I’ll let you in on a secret. All this time we’ve been telling you how creating valuable content will win you more clients, but that’s not its real super power. In fact, if you get your content really spot on it may well attract fewer clients. That’s the secret.
Fewer? Yes, but the right ones. Let me explain.
Valuable content as a filter, not just a magnet
In recent years, content marketing has been seen by many as a fantastic way to get your message out to as many people as possible. Businesses saw viral video as the holy grail of marketing success – your message being seen by millions, without having to pay huge advertising budget prices. Content marketing and social media is stretching the potential reach for your message far beyond what was possible five years ago. Write something now and it could be read all over the world in the next five minutes.
The possibilities are intoxicating, but the trouble is, the world’s got rather drunk on them.
We’re living in an era of information overload, vying for space in jam packed social media platforms, and trying to get noticed amidst the clamouring noise of everybody trying to speak to everybody else. The party’s so crowded these days, you really need to find your people or it becomes a joyless and unrewarding experience.
Social media has changed for us. Twitter has stopped being a place where we seek out conversations with strangers, to somewhere we sneak off to chat in a corner with friends.
Smart businesses are finding ways to cut through the noise too. Selectivity is the order of the day. Forget about getting your message out to the world, instead train a laser sharp focus on the people you really want to connect with. You might say, there’s nothing new in that. But the smartest businesses are setting their sights tighter and sharper then ever before.
It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Two businesses making the focus much tighter
I interviewed the fabulous Doug Kessler at Velocity recently, and his comments underlined this approach. Since Velocity began using a psychographic approach to content (appealing directly to people’s values and opinions, rather than ages and job titles) they’ve attracted the types of people they want to work with, not just any old big B2B businesses who want to do content marketing. They’ve deliberately made their content ambitious, confident and powerful to draw in the kind of confident, ambitious and powerful people that they love to work with. And it does the trick. (More coming soon from Doug. Watch this space.)
Digital marketing guru Chris Brogan’s recent blog The Single Most Effective Change I Made to My Digital Presence struck a similar note.
‘The biggest change I made to my digital presence is that I stopped trying to please everyone and I started serving the very specific community I’ve had the pleasure to serve.”
Making the focus much tighter – Chris is on a mission to find his freaks – has been the single most effective change he’s made.
That’s the way we’re feeling too. In this age of information overload we’re seeking out the people we really click with.
Who we’re focusing on at Valuable Content
Here at Valuable Content we’re not looking for dozens of new clients. Right now, we’re saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’. We’re after five new clients this year, that’s all.
- Five fascinating independent businesses looking to disrupt the way things are done.
- Five passionate business owners who want to change the world a bit (or their part of it.)
- Five fired up marketing teams who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work with us for the long term to create the best and most compelling content that will drive their business to the next level.
We’re not looking for huge growth, we don’t want to become a content farm – we want to enjoy doing great work with good people. We want to make a difference that matters.
Content-wise, it means we’re writing with very specific people in mind. That’s the advice we’ve always given, but we know them even better now. From their views on W1A (they’d love it BTW) to the filling in their sandwich!
Find your people
Don’t be scared to exclude some people with your content, or your approach. You know that you can’t please all of the people all of the time – but you need the confidence to believe that the right people will like it. Getting it right demands a mix of focus and attitude. A belief in what you’re selling, and a deep understanding of the people you genuinely want to help – get that right, and you can use your content to find the right clients.
This isn’t new – it’s a change in emphasis, not a change in approach. Use your content as a filter, not just a magnet. That’s the real super power of valuable content.
And Happy Easter – we hope you get to enjoy some sunshine and time with the people you love!