Marketing can feel like a struggle for even the savviest of business owners. You start off DIYing it, then business gets busy and you let it slide. Eventually, business slows down and you know you need to get back to marketing.
In an effort to stay on top of content and marketing, many business owners hire support. And that’s great for consistency, but not so great for cohesion. With too many people managing different pieces of the marketing puzzle and the CEO managing the people, often messaging gets muddled and the whole thing feels disjointed.
The piece that’s missing is one person to oversee it all, to make sure the content is being created, the opportunities are being pitched, and all the automations and offers are firing at just the right time.
I re-learned this lesson over the course of 2022 and I want to share with you why this is an important part of doing business.
Mentioned in This Episode Podcast
Welcome to episode 214 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for service-driven business owners who know that content is important but there’s so much more to marketing and business growth.
Here we talk about showing up for your audience in a way that they want to hear and in a way that’s sustainable for you. This might mean publishing a weekly podcast or blog, but it also means paying attention to your email list, leveraging other people’s audiences, building relationships, and getting over the limiting mindsets that often hit when we’re reaching for the next level in our business.
I’m Abby Herman, marketing strategist and content manager for business owners who want to make their marketing feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. I’ll show you how OR do it for you, while you do business in a way that works for you–I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself.
Let’s make 2023 YOUR year.
WELCOME to 2023. I can hardly believe it. I’m recording this in mid-December 2022 after a lot of prepping for some time away. If you’re listening to this in real time, I’m currently traveling back home and getting ready to jump back into work after some time away.
I hope that, like me, you spent some time reflecting on last year and looking forward to a new year ahead. I’m definitely looking forward to all the possibilities this year.
I know that 2022 was a difficult year for a lot of business owners. With the economy out of whack, I saw a lot of people in this online, service-based space contract. People were nervous about spending money, wanting to hold onto their cash because it felt safe.
And I get it! Unfortunately, marketing budgets tend to be among the first to go when a business is trying to save money. That means, yep. We lost some clients due to that pulling back.
As a result, I pulled back too. I took back some of the client work that previously a contractor or employee had been doing. That left me less time to do business development and my own marketing.
It’s a vicious cycle and one that I’m pulling out of in 2023. Especially because, in these last few months, I’ve brought on some new clients who are also equally excited about the opportunities!
But that also means that I need to practice what I preach. And what I preach is that simply publishing a podcast (or a blog or a YouTube video) consistently is not a marketing plan. Or even a content plan. There’s so much more that needs to happen if you’re going to stay top of mind and visible to your audience. There’s more work involved in sharing your message so you can help more people and grow or sustain your business.
This is something I’ve been talking about forever. You’ll find numerous podcast episodes in our archives talking about other ways to get your message out to your people. But last year, when I made a shift to podcast management, I let go of so many of the other things that I KNOW businesses need. Because I was experimenting with really niching down and providing ONE primary service.
But when people are hiring out their podcast management because they want to record and go, often the other parts of their marketing plan get pushed to the side or feel disconnected because it’s inconsistent or being handled by someone else in the business.
My point is that a business whose marketing consists solely of publishing pillar content is going to struggle, or just failed to grow as the cost of business (and just simply living) continues to rise. And hey, I’m guilty too.
The reason behind publishing pillar content like your podcast, blog, or YouTube videos, is to nurture and educate the people who are already IN your audience. But publishing pillar content is no longer the way to FIND or GROW an audience. Not by a long shot.
So I spent 2022 in experiment mode, acting as podcast manager for clients and helping them get incredibly consistent with their workflows and their content. But just like when I shifted from blogging to content strategy years ago, I knew there was so much more to the marketing piece.
There needed to be a streamlined system that operated around all the content:
Blogs and podcasts, video, opt-ins, landing pages, podcast guesting, leveraging other people’s audiences, digital product promotion, and more. I felt disconnected from the other parts of my clients’ businesses and marketing because I put myself in a box.
And I saw this everywhere, with people who were self-producing their podcasts and other content, people who were making shifts in their businesses, and people who, like me, work in the digital marketing industry. None of us was or is alone. Pieces of the marketing puzzle feeling really disjointed for everyone because the CEO didn’t have the time or desire to take it on and multiple contractors trying to put the pieces together but no one really taking ownership.
The irony is that we need to do the marketing so we can attract the clients whose work pays the bills. But that client work was taking precedence over everything else. And again, this happened to me, too. In an effort to maintain business at a certain level, I failed to do a lot of the marketing needed inside my own business.
Midway through the year, a long-term client of mine announced that she was looking for a part time marketing director to help do some of the things that would help her be more visible. She was ready to let go of it and hand the reins over to someone else. I immediately expressed my interest in the role and a few weeks later I was in that role.
But when she asked me why I wanted a role like that, since I had only been working in content strategy and development for her up to that point, I told her:
Every day, I see ways I can support my clients outside of podcast management and content development. But there’s a scope of work that we’ve agreed to. And while I can offer suggestions all day long, I know there’s a limit to their time and budget. It’s true for everyone.
THIS was an opportunity to put into action all the things that I want to be able to do for clients, but that I’m not currently.
With this client, we’re still doing the regular content strategy and development. But the really exciting part is that we’re doing SO much more. And as a fractional marketing director, I get to do all the things that I know her business needs to thrive:
Develop assignment selling videos and sequences to educate prospects before they book a call with the team
Create processes to build engagement in her group program
Launch digital products that lead into her other offers
Support the redevelopment of the website for a better user experience
Regularly review and update the email sequences and automations that keep prospects engaged behind the scenes
Develop opportunities for potential audience members to join the email list through high-level opt-ins and free trainings
Support the efforts of the SEO team to bring more organic traffic to the website
Identify opportunities to get in front of other people’s audiences – and act on them through pitches and other connection opportunities
I could go on and on, because there truly are so many opportunities to grow your visibility and nurture your prospects, clients, and followers. If only you had the time to do it.
In 2023, here at The Content Experiment, we’re going to shift back to marketing strategy and create opportunities to be of MORE support to you and our clients.
YES, we’re still doing content strategy and content development. Yes, we’re still doing podcast management. Because these are the vehicles to get the message out to current audience members. But we’re adding in and back all the other things that are necessary when it comes to marketing your business.
Some might say, well now you’re no longer specializing. And while yes, our services are expanding, who we serve remains niched:
We help business owners who support other business owners make their money, mindset, and health better. That means we work with B2Bs who support other businesses with money, mindset, and their health and fitness.
And we act as your fractional maketing team, because not only do you get the marketing strategy and support, you also get the content development and implementation you need.
We’re working with fewer clients in 2023, but on a bigger scale. We’re working with clients who have been hiring out various pieces of their content and marketing but who are ready for someone to take it under one roof so they have fewer points of contact and more action with less direct time from the CEO. Or maybe they’re ready to take their marketing to the next stage, because they’re growing and thriving and are ready to let go of having to handle all the content development and marketing strategy themselves.
It’s SO important to do more than simply publish your content. What you do to market your business can make or break your year. It’s time to do more than simply publish your content.
If you’re interested in finding out what this might look like for you (because, as always, every business and every business owner is different), let’s talk. We can create a strategy for you in a 1:1 VIP session OR you can put us to work creating and implementing the plan for you.
Go to thecontentexperiment.com/chat to book a quick chat with me to find out more.
If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. Or connect with me and Cara on LinkedIn and let us know your biggest takeaway from this episode. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the earbuds of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.