Mental models are frameworks and principles that assist you in making choices. They do not provide responses, but they provide fresh methods to tackle ancient issues.
The following mental models are not particular to content marketing, but we discovered them to be especially helpful in our job. We hope that you, too, will.
1. MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable)
Content marketers sell thoughts on an ongoing basis. You will need to promote blog posts to fresh readers at some stage in your career, pitch thoughts to skeptical publishers, or construct a content strategy to present to an executive team.
MAYA is a structure designed by industrial designer Raymond Loewy to assist you to sell thoughts. He is accountable for some of the 20th century’s most iconic drawings, and the lens through which he designed and pitched his thoughts was his MAYA theory.
2. MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive)
MECE is a way to split complicated issues into smaller pieces. Helping authors organize and obviously present thoughts is an especially helpful strategy.
Imagine writing an article broken down into five parts. To be MECE, it ought to be:
Mutually Exclusive: There is no overlap between the material of each segment and any other section.
Collectively Exhaustive: the segments cover the subject together so that no data is omitted.
The MECE framework harmonizes with parallelism, meaning that each of these five parts should follow the same structure as well (e.g., all subheadings should start with verbs, or all segments should end with the main takeaway).
3. The Circle of Competence
The likes of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger embrace this mental model. It indicates that you work mostly within your “competence circle “— i.e., your present skill set — while working continuously to expand that circle.
This model can be specific to content, but it is more helpful in your career context. You will be much more successful while working within your skill circle, but work to expand its limits slowly. You are advancing as your circle expands in your career.
4. Simple vs. Simplistic
Only by overcoming complexity can simplicity be achieved — and our job is loaded with complexity. This implies in reality:
- Writing, editing, and rewriting parts until the reader optimizes them completely.
- Construction of a straightforward, executable content strategy in dozens of imperfect factors (demographic audience, keyword information, competitive insights, etc.).
- Practice a presentation to eliminate anything but the most impactful material over and over again.
But be conscious of the distinction between simple (to aspire to something) and simplistic (to prevent something).
5. Strategies vs. Tactics
It is the task of some content marketers to create policies. Others are responsible for their tactical execution.
Wherever you fall, understanding the distinction between a strategy and a tactic is essential:
- An approach is a guiding principle that will help you reach a long-term result. Strategies are not supposed to alter very often.
- A tactic is a tiny piece of action that helps you get closer to the required result. As often as necessary, tactics can change.
This may seem to state the obvious, but all the time, policies and tactics get confused. Learning to perform on tactics is helpful, but learning to believe strategically is the way to level your career. This may apply to you in a few respects:
- Sometimes strategies are abandoned because results are not accomplished fast enough. Simple is a nice approach. Leaving a strategy too quickly implies it’s never going to work. Starting over increases the time for a successful result.
- Reader people, because they concentrate too much on demographics, are difficult. Rather, thinking about your readers on a scale from tactical to strategic is useful: tactical readers need directions; strategic readers need frameworks. It forces you to consider how your target reader thinks, not what subjects they are interested in, to create people like this.
- A good strategy can substitute tactics that are unreliable. Organic channels are the biggest and most reliable. It is probable that creating an SEO content optimization strategy will yield far better outcomes than strategies such as posting content on community sites such as Reddit. If a hit-or-miss tactic can be replaced with a credible approach, you can better allocate your time to the precious job.
Strategically thinking and acting is one of the best ways to speed up your job and career. Apply this for to the highest outcomes widely.