Marketing nowadays requires writing and publishing great content in multiple ways. That’s why there’s a tsunami of information online about content marketing.
But the hard question comes when you sit down to a blank computer screen and outline what sorts of pieces of information, web pages and blog posts, need to be published for your business. What exactly is going to interest your ideal readers and clients?
Many experts echo: tell stories. All good films and good fiction are about a compelling, conflict-driven story. But you run a business, maybe you’re a professional who offers services such as coaching, health care, financial planning, speaking? You’re not selling widgets or software. Some people just tell it like it is:
“Here’s what I do. I solve these problems. Here are some of the customers who say we’re great. Now please go sign up for my newsletter. I’ll send you more of my propaganda/information. I hope you’ll call me one day and hire me for my services.”
Sadly this classic marketing approach is everywhere. And, it gets multiplied on websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and videos on YouTube, to the point that people tune out.
How can you introduce storytelling into your marketing mix? How can you make your writing interesting, more like a good movie or book? I wish I knew, but like great art, it’s hard to define.
I’m reading a book by 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).
According to these authors, when you produce great stuff, (blogs, videos, etc.) your customers will come to you. That’s the way I’ve always thought it should be. My best clients are the ones who found me and called me. They wouldn’t have found me without my having published a ton of content online, and written a few things they agreed with.
Even when someone has made a referral to me, a prospective client will do a search for my name and read or view some of my content before calling me to talk.
The authors have got it right, with many years experience to back it up:
“Content may rule, but your online content must be the right sort of content:
In other words, you must earn the attention of people.”
Today, every business and every professional is a publisher. And the biggest challenge we have is publishing enough engaging content. This book will help you do that. It will demystify the process of creating valuable content that attracts clients to you. I’ll be sharing more tips on writing compelling stories shortly.