As someone with a service-based online business, you need to be using content marketing. If you have any kind of website at all, content is a huge part of how people get to know you and your brand.
As a coach or a VA or a designer, you can’t just expect people to find you out of the blue and come begging to hire you. It doesn’t happen like that, chica.
That’s why it’s so important to have a strategy in place to help attract those ideal clients to you.
Think of your content like a magnet that pulls them in.
Today I want to share with you how you can grow your biz using content marketing, without it having to be confusing or feel like tactics and sleazy strategy.
SO WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
Ok, first things first. We need to get a clear picture of what content marketing really is.
It could mean a lot of different things to different people. One person might think of marketing and think of Facebook Ads, and another person might see content and think of social media.
While those are all valid responses, content marketing really means “consistently creating and distributing information that is valuable and relevant,” according to this guy.
When you break that down, it simply means putting good sh*t out there that will resonate with your target clients and bring them to your biz.
Think of your content like a magnet, attracting your ideal client and making her fall madly in love with your brand and biz (or something like that.)
To have an effective content marketing strategy (hint: this is key!) you need to know what kind of content your audience will be drawn to and create it consistently. And also get it out there in front of those people.
There are many different ways to do content marketing. Some of the most popular are:
- Blog posts
- Live Videos
- Social Media Posts
- Case Studies
- White Papers
I’m going to focus mainly on content marketing for your blog because that’s what I talk about the most. But really you should consider applying this to all forms of your content marketing.
OK, now that you know a little bit more about what it is, let’s look at how you can use it to grow your business.
P.S. If you want to know more about why you need content marketing for your small biz, read my article right here.
STEP 1: FIND THAT NICHE
This is essential for anything you do in your business. If you don’t have your niche nailed down, your marketing and your brand are going to be all over the place.
For example, one day you may decide to focus on being a wellness coach and so you create a lot of your content around that topic. But as time goes on, you decide you really want to just do life coaching, which is similar but it’s actually a different niche.
If you’re not sure what you’re niche is for your biz, stop what you’re doing. Put down that cup of coffee and turn of the Netflix you’re watching in the background.
Go take some time to figure this out. It doesn’t sound like it, but this is an important first step. This will set up how you create content, what kind of content you create and what your brand is all about.
So take it seriously.
Ask yourself, what you want to be known for? Who is your ideal client? How are you going to stand out as a brand? And what is your audience really all about?
Once you have answers to those questions start to form an idea of your niche.
Maybe it’s millennials who want to travel the world on a budget. Maybe it’s 40-something-year-olds who are interested in crystals and woo-woo stuff.
There’s no right or wrong niche, but you do have to choose one. And make it specific. The clearer you get on that, the clearer your marketing will be and the easier you’ll attract those ideal clients.
STEP 2: CREATE CONTENT USING FEEDBACK FROM CLIENTS
Marketing isn’t a guessing game. You can’t hope that something will work and blindly go at it full speed ahead.
You need to make sure that the content you’re creating for your blog (or anything else) is targeted towards your ideal clients.
You can’t guess at what they want, you need to know it in advance.
Taking time to find out what your content should be about by getting feedback is super important. And it doesn’t have to be that difficult either.
There are a number of ways that you can find out what content they want you to create. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Do a survey of your email list and ask them what they want to learn more about
- Post polls in Facebook groups where your audience hangs out and ask what they need help with
- Stalk your ideal clients on social media and find out what their problems are (in a non-creepy way of course)
- Go to Reddit or Quora and look up keywords in your niche and see what people are struggling with
- Do some Google searches on your niche and find out what your competition or other people in your niche are creating
- Reach out to your ideal clients on social media and set up a skype interview to talk to them and find their pain points.
All of these things are relatively easy to do and don’t require a ton of effort. But once you know what your audience is wanting from you, you’ll be able to serve them in such a better and bigger way.
After you have a list of ideas and things that your audience wants/needs to know more about, create an editorial calendar and plan out your next few months worth of content.
P.S. Read this post that talks more about editorial calendars here.
Having this editorial calendar setup helps you get more strategic about your content and plan out ahead of time what you’re going to create. I find that this is essential in having a solid content marketing strategy.
STEP 3: TIE YOUR BIZ INTO YOUR CONTENT
If you want your audience to know, like, and trust you (which you do) then you need to help build that relationship between them and your biz.
Blogging is a great way to do this because it’s a direct connection with your audience. It gives them an easy way to consume your content and connect with your biz on a more personal level.
To really make your content marketing work and help grow your business, you should include info about your biz in your content.
I’m not talking about making every blog post about what you did last weekend or that latest recipe you made from Pinterest. I mean sharing authentic stories about your biz that connects with your audience.
For example, you can weave in stories about your past clients into your blog content. If it relates to a problem that your audience is dealing with and shows them how someone else overcame that, then it could be very valuable to them.
However, don’t tell stories just to tell stories. Make sure that you’re adding value to your content by talking about your business. It shouldn’t feel like a sales pitch or sleazy tactic.
Being authentic with your audience will always go a lot further than many other things. Talk about your business in your blog content in a way to helps them in some way, and they will appreciate you much more for it. You don’t need to be pushy or aggressive about getting people to buy from you.
STEP 4: PROMOTE AND SHARE LIKE CRAZY
After the content has been created and you’ve published that blog post you’re so proud of, now it’s time to really get to work.
I know you think all the hard work was done after you hit that button and put your blog post out into the world. But that’s just the beginning.
Now it’s time to promote your content. A content marketing strategy is really about 50% creation and 50% promotion. Maybe even more like 40% creation and 60% promotion.
Because what good is great content if no one sees it?
You’ve got to get it out there in front of the right people. You have to let them know that you helped solve their problems, but they have to go read it first.
Set up a strategy for promoting your content. Typically, share it a few times on every platform you can think of the day it gets published. Then share it again a few days later. Then share it some more every week after that.
You can even reach out to people individually and let them know that you created something you think they would be interested in. Don’t make it pushy, just genuinely share the knowledge with people who need it.
Use your network to get it out there even more. Reach out to your biz besties or other people you know online and ask them to share it. Usually, if they find it of value, they’ll have no problem doing it.
Now that you know more about what content marketing is, and how to do it to grow your business, it’s time to get out there and start doing.
If you want to get clear on creating a strong content strategy for your blog, make sure you download the free workbook below. I promise it will help you out.
Oh, and one last thing. Don’t forget to be consistent with your content creation. Whether it’s blog posts or social media, you need to be consistently showing up and sharing valuable content with your audience.
The more consistent you are, the more traffic and clients you will start to see. You can’t do it once and expect it to do the trick. That’s not how this online world works.
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