This article is for you if you are wondering what to include when you are creating content…
Election fever has started in earnest and personally, I hate it. The media frenzy around each party’s manifesto, as it gradually gets revealed, moves so quickly that if you skip the news just once you can miss finding out that the party you want to vote for has a plan to do something you don’t agree with at all.
I wish there were a more controlled, calm, thorough way to find out what each party stands for and how they compare. But unless you are prepared to spend hours pawing through and reading between the lines of the full manifesto, it doesn’t seem to be possible.
Even though it’s more or less impossible to learn all the details of what each party holds in store for us, there is one thing we can learn from the campaigns that are unfurling before our eyes, and that’s a marketing lesson.
In a world where anyone is a publisher and every business should be regularly creating content, whether that’s a consistent blog, video series, social media campaign or podcast – how the heck do you narrow down what you want to say to just a few pithy soundbites? What should you be saying and what should you leave out? How can you find out what your prospects need to hear in order to make the decision to buy from you?
Well, it’s simple my friend. Go back to the reason that you wanted to start your business in the first place; to serve your customers. Whenever you are creating content that you want your dream client to read, you should base it on information that will help them solve their problems.
The politicians do this really well. For example, at the time of writing, Teresa May is banging on about making fox hunting legal again. Wherever you stand on this contentious issue, it’s clear to me that Teresa has identified that a large part of her electorate has strong feelings about not being allowed to hunt foxes. As crazy as it seems, she’s identified who her client is, and that this as a real ‘problem’ for them, and she’s doing something to address it.
If you haven’t already worked out the ins, outs and ups and downs of who your ideal client really is then go back to this post. If you have, gold star! Now you need to create a list of all the problems that you help your customers to work through, and use that as a starting place for creating your content pieces.
Now, before you start panicking and thinking, “Hold on a minute, Pip, I’m not Claire Rayner! I’m not giving away all my best advice for free!” let me tell you this – no matter how much free information you put into your content, there’s always more to give and your customers know that. Demonstrating that you know the answer to one specific question is a brilliant way to build up your expert status as ‘the’ person to go to for answers in your particular field.
If you don’t believe me, check out the work of someone who does this BRILLIANTLY – Marie Forleo. On her weekly show she covers one of a huge range of problems that her ideal customer is facing in their life or their business. Her advice is priceless. Sometimes she even sets the content up so that the question comes direct from one of her viewers in a ‘problem page’ format.
What do you do if you don’t know your customers problems?
Research, baby, research.
Here are 3 ways you can research this TODAY! Right now, if you are so inclined:
- Go back through your enquiry forms, emails or discovery call recordings and dig out the juicy soundbites. Your prospect will be telling you what their problems are in these conversations. At the time you were probably too busy thinking: what do you need from me and can I deliver it? But now that the selling part is all over, you’ll find these conversations are a diamond mine for this information.
- Investigate social media platforms to find out what your ideal customers are asking questions about in groups or using hashtags on Twitter. When questions relating to your field are coming up over and over again, you’ve struck gold.
- Ask people. You’ve heard of this, right? Chatting to people? Pick up the phone to past and present clients and ask them what was the main problem or pain point they were facing when they first darkened your door. If you prefer to avoid face to face conversation as much as possible, you can use Survey Monkey to find this out instead. But you’ll get better detail and a more finely honed answer if you probe verbally (not a euphemism).
So here we go…..I’m doing it right now. What are your big marketing problems? What are your pain points in getting a marketing campaign off the ground? Please indulge me – chime in in the comments below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org