I know that creating content for your business is time-consuming. Maybe sitting down to create your next blog post or podcast episode is one big brain block for you because you don’t know what to talk about. And so you don’t.
Besides, you get plenty of clients from networking and referrals. You “don’t need” content anyway.
Think again. Eventually, those referral and networking sources will dry up because you’ll get busier and either slow down networking or have looser connections who need more than someone’s word to make a decision to book a discovery call with you.
You need content.
This week on the podcast, I’m sharing some of the benefits of creating content for your audience and potential clients. Having regular, consistent content can truly change your business for the better.
Mentioned in This Episode Podcast
Welcome to episode 220 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 that they want to hear, 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, content strategist and podcast 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.
There’s a lot of resistance these days to stop producing content. There’s SO much out there already, what more could you possibly say about a given topic? That and it’s time-consuming and can get expensive if you’re hiring it out. There’s not enough time to consume what’s out there, so why should we mess with creating more?
I get it. Every podcast episode I publish takes several hours to produce, from ideation to research to outlining or scripting, interviewing the guest if it’s a guest episode, editing, show notes, promotion, and more. And other content, like blogging, creating YouTube videos, publishing on social media, and email marketing– it’s time-consuming too.
I’m not trying to scare anyone. The opposite, in fact. Because even though it can be expensive, both financially and time-wise, creating content for your business is incredibly important.
Even if you rely on referrals and networking for most or all of your business. Even if you think your ideal clients don’t have time to consume your content.
Let me explain.
Let’s walk through a typical cycle that a prospective client walks through before they give you their money. We’ll pretend it’s me. That I’m the prospect.
I realize a need for a specific service. You offer that service. Maybe you and I are in a networking group together, or maybe we’ve crossed paths before because of mutual connections. But in the end, let’s say that I know your name and I have a casual idea of what you do.
Because it’s only a casual idea, I don’t actually know that you could help me. And let’s face it, much of the time the people we’re connecting with online? We really only know the surface of what they can do.
As I’m looking to have my needs filled, I start doing some searching around in my networks. I ask around, do some Googling, look through my LinkedIn contacts and the people I’m following on Instagram. Because I value connection, and I want to find someone who I might have had a previous connection with to fill my needs. Connection is important.
I come across your name, so I start doing some mile internet stalking. I look at your LinkedIn profile and look to see what you’ve posted there lately. You’ve shared someone else’s posts a few times, no original content of your own, and your About section reads dry, like a resume. So I go to Instagram and hope for more ideas about what you believe in and how you support clients. And what, exactly, it is that you do for them.
When I get to Instagram, I see a bio with your title. Doesn’t tell me much. And I see a few posts that look promising. But they’re just static posts from when you were on that summit in 2021 or shared a family vacation pic last year. Sure, these are important, but again…I have no idea what you stand for and whether you’re even excited about working with clients. I do some more scrolling and find a bunch of client testimonial posts. Again, important, but I don’t see YOU in this.
I decide to give you one last chance and Google your website. (And I have to Google it because you don’t have a link to it on your LinkedIn profile or Instagram account.) Your website fares much better, because I can find a recent photo of you, and I see your services and some personality. Awesome.
But that’s it. No thought leadership content in the form of blogs or videos. There’s no podcast, and no links to podcasts you’ve been on. Really nothing that speaks to ideas around your expertise. I have no doubt that you’re an expert, but I want to know more about your thoughts and beliefs, what lights you up, what pisses you off, what you’re really passionate about in your industry.
Because there’s no real content on your website…or anywhere, really…I don’t truly know who you are.
Do we have similar belief systems? Are our values aligned? What about our personalities?
You might have your values listed on your website and the design and feel will tell me a little bit about your personality. But I won’t truly know unless I can consume some of your content.
So in my example where I’m doing some internet stalking of you to find out more about you? About 10 minutes after I start my search, I’m done and I’ve moved on to someone else.
I have no idea who you are, what you do, and how you support your clients. Even if you say it in a one-liner on your website or a static social media post.
You have no content to help me really understand you and your business.
I don’t have time to dig deeper, nor should I have to. And even if you rely on networking and referrals to bring on new clients, they will STILL want to look deeper into who you are by checking you out online.
I do this before making a decision to book a call with someone. Do you do that, too? If you’re doing that, chances are pretty good that your ideal client is doing that too.
Now I’m all about simplifying things and I know that a lot of business owners are trying to scale back their content creation to focus on other things. But honestly, I don’t know why. Content tells us who you are, what you do, how you solve problems for clients, what you’re passionate about, and so much more. And it doesn’t have to take a ton of time. It’s okay to focus on the minimum AND still showcase your thought leadership. You can hire someone to help AND still let your own voice be heard.
So what content do you need to make sure people have a way to find out more about you, what you do, and how you solve problems for your clients?
Publish a podcast once a week.
Write a blog every other week.
Get ACTIVE on social media, which means you’re organically posting on social media AND staying there to comment on other people’s content too. (Don’t forget to check your direct messages regularly too!)
Get on video on social media. Instagram stories, Reels, LinkedIn Live. Making YOU visible is a great way to help others get to know you on a deeper level.
Maybe early in your business you built some connections and referral partners who would send new clients to you, allowing you some quick business growth.
Your current and former clients are probably really great resources for new potential clients too!
But times when we can rely on referrals only? Those are long gone.
Yes, you 100% need those networking connections and those biz besties to refer you. Absolutely. But you need something that those connections can refer to when they’re looking to hire someone with your expertise.
Content helps you to showcase your expertise and educate people. It’s not about just talking about what you do; it’s about sharing the why and even the how.
Content gives potential clients some perspective on your belief systems as it relates to your industry so they can decide if you’re someone they’d like to work with. (And you get to decide this too, when you get on that discovery call).
Content shows people that yes, you’re still in business, because you’re online and showing up consistently.
Content educates your audience, which is especially important if you need new clients to have a certain mindset or be at a certain level before you work together.
And, in my opinion, and this might be an unpopular one, content shows your followers (and potential followers) that you have tenacity and grit. That you can and will stick with something. We all hopefully know that content and marketing is about visibility, not sales. So it feels really thankless for a long time.
But I promise you that it works. That there are people out there following you, looking at your content, who have probably been doing so for years. They haven’t bought from you yet. But maybe they will someday.
Just like I know there are people listening to this episode who have been listening for a long time. And I don’t know who those people are, until they reach out and tell me. (And by the way, one of my absolute favorite things is when I get an email or direct message from someone who has been listening and they share their favorite episode or takeaway with me. I just love that. That was a shameless plug for you to reach out to me, by the way!)
So at the end of the day, content is incredibly important for your business. It could mean the difference between someone hiring you or not.
If you haven’t been publishing content consistently in your business, it’s time to start. And I can help. Because you do NOT have to do it all yourself.
At The Content Experiment, we help clients create a content strategy that aligns with their business goals, and we can also help with full service implementation to act as your fractional marketing department. To tie all the pieces of your content, marketing, and visibility together without you having to keep track of it all.
Let’s talk about what that might look like for you. Book a free Quick Chat with me at thecontentexperiment.com/chat.
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. Tag me at thecontentexperiment. Or head over to LinkedIn and connect with me. Be sure to tell me you found me on the podcast when you send the connection invite! The more you share this podcast with others, the more we can get it into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.