Content marketing works: you can publish online content – blog posts, videos, webinars and web pages – that attracts clients to you. Using content marketing, you don’t have to chase after them, spend money on advertising, direct mail, or printed newsletters. Or as the authors of Content Rules say,
“Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminate your message for you. More than ever before, content is king! Content rules!” ~ Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your business (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011).
Wonderful. And, a lot of work. Getting other people so excited about your work they tell others about it is a challenge, unless, of course, your name is Seth Godin, Joe Pulizzi or Tim Ferriss.
If you’re a service professional, say a doctor, therapist, lawyer, financial adviser, or health expert, you need to create content that will help your clients. You need to become a trusted resource and go-to curator of tips and information that is helpful to people who are interested.
And you need to create strong feelings around your published content so that people will take action and keep coming back. You need them to subscribe, to sign up, to download, to ask you questions and engage with you so they become clients when they are ready.
Content Rule #2: Insight inspires originality. In their book Content Rules, Handley and Chapman lump two concepts into rule #2:
- Know yourself
- Know your customers
Example of what that means: I got a press release yesterday to announce a new book; in the blurb about the author, they explained he was a nightclub owner who almost died in a drug-related fire; who went on to become a psychologist and spiritual leader; who writes about how his near-death experience transformed him and how he overcame addictions.
That’s a brand story. For myself, the story is less dramatic, but I overcame my computer phobias to become a blogging expert and take my business from zero to six figures in three years, using content marketing and web-based tools.
Know your customers: I know content marketing for professionals and small businesses. My true expertise reflects my background in psychology and journalism. Because of this I attract a lot of executive coaches, life coaches, leadership development specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists. I’ve got a lot of resources for these clients.
I often help other professionals as well, because the principles for reaching your customers are embedded in psychology, journalism and communications. Last month I helped a small business owner who sells car insurance for people traveling to Mexico.
I went to journalism school way back in the 60s. (I was very young, of course…) The fundamentals haven’t changed and they should guide you when you sit down to write good content for your blog, a video script, or outline for a webinar. They will help you focus on your customers, their needs, their preferences.
- Why are you creating this content?
- Who is your audience?
- What do your want the content to achieve?
- When and how are you going to develop the content?
- Where are you going to publish it?
Hope this is helpful to you.
I’m leading a free webinar next Wednesday April 20 at 5 p.m. ET on content marketing for coaches and other small business professionals. We’re going to discuss articles, e-newsletters, blogging, videos, and why your marketing may not be working.
You can just show up, or sign up if you want to get the recording.
Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 5:00 pm ET.
To join the call, click this link at 4:58PM ET, Wednesday, April 20:
Join us for a discussion on coach marketing, boring newsletters, and new trends so that you get found, get known and get new clients.