All of my suggestions keep reiterating one thing that seems highly counterintuitive – don’t ask for the sale. The old adage “always be closing” applies only when you’re in an actual sales situation, but our scenarios here center around non-sales situations. Creating the content marketing magnet is meant to create demand, not set the hook once they’re in your pond.
Get them in your pond first and these tactics will help you stock that pond in a way that seems almost unfair.
1. Answer specific questions your clients have had in a lengthy targeted blog post.
The cheapest way to bide your time yet build a bigger net to catch flies is content marketing. And some of the best ways to figure out what to blog about is giving yourself a thought exercise: “What questions do people I want to work with or for have about the services I offer?” It might be, “How much does XYZ cost?” or, “What’s the best way to choose a Plumber?” These get deeper as you go down the list of questions they might have.
Often these come easy—your real clients are asking questions. Answer them, then jot them down so you can remember to write about them later. It might be simple and easy to answer, but for people who don’t do what you do eight hours a day, they may appreciate light being shed on the issue in an in-depth blog post.
2. Connect with people in your prime demographic on social media, but only share value where their pain points would be—don’t ask for the sale.
So you’re creating valuable content that would appeal to your core demographic? Well, add some curation of other people’s content that will add value to your core demographic’s life as well, add in some funny, personal and life-affirming antics and you have yourself an effective social media presence. Don’t shy away from sharing your quirky self (unless your quirky self hurts animals), and be wary of asking for value from others – focus on giving rather than getting on social media or pay the penalty of being seen as a spammy jerk.
Don’t worry though, social isn’t about immediate ROI. It’s about brand recognition and being part of the community—sharing your own and others’ useful or entertaining content. Keep this in mind, and the leads will come in. You just won’t always know they checked out your social media presence first.
3. Give away a deep level of educational value, i.e., videos, checklists and targeted guides,that draws them into your educational grip.
The slow spiraling descent into your spider trap! Muahahahaha! You can educate and inform users with tools that enable people to do the types of skills you’re selling. If the tools, templates or videos are in the same vein as your end service, don’t be scared, these users will just do a job themselves. You know from experience that what you do takes years to master, and if you’re confident in what you do, tools and templates allow you to be in front of people right when they’re trying to figure out whether they should do it themselves or buy in to another solution.
4. Connect with and work to interview three ideal clients (with absolutely no selling involved) about what they need for services like yours for a piece of content.
Don’t be shy, get your LinkedIn fingers ready, and connect with some new people—but NOT just so you can sell them stuff. So that you can give a little in-person or over the phone interview learning about what you could do to give the most value possible.
Generally people will be flattered if you let them know you’re going to share the interview online in an article. You can also do this with other experts in your industry and this is enormous from an SEO perspective, as people love to share articles they were part of.
5. One little way to set the hook—PPC remarketing. Once someone comes onto your site, target them again in Google Ad network or Facebook Ads.
Well, this is not just stocking the pond, but actually setting the hook. Once the people who can gain use from your content on your site visit that content, you can re-pitch to them in the form of Google display network ads around the internet or Facebook remarketing. Generally, remarketing is a very cost-effective way to get people who have at least displayed some interest in the type of content you provide and pitch your services.
Yes, this list is heavy on the content marketing because although I think PPC ads are wonderful, after you stop spending money, you stop getting return. The beautiful thing about well-done content is that is lingers years after it was created, thus attracting new business. If you have time or resources to generate content, aim for targeted content your prime demographic will actually need and “evergreen” content that will make sense a couple years from now and you’re golden.