Welcome to January, 2016! As promised, January kicks my brand-new free training format for 2016 and today is the launch. …
Because January’s training topic is CONTENT, more specifically, how to build an audience that’s rabidly stoked on the content you’re offering them, so much so that they want to share what you create and become lifers!
Content marketing is an area of expertise for me, and I love it! It’s crazy to even type this, but for the past two decades, I’ve been producing, strategizing procuring, aggregating, sharing and optimizing content. (I must have started when I was about seven-years-old :).
First, I wrangled content as a journalist for broad market general interest, business, travel and trade pubs in my core markets of focus for a decade. After that, I launched Verde Brand Communications (the only leading mar-comm agency in the active outdoor lifestyle market founded by journalists and storytellers). And most recently, I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs on branding, business and content marketing strategies with my coaching and community, the Intrepid Entrepreneur.
My goal is to funnel all of this content experience in the past 20 years straight to you this month. You’ll be getting insights, short cuts and the new best practices on how to win with content marketing in today’s digital direct era all through January, starting right here and now!
It’s important for you to know that I’m running a start-up, in addition to leading Verde. The Intrepid Entrepreneur is just entering its second full year of business in 2016. Meaning, I go through a lot of the same headaches you’re going through with content creation and optimization (getting eyeballs on said content). I’m just plain astounded at how long it can take to research and write a blog post, social posts, or website copy. And, it’s also astoundingly frustrating when the analytics on my content are a flat line. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen to me too often anymore, which is why I wanted to kick off my trainings with this topic. I want to save you the frustration.
In fact, this post brings you actionable tips, three of them!
At the very end of this post, you’ll see the link to sign up for my Content Masterclass webinar. Sign up early as I only have a limited number of seats available! Okay, on to the tips!
TIP NUMBER 1: Know Your Audience Intimately!
Your avatar is a fancy way of describing your target consumer. In today’s digital direct era, we do not want to be everything to everyone. All that accomplishes is making us great to absolutely NO ONE.
Instead of gunning for huge, expansive visibility, we work to be remarkable to just the right people (that’s from Ryan Holiday’s excellent book “Growth Hacker Marketing.”)
We have more tools available to us today than ever before to hone right in on our tribe. After you get to know your avatar, you’ll know exactly what their pain points are and you’ll be able to overlay exactly how your company can be a perfect solution.
Enter your information below to receive a free download for you to assess your avatar and business values. Complete these two worksheets and you’ll gain huge clarity on your business and your customers:
Part of learning the nuances of your avatar is the absolute gift of knowing hand-build the perfect platform to serve our avatar.
Your platform is defined as the places where your ideal avatar interacts with your content, or the points of entry for your brand and business.
In the old playbook, that was magazines, retailers and trade shows. In the new playbook, it’s your social media, your podcast, your books, your blog and website, your ambassadors, any online forums that you’re active in – and yes, retailers, magazines and trade shows.
You need to merchandise and furnish your platform online with awesome, compelling content regularly and consistently! Doing so makes your copy and content function as a digital sales person of sorts for what you offer. This sales person is on 24/7 and can have global reach. I use Co-Schedule, a fantastic automation and scheduling tool made just for content marketing in the digital era, and I highly recommend it! Here’s a link, check it out with a free trial.
TIP NUMBER 2: Make it ALL About Them!
Want your content to start working for you? Then make EVERY SINGLE PIECE of content you create a vehicle to transport your avatar from the ho-hum daily battle to www.awesomelife.com. That’s right, you need to make it 110% about THEM.
This is yet another reason why knowing your avatars’ preferences and nuances is so critically important.
Gaining insights on who you want to serve gives you the power to transport THESE folks to Planet Stoke, and they will look to you for this every single time you publish if you’re disciplined about doing just that.
I coach my entrepreneurs to make their avatar the hero or heroine in the brand storytelling they’re creating for their businesses. Think about some of your favorite hero archetypes in the movies and follow how they go from their dilemma or struggle and eventually work toward a successful outcome (Luke Skywalker anyone?).
TIP NUMBER 2: Help your ideal avatar with their “story”
Just like your ideal avatar, you have “stories” about what you need to solve your life’s biggest problems.
In fact, people buy products and services because they support who they want to be in their own minds. This quote from the Brand Strategy Insider lends more insight:
“People don’t just buy products and services. People buy the things that align with the stories that they tell themselves about their lives.”
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? 🙂
Yes, know your avatar supremely and then work your brand and product storytelling into a key supporting player in who they want to become.
If you do this well, your avatar will literally be scratching his or her head wondering how you’re finishing their sentences. This takes research. I coach my entrepreneurs to sit down with a past client who could very well represent your avatar. Ask them how they found you, what got them hooked to buy from you and work with you. Also, ask them how your product or service solved their problem. While you’re interviewing them, pay very close attention to the exact words THEY use to describe their experience of working with you. Capture these words and use them in your copy! And while you’re at it, ask this person for a testimonial (and include video or at least their headshot). This is a great way for a potential customer to better identify with who you serve, and a fantastic way to offer proof of concept that what you offer works!
Of course, your products and services must deliver to truly build trust. You never want to be something other than what you really are in your copy (or promise things you can’t deliver on).
Focus on knowing exactly how what you provide dovetails to solve your avatar’s problems in your content, and you’ll be well on your way to having content that converts and creates lifers!
This is a lot, I know. … Keep in mind that I’ll be covering this more in my FREE webinar this month, which is scheduled for Jan. 20. Here’s how to grab a seat:
Masterclass Title: Winning the Game of Digital Direct Content Marketing
Date: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 3:00 PM MST
Link to Grab a Seat:
* After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Overview: I’ll be sharing the new best practices in content marketing (written and visual) for 2016 and giving you five top strategies to win the game of digital direct content marketing in 2016