly, the answer for most if not all of your ideas is a resounding: NO.

That’s A-OK my friend! In fact, that’s great, because that means that MOST of your 10 ideas actually can become MULTIPLE pieces of educational content. Honestly, 10 “top-level” ideas like the ones you’ve already created could very well be a years worth of content—if you distill them down enough.

What do I mean by “distill them down”? Well, the easiest way to explain is through example. Let’s say that you’re a healer and guide who specializes in supporting your clients to live their fullest life. That’s pretty broad work, isn’t it? And I’ll bet that you could work with people who are experiencing allllll sorts of different “problems” in their life. Perhaps some of your Right Fit clients are experiencing problems in their relationships, some are experiencing self-doubt, some are experiencing unexplained physical ailments, some are experiencing a lack of fulfillment in their professional careers, etc. I could go on.

Let’s choose ONE of those to create educational content on: experiencing self-doubt. When we run this idea through our filter of the question, “Could you FULLY solve this problem in ONE piece of content?”, the answer is surely HECK NO. Not even in a 3-hour movie could you fully solve the problem of experiencing self-doubt! Which is why we want to distill it down. The idea here is to find an even more specific manifestation of this idea.

Experiencing self-doubt ➡️ doubting your abilities to achieve your dreams ➡️ feeling “stuck” in your day-to-day reality ➡️ not prioritizing the things you truly enjoy ➡️ saying “yes” to things that you’d rather say “no” to (and that happen at the expense of you doing the things you actually want to do)

By distilling down “experiencing self-doubt” to “saying ‘yes’ to things you’d rather say ‘no’ to,” you have now landed on a topic that you could create a single piece of content on in which you actually fully solve the problem. Now, some of you who actually DO support clients with this type of thing might be saying, “That’d need to be a LONG piece of content in order to FULLY solve the problem, Carly,” and if so, that’s ok! You can choose to continue distilling it down into something even smaller and therefore that is even simpler to FULLY solve in ONE piece of content.

Also, this is just one way that we could distill down “experiencing self-doubt.” There are countless ways that we could distill this down and therefore there are countless types of educational content that could come from this. This is just what I came up with immediately off the top of my head, but what you come up with might be entirely different! That’s ok. In fact, that’s great, because when you follow the pathways of distillation that seem obvious to you, you’ll end up being able to talk about some of the most potent aspects of your work (without even trying to find them).

Choose one of your ideas to “distill down” now until you are confident that you could FULLY solve this problem in ONE piece of content.

By the way, we distill down your ideas for two main reasons, one of which we’ll talk about in the next step. The reason for distilling down that’s relevant here is that it is by distilling down your ideas that you can provide IMMENSE value to your audience and community WHILE not giving “everything” away. There are more nuanced ways to make this even more effective—which we talk about in our content marketing incubator, Marketing Magnified—but even the act of distilling it down is SO effective in this regard.

Step 3: Create a piece of content that fully solves this problem.

Of course, once you have your idea, you get to create a piece of content that FULLY solves this problem! Whether that content is written, a video training, a podcast episode, etc. doesn’t matter. What really matters is that you are fully solving this distilled down problem.

We want to fully solve the problem because your true purchase-ready Right Fit client is not looking for surface tips and tricks. They’ve very likely already tried all sorts of things, and now they’re looking for the REAL solution to their problem/s. You speaking in-depth and in a highly nuanced way about something that they are experiencing right now—even if that thing is only ONE part of their present experience—will naturally “set you apart from the crowd” of (typically VERY) surface-level content that is so common in this online business world. This content will capture their attention, which then gives you the opportunity to specifically and with intention invite them into your work. And because you’ve already shown just how effective you are at supporting them in their exact present day reality—they’re going to be blown away that this one piece of content was SO supportive for them and SO actionable!—stepping into your work now feels like the logical next step.

(p.s. we teach a full formula for how to ensure that you are fully solving the problem inside our content marketing incubator, Marketing Magnified. Through this step-by-step program, you will craft extraordinary and effective content that brings Right Fit leads directly to your digital doorstep! Learn more and join us today.)

Step 4: Make the invitation.

Educational content that fully solves a distilled down problem is great. AND the only way to effectively use educational content to invite Right Fit clients into your right-for-them work is to actually invite them into your work. Yes, this means including a very clear pitch and call to action for your work inside the piece of educational content itself.

I know that sometimes business owners have funny feelings about selling through their “value” content, so here’s my question to you if you’re feeling that way right now: what is the most effective way that you can serve and/or support your true Right Fit client?

I don’t normally say there’s “only one right answer,” but in this case, there truly is only one right answer and that is by working with them. Which means that while crafting extraordinary and effective content, that feels as great to consume as it does to actually work with you, is SUCH an act of service to the Right Fit members of your audience and community, and even to the world at large (especially as your audience grows!). AND — there are people in the world, right now, in this very moment, who are actively looking to create the result of your work. What bigger act of service could you give those people than to invite them to work with you so that you can support them on that journey, very likely catalyzing them to create their desired transformation with even more ease and efficiency than if they were to try to do it on their own?

When you craft this truly extraordinary and effective educational content, the Right Fit people who read it want you to invite them into the next step because they want to take the next step. Before you hit “publish” on that new fantastic piece of educational content, add a very intentional invitation to it. This serves both your business interests and the Right Fit members of your audience and community. It truly is the definition of a win-win.

How to craft value content without giving everything away. Step 1: brainstorm relevant content topics. Step 2: Choose one idea and 'distill it down.' Step 3: Fully solve the problem in one piece of content. Step 4: Make a specific and intentional invitation. Finally, publish!

What if it’s not working?

While we do have stories of some of our clients who have created and published one piece of (real) educational content and gotten leads immediately from it, that is not the norm. The truth is that publishing this level of extraordinary and effective content on the regular is almost always required in order to begin seeing consistent and compounding results from it. However, if you have been consistently publishing this type of content for a while now—my typical recommendation for most “new” things in business is 3 months before you can see if it’s really working or not—and you aren’t bringing in a consistent and compounding amount of Right Fit leads from it, then one or a few different things could be happening:

Potential Issue #1: You don’t actually know your true Right Fit client.

A lot of people in this online business world get really hung up on the concept of an “Ideal Client Persona.” Here at WholeCo, however, our work to identify your true Right Fit client begins where traditional Ideal Client work stops. That’s because knowing an amalgamation of demographics (age, gender, etc.) and psychographics (e.g. hopes and aspirations, fears, etc.) really doesn’t do much for you other than humanize the rest of what you’re doing in business. (e.g. now you can create content for “Connie” rather than trying to create content for an amorphous blob of “the online world.”)

When you don’t actually know who your true Right Fit client is, this throws everything else off in your business from the offers you create, to the messaging you use, and to—yep—the topics you choose to turn into marketing content.

As an example, think back to our healer and guide who specializes in supporting their clients to live their fullest life. I’m going to guess that their true Right Fit client is someone who is already familiar with a lot of the tools that they use (e.g. let’s say “shadow work,” “tarot,” and “hypnosis” are some of tools that this healer and guide uses), their Right Fit client is open to the “woo” as much as they are to “traditional”/Western methodologies, they already know that they have a problem, they already know they want to heal that problem, and they aren’t looking for someone to “heal them” but rather looking for someone who can guide them through their own unique healing journey. (Of course, there are very likely a LOT of other elements of a “Right Fit” client for this healer and guide, but this is a quick list purely for examples sake.)

With these characteristics of a Right Fit client for this healer and guide in mind, if they were to create content that tried to only talk about the methods they use that are more traditionally accepted/”Westernized,” then they wouldn’t actually attract their Right Fit client into their work. Why? Because it’s very likely that their Right Fit client has already tried a purely Western approach to transformation, and it hasn’t worked.

If you’re creating and publishing consistent content, especially this type of educational content that we’ve talked about here in this article, and you’re not seeing a steady stream of Right Fit leads coming from it, then I’d recommend you start by looking at and getting to really know your Right Fit client.

Potential Issue #2: Your messaging isn’t resonating with your true Right Fit client.

Messaging—or, the foundational words, attitudes, perspectives, and phrases that you use to talk about your work—needs to be both transparent about what you can actually, in good faith promise and magnetic to your Right Fit client. If it is not transparent, it will likely attract a wrong fit client. If it’s not magnetic to your Right Fit client, well, it will likely either not attract anyone or, again, attract a wrong fit client.

Potential Issue #3: You haven’t “distilled down” the topic of each piece of content enough.

Educational content that leaves open a bunch of “threads” about the topic that you promised to help them fully solve ends up creating an experience of confusion, rather than clarity, for your audience and community. It will likely be minor and imperceptible to the average member of your audience, but that confusion can build and build and build to the point where when they think about hiring someone to guide them through whatever it is that your work does, you are not on that list. Whereas when you consistently deliver truly extraordinary and effective content to your audience and community, your brand becomes synonymous with true clarity, effective methods, and lasting transformation.

Properly distilling down your topics for your educational content in particular is one of the big ways that you cultivate this experience of your brand and become the unconscious “go to” for the people who engage with the content you publish and the offers you promote.

An Invitation

These foundations of your Audience, Messaging, and Marketing are all things that we build inside our content marketing incubator, Marketing Magnified.

Marketing Magnified is the foundations-focused content marketing incubator equipping online business owners to attract Right Fit, ready-to-buy clients through extraordinary and effective content, on every platform you market your business on. (& typically from the audience you already have!)

With the support of this step-by-step program you will…

  • Discover exactly how to talk about your work, and do so naturally, so that you can create content and sell with so much more ease and efficacy.
  • Ditch the trite marketing advice for practical, actionable foundations and strategies that make marketing make “so much sense”—as even our self-proclaimed “bad at marketing” clients say—while also bringing Right Fit, ready-to-buy clients directly to your digital doorstep.
  • Open up space for authenticity, inspiration, and flourishing creativity in your content marketing by releasing the perfectionism-induced paralysis, the overthinking that leads to overcomplication, the visibility fears that keep you “a best kept secret,” and the general sense of dread around content creation.
  • Finally fill this “gap” in your business foundations so that you can spend less time trying to “figure it out” and more time creating a community filled with people who readily purchase and celebrate and benefit from your work.

Marketing Magnified is a self-paced program that you can step into right away, learn how to craft extraordinary and effective content through our curriculum (which most clients complete in a matter of weeks), and begin seeing results from your content pretty much as soon as you begin publishing it. Our clients often see results like increased engagement and attention, ease in content creation, pride in what you are publishing, and even sometimes a pretty quick increase in new prospective clients, alongside longer-term results like a steadily increasing number of Right Fit leads landing on your digital doorstep.

To join us, simply sign up today over on the Marketing Magnified page.

I don’t know about you, but I am SO READY for extraordinary and effective content that feels as great to consume as it does to create to become the norm in our online business industry. Marketing Magnified shows you how to do just that, and to, in many ways, become the change you wish to see in the culture of marketing in this online business world. Come and join us today.

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Carly Jo Bell of WholeCo Media - Headshot@2x


I’m Carly Jo Bell.

(Though you can just call me Carly.)

Carly Jo Bell is a business strategist and mentor, and fonder of Whole Co media. Through her courses and programs, podcast, and one on one coaching, Carly helps pulled-in-every-direction entrepreneurs create a business that brings in as much joy as it does revenue — by cultivating deep self trust, and solid foundations as the first step.

For more from Carly, and to learn about her signature “looking external for inspiration, and internal for answers” approach, join the conversation by signing up for her weekly email series, Carly's Couch.


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