You Have To Go For The Ask!

Content is king! At least that's what we're told. It's often touted that if we produce a bunch of high quality content and distribute it effectively then we will bring in as many customers as we need, develop a following and produce awareness around our brand.

You work hard producing blog posts, taking pictures, creating entertaining and educational videos and post them to all your social networks. Maybe you even promote that content well across your networks and get it in front of a ton of people. This is often a process you work on for months and months with lots of late nights trying to think up good stuff.

But then the unthinkable don't get a ton of return or no return at all on what you're producing and you just can't seem to figure out why with all the work you're doing to make your content so great. Our first thought in this scenario is that a content driven strategy just doesn't work for your business or that you have no idea what you're doing and need help.

Now take a step back and think about what you've produced. Out of all the educational, motivational and downright awesome stuff you produce at no point did you actually ask the people following your brand to come in and try your product or service out. People are very process oriented and will do what those that they trust tell them to do or ask them to do.

Working to develop the following and building trust around your brand is one of the steps in the process, but we can't forget that once we build up a solid relationship it's okay to ask people to come in and try out what you have or to buy your products or services.

It doesn't even have to be sales oriented copy in your ask. You can put something like:

We ❤️ you Reno! Let's get together with a free 1-on-1 introductory training session!

This is simple, friendly and continues to build the culture around what you offer. It takes the consumer out of the typical sales transaction and into a warm fuzzy feeling about you and what you offer.

While it's true that content is the most important aspect to building a recognizable brand and developing awareness around that brand.

Now you can't ask every day or it'll get old and you will lose trust with your consumers for being too "salesy". Every business is different and the best way to get an idea of when you should go for the ask is to do it after you put out different pieces of content.

Maybe you ask after three pieces one time, five pieces another time, seven the next and so on. Once you've done this for a bit you can get a feel for how often is too often and what is just right!

I'd say a good average would be after 3-4 pieces of really good content. You'll want to ask the same audience that you gave the great content to!

Remember content is gold, but you have to go in for the ask every so often or you'll never get any business!

Getting Your Content Out There!

In marketing today it's common to be told you need to utilize an inbound strategy to build up trust with your audience in order to show them that what you offer is a good fit for them.

The inbound strategy focuses on a few key aspects to get information to consumers. One of them being production of content in several different forms. In this blog post we're going to be talking about how you should distribute your content in order to get it in front of as many people as possible.

Your videos should be placed directly on Facebook and YouTube, blog posts should live in your blog and if possible you should work to guest blog for as many people as possible.

Now we have a bunch of content, but we want to get it in front of your network of people. You want to share your videos and blogs posts to each of the networks they are not already on.

Blog posts should be shared to Facebook (via their instant articles format if possible), Instagram by placing the link to the article in your bio, Snapchat by putting a simple URL in the text field and asking people to screenshot it and by emailing it out to your list of people who have opted in to receive information from you.

Videos are going to operate in much the same way. They go directly to Facebook to maximize reach and YouTube to gather a following on that platform. Facebook will give you significantly less reach for sharing a YouTube link to Facebook so this is why we do not just post on YouTube only.

Sharing videos is done similar to what we did for blogs. For Instagram I'll usually alternate sharing my Facebook and YouTube links for videos and the same with Snapchat.

We should also look at a repurposing strategy for content. This is a huge timesaver and a way to maximize the ability to use your content and to put it in front of as many people as possible in the different ways they consume content. Think about the ways people learn, listen and evolve:

  • Some people listen
  • Some people watch
  • Some people read

Our goal is to put out enough content to make sure we capture all these segments and the different ways people learn and consume.

Repurposing is simply using content in different ways. For example if you make a video you turn that video into a blog post, then turn that blog post into a podcast, turn that podcast into several different quotes you can place on pictures.

If you did a weekly video podcast you could essentially take bits and pieces of that podcast and repurpose it to make several different pieces of content that you can use to market your business.

Your goal with all of this is to build up a base of subscribers in all your different platforms to ensure you have a varied base and are not depending on one platform for everything in your marketing efforts.

Ultimately email will be your primary driver for follow ups as you will have the most potential for reach and follow up.

Creating A Content Calendar

One of the hardest things to do when creating content is to organize what you need to produce and then putting that into a workable calendar. With this post I'm hoping to give you a bit of insight on how you can successfully create your own and as a result get organized and start regularly producing good quality content. 

First off you're probably wondering why content is important and you might even be wondering what content actually consists of.

The reason content is important in our marketing is because we have to establish a certain level of trust with the consumer before they will buy our products. Gone are the days when we could put up an ad with a cheesy sales page and generate leads from cold traffic. In fact it often takes 5-8 exposures to your content before the consumer will convert.

In today's market we have to show that we offer value in our products before the consumer will trust us enough to come in and see us. We develop this trust via content that showcases how our products or services can help people live their lives a little bit better or solve some sort of pain point. 

Content actually consists of pictures, videos and blog posts to name a few. These are all ways to showcase the unique aspects behind your products or services and you should be using a combination of all of them for optimal results. Sometimes you have to put yourself in the consumers shoes and ask yourself. What is the customer looking to fix specifically? What kind of pain are they experiencing? From the answers to these questions you should reverse engineer your content to help solve these pain points.  

 Now in order to build an effective content calendar we need to understand our industry and what makes the most sense to reach the largest amount of people. I recommend creating a content calendar monthly. This way you can evaluate the next months content and be prepared for events or anything special you need to include for the next month. 

Start creating your content calendar by mapping out how many pieces you'd like to produce per week. For starters I would go for 7 posts per week focusing on two videos, two blogs and three pictures per week. These pieces should be focused on providing helpful tips and strategies and showcasing your business in action. It's especially important to showcase your staff and customers as it builds a human side to your brand. Shoot for at least 1000 words on your blogs, keep videos anywhere from 1-3 minutes and always include your logo on pictures.

When you start to build a larger audience and are consistently getting a good amount of exposure to your content pieces it might be a good idea to bump up to 9 posts per week and finally 15 posts per week when you've really grown and are getting a ton of engagement!  

An example of a content calendar would be  

  • Monday Motivation  
  • Tuesday Tips  
  • Wednesday Recipe Day  
  • Thursday Insiders showcase  
  • Friday Customer Showcase  
  • Saturday a compilation of the week  

Once you've nailed down what you're going to post you'll need to pick the specific days to post it on your blog and respective social media networks. To get an idea of when people are online you can check your google analytics and Facebook analytics. It will show you when the largest amount of people are online everyday. Post your content on those times to maximize exposure. 

Finally set a date each month with your staff to go over your new content and to build a calendar for the next month. The more your team is utilized the more good ideas will come about and the more interesting your content will be! 

There is one tool I really like to utilize for putting your content together and placing it into a calendar with a due date to be posted. That tool is an app called Trello and I highly recommend organizing your content calendar with it! 

Now get out there and create some beautiful content and content calendars to wow your future customers and to build the trust and bond that they need to be comfortable with your business!



The Business Of Listening!

How many times have you actively listened to your customers and really tried to understand what they are thinking and why they think that way?

One of the most impactful ways to reach people is to listen to what they are saying and creating a plan of action based around exactly what they want.

When people aren't that interested in what you're selling it's important to figure out why and from that why you develop an understanding of how you can improve to truly "speak" to them to capture their attention.

Marketing in the past was all about just getting your brand in front of people as often as possible in hopes that people will be so inundated with your brand it'll be the one they think of when they need a solution. This was something only very large businesses with extremely high media budgets could do.

Today while brand awareness is still incredibly important and should be a major part of any marketing campaign it is not as difficult or as expensive to get your brand out there and available to the consumer as it once was.

With the advent of social media there are a million ways that are very inexpensive to showcase that you do listen and that you do understand what the consumer wants. This makes it very easy for them to begin to develop a relationship with your brand as they follow the journey your brand takes them on.

The way we begin to understand what they want is to send out surveys via email asking questions about

  • Why they came to you
  • How they felt beforehand
  • What were they looking for
  • Where did they look for a solution
  • How they feel now
  • If they tried a competitor and how your brand makes them feel different
  • What would they improve and how would they improve it

It's even better if you can sit down with people and ask them these questions in a 1-on-1 environment. You'll get a MUCH better and much more sincere response this way.

From the answers to these questions you can construct a persona of your ideal buyer type and from that you can reverse engineer your marketing strategy to focus on attracting that ideal buyer and ultimately bring in the EXACT clients you want in your business and who are looking for exactly what you have to offer.

It's much easier to sell your products to the right people who actually need them if you've already set a baseline for who walks in your door before they even step foot in your facility or head over to your website.

They should walk into your business saying that they feel like you were speaking right to them before they even contacted you due to everything they've read and seen from your brand.

By listening we can develop a strategy focused on who IS actually buying our products and WHY they are buying them. It's not a guessing game if you have real actionable information from people who already use your products.