Important guest post by the super-knowledgeable Ian Brodie – delighted to welcome him back. Enjoy this!
Great content attracts great clients
It’s pretty much accepted wisdom these days that for a professional firm or sole practitioner wanting to establish credibility and win clients, great content needs to be the cornerstone of their strategy.
The reasons are obvious. A great article or whitepaper or video with useful information on the sorts of issues your clients struggle with will mark you out as an expert able to help them. You don’t just claim you’re an expert as so many do, you prove it.
And great content attracts great clients. The sort of people who will want to read your article or watch your video that shares insight on important client issues are the sort of people likely to have those issues and to want them solved. Chances are they could be a good potential client.
And sharing great content harnesses that powerful influence factor reciprocation too. You do something good for them in terms of giving them valuable content, and they’ll want to do something good for you. It may not stretch to immediately hiring you, but it’ll certainly stretch to meeting up with you or taking a call for a more in depth discussion.
So why isn’t all this enough?
Let’s look at a parallel in the world of dating. Producing great content is the equivalent of doing nice things for the person you’d like to hook up with. Sending them flowers or chocolates, taking them out to the cinema or for a nice meal.
All great stuff. And definitely something that will make them have nice warm feelings towards you.
But at some point they need to do something too.
It’s not really a relationship if all that happens is you give, give, give and they take, take, take. If it’s ever going to lead anywhere then they need to do nice things for you too.
Good relationships are always two-way streets.
And, of course, if you want someone to hire you, you don’t just need to build credibility. You need to build a relationship too.
Great content triggers action
So that’s why great content isn’t enough. It has to be engaging content too. It has to be content that will trigger action. Content that opens the door and invites your audience to do something nice for you. Content that leads to interaction and the beginnings of a two-way relationship.
Those actions don’t have to be big. As numerous psychological experiments have shown, if someone takes a small initial action, they’re much more likely to take a larger action consistent with the original one later.
So engaging content will pose questions and ask your audience to comment. Or perhaps take a survey. Or email you with a question or feedback. Or simply tweet about the article or share it.
A wise content marketer will then follow up on those actions their fledgling fans have taken (after all, if your date brings you chocolates you ought to encourage them by at least saying thank you).
Start a conversation
So don’t just leave the comments unanswered, begin a discussion. If you’re posting a guest articles on someone else’s blog, make sure you respond to any comments people make over there.
If people complete your survey, send them an unexpected thank you gift (perhaps some related content you don’t normally share). If they email you, pick up the conversation, reply and ask them a further question.
Monitor for mentions on social media – and when someone responds to your request to share your content thank them and ask what they thought of it.
Don’t just share, engage
In other words, don’t just share your great content, engage with your audience directly and begin to build the kind of relationship that will turn your readers into fans and fans into clients.
Ian Brodie is a consultant, blogger, and author of “5 Simple Marketing Tweaks That Will Get You More Clients” – the no-BS guide to attracting and winning more clients.
What do you think?
True to his advice, Ian will be watching the comments here to answer any questions and to help out with any further advice on going beyond great content.