by Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. | Featured Contributor
“Marilyn” was feeling stuck. She created a website, sent around some social media posts, and attended some networking meetings. She was getting inquiries here and there, but so far they were not turning into clients.
“I’m not sure what to do next,” Marilyn said. “I’m wondering if I should sign up for a 6-month coaching program. Or work on my mindset. Or get this new course on social media.”
The truth is, for many of us, it’s tempting to throw cash at a business problem. We might buy a big program or a series of small offers that add up to thousands of dollars. We get new shiny software or graphics. Sometimes these investments bring great success; other times they just lead to great frustration and an emptier bank account.
Jumpstart Your Marketing By Creating 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 that led to my guideline …
When in doubt, write!
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 to tease out the benefits.
Discuss your writing.
Often a single session with a copywriter or writing consultant 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 my realize you need a new slant on this topic to make this work.
Here are 3 especially effective ways to write yourself out of a stuck place.
(1) Create 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:
1 – Are you in fact offering a service that your audience craves – something that solves a problem?
2 – 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 symptom of 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) Develop a WordPress blog and start posting entries. Your blog helps you recognize whether you really enjoy what you’re doing. You discover whether you like this topic 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 red flag will be bland, boring blog posts.
Even better, discover the benefits of guest posting. Find blogs that target your audience but reach a broader following. Research the needs of the blog hosts. 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 repackage. 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.
How have you discovered new insights into your marketing by writing a blog post, updating your website, or writing copy for a sales letter? Share them in the comments section below.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is a copywriter who helps solo-preneurs develop websites fast, so you establish a professional, authentic presence that attracts clients – your kind of clients! — without going crazy from overwhelm or draining your bank account with surprise fees. Visit Cathy’s website.