Knowing how, and where, to attract your dream clients can feel elusive to most entrepreneurs. The “if you build it, they will come” philosophy doesn’t always hold up and, unfortunately, most entrepreneurs learn this the hard way! However, there is one strategy that does work when applied correctly and that strategy is: content.
Crafting the right content for your audience is critical to your overall success.
Engaging blog posts, videos, live streams and downloads can draw your potential clients in and help them feel as though they are in the right place. Aligned content can provide them with the “taste test” they need to move from prospect to customer confidently.
Let’s take a look at the steps required to take your content from boring to soaring.
Step #1 - Cozy Up to Your Customers
The first thing you need to do is understand who your prospects are and what they want. Not all people are created equal so what works in your business may not work in mine and vice versa.
The best way to figure out what people want, content-wise, is to look at your current content systems and figure out which is performing the best. For some of you, that may be your blog or your newsletter whereas other people may see more success on social media.
Jot the following platforms down on a sheet of paper and rank them in order of most engaged to least engaged:
- eBooks / eGuides
- Social writing sites like LinkedIn Posts, Quora or Medium
The second best way to figure out what works is to survey your audience. You can use a tool, like Survey Monkey, to craft a quick and easy survey to share with your list and your social media networks. Keep the survey short and sweet and ask questions like, “Where do you do most of your online content consumption?” or “Where do you spend most of your time online?”
Understanding your prospect’s behaviors, and their preferred consumption style, will help you to narrow your efforts in on what works.
Step #2 - Determine Your Own Level of Commitment
Creating content is hard work and is incredibly time consuming. Since we can’t create content for every platform, every day and maintain a high degree of quality, we need to be much more selective about where we spend our time.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many hours can I, realistically speaking, put into content creation?
- Which mediums are the easiest for me to create content for?
- What am I willing, and able, to create on a regular schedule?
Because consistency is key in content marketing, the most effective content to share is the one that you will consistently create. Consistency is how you build trust with your potential clients and generate the connections necessary for business.
Step #3 - Figure Out Your Posting Schedule
Once you know the platform you’re going to create for, based on your prospect’s preferences, and you’ve created a schedule that you can easily commit to, the next step is to jot down a posting schedule so that you can stick to it.
In most cases, a weekly schedule works best for most people (i.e.: 1 blog post per week, 1 newsletter per week, 5 social media updates per week, etc.) but you need to find the balance that works for you.
Prioritize your weekly content schedule so your potential clients get in the habit of hearing from you — and get excited about what you are sharing!
One of the ways to get them excited is to ensure that your content is valuable, inspiring, relevant, actionable and specific (VIRAS). We’ll dive deeper into VIRAS in a future post.
Step #4 - Determine Your Content Focus
Riddle me this: what are the top 5 struggles your perfect-fit clients have right now? Those five solutions are a great place to start with content creation.
If you are just beginning to create a content strategy, you may need to get a high level overview of your existing content. Run everything through the VIRAS test and eliminate anything that is off-brand or irrelevant to your current work.
Then look at your products and services - what are the results that your clients and customers have received from your signature offers? Divide those results into how-to articles and create content that walks them through the process of getting those results.
We’ll explore the best ways to share content, without feeling like you’re giving away too much, in a future post but to help you start your content planning process, I have a helpful tool that you can download and start using today.
Helpful Tool: Content Topic + Title Planner
This free, downloadable PDF will help you to lay out your content ideas and sort them into helpful topics and categories as well as line-up the best call-to-action for each and the overall purpose for each piece of content you create.
As we move through our future content creation posts, you can use this planner to fine-tune and perfect your content strategy and get even clearer about who your audience is, what they want and what you can deliver to them.
Questions + Taking It Further
If you have any questions about the first four steps, please leave them as a comment below or pop on over to join the discussion in the Kula, an incredible group of Conscious Female Entrepreneurs.
Soon, I’ll be sharing more steps in the content strategy process that will help you to get even more clear about what your audience needs and how to deliver it to them in a way that converts prospects to clients.