Jeremy was feeling stuck. He created a website, sent around some social media posts, and attended some networking meetings. He was getting inquiries here and there, but so far they were not turning into clients.
Jeremy was tempted to sign up for a six-month coaching program. But he also found himself reading articles about mindset shifts. And then his inbox started filling up with offers to teach him how to use social media.
It’s tempting to throw cash at a business problem — a big program or a series of small offers that add up to thousands of dollars. Sometimes these investments bring great success; other times they just lead to great frustration and an emptier bank account.
Escape the stuck place by creating provocative content.
“A good rule for a tough marketing challenge is, “When in doubt, write!” Simply creating more content will give you an edge. When I created my first site I didn’t know any marketing rules. I just wrote … and wrote some more. And I got traffic.
Writing fills many functions. For instance:
- As you write your sales letter, you’ll get a clearer idea of what you’re offering. Often a brilliant-sounding idea doesn’t hold up when you try tried to tease out the benefits.
- Writing a blog post can help clarify your ideas.
- Telling a story from your customer’s perspective — the client’s backstory — will lead to stronger copy that resonates with your target audience.
Talking about your writing will help you dig into your marketing.
Often a single session with a copywriter will clarify your business challenges as you discuss your writing. Copywriters in particular develop a sixth sense for marketability. if your offers aren’t going anywhere, your sales letter needs to be shifted into higher gear … or you realize you need a totally different topic to make this work.
Here are 5 effective tips to write yourself out of a stuck place by creating content strategically.
(1) Creating content with a lead magnet (or a new one, if you’ve already got a giveaway). A lead magnet is a report, video or audio program that you offer as an ‘ethical bribe” to motivate website visitors to sign up for your subscriber list. For nearly every service business, growing your list will be critical.
As you create your lead magnet, begin with the title. You’ll be forced to think about what you target market really cares about – and that in turn forces you to ask two questions:
Are you in fact offering a service that your audience craves – something that solves a problem?
Does your website clearly demonstrate that you’re meeting these needs?
For instance, a website promises to “help you understand the way others interact with you.” That’s a potentially juicy benefit but you need to start with the problem it’s solving. Does your audience have difficulty with interactions in their personal relationships? On their jobs? With their own customers? How does this difficulty threaten to destroy their business, family or social life?
(2) Creating content with blog posts. Your blog helps you recognize whether you really enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re testing an idea, you discover whether you like this idea enough to sustain the offer on a long-time basis. When you start to lose enthusiasm – or realize your knowledge base isn’t quite as deep as it should be – often your first symptom will be bland, boring blog posts.
Even better, discover the benefits of guest posting
. Find blogs that target your audience but perhaps reach a broader following. Research the needs of the blog host. If they accept guest posts, offer to write one. You’ll get a bio at the end, with a link to the lead magnet you created in Step #1.
When you choose this tactic for list-building and exposure, take time to research the common practices your target blog host will expect. From the host’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than getting a blind email from a total stranger, offering a new blog post as if it were a precious gift, deserving of great gratitude.
(3) Experiment with at least one new way to create content. You can repurpose blog posts as PowerPoint videos and then turn your video into slide programs via SlideShare. You can even create webinars or podcasts. Just pick one and become an expert.
Content develops a new life of its own when you find a new way to create it. You’ll view your business differently and who knows? You may discover that your audience responds well to this new approach, because that’s what they’ve always wanted or because you’re creating a novelty effect.
Learning how to create better content tends to pay off in surprising ways: along the way you get a tighter grip on your target market and a clearer understanding of your niche.
(4) Experiment with at least one new style of creating content. If you’ve always written straightforward content, try storytelling. If you’ve written stories in the form of, “Once upon a time,” try dialogue. If your only story is your origin story or your rags-to-riches story, try a new plot.
Try writing with different voices. Try writing your message from different perspectives: as the authority figure or the “good friend.”
Just one caution: Be careful when you use humor. Humor has two potential pitfalls. First, it’s easily misunderstood; when you tell a joke in person, especially in a relaxed environment, you give listeners a context. This context will be lost when you present humor in writing, whether print or onscreen.
(5) Experiment with presenting your points graphically when you’re creating content. Browse through image websites to find graphics that symbolize your message or communicate your point. For instance, you can make a simple, reasonable-looking infographic at Piktochart or Canva. You can make it look even more professional with a designer, possibly someone from Fiverr.
Get even more creative …
“17 Surprising Ways To Use Storytelling To Grow Your Business” – FREE download here.
Over to you …
How have you discovered new insights into your marketing by writing a blog post, updating your website, or writing copy for a sales letter?