When you publish regularly, you might be super passionate about a certain topic, but that passion doesn’t guarantee you’re going to attract the right type of prospects for your business.
This often comes into play in the early stages of your business blogging and when you write your first marketing materials. Many new marketers get excited about a type of storyselling that doesn’t turn out to be engaging.
The type of writing I’m talking about is not necessarily a content marketing mistake, but it could slow you down.
How to get new customers faster
When you start a new business and want to get new customers, you’ll try to spread the word about what you do.
You might write content about why your business is important in attempt to convince someone to care about what you offer.
It makes sense that you’d want to produce these go-to publicity statements, and they can even help you become a likable expert in your niche. Again, nothing I’ve mentioned is a mistake.
But what happens next? Do you keep trying to convince people that what you do matters?
If you do, this approach can become limiting because you’re communicating with people who are not already interested in what your business offers.
They’re further away from making a purchase in your niche.
Meet prospects on the path to what you offer
To start diversifying your content, identify the people you want to attract.
When you do, you recognize that a lot of other people are never going to care about what you offer, no matter how excited you are about it … and that’s okay.
To move your business forward, you can produce educational content that demonstrates why you’re the best choice for your ideal prospect.
Your focus shifts to convincing someone who is already interested in what you do that choosing your business would be smarter than choosing your competition.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re a real estate photographer and Matterport technician who captures 3D virtual tours.
You’d shift from writing about why Matterport is important (the wrong prospects will never agree) to producing content that helps a realtor choose you over other photographers who produce virtual tours.
If your marketing materials only focus on why Matterport is a smart choice, you miss out on opportunities to speak directly to a real estate agent who is actively looking for someone to create a virtual tour of a property they need to sell.
That person already knows the benefits of Matterport. It’s your time to make your specific service stand out to get new customers faster.
I’m speaking from personal experience …
I learned this lesson about how to sell when I had my own writing and editing business.
My initial marketing materials were heavily focused on explaining the benefits of hiring a professional writer or editor for your business.
It was a reasonable place to start, but I didn’t experience a lot of growth until I started using my content marketing to speak to people who were already looking for a professional writer or editor.
Prospects who already knew the value of a professional writer or editor were easier to convert to clients.
When you don’t have to first convince them that they need what you offer, you eliminate an extra hurdle to get new customers faster.
My content’s job became to educate readers on editing tips for writers while showing them that I was the right person to hire if they needed extra help.
Try this quick positioning exercise
If you’re just getting started or looking to rebrand your business, write down the details that someone — who is actively looking for what you offer — needs to know to choose your product or service.
If they performed a side-by-side comparison of your product or service with one of your competitors, what would you want to show them?
What would persuade that person to forget about the other offers? How can you educate them on topics they care about to demonstrate your expertise and unique value?
Then, reference your notes when you create new, memorable content that forms deep connections with your audience members.
Differentiate to dominate
Content marketing takes time because building trust takes time.
But you can cultivate patience while you wait, and also take continual steps to get new customers faster.
Practice becoming crystal-clear about your prospects’ needs and how you can serve them.
There’s a difference between waiting and waiting in line.
Wait outside the lines.
Reader Comments (8)
Michael LaRocca says
This mirrors my experience exactly. I only focus on people who have already decided that the written word is vital to their credibility. You’ve probably seen many websites where that’s obviously not the case. I don’t know who does business with those proprietors, but it’s not me, and it’s not my ideal client. Life got a whole lot easier when I realized this,
Michael LaRocca says
(The preceding sentence fragment was brought to you by my cat’s tail.)
Stefanie Flaxman says
Apparently it’s unofficially cat week on Copyblogger. CC: Sonia 🙂
Ryan Biddulph says
For me Stefanie, I was so focused on fear and lack and worry about what I had to offer, and my worthiness in offering it, that I spent so much energy trying to convince folks versus simply helping them by solving their problems. How it works; the freemium leads to the premium. Or, I help someone for free via a blog post. That someone digs my content. So they buy an eBook, or buy my course, or grab an audio book or hire me, without any convincing on my part. The free content was all the convincing they needed, said content being helpful and specifically solving their problems.
Fab post 🙂
Stefanie Flaxman says
Very well put, Ryan!
When we focus on convincing, it’s about us; when we focus on helping, it’s about the audience. 🙂
Hi Stefanie, this is really good advice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve focused on telling people how many things my product will do when I should be focusing on how well my product works compared to my competitors products. I will definitely be taking this advice on board next time I need to write a marketing piece.
Stefanie Flaxman says
Yep, it happens to all of us! But it can be fun (and rewarding) when we start looking at our work from a new perspective. 🙂
David Howse says
Thank you. I’m sending this to my team now. Our website does well in converting but on a new page we rank #1 for in local has almost no conversions (yet is its our 5th most visited page in organic search). I’m going to implement this concept and let you know the results.
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