True story… I received an email last week that began with, “Steve, I’ve been following you for a while now…” I didn’t know whether to be flattered… or scared!
As it turned out, it wasn’t me, exactly, that she was following (whew!)… it was my writing – my blog posts, articles and eBooks.
And over time, it grew the perception in her mind – and provided the proof – that I knew what I was talking about and that I might be able to help her. Guess what? That is exactly how content marketing is supposed to work for a professional services firm. (I love it when a plan comes together!)
But what, specifically, makes it work? I think it’s a combination of three things:
- The content itself. You may be an expert in a certain discipline, methodology or market segment, but if your target audience doesn’t care, then it really doesn’t matter what you write about. So, make sure you understand the needs/wants/challenges of your audience… and write about addressing them. Remember, your readers don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them.
- Frequency & consistency. It may be the most common question I get, “Steve, how often should we blog?” And here’s my non-committal answer, “As often as you can deliver it… as long as it’s helpful/beneficial/useful to the readers.” The bottom line is this… commit to a schedule you can stick to – and stick to it. And ‘more often’ is generally better than ‘less often’… but you can always start with ‘less often’ and add to it later.
- Exposure. Lastly, if you take the time to write a really good, impactful blog post or article, but no one reads it… then it has no value (to you or your audience). So, every time you create a new piece of content, make sure you’ve got a plan in place for promoting it. Social media, email marketing, PPC, including it in your email signature… whatever it is, just like your writing – commit to it and be consistent with it.
So, the next time someone comes up to you and says, “I’ve been following you,” tell them “Thanks!”