Cash is King, Content is Queen: How Professionals Can Leverage Content to Showcase Their Knowledge and Deepen Customer Relationships
If you are in business, than I am sure you have experienced the overwhelming flow of content aimed at teaching business owners how to run their businesses more effectively and efficiently. Content such as podcasts, blogs, magazine, journals and webinars, all make up a laundry list of resources available to the entrepreneur as he or she pursues success. The truth is, running a business, big or small, can be difficult. Starting the business is often times more difficult because people tend to struggle nailing down an idea they are confident in. Keep reading.
Joe Pulizzi, author of Content, Inc. says that "By focusing on building an audience first and defining product and services second, an entrepreneur can change the rules of the game and significantly increase the odds of financial and personal success." Joe goes on to say that he believes the best way to launch a business is to first create a system of attracting customers (often times by producing free informative content on a subject of your own expertise or interest) so that when you launch your product / service - it sells itself. He calls his noble concept Content, Inc. The medium and content is yours to choose and reveal to your audience... the "opportunities" are for your audience to choose and reveal to you.
What about those of you targeting your local geographical market - those providing products and services to communities near you. What does this mean? The good news is, this strategy does not change on a local level - it's actually amplified.
Dan Antonelli, CEO of Graphic D-signs and contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine gives five reasons why small businesses should participate in content marketing. I believe that his second reason is most important for this discussion.
"Number 2: Builds an identity as a trusted expert. If there are 10 plumbers in a town but only one provides helpful information that educates the community about plumbing maintenance, problems, options and innovations, that brand will stand out as the expert. By doing this, a brand is demonstrating its expertise, so prospective customers need not question or research its know-how. Since this small business is helping consumers without getting paid for this advice, it will also earn a reputation of being trustworthy."
Participating in content marketing provides free value to your customers. That free value elicits trust which boosts word of mouth marketing. To remain consistent with our example above; imagine the plumber writes an article about fixing leaky faucets. Someone in their local market runs across the article and shares it with a friend who has a leaky faucet. The chances of that person calling THAT plumber for the repair are far better than if the article had never been delivered. Think about sales people you have purchased from in the past... did you trust them? Exactly.
The medium and content is yours to choose and reveal to your audience... the "opportunities" are for your audience to choose and reveal to you.
Reece Theriot, MBA
“We were put on this Earth to love; by loving, we serve others; by serving others, we create value; by creating value, we form successful ventures; by forming successful ventures we contribute to the advancement of Creation which pleases the Creator.”