I hope last week’s conversation about the either or-ness of face-to-face meetings and creating content spurs you on to do (more) content. Given how conservative we are as a profession, you would think we should not have all of our eggs in one marketing basket.
On to this week. As a continuation of last week’s newsletter, and since you already know how to take people out to lunch, I thought I would pass on some tips I’ve learned that can make your content creating efforts more efficient, effective, and engaging.
And if you are new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Ron Baker, value pricing evangelist: If you stop selling your time, clients will stop trying to manage it.
Think about it. If we sell the outcome, clients won’t care how many hours it takes to reach the outcome. We need to give more clients certainty when/where we can.
A common complaint I hear from BVFLS practitioners I work with is that they’ve tried creating content, but it isn’t yielding results. No one is reading their blog or newsletter. Or they have some readership, but the readers don’t leave blog comment or send reply emails. And most importantly they aren’t getting any leads/projects from their efforts.
Here are six ideas about why or where you may be going off the rails.
#1 – You are not writing often enough
When a potential client visits your blog and sees you haven’t posted for months, they may wonder if you’re still around. If they get a newsletter from you once a quarter, they may forget why they subscribed to it in the first place. Write at least once a month. Bi-weekly is better. Weekly works if you have something valuable to share with your audience that often and if you can manage that pace.
Best practice: Always have a few blog posts or newsletters “in the can” so that when you get slammed (and you know you will), there is some already-written content to send out.
#2 – You are only using text as a medium
Some people are readers of writing; others are watchers of video. Mixing it up with a combo of writing and video is a great way to get people wondering what they will get from you “this time.”
Best practice: Don’t overthink the video. Y’all might have heard Chris Mercer say in his INSIDER interview that he uses an iPhone, a tripod, and a microphone and then uploads the recording to Vimeo.
#3 – You’re hitting the wrong audience
Your blog or newsletter content should be targeted to the people who can send you the kind of BVFLS work you want to do. M&A attorneys don’t want to read about gift/estate tax valuations. Automobile dealerships don’t want to read about marketing agency issues.
Best practice: Know exactly who your ideal client (or referral source) is. Then write or speak to that person … answer their questions … solve their problems.
#4 – Your content is too general
You know a ton about your practice area or industry niche. But what you write about should dovetail with why prospects and referral sources hire you. Choose topics that will appeal to your audience by identifying the most common reasons you get hired. Then write about that.
Best practice: Pick a handful of themes that your content will cover and make sure everything you produce falls into one of those themes. For example, all of my content fits into my “4 pillars of practice development” framework – positioning, messaging, marketing, and business model.
#5 – Your writing ain’t that great
The quality of your writing will have a significant impact on the reach of your writing. Readers are turned off not only by unorganized thoughts and unmade points, but also by egregious grammar, sloppy syntax, and improper punctuation.
#6 – You aren’t promoting the content you’re creating
Your blog or newsletter gets read by the people who know about it. What about the people who don’t? Provide snippets of your content and relevant links on all of your social media channels – multiple times – to attract and pique the curiosity of your would- and should-be audience.
Best practice: Create a promotion checklist or calendarize dates and times for getting the word out; this task can be easily delegated.
So what / In real life
Creating content is an incredible marketing tool to build Authority for practitioners of all stripes and firms of all sizes – if it’s done the right way. Follow the best practices above, and you’ll be sure to see a difference in the results of your current efforts.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.