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How To Easily Find Your Tribe And Kill The Vampire Hoard

A client of mine recently shared a common problem. “My blog posts are amazing,” she said, “but they’re just not selling anything.” The problem was deceptively simple. My client has a business selling local services in and around London. A lot of people face the same issue when they sell locally based products and services, that can only be obtained in a particular area or region. It comes down to the fact that it’s difficult for you to find your tribe when you run a local business. And even when you successfully pull it off, there are a limited number of them.

My client has a lot of followers on her social media, so her content was reaching people. They were reading it, loving it, and responding really well to it, but the majority of them weren’t actually in a position to buy anything from her, because they weren’t living in London.

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve got plenty of followers, people love your stuff, and read your stuff, but you’re just not selling anything. The problem isn’t that you don’t have people following you. The problem, is that they’re the wrong people.

They’re not your tribe. Sure, they look, talk, and act like they are, but they’re never going to convert. They’ll keep sucking up your content, but they’ll never give you anything in return.

Yes, they’re vampires.

It can be tricky to recognise vampires in your midst, because they look very much like regular ideal clients. Here’s how to easily find your tribe and kill all those time-sucking vampires.

Lots Of Followers Does Not A Tribe Make

Having lots of followers on social media makes you feel great. It’s a really good ego boost. But if those followers aren’t ever going to be in a position to pay you money, they’re not going to do your business any good.

If you have a business that sells local services that require people to be in a specific location, or products that can only be shipped to certain areas of the world, this is a real problem.

Your content marketing needs to reach the very specific people who are capable of buying from you. Because as much as that content will bring value to people outside your catchment area or delivery capabilities, you’re not going to get anything out of it.

No matter how lovely and wonderful these people are, and no matter how much you would love them to become clients, they’re just sucking the life out of you.

They will take, take, take, are never giving anything back.

Which is why I call them (rather unfairly I suppose), vampires.

They gobble up all your content, and greedily take anything you’ll give them, but they will never, ever buy from you.

Not because they don’t love you and your stuff, not because they aren’t perfectly happy to invest in you and your business, but because (for whatever reason), they can’t.

The Vampires In Your Tribe

Vampires might be people who are outside your catchment area. They might be people who live in countries to which you can’t deliver products. But they could equally be people who simply cannot afford your prices, or could afford your prices but are never going to pay your prices because they don’t believe your product/service is worth investing money in.

They will happily read free content, but they will never, ever stump up the cash for a paid version of that content.

Say that you offer an online course or a book on exactly the same subject as the free content they love. these vampires will happily read the free stuff, but don’t care enough, or don’t value it enough, to pay money to learn more.

Not even if the amount they would need to pay is small, like the price of a £10 book. They’re never going to pay it; it’s not something they prioritise or place any kind of monetary value on.

The Nature Of Vampires (In Business)

Vampire are not (generally) malicious people. They don’t mean you any harm. They’re not unpleasant or being purposefully nasty. It’s just that they get as much as they can from you in the form of your free content.

And it’s okay to have a few vampires loitering in your tribe.

Some of them (if you do a stellar job with your content marketing), will eventually turn into people who are happy to invest in you. Just because they’re not willing to invest in you now, doesn’t meal they never will be. But that kind of conversion takes a really long time.

If you’re converting readers who are actively looking for your product or service, it already takes time and a lot of effort on your part to convince them that you’re worth buying into. And they are people who already want what you’re selling.

The likelihood of converting people who don’t want what you’re selling is a lot lower, and if they do convert it will take an awful lot longer.

So for your business to work, for your business to prosper, you need to have a tribe of people who are very likely to invest in you, and capable of investing in you.

They need to check both those boxes. They need to be within your catchment area, or within the area that you are capable of delivering to, and they also need to be the kind of person who are both willing and able to pay you money for your products and services. Anybody else, and as much as they might fit into your model for an ideal client in other ways, they are not part of your tribe.

They are just time-sucking vampires.

You Need To Target The Right People To Find Your Tribe

There are three really important things that you have to do to combat this issue. The first is to make sure that you are targeting people very specifically online. So when you’re finding your tribe and growing your following there are a lot of ways to gain organic reach. But that’s quite a slow process, it takes time. It’s also difficult (though not impossible! See below) to get really targeted with it.

Consider the difference between being able to target female entrepreneurs, using #fempreneur or #FemaleEntrepreneur, and then compare that with the ability to setup an advert that specifically targets people who are interested in female entrepreneurship, and live in a certain area, and are a particular age and gender, and spend a certain minimum threshold online.

If you do that, then you not only know the people that you’re targeting are female entrepreneurs, that they are also definitely in whatever parameters you’ve set for your ideal client. They’re capable of buying into your products and services, and they’re likely to do it.

While there is an awful lot you can do with your content that will gain you organic reach and organic likes, to be really specific in who you end up gathering into your tribe on social media, it is a very good idea to advertise some of your content to that extremely specific audience. To ensure that as many people as possible following you are the exact people that you want to be viewing your content; the people who are most likely to be able to buy from you.

Sell Digital Products To Welcome More People Into A Limited Tribe

The next thing that you can do to help deal with this is to help setup digital products. If you’re limited in your business to people who live in the specific location that you are in (for example, you can only cater to people within a 15 mile radius of your base), that’s a very small area to focus on.

It can work very well for a particular businesses. But if you want to expand beyond that, cater to a wider range of people and take advantage of all the followers that you’ve established online, you can create digital products.

Then you’ve suddenly opened yourself up to a much wider audience.

The Importance Of Slaying Vampires

The final thing that you have to do is slay those pesky vampires. It sounds cruel, and in many ways it is a bit mean, but you have to remember that you are running a business here.

The bottom line is your bottom line.

So if you have a tribe but they’re not supporting your business, if they’re not bringing in any income, if they’re not actually going to give you what you need to sustain the business they love, they’re a really bad tribe.

It’s so worth you taking the time to filter your tribe a little to make sure the people you’re attracting are genuinely going to enrich your business, and to be the kind of people that you want following it.

The Trap Of Thinking You Have A Truly International Business

So you might be sitting there thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, especially if you do offer digital products and services already.

It’s easy to fall into this sort of comfort zone of thinking that because you’re digital, you don’t have to worry about vampires creeping into your tribe and sucking the life out of you.

I’m here to tell you, you do have to worry.

Everybody has to worry about vampires.

For example, I offer exclusively digital products at the moment. I will have books coming out next year, but at the moment that’s not happened. So everything I sell, I sell purely online, all of it’s digital. It would easy for me to think it didn’t matter who I targeted in my marketing in terms of location, because I’m online and anybody with an internet connection can buy from me.

But while my services are available internationally, they’re not actually suitable for an international audience.

They are only suitable for English speakers. Because I’m a writer, I write in English. I’m not capable of writing in any other language. So anyone who doesn’t want their content in English is screwed coming to me. There’s just no way that they’re ever going to buy from me. So even if they speak English, if the content that they need creating is not in the English language, they’re never, ever going to buy my services.

So when I’m targeting my content at people, I’m always sure to target it at specific areas.

The UK is a no brainer for me, I’m based in the UK, I’m English, I write in English, that’s the end of it.

But I also target people in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Beyond that, I don’t actively target anywhere else in the world.

I have people who follow me from elsewhere in the world, but they’re people who’ve found me organically.

The majority of my tribe are British or American, with a few from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

That is by design, I did that very purposefully.

Why You Should Be Selective About Finding Your Tribe

If you don’t sell digital products but you do sell products on an international level, you might again think that it doesn’t matter where your audience is based, because you can ship anywhere.

But can you really ship anywhere?

Think about that for a minute. Think about the postal costs involved with shipping to certain countries. Think about import charges, export charges, airmail charges, all these other things. If you are genuinely capable of shipping to absolutely anywhere in the world for the same price, okay? So for the same cost to you, then absolutely go for it. You can advertise to anybody as long as they can understand your adverts.

If you’re based in the UK, you may find it preferable to ship to people in the UK, because that is a lot easier and a lot less expensive.

You may find that you are happy to ship elsewhere, but you prefer to only ship to people in Europe or the US, because again, those are the places that we can most easily ship to in the most economical way possible.

If you’re shipping physical products, there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re costing the amount of postage.

People often fall into the trap of offering free postage because that’s a really good offer to give people. Or they offer a flat rate of postage. If you’re going to do that, it’s a very good marketing tactic. But you can run into real trouble if you do it without thinking through who may take advantage of that.

I have had this problem before in my publishing house where I’ve been selling books. I had a flat international rate that was very reasonable for certain countries, but for other countries that cost four, five, six times as much money to actually post things.

I had people ordering and paying for the product and the flat rate, and by the time I’d actually posted the item to them, I’d spent money sending it to them. Rather than earning anything from the sale, it actually cost me money.

That was one of the earliest lessons that I learnt when I was first starting out running my publishing house (long before I started a writing business): was you have to be really careful when you’re posting physical things to people, that you calculate the shipping rates properly and that you target the people in areas that you are best able to cater to.

I could have simply changed the shipping rates to reflect a realistic rate that wouldn’t cause a problem, but doing so would have meant charging clients a small fortune. Instead, I now only ship to people in the UK. Anyone else I direct to Amazon so that they can buy off their local Amazon site, because it’s just the only logistical way I can do it without costing myself a fortune. I don’t make as much money per sale I would selling direct and charging proper postage, but my clients are better served (they save a lot on P&P), and I am in an area I can comfortably handle.

Sometimes it’s not about what you are capable of doing, but what you want to do most.

Why It’s Hard To Find Your Tribe When You Have A Local Businesses

Businesses that deliver services in person are the most obvious people to run into this problem.

You have a local business that’s based in a specific location and you can only cater to people within a 10 or 15 mile radius of that location. For example, you offer cleaning services and you can only clean the houses of people that are within a certain travelling distance.

It’s no good having people in your tribe who are outside of that catchment area. It doesn’t matter how much they love your content, it doesn’t matter how much they love the sounds of your business and your services, you can’t physically get to them to give them those services.

They’re never going to pay you to come to their house; you can’t go to their house.

So how exactly do you fix this problem? That’s what you all want to know.

The biggest step in dealing with this situation is to realise that you have vampires in your midst in the first place. They can be difficult to recognise. So it’s important to actually look at your tribe and the people who are engaging most with your content, and figure out whether they are the type of person who is ever likely to pay for your stuff.

If they are not, then you have a problem, you have vampires among you.

Why Are You Beset By Vampires?

The next thing you need to do is figure out why they are not going to buy from you.

Are they in the wrong place physically?

Are they in the wrong age or gender group?

Are they outside the scope of your business from a cultural perspective, so are they speaking literally a different language to you?

Or are they just the type of person who is quite happy to learn about what you’re offering for free, but is never, ever going to be willing to invest any money in getting any more?

Once you’ve figured all of that out, you should be able to work it back and figure out exactly how to define the people who will be perfect for your tribe. People who are in the right area, in the right business, who will value what you have to offer, and will be willing to invest in it.

You need to specify that as much as possible, with tangible, quantifiable factors that you can put on it. So a geographical location is quantifiable, it’s tangible. You can literally put a pin in a map and say that is exactly where people need to be.

Target Your Tribe With Pay Per Click Advertising

Once you’ve got it all worked out, there are a few different things that you can do. The first one is using very, very targeted pay per click advertising. So there are loads of platforms that offer PPC advertising, like Facebook, Google AdWords, Twitter, various other social media accounts. It’s usually possible to get really, really specific with who you want to see your advert. So this can be basic, like saying that you want them to speak English, or you can specify age, gender, but you can also specify things like geographical location down to miles, okay? So it doesn’t have to be England. You can put in your exact postcode and say that you want people within X number of miles of that postcode, okay? So that’s how you get people in your catchment area. You can say, “I want people within 15 miles of my home postcode.” Or, “I want people in this specific city or town.”

More than that, you can target people based on their interests. So I mentioned female entrepreneurs before, that’s a way of targeting people based on their interests. So you might target people who were interested in entrepreneurship, in blogging, in digital marketing, in yoga, in healthy eating, in whatever it is that your business does. If you find the right way of putting it into the parameters of your advertising system, you should be able to target people who have a specific interest in your specific niche. The more parameters that you put in to your pay per click targeting, the more specific it will get, the fewer people you will be able to reach with your advert, okay?

So it gets a bit scary for people. They look at it and they see the number of people, the estimated number of people that their adverts will reach, shrinking. They think, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I have to stop. Because before it was going to reach 15 million people and now it’s only going to reach 500,000. That’s stupid. I need to reach as many people as possible.” But that’s wrong, okay? That’s very, very, very wrong. It’s no good reaching 5 million people or 500 million people, or however many people there are if they’re the wrong people, okay? So if you’re paying for an advert that is going out to loads and loads of people, who are not very specifically targeted, that is called spray and pray advertising, when you basically spray your advert at anybody and everybody and pray that some of them buy.

Targeted advertising, on the other hand, you will reach far fewer people, but the people you do reach are going to be the very, very specific type of people who are most likely to buy from you. So even though your advert will be seen by fewer people, it will be far more successful.

Find Your Tribe With Localised SEO

You can also use localised SEO, that’s search engine optimization, to target your content at people. This is a great way to do this organically. So if you don’t want to pay for an advertising campaign, but you still want to make sure that your content is targeted at your specific niche audience, you can use SEO to do that.

So you would include keywords that were localised. So for example, if I was going to do this, my keywords that I would be optimising my blog posts for wouldn’t just be copywriting services, for example, they would be, copywriting services in Manchester, or copywriting services near Chester, things like that. So you could get really, really specific with the keywords that you use, and you localise them, so that when somebody who is in your area is searching for your specific service or product, they’re not just going to type in ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in things like ‘copywriting services near me’.

So when people are searching for a local product or service, they’re not going to do it by putting in the generic search term for that. So for example, somebody searching for a local copywriter is not just going to type in, ‘copywriting services’. They’re going to type in, ‘copywriting services near me’, or ‘copywriting services in …’ and then their specific town. So by localising your SEO, you will catch the people who are very, very specifically searching for what you do, where you do it.

Direct Mail Marketing

Now, another great way to make sure that people are within the right geographical area for you, is to actually use direct mail. So rather than email marketing, use good old fashioned postal marketing. So you print up some flyers, leaflets, brochures, whatever you like, and you send it out to people via the post. Now, this does require you obviously to have their addresses. So it can get a little bit more complicated. But it’s actually quite easy to fix. Every time somebody inquires about your business via your website, if you have a form setup, make sure that the form they have to fill in in order to send their inquiry includes their postal address.

You can do this really politely. So for example, on my website the field on the form that asks people for this information doesn’t just say ‘address’, it says ‘postal address, so I can send you cool stuff’, okay? So you can let them know that the reason you’re asking for it is so that you can send things to them for free, not so that you can turn up on their door and accost them in their homes.

You may find that people don’t want to hand over their address. So you might not want to make it a required field. If you make it a required field, you will put people off. But if you put it there and give people the option of giving you that information, then you’ll find a lot of people actually do happily give it to you, because they want you to send them free stuff. They’re not stupid, they understand that when you say free stuff, you mean offers, okay? So when you send direct marketing out to people, you don’t just send them a price list and expect them to buy. You send them an incentive. So you send them 10% off voucher, a coupon for buy one get one free, or something that makes it worth their while to actually buy from you.

Local Ads And Hangouts

You can also take advantage of local areas and put adverts in physical locations, so you might put them in the post office, in the window of local shops, café houses, or anywhere that you know your ideal client is likely to be. So I recently went and had a massage at my favourite beauty spa in town. So I came out ready to pay, and on the counter was a stack of leaflets for a mindfulness class that was being run locally.

Now, it had absolutely nothing to do with the beauty spa whatsoever, it wasn’t a product or service that they sold, they just let the people running the workshop put them in there because they knew that a lot of their clients were interested in finding ways of calming themselves down and being a little bit more mindful, and it worked really well. I picked up a leaflet, I bought the seminar, I paid money for it, I went, I attended, it was great. So that’s a really good example of using the places that you know your idea clients will be, to put things in front of them that get them to notice you as well. So the lady that was running that mindfulness workshop hadn’t paid the beauty salon anything to include the flyers on the counter, they’d done a swap. So when I went to the mindfulness course, there were flyers there from my beauty salon as well. So it goes both ways, it’s a reciprocal relationship that can work really, really well.

Find Where Your Tribe Are Online

Another great way of targeting people digitally is to identify places that they will be online. Facebook groups are a really good way of doing this, or groups on LinkedIn, and other social platforms that offer group functions. If you can find groups that are filled with people you know are your ideal client and you get involved in those groups, join in the conversations, and share your knowledge, your understanding of things, and when appropriate, your products and services, that’s a great way of making sure that the people who come to know who you are and start following you are people who are likely to actually buy from you.

Following Through With Your Tribe

Of course, once you have started building your tribe of ideal clients and getting rid of all of those pesky vampires, you need to make sure that you have a really effective way of getting in touch with them to tell them about your amazing stuff. So you need to gear as much of your efforts as possible towards building an email list. Now, when you’re putting that much effort into growing your online platforms, so your social media and various other things, or if you’re putting loads of effort into attracting people to come to your bricks and mortar business and actually be there physically, it’s really easy to forget that you need an emailing list.

So you know, you can post on Facebook and your Facebook followers will see. You can tell people in person when they come in and see your shop, about various offers and services that you have. But the problem with that is, what happens if nobody comes into your shop? What happens if Facebook crashes and you lose all your followers? So you need to have a way of contacting your list that is just yours, that is exclusively your own, that they have willingly opted into, that you can use to get in touch with them whenever you like.

Need a little help creating a Content Marketing strategy that works for you and your business? If you’re beset by vampires and looking to use your content to find your tribe, The Divine Blogging Design is perfect for your needs. Book a free discovery call now…

10 Epic Forms Of Content Marketing

“What are the best forms of Content Marketing?” is a question I get asked almost as much as, “What is Content Marketing?“.

A Content Marketing strategy is like a character in a novel (bear with me). The best books are the ones that have truly compelling characters. The kind of characters with depth, who seem to breathe life into the pages, come alive in your mind, and really stick with you.

The trick to writing such characters is ensuring they are thoroughly well-rounded and completely three-dimensional. They need to have many facets, many different elements to their personality, thoughts, words and actions, all working in harmony to form a cohesive whole that’s impossible to ignore.

A character who is impossible to ignore makes a book impossible to put down.

That’s the kind of effect you want your content marketing to elicit in your ideal client: your business needs to become unputdownable…

How To Make Your Business Irresistible…

Regular blogging or social media posts are a great start to this, but they are only two facets of content marketing, two characteristics if you will. To flesh out your strategy and ensure it’s as strong as possible, you need to avoid the faux pas of thinking they are enough.

Blogging is a phenomenally powerful marketing tool, but it’s only as successful as the number of people who read your blog.

Social media can ensure you drive traffic to your blog posts and boost the level of engagement with your content, but not everyone has time to trawl through Twitter or get lost in the Bermuda Triangle that is a Facebook feed. And not everyone has the time or inclination to read a 2,000-word blog post, no matter how informative, useful, entertaining, or amusing it may be.

Video and audio both provide easy solutions to this problem, giving people a user-friendly means of absorbing content with minimal effort. Videos are fun to watch and astonishingly powerful forms of content, while audio is versatile enough that your readers can listen to your content anytime, anywhere, and with any device capable of playing it.

If all your content is on your blog, you’re missing out on a whole circus of tricks that would help you reach more people, and gain a much higher ROI on your content marketing efforts.

But a lot of entrepreneurs are very uncertain when it comes to content marketing. Exactly what forms of content are best? How they should be used? And how many different forms do you need to include in your strategy to create that coveted unputdownable status?

To answer these questions I’ve put together a brand new Content Marketing Masterclass covering the top ten forms of content. From blogging and vlogging to the best types of social media posts to use, and how to use webinars, courses, and even books, this class will help you create a phenomenally powerful strategy that will catapult your business to success.

Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing and are unsure where to host your blog, or you’ve already nailed a solid blog plan and are looking to really up your game, you’ll find everything you need in this masterclass….

Content marketing has loads of fantastic business benefits. The one type of content marketing most people are familiar with is blogging. Beyond that people seem to get a bit stuck. They’re not sure exactly what is and isn’t content marketing, or how to expand past their blog to create a really strong content marketing strategy. Having that in place is essential to marketing your business and attracting new clients, so today I’m going to run through the top 10 forms of content marketing that will do wonders for your business…

Forms Of Content Marketing #1: Blogging

If you have a website, you almost certainly already have a blog (even if you’re not using it). Most websites come with them built-in. If you don’t have a website, it’s extremely easy to set one up. You can do it completely free on a site like WordPress and other sites that allow you to host your own blog on their domain. You can also set one up very cheaply by buying your own domain name and using something like WordPress, Wix or any other website-building software or portal.

While some social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram limit the number of characters per post, other platforms will happily let you host blog posts on your social media site.

LinkedIn is a great example of this. They have a really user-friendly portal for uploading blog posts and promoting them on your profile.

Facebook is another one that you can very easily use to publish longer written posts. While it doesn’t exactly host it, as you would expect a blog to be hosted, with separate posts you can click through to, there are ways of ensuring they end up as articles, accessible when you click on a particular link on your profile.

Other sites, like Goodreads have dedicated blogs available to members.

If you are planning to use blogging as a form of content marketing, I really recommend you do it primarily through a website.

 

I talk a lot about blogging in my other posts, so I’m not going to dwell too much on the ins and outs of exactly what you should do in order to blog for content marketing. Instead I’m going to refer you to The Golden Trident, which covers exactly what you need to do to maximise your blogging efforts. You should also check out the Halloween Special I did on Secrets of Blogging That Are Actually Witchcraft.

A Note On Where You’re Sending Your Traffic…

If you have an existing website, start blogging right now. It will do wonders for your website in terms of SEO and visibility, and enable you to start drawing people in and promoting your products and services through your content.

The whole point of content marketing is getting people where you need them to be. The reason it’s so useful to host your blog on your website is because most of the time, when you have a website, getting people on your site is the key to selling your stuff.

If you don’t sell your stuff through a website, then it can work quite well using a social media platform to blog.

That being said, in today’s world of online marketing if you are running a business and seriously trying to market a product or service, having a website really is a no-brainer.

There are loads of different ways you can use content marketing to help you promote and grow your business, but they all have to lead somewhere.

Whatever form of content you use it has to send people to something, or it’s not serving its true purpose.

If you have a bricks and mortar business you can do this through social media alone, without the use of a website. I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend it, but it’s certainly possible.

There are businesses that don’t bother with a website at all, they just have very active social media accounts. Generally speaking though, it is a very good idea to have a website.

Forms Of Content Marketing #2: Vlogging

Blogging is the type of content marketing pretty much everybody’s heard of. If you’re not doing it already, you’re likely aware you should be doing it (and you really should). But there are several other kinds of content marketing you should be taking advantage of, that you may have heard about didn’t realise they counted as content marketing. If you did, you may have discounted them as being ‘not for you’.

This will be for one of two reasons:

You’re unaware of the potential they have, and how powerful they can be in marketing your business.

You have a personal issue with doing them.

Vlogging is one that most people avoid due to a personal issue. If that isn’t the case, and you’re still not vlogging, it’s because you’re not fully aware of the super awesome power of video marketing.

What Is Vlogging?

A vlog is literally a video blog; basically a video version of a blog post.

A blog post is a written post you have on your website (or a social media platform) that hosts written content and can take many different forms. A vlog can also take different forms, but the most common in business marketing and content marketing especially is the ‘Talking Head’ format used in the video above. A static video of a person speaking directly into the camera, often with only their head and shoulders visible. The words are the same as if you were writing a blog post.

Some people write their blog post, stick it on an auto-cue and read it into a camera.

Other people do what I’m (currently) doing and speak off the cuff, without a script. This is either because they don’t have an auto-cue (at the time of writing this I don’t, which is the only reason I don’t use one), or because they prefer that natural flow that comes with an off-the-cuff style.

It doesn’t matter how you record your videos. It doesn’t even matter if your videos take a different form. If you put content in a video format and use it as you would a blog post, it’s a vlog.

Some people also like to record themselves as they’re going about their daily tasks. To give people a behind the scenes look at their life and their business. They take the camera around with them everywhere and show themselves getting in the car, going to the shops, going to meetings, doing work, doing yoga, doing whatever else it is that they do in the day.

A lot of people when they hear the word ‘vlog’ think of this kind of fly-on-the-wall video. It’s almost like a diary, a journal entry of personal stuff you’ve been doing and behind the scenes business stuff. This perception leads to some confusion over what a vlog is, as people discount the possibility of it simply being a video version of your blog. This is why a lot of people who have weekly Talking Head videos they release every week. without fail, have separate videos they label as ‘vlogs’, which take a totally different format.

This is a candid camera format that is essentially them titting about with a camera recording random shots which they cut together and call a vlog.

Marie Forleo is a great example of this. Marie TV is a weekly, Talking Head vlog she releases, but she’s recently a behind the scenes video entitled ‘The Dangers Of Vlogging’, in which she discusses recording the fly-on-the-wall stuff as being totally separate to her usual weekly video. The weekly video is Marie TV, candid camera is ‘vlogging’.

It’s not wrong to call candid camera videos a vlog! But it’s important to understand they are not the only format a vlog can take.

Anything that you want to record as a video is essentially a vlog. You can write a blog post about anything, format it however you like, and it’s still a blog post. Vlogs are no different.

How To Vlog For Business

When it comes to vlogging there are a few things that you will definitely need, and other things you may want. You will need some form of camera to record your videos. You will need a way of uploading those onto a computer, and editing them (at least a little bit). And you will need somewhere to host them.

The easiest place to do that is on YouTube, where you can upload your videos and embed them anywhere else that you need to put them.

You can add them to your website, share links to them on your social media, and basically get them anywhere they need to be once they’re on YouTube. In addition, it’s definitely worth uploading your videos to certain platforms separately.

If you want to share your vlogs on Facebook, you should upload your videos directly to Facebook. Host them on Facebook, rather than sharing links from YouTube on your Facebook page. This will ensure you maximise the positive effect they have on your Facebook page in terms of building reach, likes, engagement and loads of other great benefits. It will also increase your searchability.

The main reason for this is simple: Facebook is incredibly biased.

If you have a video hosted on Facebook and you share it, Facebook will show it to more people than they would do if you shared a link to exactly the same video, hosted on YouTube.

It’s that simple.

To get the most out of your videos on Facebook you need to upload them to Facebook.

The other great benefit of doing that is that there is a video tab on your Facebook page which is very easily found. If your followers want to watch your videos, they know exactly where they are. our vlogs are easily found. If you share a link to a YouTube video, unless it happens to be your pineed post (and remember you can only pin one post at a time), your audience will have to scroll through your whole newsfeed to find your videos. To do that, they need to already know you posted them and actively look for them again.

It’s not likely they will remembered a video, then taken the time and effort to scroll all the way back through your Facebook page to find it. If you want to get the maximum engagement possible you want to upload it onto Facebook so it appears in your video tab and you really make the most of it.

As with blogging, I’ve done loads of other posts on vlogging so do make sure you check those out for more details…

Why Vlogging Is The Smart Choice For Those Who Hate Blogging

How To Start A Powerful Vlog For Your Business

Masterclass: How To Start A Vlog – All Of The Technical Needs

Forms Of Content Marketing #3: Podcasts

The next type of content marketing that is really, really popular and can do absolute wonders for your business is podcasting. Now this is not one that I have any personal experience with. I am not a huge fan of podcasts. I don’t listen to them myself and I don’t have one. I may start one at some point, but at this point I’m just not focused on that and that is purely down to personal preference on my part. Like I said before, when there is a type of content that you’re not using it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either you don’t understand how effective it can be or you have a personal hangup with it that just makes you not want to do it. For me, that is podcasting.

It’s important for you to find the type of content that works best for you. Just because there are lots of different kinds of content marketing that you can use, it doesn’t mean that you should or have to use all of them. If you love blogging, and you are really just interested in doing anything else, then stick to your blog. You can absolutely make a content marketing strategy work brilliantly with just one kind of content. It just happens to be that it usually works a lot better if you add in some extras. Promoting your blog post is an awful lot easier if you also have social media posts that you sue to promote your blog content, which is two separate kinds of content marketing working together to create an overall strategy that’s a lot stronger.

If you then add extra kinds of content in like videos or a podcast you can make that stronger still, but content really only works as well as it should do when you’re thoroughly invested in it and when you’re confident in it and when you’re comfortable with it, so if you really, really hate the notion of sitting down in front of a video camera and recording videos like I’m doing now, if you just can’t stand the thought of it there is absolutely no point in making yourself do it because there are other ways to use content marketing to promote your business that don’t give you that awful ick that make you feel bad.

Is there any kinds of content on this list that you get that icky “Ugh, I really don’t want to do that” feeling? Don’t worry about it at all, you can just skip those. Don’t force yourself to do something that you’re not comfortable doing. Your audience can tell. They know when you’re not really happy with something. They know when you’re not really into doing something and when you’re not really invested in it. The other option is obviously to outsource it and to get somebody else to do it for you. The problem with both videos and podcasts is that even if you get somebody to write them for you, which you can absolutely do, it’s a service that I provide for my clients is to write the scripts for them and they record them, but that’s the issue. They still have to actually record.

The big benefit of podcasting and using other audio content is that you can get the multimedia benefit that comes with video without people actually having to see you. I know a lot of people, the reason they don’t like the idea of recording videos of themselves is because they’re self-conscious about the way they look. To be perfectly honest, I put off starting a vlog for a very long time for that exact reason. I was very self-conscious about the fact that people would be able to see me all the time. Recording audio content is a brilliant way of getting around that. If you’re camera-shy but you don’t mind people hearing your voice, it’s the perfect medium to use.

It also depends on your ideal client and your audience and how they’re going to be absorbing your content. If your ideal client is really busy and constantly rushed off their feet, maybe they’re parents, maybe they’re already working another job and they’re trying to start a business on the side or maybe they just have an awful lot of commitments and they enjoy absorbing their content while they’re in the car or while they’re out on their morning job or while they’re doing the dishes, cleaning the house, whatever. If they just like being able to listen without having to read anything, without having to watch anything, then the audio version is the perfect medium for them because it makes it really, really easy for them to access your content and they can listen to it as much as they like when they’re driving the kids to school or doing whatever household chores they have to do, when they’re walking the dog. It doesn’t matter where they are or what they’re doing, they can always listen.

When you’re considering what kind of content to use, that is one really, really important thing to bear in mind. Not just what you are most comfortable with creating but also what your ideal client will be most comfortable absorbing and the manner in which they will find it easiest to absorb your content because the easier you make it for them, the more effective it will be.

Forms Of Content Marketing #4: Webinars

Now another kind of video marketing that you can use that’s really, really beneficial for your business are webinars. These are fantastic list-builders. They are one of the best lead magnets you can use, are running free webinars online. You can also record them when you do them live and then have them available later as recorded content that you can either give away for free as part of an opt-in, as part of a auto-responder sequence, or you can actually charge for them. Package them up in a course and make some passive income from them. Webinars are possibly one of the most multi-functional types of content that you can create.

Video in general is really, really versatile. You create a blog post, all you have is a written blog. If you create a video, whether it’s a vlog or a webinar, you can have that transcribed. You’ll end up with both the video content and the written content. You can convert it into an audio format, so you can use it as a podcast. You can use it as an audio file or an MP3 download. You can take the written version, chop it up into little bits and use it as social media posts or various other pieces of content, but webinars go one step beyond that and say you’re not just going to have the benefit of having it in video content that you can convert into every other type of content, you’re going to record it in the first instance live rather than pre-recording it, which gives you a lot more options in terms of growing your list, attracting interest. People can ask you questions on a live webinar, they can talk to you, they can interact with you, they can really get to know you, interest you a lot more when you’re live.

In addition to that you still get all the great benefits of having video content. One thing I will say if you are going to create webinars, make the most of them. Make sure you advertise them as much as you can beforehand whether that’s paid advertising or just networking and spreading out the word as much as you can on your own. Get as many people pre-registered for it as you can before you go live. When you do go live, make sure you have additional content that you can give people on the webinar. Free downloads that you give at various points throughout the webinar are really useful and just extra bonuses for people that will keep them watching to the end.

At the beginning of the webinar you can say, “Stick around because I have this great offer” or “I have a great discount” or “I have this wonderful free course” or whatever your offer is. Make sure you mention it at the start but don’t give it to them until the end so they actually have to stick around and watch for the whole thing. That’s really, really important and of course at the end of your webinar, take the opportunity to pitch something. A paid product or a paid service or something that’s actually going to earn you some money because people expect that of webinars. They’re quite hip to this format now. They understand that they get an hour of your time for free if you teach them something on a webinar, that that can expect at the end of that that you will pitch them something. You will say to them, “I hope you enjoyed what I’ve taught you today. If you’d like more of that then you can get it this way.”

Most people, they don’t mind that and if they do mind that, they’ll tune out before you get to that point, so you’ll never have people sitting there listening to you pitch something to them who are getting annoyed with you for pitching it because if they don’t want to listen to it they will literally just stop listening, but a lot of people will be interested and they will want more and the fact that they’ve already had an amazing webinar with you and they’ve had the opportunity to understand how good the content you have to offer is. By the time they get to the end of the webinar, they’ll be sat there thinking, “Wow. If this is your free stuff then I want more and also, how much better must your pay stuff be if this is how good the stuff you’re giving away for free is?” Don’t be afraid to stick that pitch at the end. A lot of people get gun-shy when it gets to that point and they feel like they shouldn’t so they don’t and it’s just a huge opportunity that you’ve missed.

Other opportunities that you will very likely miss with webinars either because you don’t think about it or because you feel a bit icky about doing it, have an auto-responder sequence set up long before you actually do the webinar to make sure that everybody that pre-registers for the webinar is reminded about it so they get as much opportunity as possible to actually jump on the webinar live. Then make sure that they have reminders sent out to them with a replay so that the ones that couldn’t make it to the live event, because we’re all very busy people, so some people won’t be able to make it to the live event can still watch it. Then after that don’t be afraid of having a nice strong sequence in place that will promote the pitch that you have at the end of the webinar.

Whatever it is you’re promoting, whether it’s a service or a programme that you’re selling or a particular product, whatever it is, your auto-responder sequence should include several sales emails that build up to offer them this product or service and really, really sell it to them. Make sure you don’t skip any of those steps. When you’re done with all of that, you can take the recorded version of your webinar and you can do one of two things with it. You can keep it as free content that you offer that’s freely available that you then set up basically an automated version of everything that you did live. Rather than it being a live webinar that you do again and again, you have the pre-recorded version of it that people sign up for and then they can watch it pretty much as soon as they sign up for it, and they still get the auto-responder sequence, they still get all the great content. The only difference is it’s not live so they can’t actually ask you questions while you’re on it.

The other option is to use it as part of a paid product or service that you then later give away fro free. You do it once as a free webinar, as free content and when you’re advertising it, you’ll say, “This is all my best stuff on this. This is a one time only thing. It’s the only time I’m going to do it for free. After this, this is going to be a paid product that you’re going to have £15 to watch or £50 to watch” or £100 or £500 or however much it is. You can package it up as a single low-cost thing that you can use as part of your sales flow, or you can put it in a larger course and use it as one video in a series that you put together and sell as a larger course. It doesn’t matter. There’s so many things that you can do.

Don’t forget that you can get it transcribed and you can use that written content everywhere else as well.

Forms Of Content Marketing #5: Live Social Media

While we’re on the subject of video, social media posts and there are lots and lots of different forms of social media posts. Written ones in the forms of tweets and status updates and then you have photographs and you have videos and you have loads and loads of different things. Basically any kind of content that you can think of, you can put on social media in one form or another. I’m not going to go into the minutiae of all the types of social media posts that you can use in this.

There are a couple that I want to highlight as being particularly powerful when it comes to content marketing and the first one is live posts. We’ve just talked about how powerful live webinars can be. Live Facebook posts can be just as effective. You can even do webinars live on some of your social media platforms. Facebook Live is particularly good for longer ones like that. You can do a Facebook Live for … You could do a full hour webinar on Facebook Live if you wanted to. You can also record live stories on Snapchat and on Instagram. Exactly which social media platform that you use for your live-streaming is entirely up to you. It’s again, a matter of your personal preference, so which one you’re comfortable with but possibly more important than that is which platform your ideal client are on.

It’s no good doing Facebook Lives if all your ideal clients are on Instagram. It’s no good doing Instagram stories if all your ideal clients are on Twitter. You need to make sure you’re putting your content out on the platform that your ideal client is most likely to see it on and in the format that they are most likely to absorb it in.

Forms Of Content Marketing #6: Memes

While we’re on the subject of social media, memes are another absolutely brilliant form of content marketing. Some of the really popular social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are all about images. You actually can’t post anything on them without including an image on it.

A meme isn’t just an image. A meme is an image plus, shall we say. It’s an image with text on it basically, so images alone can be really, really powerful and you can post images with written content attached to them, but when I say meme, what I mean is, an image which has written content on the actual image. It’s the kind of posts that you see that go viral really, really quickly and really, really easily. They tend to be very eye-catching and very simple. They’re not bogged down with lots of words, they’re not really, really busy, they’re not confusing. Or if they are confusing, they’re confusing in a enigmatic way that makes you pause and go “What the hell is that?” They’re meant to gran your attention really, really quickly and get across something important that’s going to make people actually stop and pay attention.

They’re great for your engagement, they’re great for reach because they’re very easily shared and they’re also very, very good for establishing what you do and how good you are at it really, really quickly. You can create memes of your own quotes. One of the popular options to do with memes is to make a really, really pretty visual representations of famous quotes. Quotes by your favourite celebrities, quotes by relevant experts in your niche, things of that nature. They go down really, really well and they’re great, but the better thing to do is to create the same kind of thing, so lovely, beautiful images with text on when you are quoting yourself.

Every time you write a blog post or record a vlog, every time you create any kind of content you want to be pulling little bits out of it. Just short sentences and little snappy things and turning them into memes that you can then share because it’s just another way for you to repurpose that content that you’ve already created. You’re not having to reinvent the wheel. You’re not having to create a whole new information, things to give people. It’s the same content, you’re just putting it in a different format and you’re making it really, really easy for people to see it, to share it, and to digest what you’re saying.

Forms Of Content Marketing #7: Questions

The final one I wanted to mention for social media are questions. Now questions are, I think, perhaps the best way of getting people engaged in your posts and actually having a conversation. You might want to say something really controversial and ask a question at the end of it. You might want to pick a particular pain point that all your ideal clients are struggling with and ask them firstly whether they’re having problems with it, and secondly how they deal with it. Or you might want to play Devil’s advocate and pick something that you know is going to really, really irritate them. Ask them a question that you know is going to make them go a bit like, “Oh. I don’t like that” and make them actually answer. You can then make it clear that obviously you don’t agree with the position that you took initially, you just wanted to know why everybody else thought about it, but it’s a really, really good way of getting people talking.

Forms Of Content Marketing #8: Email Marketing

Another great form of content that you should definitely be using is email marketing. Now I mentioned this very briefly when I was discussing webinars and I mentioned also response sequences and that is one way that you can use email marketing is to set up a series of emails that go out to people when they take certain actions. If they sign up to your newsletter list, you might send them a series of emails welcoming them. If they sign up for a freebie you might send them a series introducing them to that freebie and then upselling them something else.

Beyond that, once you have people on your list, once you’ve got them on your emailing list, you need to be emailing them regularly. You want to send out a weekly newsletter and in that weekly newsletter you should have a round-up of all the content you’ve put out that week. If you only put out content once every two weeks, then you’ll only do this once every two weeks, but I really do recommend that you try and publish content once a week. A blog post a week, a vlog a week, both a week. Make sure you’ve got one or the other or a podcast once a week so that you can send out your weekly newsletter and say “This is my new post, here’s the link to it” and you can include a snippet from the beginning to get people interested. You can include the whole thing in written form if you want, but just make sure you send it out because it helps with your engagement, it helps with your reach, it keeps you front of mind for everybody on your list.

It reminds them why they signed up to you in the first place and what you do and it makes sure then that you can really get your content out to as many people as possible. Of course you’re not limited to only sending out email marketing for existing content that you have, you can send out emails whenever you feel like it. If you’ve got something that you particularly wanted to say but you maybe didn’t want to blog about it and something that you wanted to share only with the people on your list, so exclusive content that you have just for them, and of course sale emails. If you want to sell something or promote a particular offer that you have or a service or something new that you’re doing, email marketing is a great way of doing it.

If you’re struggling to build your email marketing list, check out The Cake Construction, which breaks down exactly how you can use content marketing you grow your list.

Forms Of Content Marketing #9: Books

One kind of content that people often don’t think of as content marketing and one that they definitely don’t see the huge potential in as a possible form of content marketing are books.

Books are the dark horse of content marketing; the one nobody really thinks about with astonishing potential.

Now I love books. That’s no secret. I write them, I read them, I’m a voracious reader. I absolutely love books, but as far as content marketing goes, you can actually use books as a really, really strong form of content marketing. I think probably the best example I can think of with this and I use her all the time as an example because she’s brilliant at content marketing, is Denise Duffield-Thomas who has to date got two books published and she’s just signed a deal for the third, if I’m not mistaken and she really has used her books as content marketing.

Rather than creating them as paid products that she wants to sell, she created them as a form of marketing and the fact that she earned money off them as well was a happy bonus. That’s the way of looking at it. That’s not to say that you can’t earn money from books. You’re right, you absolutely can, but if you’re trying to use them as a marketing tools it’s useful to approach it thinking of them as something that you’re going to use to market your business and that your focus is on making sure you get as much mileage out of them as possible in terms of marketing rather than trying to make as much money out of them as possible.

The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive. You can use them as a marketing tool and make money off them at the same time, but normally your approach to selling them is very different depending on which you’re trying to do. You want to use them as passive income and that’s your focus is to create a passive income stream. That’s a brilliant way of creating passive income. By the way, that’s a great thing to do for your business but your strategy in marketing your book is going to be quite different to how it would be if your primary goal was to use your book as a form of content to market other products and services in your business.

If you’re sat there thinking, “Oh god, I can’t possibly write a whole book” the funny thing about content marketing is once you start doing it, once you start regularly producing content, you can end up with a book a lot quicker than you think. If you write a weekly blog post, if you publish your blog every single week, after a year you’ll have 56 posts. If you’re blogging properly, if you’re really using a good blogging strategy, they will be on relatively similar topics. You’ll have a core subject that you stick to, and really all a book is a series of blog posts when you think about it. If you equate a blog post with a chapter or if you’re writing 2000-odd word blog posts, that’s a chapter. Every time you post a blog, you’ve essentially posted a chapter. After you’ve got quite a bit of content amassed you can go through all the content you’ve got and you can turn it into a book.

Now I really don’t suggest that people just cut and paste. I have seen people that do this. They literally get their blog posts, they shove them together and they publish them as a book without doing anything else with them and I do not recommend you do that because it will really irritate the people reading the book, especially if they’ve already followed your posts. They’ve already read the posts, they want something more than that. You need to put a bit of effort into it. You need to find a coherent theme. You need to put them together in an order that makes sense, you need to edit them.

When you come to edit them, you’ll probably find that you have more to say than you did when you first wrote them, so that’s especially true if quite a bit of time has passed since you first wrote the post or first created the post. You’ll have had people commenting on your content, you’ll have had people engaging with it on social media, you’ll have maybe had clients that you’ve spoken to about similar topics before or you’ll just have learned more or thought more about it yourself. You will naturally find when you come to put all your content together and try and make a book out of it that you have more to say and you should definitely, definitely say it.

Don’t just take the easy option, cut and paste all the posts, stick them together and think it makes a book. It doesn’t. It does take a bit of effort but it is well, well worth it and it gives you a form of content that is just super, super versatile and so valuable. You can take the first chapter or two of your book, you can put it in a nice PDF, you can use it as an opt-in freebie. You have an absolutely massive list-builder there, giving away the first few chapters of your book for free. Does wonders for building your list, and you have a built-in upsell just right there. You give the first couple of chapters away for free, people read them and it’s natural for them to then want to buy the book. That is the easiest upsell you will ever do in your entire life and if you do it right, you’re smart about it, you’ll make the subject of your book something that naturally leads into, promotes, or explains something else that you’re trying to sell that’s worth an awful lot more.

This works really, really well if you have a course that you’re trying to promote, that you’re trying to sell. A paid programme that’s quite expensive. Programmes, they’re normally at least a few hundred pounds if not even more and you’re creating by writing this book as your introduction to it, you are creating the perfect funnel because you have, by creating the book, got the opt-in that will get people on your list, you have the email sequence that you need to upsell them to the programme with an easy upsell for them to take one step up and go from the free chapter to the paid book and then from the paid book to the paid product or service. This works really, really well.

Books as content marketing it a total no-brainier. It is the simplest thing in the world. It is so effective. The only reason that everybody isn’t doing it is because, I will not lie, writing and producing a book is tough. If you’re creating one completely from scratch and writing about a very specific subject, it’s really, really hard to do. Even if you’re essentially collating content that you’ve already created and turning it into a coherent book, that takes time. It takes effort and if you want to do a really, really professional job you’ll need to have it edited, you’ll need to have it proofread. You’ll need to have it professionally formatted. If you want to create physical copies of it rather than just selling it as an ebook, you’ll need to find a printer. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating books. It’s not a quick process and if you don’t already know what you’re doing it’s not an easy process, but the good news is I’ve already done it many times, so if I can do it, anybody can.

Forms Of Content Marketing #10: Mini-Courses

The final kind of content marketing that I want to talk to you about is a mashup of all the others that I’ve talked about so far and that is the mini-course. Now I’ve mentioned webinars, I’ve mentioned paid courses, and I’ve mentioned video marketing. This is basically all of those things rolled into one. What you want to do is create a short series of videos or webinars that form a mini-course that people can have as part of an auto-responder sequence over the course of three or four, maybe five days. I wouldn’t go any longer than that.

If you want to do a webinar, do a webinar. If you want to do a mini-course, do a mini-course. The mini-course itself is one of the best kinds of lead magnets that you can ever create. You don’t need to create a lead magnet to get people to sign up to the lead magnet. The mini-course is the lead magnet. If you want to do a webinar then great but you don’t need to a webinar in order to promote the mini-course. Unless of course you want to charge for your mini-course, in which case go for it.

A mini-course really is a combination of so many different kinds of content marketing. You will want to create it in video format, ideally. You can just do it as a written sequence of emails though that you send out but ideally you will want to create four or possibly five videos. You will want to send them out in a series of marketing emails and have them available on your website for people to watch on your website. Ideally also with extra things for them to download that go with it. One of the best things you can do is create a workbook for people to download at the beginning of the first video and then write in right through as they watch the mini-course. Other kinds of content that you can use are checklists or workflows, anything that helps people action what you’re teaching them in the mini-course.

A lot of people get really nervous at the notion of giving away a whole course for free. It feels like you’re giving away all your best stuff, you’re wasting an opportunity to make money. It takes quite a lot of work to create one and it can take a bit of money to set it up, especially if you’re not very good at doing the technical stuff yourself and you have to outsource that to somebody, so you may have to pay someone to do that for you. When you go to all that effort of creating it, possibly the expense of getting it set up as well, it can feel quite counterproductive to then just give it away for free, but if you are trying to promote anything of substance, if you’re trying to promote a big course that’s costing a few hundred pounds or more, if you’re trying to promote a premium service that you offer that’s worth hundreds and hundreds of pounds or more, anything that’s quite tough to get people to buy into because you need to be able to really, really clearly demonstrate the value that they’re going to get out of something.

You need to be able to make them see and feel and understand exactly how good this thing that you’re asking them to pay that much money for is going to be and exactly what it’s going to do for them, and this is what you use the mini-course for because it’s your opportunity to really, really show your stuff and to really make people understand that although it’s an investment that it’s an investment that they should absolutely be making because it’s going to be so, so worth it.

Content Marketing Masterclass 10 Epic Forms Of Content Marketing Blogging, Vlogging, Podcasts, Webinars, Live Social Media, Memes Questions, Email Marketing, Books and Mini Courses

How To Use Content Marketing To Start A Business When You Have No Experience

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who was suffering a real low point after a lot of work-related stress. She was really struggling with the 9-to-5 grind, looking for a way to break free and find a healthier work-life balance. She asked how I’d ended up starting my business, whether I enjoyed it, and whether it had given me the freedom she craved. My answer?

Absofreakinglutely.

When I started my business it was for very similar reasons. Creating my own business has enabled me to manage the stresses of life and work far more easily. Life is a lot freer and a lot more enjoyable, because I spend all my work time doing something I absolutely love, and I’m in total control.

I work when I want, where I want, doing what I want.

Really, it’s just been an incredibly rewarding and wonderful experience.

That being said, it has been a lot of hard work. When I told my friend this she said,

“Oh, well, it’s not something that I’m thinking of doing now. I want to do it in the future, but I need to wait for 10 years until I’ve got enough experience.”

She genuinely didn’t think that it was possible to start a business unless you had a lot of experience doing exactly what your business demanded.

My question to her was simple: “When did I spend a decade working in a 9-to-5 job as a freelance writer before I set up a business as a freelance writer?”

That confused her for a minute until she realised that you can’t be a freelance writer until you ARE a freelance writer.

You can work as a writer, in various roles, in 9-to-5 jobs and corporate settings, but you can’t work as a freelance ANYTHING without first become a freelancer.

It’s physically impossible to start as a freelancer saying you have X years of experience working as a freelancer.

Entrepreneurship is much the same. Running your own business is a completely unique experience, and the majority of us start out without any idea what we’re getting into. We have life experience and work experience, but nothing prepares you for the challenge, thrill and slight insanity of running a business of your very own.

And if nothing can prepare you for it, how can you possibly have a decade’s worth of experience?

The question that grew from this was really simply: how exactly do you start a business when you have no ‘official’ experience, or the experience you do have is ‘unrelated’ to the business you want to create?

The answer is ridiculously simple: content marketing.

Let me explain…

When I Started My Business…

When I started my business it was just after I finished my PhD scholarship. My entire career up to that point had been in archaeology. I’d gone to university, done an undergraduate degree, and a master’s degree, then spent two years working in corporate archaeology. I’d dug all over the country, and in Europe. I’d gone back to uni to study for my PhD. Throughout my post-graduate studies I taught at University, so there was nothing in my background that screamed, “writer”.

My official experience was as an archaeologist, teacher and student. When I started my writing business my ‘official’ writing experience was nonexistent.

Despite having no official experience I had been writing in various capacities at a high level for years. Just going to university teaches you write to a very high standard. I’d had papers published. I’d been writing fiction. I’d had fiction published. So I had been writing for a very long time, but I had no official experience.

I’d had papers published in international archaeology journals.

And I’d had fiction published and self-published.

But despite years of writing, I had no ‘official experience’.

Why Seemingly Irrelevant Experience Is Never Irrelevant…

A lot of people find when they start their businesses (or find themselves thinking they want to start a business) and they can’t don’t have any official experience. And it holds people back. Like my friend, it’s often the thing that prevents people from ever getting started.

If you actually stop and think about the experience that you do have, you will usually discover something quite remarkable. Because the ‘thing’ you want to build your business around is likely something you are passionate about, something that you love, something you know you’re good at, your background will reflect it in one way or another.

Even if it’s not in an obvious way.

My friend’s background is in anthropology. The study of anthropology is really just the study of people. Branding is all about people: understanding how people think, what people want, what people like or need. It’s all about crafting individual brands that are unique to a specific person while appealing to a wider group of people.

So my friend actually understands the theoretical side of things and the mechanics behind how brands work extremely well because she spent so long learning about people and what makes them tick. It may not be a formal education or a decade’s worth of experience in graphic design or branding, but it gives her a unique perspective.

There are various other elements to her background that actually inform her new purpose, the career path that she now wants to take, and the businesses she wants to start. The problem was, she was looking at it from the perspective of, “I have no experience”, rather than asking,”How is my experience relevant to what I want to do?”

How To Turn Your Experience Into Your Unique Selling Point…

We can’t live our lives, move through the world, age and grow without gaining experience.

We all have experience in something.

You may have only ever worked a part-time job, or worked in a job that you consider to be dead-end, or horrible, or a generic office job. Perhaps you’ve been a cubicle monkey or a checkout clerk. Whatever you’ve done, you felt your job lacked meaning. Perhaps you had a very rewarding, very good job, but you’re now looking to shift careers and you feel you lack tangible experince for what you want to do moving forward.

You feel your experiences haven’t given you anything you could use to start a business. They were either meaningless or meaningless in the context of the new business reality you are trying to create.

Nothing Is Meaningless…

It’s insane that people think that their experiences are meaningless. Nothing in life is meaningless.

All of our experiences have meaning. Everything that you have done in your life, everything that you have seen, felt and thought, every single thing has led you to your present situation, to this moment in time, all of it had meaning. Something along the way drew you to want to start your business in your specific field, your specific niche, doing one particular thing.

You would never have got to that point of thinking, “Yes, I want to start a business doing this!” if your experiences hadn’t driven you to it.

For that reason alone, everything you have ever experienced has meaning.

So no matter what your official experience might be, you do have experience in your field. You just don’t know it yet.

Starting a business when you’re not able to say (for example), “I have 10 years of experience working as a professional writer”, or “I have 10 years experience working as a professional branding expert”, or “I have 20 years experience working as a marketing specialist”, can be tough. It’s be difficult to find a way to establish your business and yourself as trustworthy and knowledgeable in your field. Citing X number of years working in a particular job or field is an incredibly quick and easy way of establishing you know what you’re talking about.

It’s one line in a mini-bio that immediately tells people that you know your stuff.

It’s Not All About The One Liner…

The thing is, people are not convinced by a line in a bio.

They are convinced by what you say, what you do, and the presence you have as a business owner.

That’s where content marketing comes in.

Content marketing immediately helps you establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise by providing informative, interesting, funny, or just plain invaluable content.

If you are giving people things that are of value to them, that (far more than a line in a bio) will convince them that you are worth investing in. Your content will convince potential clients that you knowledgeable, capable of fulfilling your promises.

How To Use Content Marketing To Start A Business When You Have No Experience…

So how exactly do you use content marketing to start your own business? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think, but there are several key things that you have to do.

Find Your Niche…

The first thing I suggest you do is to niche down as much as possible. Really define your business niche. One mistake I made when I was first starting out in business was failing to clearly define what I was doing.

I started out happily doing editing, proofreading, writing, illustrations, helping people with their books, design elements…so many different things!

They were related to each other within a general sphere of ‘writing and books’. I loved doing them, and was capable of doing them, but result, unfortunately, was that nobody really knew what I did.

My business message was all over the place because I was talking about so many different things.

When I niched down, and really focused on the one thing that I wanted to do more than anything else (writing) things started falling into place really quickly. When I niched it down even further I realised I could get incredibly specific:

The one thing I do is create/teach the creation of blogs/vlogs to help business owners and entrepreneurs harness the awesome power of content marketing.

When I got that specific, suddenly everything fell into place.

My business started growing astonishingly quickly.

So finding your niche is the first thing you need to do in order to establish a business using the Content Marketing Business Model.

One thing I will say is this: when you think you’ve niched down, take a while to think about it. Come back to it later and look at it again. Because I can almost guarantee you that you will not have found a niche. You will have found a broad subject area, like ‘writing’, and thought, “Yes! That’s my niche!”

When you actually stop to think about it, you realise that what you’ve come up with isn’t really a niche, and it encompasses loads of different things. You want to drill down as far as you can to get ridiculously specific.

Exactly what are you’re going to be doing? How are you going to be doing it?

 

Find Your Ideal Client…

The next thing you need to do is figure out exactly who you want to work with. I know a lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of saying, “I’ll work with everybody. I’ll work with everybody. I don’t mind who I work with, I just want clients!”

I can understand that impulse, especially when you’re first starting out. I did it myself! At that stage in your business, you really just need to get money coming in. You’re quite happy to take on any work, with any client, anytime, anyhow, anywhere. Just to get money coming in.

But if you can be really specific about the exact type of person you ideally want to work with, and target all of your content to that specific person, so that’s most appealing to them, you will find that the overwhelming majority of the audience you grow will naturally be the people you want to work with most.

It’s really important to know who your ideal client is so that you aren’t writing content that’s aimed at just anybody. If you do that, you will end up with an audience made up of anybody and everybody. Tailoring your content to a very specific type of client allows you to build an audience that’s predominately made up of people you really want to work with, who will be the most interested in what you have to offer, who will find the most value in what you have to offer, and who are most likely to buy from you.

For example, my niche is writing content for entrepreneurs and small business owners. I could have simply left it at that and said, “I’ll write for any entrepreneur or small business owner.” To some extent, that is true. I do take on clients from all walks of life. But I got a lot more specific than that and decided that my ideal clients are female entrepreneurs/small business owners in their 20s and 30s who are:

  • Building a business based on something they’re truly passionate about.
  • Looking to use content marketing as the heart of their marketing strategy.
  • Want to ensure they’re always selling in a soulful manner.

They are my ideal clients, and all my content is tailored for them. Your ideal client might be very different.

RECOMMENDED READING ON FINDING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT: DID YOU KNOW YOUR BUSINESS IS BELOVED BY THE GODS

Tailoring Your Content To Target Your Ideal Clients…

Niche down to a very specific audience, for your very specific niche, allows you to target your content at a particular sector of a particular industry. Not only that, it allows you to target a particular subset of the people interested in that particular sector of that particular industry.

You get very targeted.

The more targeted you are in your content creation the more obvious it is that you know exactly what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, and how you can help those specific people.

Imagine trying to explain to somebody how you can help them, but you’re not addressing them as an individual, you’re words are generic, and seem to be designed to convince anyone that you’re right for them.

How can you be a good fit for everyone?

This is exactly what happens when you’re writing a blog post or recording a video, and you’re trying to explain exactly what you can do for the person watching, but you have no idea who they are.

They could be anybody. You end up saying a message that is very generic. It has to be generic because it has to appeal to everybody.

If, however, your message is directed at a very specific person, you can get really detailed on exactly what it is that you’re going to be able to do to help that person. You can be really clear on the exact way your product or service can fix the problems in their lives, make their lives better, help them in their business/personal lives.

The more specific you get in your marketing messages, the more effective your marketing will be.

RECOMMENDED READING ON WRITING FOR YOUR IDEAL CLIENT: 10 TIPS TO ENSURE YOU’RE ALWAYS WRITING FOR YOUR IDEAL CLIENT

How Specificity Demonstrates Experience…

Not only does content marketing allow you to target a really specific audience/niche and deliver a really specific message, all of that specificity demonstrates your knowledge, expertise, and experience. It proves that you are the person who is most capable of helping that group of people in that particular niche do that one specific thing.

Being specific proves you are the person most capable of helping your ideal client when it comes to that one thing in that one niche.

Content marketing is a way for you to demonstrate your experience in a tangible way. People can hear it, watch it, and read it. You can provide them with solid evidence of your experience and your ability follow through on your promises.

That is something that a bio can never do.

So if you’re worried that you don’t have anything to put in your bio to prove your expertise, there’s nothing to worry about.

All you need to do is put together a really solid content marketing plan that proves your value, worth, and knowledge.

The more effectively you can do this, the easier you will find it to build your business.

Why Giving Away Free Content Is The Key To Building Your Business…

It may seem like a contradiction to offer free content to people. You may be thinking, “I’m running a business, not a charity! Why am I giving this stuff away?”

But the thing is, creating valuable free content in turn creates a place that your ideal clients naturally want to be. It enables you to create a space they will naturally gravitate towards. People will learn that you are the person to come to for this specific type of advice/method or form of amusement/entertainment – whatever it is you’re offering.

They’ll learn that you’re where it’s at.

They will come to you.

They’ll spread the word.

More people will come to you based on their recommendations.

You will naturally grow a brilliant audience.

Once you have a core audience of ideal clients who are in love with your free content, they will naturally ask for more.

They will be saying, “Wow! If your free stuff is this good, how good much your paid products/services be? I want more of this amazing stuff and I’m quite happy to pay for it, because you’ve given me so much value for free – I know that you’re worth it. I know that you can do it. Here, take my money, just give me more!

RECOMMENDED READING ON THE POWER OF FREE CONTENT: The Cake Construction And How To Use It

That’s a very simplified version of how content marketing works. It takes an awful lot of work (I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t). Content marketing isn’t an easy or a quick fix. But it is a very effective way of building a business.

So if you’re looking to set up your own business, doing something that you love, and you’re holding yourself back because you believe you are lacking the experience required to do it, don’t worry. The experience that you have had in your life will feed into what you are doing in some way, because your experience is what led you to where you are.

Where you are, is at a point where you want to start this business.

You can start a business when you have no experience. You don’t need experience. You just need cracking content.

The Cornfield Paradox: How To Fix The Biggest Lie In Marketing

When I started out in business, I followed a few coaches and business/marketing experts. One of the things I came across more often than anything else was the notion that ‘If you build it, they will come!’

If you’ve ever seen Field of Dreams, you’ll understand why I call this The Cornfield Paradox. In the film, Kevin Costner plays the title role. He hears a mysterious voice talking to him in his cornfield one night, telling him, “If you build it, they will come.”

Deciding the voice is onto something, he builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield, and the Chicago White Sox appear, magically solving all his problems…

The basic gist of this (and its relevance to marketing) is the notion that by creating something wonderful, you will automatically attract people.

If you create fabulous products or services, people will naturally want to buy them.

And if you create wonderful content, people will automatically find it and read/watch it.

 

It’s a brilliant and wonderfully inspiring thought when you’re a fledgling business owner, just getting to grips with the myriad things required to get a business up and running. You pull yourself along with this belief that all you have to do is create your business, and customers will magically find you.

The problem with this concept, and why The Cornfield Paradox is the biggest lie in marketing, is that it doesn’t work.

Do any of these instructions sound familiar:

Blog regularly – preferably weekly.

Consistency is key – decide on a schedule and stick to it!

You need to blog for SEO, that’s how people will find you.

High-quality content is the secret to a good Google ranking.

This is all good advice, but when it’s coupled with an ‘If you build it, they will come’ mentality, it is fundamentally flawed.

Why?

Nothing good ever happens in a cornfield!

As many of you know, I’m a fiction writer. I’m a fan of fantasy, horror and various other genres, and I can tell you categorically that every time a cornfield appears, in any context, bad things happen.

Field of Dreams itself is a terrible film.

Cornfields are not where you will find the magical solution to all of your problems.

Cornfields are where you will find axe-murderers, aliens, cannibals, deranged lunatics, paedophiles, and innumerable other unsavoury characters and problems.

Nothing good ever happens in a cornfield, and this often-toted piece of advice coaches are so fond of is no different. THE BIGGEST LIE IN MARKETING is the notion that all you have to do is build it and they will magically come.

Here’s a truth bomb:

You can create the most fabulous content imaginable, but if nobody knows it’s there, nobody will read/watch it.

You can regularly produce blogs or vlogs week after week, be utterly consistent, optimise everything for SEO, and have a phenomenal Google ranking, and you’ll still get nowhere fast, because your content marketing method is based on a fundamental lie.

But don’t worry, all is not lost, there’s an easy fix… 

The Origins Of The Biggest Lie In Marketing…

I believe this mega myth of marketing originated in the early days of online marketing when the ‘If you build it, they will come’ model actually worked.

It’s not even that long ago since this wasn’t a lie, but a marketing true. When the internet was still relatively young, if you created a blog, and filled it with quality content, people would naturally find it, because there wasn’t the insane amount of content and information in the modern-day.

If you go back as little as ten years, Google something (especially something in a niche market) wouldn’t get that many results.

Now, you can Google exactly the same thing and end up with endless pages of results. Consequentlyt, even if you’re writing about a very niche subject, the likelihood of your specific blog post being the post that a large number of people find – enough to grow an audience organically – is slim. Simply writing good content just isn’t enough to get you discovered anymore.

There’s too much information on the internet, too many competing sites, too many posts discussing the same topics you are, and until people have actually read or watched your content and got to know you a bit, they won’t have any reason to favour your website other all the others on the same subject. Your Google search ranking helps with this – getting on the first page of Google will make it a lot more likely you will be found, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s not a simple case of optimising everything with keywords because everyone is optimising everything with the same keywords.

SEO Isn’t Enough…

You’re not doing anything unique with your SEO, what is unique about your content is YOU.

SEO can’t convey your ideas and prove they are better (or at least different) to everybody else’s; why your methods are superior; why your products are unique or better than everybody else’s; why your services are better than everybody else’s; why your take on the world is worth them coming back and reading/watching over and again. It’s only once they’ve experienced you, come to know, like, and trust you, and bookmarked your site, that they’re going to automatically come to you when they see you’ve written about a subject.

Your Google ranking is important, I’m not saying SEO is not important, it is.

It helps you get visible, it helps you get found, but the problem with SEO is that there is a perception that all you have to do to create a successful business is have a website and create good content that’s SEO-optimised, so people find you on Google.

Just build it, and they will magically come…

It does not work.

There are three things that you have to do to make sure that your blog is successful (check out my post on The Golden Trident: Three Magic Steps For Kick-Ass, Killer Blogging for more info).

The third step for kick-ass, killer blogging is that you have to HUSTLE!

It’s not enough to write good content, you have to get out there and tell people about your content. Share your content, spread it to the four winds, so that as many people as possible become aware of your content.

If you do that, then they will come, but they won’t just magically come wondering out of the cornfield and find you simply because you’ve written something.

The Cornfield Paradox…

The paradox occurs because so many people who decide they want to start a business buy into the biggest lie in marketing. They get interested in business, they get invested, they start learning about marketing, and they come across all these coaches telling them that all they have to do is ‘build it’, and people will find them.

So they build it, and they wait.

And they wait, and wait, and wait, and…TUMBLEWEED!

Nothing happens. And a great many people in this situation, when they reach this point, conclude that the reason blogging isn’t working because content marketing doesn’t work.

They reach this conclusion fairly quickly.

They start blogging. They keep it up for a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months. At the end of that couple of months, they’ve poured their heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into a weekly blog post. They’ve published at the right time, consistently, and sent out a newsletter to their list.

Nothing is happening.

The reason nothing is happening is that they’ve just started out. Their list consists of their friends (who aren’t really interested in their business), and a couple of people they know who genuinely are interested in business, but aren’t necessarily interested in the specific part of business that these blog posts are discussing.

Becuase they’re so new, they basically have no list. The few people on it aren’t their ideal clients, and they aren’t reaching anyone new.

They’re writing great content, but they’re just writing it and leaving it there. They’re expecting people to find their content, because they built it, and when nobody does, they conclude that blogging doesn’t work.

It’s not a viable marketing option, so they stop blogging.

I understand why this happens, but the mistake (and the paradox) is that if you’re not blogging, nobody will find you, but blogging, on its own, is not enough to make people find you., okay? So, if you stop blogging, nobody will find you. If you blog, but don’t do anything to promote your blog post, nobody will find you. So, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle here, in that if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come, okay?

If you stop blogging, nobody will find you.

If you blog, but don’t do anything to promote your blog post, nobody will find you. So, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle here, in that if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come, okay?

If you’ve bought into the ‘If you build it, they will come’ mentality, you’re missing a key part of the puzzle: if you build it, and tell people about it, they will come!

How To Fix The Biggest Lie In Marketing…

You have to get out there, share your content on social media, build your online networks, advertise your content when needed, and comment on other people’s blogs. Take the time to read their posts and leave a genuine comment; let them get to know you. Get them interested enough in you and what you’re saying that they click through to read your own blogs, and comment in return. Tweet out your posts, share them on Facebook, Instagram, and any other platforms you have.

And here’s the important part: you don’t just need to share your blog posts specifically.

You need to spend an awful lot of time simply building an online presence.

Whether you do it yourself or pay somebody else to do it for you, you need to be an active online presence. You need to be a person who more than just their blog posts.

At the time of writing this, I am personally failing in this regard and have been for a couple of months. I’m sharing my posts, but nothing else. Why? I don’t have time. Business suddenly got a lot busier this year, my workload has more than doubled and I had to let a few things go for the sake of my sanity. I’m in the process of outsourcing everything I no longer have time for, but in the interim, my social media marketing is next to non-existent.

And it shows.

The massive growth I saw in the first quarter of this year stalled in the second. And it’s all because of a very simple question I guarantee your audience is asking…

But What Else…?

You can’t constantly say, “I wrote a blog, read it. I wrote a blog, read it. I wrote a blog, read it,” because people get bored.

Even if your content is absolutely fabulous if you never say anything other than, “Read my blog post!” at some point they’re going to stop because they are over-saturated.

This is especially true in business.

If you have a personal blog, it’s a bit different. The very nature of your blog posts means the information you’re sharing differs vastly; you’re sharing an insight into your life, sharing quite a lot about yourself. Your topics will change from week to week, and it will always be of interest to your followers because that’s why they’re following you. You might have a lifestyle blog, and they’re interested in your specific lifestyle, or a hobby blog and they’re interested in your latest creations, or it could be a photography blog and they’re dying to see your new photographs.

If you’ve got a blog that constantly has completely fresh content, this it isn’t quite as true. But if you’re writing a business blog and blogging about a specific niche subject in business, or you’re a coach blogging about business in general, and all you’re doing is telling people to read your blog posts, they’re going to hit a wall. They’re going to shut off and stop reading, because they’re thinking, “I’ve read five posts about this, and they’re great and everything, but what else?

This is the awful truth about the nature of our consumerist society.

People are always thinking, “Great, but what else?”

It’s the buy one, get one free mentality. You buy into something and expect to get something else as well for free.

You say, “Read my blog post!”

They say, “Sure! Great! I’ve read it. What else do I get?

This is how we evolved into a system in which list-building hinges on giving away freebies and opt-ins, because it’s not enough to write a post and at the end of it, say, “If you want to read more of my blog posts, sign up for my newsletter!”

Because the response will always be, “Great, I’d love to read more of your blog posts, but what else?”

There will always be a “but what else?”

The Golden Ratio…

The “but what else” where the cornfield paradox is concerned is telling people about you, and your business, and your blog, in such a way that you’re only expecting them to ‘buy’ into it a small part of the time.

The golden ration is 80/20.

80% of the time, you should let them get to know you, seeing what you do, and gain insights into your daily life.

You might ask them questions, share behind the scenes snaps, useful information beyond your own blog, inspirational quote or memes. You want to build engagement and get a conversation going. Craft a living, vibrant relationship with your online followers, so that they actually know you quite well outside of what you write in your blog.

If you can build that kind of relationship with your audience, and grow an engaged audience, they will happily read your posts week after week and you’ll reach a point where you don’t need to tell them you have new posts for them to read. They will learn what day you post on and go looking for them.

For example, there is a blog I read religiously, The Bloggess, and she doesn’t have to email me to tell me that she’s got a new blog post, because I automatically check her site weekly. I know new posts will be there and I know they’ll always be funny.

There’s a video reviewer that I follow, who puts out three or four videos a week. I’m not even on his newsletter list, because all his newsletter does is send me a link to his new videos, and I know what days he posts them, so when I’m sitting having my lunch on those days, I automatically go to his site to watch the videos while I’m eating my lunch.

The same is true for my favourite channels on YouTube: I know what days Denise Duffield-Thomas, and Marie Forleo‘s videos come out every week, so I go and look for them.

Why The Biggest Lie In Marketing Is A Paradox…

The Cornfield Paradox is paradoxical because it does and doesn’t work.

If you create content, if you’ build it’, people will come and you will develop an audience, but only if you go the extra mile and tell people you have built it. Tell people enough about yourself and what you have built to ensure they are interested enough to keep coming back and remain engaged, interested and reading/watching the content that you’ve put out.

Are You Struggling With Your Content Marketing?

If (like me) you find there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, and you’re at the point where you need to delegate some essential elements of your business, don’t worry, I totally get it. Content Marketing isn’t for everyone. It’s time-consuming, often tedious, and requires a phenomenal amount of time, effort, and expertise.

Why not let me do it for you?

Unsure about hiring a copywriter? I totally get that too. That’s why I offer all new clients a totally free blog post to test run my services before they decide whether to invest. Grab your free post (no string attached!) now!

How To Make Soulful Selling The Passionate Heart Of Your Marketing

I talk about the concept of soulful selling a lot, but I haven’t actually explained the term. This week I’m diving into the concept of soulful selling, and how you can use Soulful Selling to create a fabulous business that has your passion at its heart. This is the key to finally figuring out how to make your passion your paycheck, and you will be amazed by the transformative power soulful selling can have in your business.

The Hard Sell…

We’ve all been the victims or the hard sell at some point in our lives. You walk into a shop, quite content to browse a few things that you’re interested in, and you’re immediately accosted by a random stranger, who’s decided that you’re going to buy a specific product they are trying to sell. They proceed to shove that product down your throat. You likely have no interest in this item and, even if you did have an interest when you walked in the shop, you suddenly lose interest the second the sales rep start talking.

How about the cold calls that we all get? Out of the blue, on our personal mobiles, at peculiar times, from people expecting us to just hand over our money to a company we’ve never heard of before, and for a product or service, we know nothing about.

Even in the world of online marketing, we still get the hard sell. Random advertisements pop up for products that you’ve never expressed an interest in. You get emails from people you’ve never heard of before, never interacted with, and never seen. People who have scraped your email address off your website and randomly sent you a sales pitch. All of this is hard selling.

Courtship In Marketing…

Yes, we’re talking about the age-old concept of courtship.

Courtship really is the heart and soul of marketing. If you want people to buy from you, to hand over their hard-earned cash, you need to have a relationship with them first. It’s very rare for people to buy things from a person or company they don’t know, or to purchase a product or service they have literally only just heard about at the point of purchase.

Your customers need to get to know, like and trust you before they will willingly part with their money and buy from you. That applies to products, services, low-cost items, high-cost items – it applies to everything. In the world of online marketing, it’s really easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that all you need to do is build a website, set up an advert to drive people to your landing page, and the sales will come rolling in.

It’s not that simple.

The problem with that method is that it is a hard sell. Unless you are only targeting an audience that already knows you with your adverts, the people looking at your adverts, clicking through and seeing your landing page, are doing so without ever having experienced you and what you can do before.

They don’t know you.

They might like your advert, but they don’t know you well enough to like you (or your company/product/service) yet. They certainly won’t trust you. Their entire opinion of you is based on one advert and one landing page. Even if you have the best landing page in the world, if you haven’t taken the time to build a relationship with the people you’re trying to sell to, you’re not going to get very far.

Soulful Selling…

If you haven’t taken the time to introduce yourself and your business to your audience, and explain to them the value of what you’re asking them to pay for, you’re going to find it very, very difficult to sell to them. Soulful selling is the opposite of the hard sell. It doesn’t rely on you drawing in random people, who have never heard of you before and pitching a product or service to them. Instead, you take the time to create a place that your ideal clients are naturally drawn to.

You produce high quality, valuable content, completely free, targeted at a very specific audience – the people who you most want to work with. You grow an audience made up entirely of your ideal clients. Over time they get to know, like and trust you, through reading or watching your content. You have the opportunity to explain to them who you are, what you do, and why your products or services are valuable to them.

They come to understand the value your offerings will bring to their lives.

If you’re selling a particular product, explain to them what this product will do to transform their lives. Paint a vivid picture.If you’re selling them a service, especially a business service, you want to sell them on exactly what your service can do to transform their business, to earn them more money, to make their lives easier. These are all things that you cannot do on a hard sell. Once you get the hang of soulful selling, it actually becomes a very easy process, a very natural process. Your audience grows quite organically. You have to put a lot of effort into it, in the content creation. And in getting your content out there so the people know that it exists.

If you’re selling them a service, especially a business service, show them exactly what your service can do to transform their business, earn them more money, or make their lives easier. These are all things that you cannot do on a hard sell. Once you get the hang of soulful selling, it actually becomes a very easy process, a very natural process. Your audience grows quite organically. You have to put a lot of effort into it, in the content creation. And in getting your content out there so the people know that it exists.

It’s very difficult to create a vibrant, detailed, and believable picture when all you have to work with is a hard sales pitch.

How To Make Soulful Selling The Passionate Heart Of Your Business…

Once you get the hang of soulful selling, it becomes a very easy, very natural process. Your audience grows quite organically. Content creation requires a lot of energy, passion, creativity and time. Soulful selling is by no means the easy route. It’s also not enough to simply create fabulous content. You have to get your content out there, so people know that it exists.

But, once you start that ball rolling, you’ll find it snowballs quite quickly.

Compare the benefits of soulful selling to the spray and pray method of marketing. On the one hand, you have an ever-increasing tribe of ideal clients who know, like, and trust you and understand your value and the benefits of your products and services. They’re happy to hear your sales pitches when you make them, because the rest of the time you give them so much valuable content. On the other hand, your marketing rests on literally blasting out your message to everybody, and hoping that some of the people you reach are going to like you, even though they don’t know you.

By making soulful selling the passionate heart of your marketing, you can change your marketing message.

The hard sell is slightly cringe-worthy. It’s a random advert that might get clicked but is generally ignored, or quickly abandoned, because people don’t know you enough to care, or trust that you can deliver what you’re promising.

Soulful selling allows you to create a message that truly reflects your abilities and the benefits of your products and services. It’s a message your tribe anticipates and eagerly click on to learn more.

Make Your Passion Your Paycheck…

Soulful selling is the perfect way to infuse your marketing efforts with your own passion for your business. Your passion for your niche, for the one thing that you do, that nobody else can do quite like you do it. That, my friend, is what sells.

When people can see how invested you are in a particular subject, a particular area, a particular ‘thing’. Whatever your ‘thing’ is, let people can see how passionate you are about it, how much you love it, the depth of your understanding of it, and how invested you are in ensuring your business, products and services are the best they can possibly be. Let them see how invested you are in making sure that the members of your tribe have better lives as a result of your work.

Nothing compares to content marketing when it comes to achieving this.

Creating free content may at first seem like a bit of an oxymoron. Why would you give away your knowledge and expertise for free? It seems like you’re wasting your time, money, and resources, and spending and an awful lot of energy creating something that’s not really going to achieve anything for you. A lot of people think, “I can just run a Facebook ad. I can just run an email marketing campaign. I can just post some Tweets, and it will have exactly the same effect.”

But there’s a huge difference between creating a place that your ideal clients naturally come to, wanting more from you, and a sales pitch that you blast out and pray someone responds.

Now there’s more to soulful selling than just content marketing. There are concepts that run to the way you run your business, your ethos, your standards, your ways of delivering and ensuring that you’re always putting your customer first. But where marketing is concerned, when it comes to soulful selling, content marketing is the key to ensuring your marketing efforts are thoroughly soulful.

Soulful selling is the way you will propel your business forward and completely transform your marketing from spray and pray, hard sell, to a place that people just love to be, where they can’t get enough of you.

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How To Start A Vlog: All Of The Technical Needs

 

 

Basic Setup

​Camera: 

Smartphone, Tablet, Webcam

​Support: 

If you’re using a laptop, place it on a flat surface and it will support itself. If you’re using a phone or tablet, you will need to prop it against something stable. For extra height, place on a stack of books.​

Light:

​Use natural light. Film in front of a bit bright window. Your camera ALWAYS needs to face AWAY from the window (or any light source), you need to face TOWARDS it!  

Get outside in the sunshine!

Backdrops​

An attractive wall in your house; a big bookcase; your desk/office; outdoors in nature.​

Editing

Lightworks

FREE!​

Budget Setup

Camera:​

Sony DSCW 800 

c. £60

THE CAMERA I HAD BEFORE MY CANON 750D

​Support: 

Amazon Basics 60" Tripod

c. £18

THIS IS MY CURRENT TRIPOD​

Autocue:​

Parrot Teleprompter

c. £100

Light:

ESDDI Photography Double Lamps

c. £33

​                                                                      

​                                                                                                                                  

Batteries

Your camera will come with a battery, make sure it also comes with a charger (it should!). Getting at least one spare batter is a very good idea!

Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32 GB

​c. £12

Card Reader

Anker Card Reader

c. £9​

THIS IS MY CURRENT CARD READER!

Camera Bag

Anti-Shock Padded Waterproof Case

​C. £7

THIS IS THE CASE I HAD FOR MY SONY​

Backdrops​

As long as the space you're using is clear and isn't distracting, you can film anywhere.

​                                                                 

Editing (WINDOWS)

Movavi Video Editor (PERSONAL LICENSE)

c. £30

Movavi Video Editor (BUSINESS LICENSE)

c. £60

Editing (MAC)

Movavi Video Editor (PERSONAL LICENSE)

c. £30

Movavi Video Editor (BUSINESS LICENSE)

c. £60

THE LIGHT VERSION OF WHAT I USE - IT'S A GREAT VIDEO EDITOR, BUT DOESN'T COVERT, COMPRESS, SPLIT, RECORD YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN, CAPTURE FROM CAMERAS, VHS AND TV AND ALL THE OTHER COOL STUFF YOU GET WITH THE SUITE

Advanced Setup

Camera:​

Canon 750D

c. £500

THIS IS MY CURRENT CAMERA!​

​Support: 

Professional Pro 72" Tripod 

c. £36

Autocue:​

Glide Gear TMP 110

c. £200​

Light:

Neewer 700W Professional Softbox Lights 

c. £63​

I'M CURRENTLY USING ONE OF THESE LIGHTS (IF YOU'RE BUYING, GET A PAIR!)​

Microphone

RØDE VideoMic GO On Camera Microphone

c. £90

Batteries

Your camera will come with a battery, make sure it also comes with a charger (it should!). A spare battery is a MUST HAVE.           

Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 64 GB

c. £28​

Get A Spare!​ You'll Need 2!

Card Reader

Anker Card Reader

c. £9​

THIS IS MY CURRENT CARD READER!

Camera Bag

BESTEK Waterproof Canvas Bag

​c. £28

THIS IS MY CURRENT CAMERA CASE!​

Backdrops​

Leaptek Adjustable 2x2m Background Support System

c. £30

Editing (WINDOWS)

Movavi​ Video Suite (PERSONAL LICENSE)

c. £75​

Movavi​ Video Suite (BUSINESS LICENSE)

c. £90​

THIS IS WHAT I USE FOR ALL MY VIDEOS!​

Killer Setup

Camera:​

Canon 5D

c. £2000

​Support:

BC Master 80" Tripod 

c. £130

Autocue:​

iKan Elite Universal Teleprompter 

c. £500​

Light:

Interfit F5 Three-Headed Lighting Kit

c. £230

                                                                        ​

Microphone

Saramonic MixMic

c. £230​

Batteries

Your camera will come with a battery, make sure it also comes with a charger (it should!). Spare batteries and a multi-battery charger are a MUST HAVE.

Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 64 GB

c. £28​

Get Several Spares! You'll Need At Least 4

Card Reader

Anker Card Reader

c.£9​

x2

Camera Bag

YuHan Oxford Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag

​c. £50

Studios

Convert a spare space (loft, shed, garage, box room) into a studio. Paint the walls in white, even if you have a single wall painted in a feature colour, the rest should be white for lighting.                       

Editing (WINDOWS)

Movavi​ Video Suite (PERSONAL LICENSE)

c. £75​

Movavi​ Video Suite (BUSINESS LICENSE)

c. £90​

THIS IS WHAT I USE FOR ALL MY VIDEOS!​

OR...​

Hire a professional video editor.

Live Video Setup...

​For the most part you can use exactly the same setup for live video as static BUT your camera needs to be online! This usually means using Smartphone, tablet, or webcam , although GoPros and high end cameras now come with wifi too! If you're using your webcam, you can totally use your built in webcam, but if you want a really cool pro version, check out...,

​Mevo Live Event Camera - c.£480

It’s perfect for Facebook Live, Twitter and Perriscope (It's next on my buy list!). Another very good investment for doing live events (and Podcasts) is a professional quality microphone, check out

Yeti USB Microphone - c. £120

...that's number two on the list, right below the Mevo!

Ultimate Professional...

Hire a professional videographer. You can do this in your home set up, or hire a professional studio to work in, which will have professional lighting, sound, and the ability to create any environment you like - you can even hire a set dresser and/or branding expert. If you're doing this, take full advantage - batch as much content as possible, and get plenty of extra footage of you doing your thing to use for intros etc. Also, you're in a professional studio - get some brand photos taken while you're there!​

I dream of recording like this, after the manner of Marie Forleo and more recently Denise Duffield Thomas (yes, I know, I cite them a lot, I may be slightly obsessed!).​

 

How To Build A Powerful Vlog For Your Business Vlogging Workflows

 

The Super Awesome Power Of Video Marketing

Video marketing has been on the rise for several years now, but 2016 really saw it take off. Several of the big giants, like Twitter and Facebook, invested heavily in developing their own video platforms. They’ve integrated video into social media. As a result, video has become the solid core of all good content marketing plans.

That doesn’t mean blogging is obsolete in the slightest, not even slightly.

It does mean is that you will get a lot more mileage out of your content if you record it in video format, and present it in written blog format at the same time.

This isn’t an either/or thing, okay? It’s not, ‘You should do video instead of blogging.’ It’ is, ‘You should do vlogging as well as blogging.’

Don’t worry, that’s not going to take you twice as much time. Once you have your content in video format, you can get it transcribed and put into written format. Or alternatively, you can write your content like you normally would for your blog, put it on an autocue, and record it by reading it straight from that.

So it doesn’t have to double your workload. It will take you a bit more time overall, but it is so worth it. Here’s why…

Why Video Is The Perfect Medium For Marketing…

Simply put, video is the perfect medium to use when connecting with potential customers. Video marketing is the best and fastest way to build the Know, Like, and Trust factor. It’s excellent at forming really strong, lasting relationships with potential clients. It’s the best way to convert those potential clients into paying clients. It’s also the best way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Videos are also a great way to educate people on the importance and value of your products and services. It’s also how you educate people on your core values and beliefs, as a business, a thought leader, or just as a person.

The best way to get your message out there, whatever your message might be, is video marketing!

The Statistics…

At the end of 2016, Syndicate put out up-to-date statistics that estimated that, of all the content online in 2017, 74% of it would be in video format.

74%!

Not only that, just including the word ‘video’ in the subject line of your newsletter will increase your open rate by 19%. It will boost your click through rate by 65%. That is insane! At the same time, (if that wasn’t an incentive enough to get vlogging and start doing all your content marketing in video format!), your unsubscribe rates plummet by 26% when you start using video.

That really is a no-brainer!

Those statistics alone should be enough to convince you that video marketing is the way forward. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Video is the way forward, people, join the revolution!

Exactly What Is So Powerful About Video Marketing?

Facebook were actually the ones that first tipped us off to the awesome power of video in terms of content marketing. They announced in 2015 that video view rates had more than doubled. It very quickly became obvious that the amount of interaction and organic reach that you got out of videos was massively superior to any other kind of content.

SEO…

From an SEO perspective, video will hugely impact your rankings. Next to Google, YouTube is the biggest search engine going and it is entirely video-based. Not only that, it is owned by Google. If you have a YouTube channel with lots of good quality content on it, you are more likely to have your videos come up in search results than you are to have your website come up in search results.

Google Algorithms…

Even if you have the videos embedded in your website, because of the way that Google algorithms work, they like to provide multimedia search results. If they can find videos that match a certain search criteria, they will show videos along with other media (posts, images, news etc.). You’re more likely to get your video on the first page of Google than you are your blog post, even if it contains that video.

If you want to rank highly, you need to be recording your content in video format.

The Growing Importance Of Video Marketing…

Given how quickly video marketing is escalating, how fast the integration of video marketing is improving, and how important video is becoming to marketing in general, the impact video marketing is going to have on your SEO is only going to grow. It currently has a huge impact on your SEO, and having a YouTube channel, and videos on your website is going to do wonders for your SEO. As time progresses that impact is just going to escalate.

In short, the sooner you start investing in creating regular video content the better.

The Lazy Factor…

One of the reasons video is so popular is the fact it provides people with easy viewing. You can sit back, relax and watch, rather than having to read.

Or why not watch or listen while you’re doing something else?

You can seriously multitask if you have content in video format, as opposed to blog posts, which require your full attention. A lot of people still love reading blog posts. Personally, I do both, I still read a lot of blog posts online, but I also watch a lot of video.

Vlogs Are Preferably To Blogs For Some Topics And People…

I don’t know about you, but there are certain people I follow who I wouldn’t follow if they didn’t have a vlog. The best example I can think of is Cupcake Jemma, who is one of my favourite YouTubers. She has an amazing YouTube channel and almost 1 million subscribers. She teaches you how to bake cupcakes and other amazing things.

Cupcake Jemma started her whole business through her YouTube channel. She has a bakery in Soho, London, which she set up and funded through her YouTube channel. She had no bank loan, she had nothing, she just started making videos. It took off and was so successful, and so popular, that she now has a thriving business in the heart of Soho.

That is the power of video.

But if she was blogging about cupcakes I would not take the time to read that blog. When it comes to written blog posts, the only ones I read anymore in written format are ones that relate to work. Even then, there are a LOT of newsletters that land in my inbox, snag me with an interesting title, then lose me when I realise ‘Urgh, I’ve got to read it!’

If it’s something vital to my business I’ll take the time to read it.

If it’s something that’s just for fun, or useful but not utterly essential, I very rarely read a post on it.

The only exception to that is The Bloggess, who is an awesome author that I’ve been following for years.

Easy Viewing…

Video is really easy viewing. It gives people the chance to take in content they otherwise wouldn’t prioritise. They might not have time to sit and read your blog post, but they can listen to your vlog (or podcast) while they’re doing the dishes; they can watch your vlog while they’re relaxing on their lunch break, having a coffee, or before they go to bed.

Video gives people a really easy way into your content. It makes it far more likely they will actually go to the bother of looking at your content than they would if it was in written format.

That is simply because, people are fundamentally quite lazy. The easier you make things for them, the more likely they are to do it.

Virality…

The other amazing thing about video is its virality. I do mean virality not virility (that’s a whole different thing!). I’m talking about the likelihood of a piece of content going viral.

If you post a written post on Facebook, and a video post on Facebook, with exactly the same information in it, watch the organic reach of both posts. You will see exactly what I mean. The video will get a lot more organic reach than the written post.

You don’t have to advertise it, you don’t have to do anything with it. Just stick them up and watch what happens.

Videos naturally get far further than any other kind of content. If you add advertising to that, and advertise your video content, its reach is phenomenal.

Conclusion: Video Marketing Is Awesome…

In short, video is a phenomenally powerful tool when it comes to marketing. It raises awareness of you and your business. It raises your engagement level. It drives sign-ups and sales. It promotes confidence and gives you an air of trustworthiness. It improves your Know, Like, and Trust factor no end. And it converts people into paying clients, and often dedicated members of your tribe, who will come back to you again and again.

Now, if you’re sat there thinking, “God, I want in on this action. How do I start vlogging?” Don’t worry, I’m going to be back next Tuesday with another post that will teach you exactly how to set up a powerful vlog for your business. You can also download my brand new freebie, which includes all the workflows I use in my own vlogging. It takes you through, step by step, the exact process you need to follow to set up a really powerful vlog.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss the video, or sign up to my newsletter and I’ll send it straight to your inbox…

The Super Awesome Power of Video Marketing

8 Ways Content Can Grow An Insanely Powerful Tribe

If you’ve been following the vlog for a while, you’ll know I spent quite a lot of time talking about content marketing and how powerful it can be in your business. Content marketing is a brilliant way of growing a tribe, but a lot of people ask me, “Exactly how does content marketing grow your tribe?”

It’s a really good question. How exactly does producing high-quality content grow your tribe? Well, it’s a two-part answer…

The Mechanics Of Using Content Marketing To Grow Your Tribe…

Content Marketing can grow you a tribe of people who are interested in your specific Zone of Genius, your specific niche, because you are actively putting out content that is about that one specific thing.

People are looking for information about your Zone of Genius because they’re interested in that specific subject. They find your content and therefore they find you. They become a part of your tribe, and the more content you put out, the more people find you and the bigger your tribe becomes.

It’s a simple concept, but it take a lot of careful planning to get it right.

How To Target Content To Grow Your Tribe Of Ideal Clients…

The second part of the answer and the part most people are really interested in: exactly how do you get your content to grow a true tribe; a group of people that you are specifically targeting.

We’re talking ideal clients.

What people really want to know is not ‘How does content marketing work?’ but ‘Exactly how do I use content marketing to target the right people, to form a tribe that is right for me and my business?’

That’s really crucial. If you don’t have a strategy, if you don’t have a plan and a really clear idea of the tribe that you’re trying to build, you can end up with a generic tribe that won’t do you any good.

Generic Tribes…

A really good example of how this happens is publishing content on lots of different topics that you are interested in. You just like writing about lots of different things. That’s great. If you’re running a personal blog, an interest blog, or a hobby blog, that’s a brilliant outlet for your creativity. You can write about whatever you want. But if you’re running a business, changing your topics around and talking about lots of different things week to week lacks any kind of cohesion. It lacks consistency. And it also makes it incredibly difficult to grow your tribe, because the people coming to your blog are always going to be very varied.

One week attract one type of person, the next you’ll be attracting a totally different type of person. The people you’re attracting also aren’t necessarily going to be interested in your business. They might be interested in what you’re talking about in a particular blog post, or even several blog posts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to wanting to buy what you sell. And that’s the name of the game: building a tribe who want to buy exactly what you are selling.

8 Ways Content Can Grow An Insanely Powerful Tribe…

Today I’m going to go through eight ways you can use content marketing to grow your tribe by being crystal clear and strategic about who you target with that content. A huge part of this is knowing your ideal client. I talk an awful lot about ideal clients in other blogs, so I’m not going to go into that today, but do check those out. Certainly have a look at how I use archetypes to hone down exactly who your ideal client is so you know what you’re aiming for. So for these eight tips to work, you need to know who your ideal client is, okay? So this is assuming you already know that, all right?

Passion…

The first way to use content marketing to grow your tribe of dedicated ideal clients is one a lot of female entrepreneurs use: passion.

If you share your passion for the very specific thing you do, and you share it in such a way that ignites that passion in others, you will quickly grow your tribe of like-minded individuals, who are equally passionate about the same thing. The key is to ensure the passion you’re pouring into your content is a passion for your very specific niche, so the people you’re attracting are people who will be really passionate about what you can do for them, and they will therefore want what you have to offer.

Whether it’s products, services, coaching, whatever you’re doing, make sure you find a way to work in your passion in such a way that it gets them really fired up about what you have to offer.

A really good example of this is one of my favourite female entrepreneurs, Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise is astonishingly passionate about the topic of money and making money and manifesting money. It really shines through in all her content: she cares, not just about the topic of money, but of the actual process of making more money for yourself and living the life of your dreams, whatever that life may be.

As a result, Denise has quickly been able to build a phenomenally powerful and dedicated tribe of followers who share her passion for manifesting money, and who are interested in exactly what it is she is teaching.

Just like her, they want to be able to release their money blocks, and find a way to manifest the money that they need to live the life of their dreams. Denise has used content marketing absolutely perfectly to grow a powerful tribe of her ideal clients, and it’s resulted in a multi-million dollar business.

That’s what you’re aiming for.

You don’t have to be teaching money, you don’t have to be teaching anything. Just find a way to tie your passion for what you do into your ideal client’s passion for what you sell.

Be The Inspiration That Motivates Them…

The second way to use your content to grow your tribe is to actually be the inspiration that motivates people. If you are, for example, a dieting expert, a health coach, a nutritionalist, if you’re teaching people how to live healthier lives, eat better, lose weight, or increase their fitness, it’s really helpful if you’ve already been on the journey that they are about to embark on.

Ar Weight-Watchers meetings or Slimming World, the leaders of the groups are very often people who used to be dieters. They started off as the average-Joe, walking in off the street, wanting to lose weight. They got on board with the system, lost a shed-load of weight, and were so invested in it that they went on to set up their own business, teaching other people how to do what they did.

I’ve been to Weight-Watchers meetings and even a few slimming world ones, and they very often have before and after photos of themselves, right there at the front. It screams loud and clear: “This is what I used to be, this is what I am now. This is how I did it, you can do it too!

So you actually become the inspiration that motivates people. That’s really important, especially if you’re doing something like fitness or health, or anything involving a particularly difficult personal journey. That can be anything really. Building a business of your own is a phenomenally difficult journey. But if you can be the thing that inspires your ideal clients, that actually motivates them to get started and to keep going, that’s a phenomenally powerful way to grow your tribe.

People need motivation and they need inspiration; if you can be both at the same time then you’re golden.

Phases…

You can also grow your tribe by using your content to tap into a particular phase in life your ideal client is going. We all have stages in life, whether it’s childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, menopause, there are age-related phases, mood-related phases, mentality-related phases, and phases that relate to your career, hobbies, or what do in your spare time.

So, for example, new mums are going through a phase. I don’t mean that in a condescending sense, I mean the period of being a new mum is a phase in your life. Changing careers, that’s a phase. Anything that requires you to experience a particular thing for a set period of time.

Phases are things that happens in your life for a finite amount of time.

During that time you often need a lot of help, people who understand what you’re going through and have been there, and can relate and can support you.

If you can tap into a phase your ideal client is experiencing, that is very specific to your ideal client, and related to your products or services you’re selling, then you can grow your tribe based on that need for community.

The need for support, familiarity, and people that know what you’re going through and can help you through it.

Life Events…

Life events are a lot more specific, and usually a lot shorter-lived than phases. Think weddings, birthdays, promotions, retirement, pregnancy, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one.

Are your ideal clients are experiencing a major milestone that has quite a profound effect on you? Things like graduating from university, your first job, or a change in career.

In a very similar way to phases, if you can hone in on a specific live event your ideal client is going through that’s an excellent way to grow your tribe.

Not everybody will have one. My ideal clients do not have a common life event I can tap into. It doesn’t work for everyone. These methods don’t work universally for all ideal clients, so you need to find the one that suits you. But if, for example, you are a wedding planner or a wedding photographer, or a wedding cake maker, then the obvious life event your ideal clients are sharing is weddings.

You can grow your tribe by tapping into the fact they are planning their wedding.

Say you make wedding cakes. Most of your ideal clients aren’t going to want to know exactly how you make wedding cakes. They like seeing the pictures of the finished cakes, but they’re not really that bothered about how you get there most of the time. What they are interested in, however, is absolutely everything else related to weddings.

They’re planning their wedding, they’re looking for caterers, photographers, tips, the perfect dress.

So make your content focused on weddings, and how to have the perfect wedding, and you will rapidly grow your tribe into a community of people who are planning their wedding, and looking for somebody to make their wedding cake. And there you are, just sat there waiting to do it for them!

The thing I will say about this form of tribe though, it’s transitional.

So if you build a tribe based solely on an event like a wedding, you have a very high turnover in your tribe because people really only want a wedding cake once in their lives. Unless something goes catastrophically wrong and they end up getting married again, it’s going to be a one-off thing. They’re only going to buy it from you once.

You might keep them in your tribe because they follow you out of interest or nostalgia, but they’re never going to buy a cake from you again.

You need to be aware of that if you’re basing your business on a life event. You need to engineer your content in such a way that it’s constantly current, it’s constantly ”now’, so that it’s always attracting new people who are newly interested in the event that you’re dealing with, who will be newly needing what you’re selling.

Build A Community Around A Product Or Services…

The fifth way is to use your product or service you are selling as the core of your tribe. You then build your whole tribe around that product or service.

The best example I can think of for this is Leonie Dawson’s planners.

I discovered Leonie Dawson a few years ago when I was first starting out in business. I was looking for help setting everything up and getting going. I was really learning about how you run a business. One of the first things that I invested in, in terms of my own development as a business owner, was Leonie Dawson’s planners. This was several years ago now, but I’ve bought one every year since.

When I first bought it, it was just one book, now it’s three. I get all of them. Every year. Without fail.

If that’s not a genius marketing strategy, I don’t know what is.

I pre-order it as soon as it is available.

I’m a member of the Facebook group.

I have been to get-togethers with other local entrepreneurs where we’ve sat around with our planners planning stuff.

Leonie has built a fabulous community that is specific to her ideal client, which is creative entrepreneurs building a business, but is focused on one small product, rather than her academy training course.

The majority of her marketing isn’t geared towards getting you to buy into the academy, it’s geared towards getting you to buy a planner. That’s a much easier sell!

I think they cost me about £30 this year for the whole lot, but you can get them individually for about £10-£15.

It’s a very small investment to make, and with that investment you not only got a really powerful tool to help you in your business, you got this massive community of like-minded individuals who can support you, and travel with you on your journey as you plan your business.

That’s really what’s made Leonie so successful, her huge dedicated tribe of planner addicts. But a side-effect of all of that, is that a lot of the people buying her planners go on to do the academy, and that’s a big-ticket item.

As a business model this works really well. If you can find a product, especially a low-ticket item that you can get people really fired up and interested in, and that you can build a community around, your content should be geared to that product and helping people with related subjects. You can get people doing group activities and having conversations about it.

If you can do that, you will build a tribe a lot more quickly than you would if you were trying to get people interested in an abstract concept, or a very expensive item that they’re not sure they’re ever going to be able to afford to buy.

Tie Your Content To Your Geographic Location…

Number six is geography. I don’t mean that in the boring sort of schoolroom sense of what you learned in school. I mean that in the literal sense. If your business is local, so specific to a very small area or a particular region, then the easiest way to focus and build your tribe is to target people in your specific area. Now you need to be a bit clever with this one, because if you’re not careful you end up with a group of people who are all from one area, but they’re not all interested in what you have. So I don’t advise you using this one on its own, I advise you tying it in with one of the others. But you can still very easily target people who are specifically interested in what you’re doing, but are also in your geographic region. And the way to do this is to actually tie your content into local events, local places, local things that are of interest to people.

For me, I don’t actually do this at the moment because I don’t work locally, I work internationally, but if I were going to do it, I’m just down the road from Knutsford, and Knutsford has a phenomenal number of things that happen like the flower show, it’s got Tatton Park, it’s got farmers markets and all sorts of things like that. So if I were ever to niche down and target just local people to me, I would tie all of my content into what was happening locally, and news events and things like that. So that when people were searching for non-business topics, they ended up reading things that were tangentially related to business because they were looking for news about the local area.

The good thing about that is that people will automatically filter themselves out, so it can be a bit of a spray and pray technique, geography, but once you’ve got people who are in your local region interested and looking at your website and reading your stuff, they’ll very quickly realise what you do, or at least they should if you’ve got your branding right, realise what you do, and if they’re not interested in what you do they will just count themselves out. They’ll take themselves away, and that’s done in a very nice, non-negative manner. It’s just a case of, “This is me, this is what I do and this is what I’m going to be talking about” and they’ll automatically go, “Oh well, I’m not interested in that” and go. So you won’t end up with a load of people who are local to you but not interested in what you’re doing, because they will automatically count themselves out, but they will only do that if you tie the two together, okay? So you have to tie what you’re doing to your geographic place.

Target Demographics…

Number seven is demographics, and this works a lot like geography in the sense that you have to tie the demographic or demographics that you’re using to something that is very, very specific to what you’re doing. Probably the best example of how people do this is to say that they’re going to target female entrepreneurs. So that’s a very specific demographic in the sense that one, they are entrepreneurs, and two, they are female. Now you might niche that down even further and say, “I’m going to target female entrepreneurs between the ages of 20 and 40.” Or 40 and 60. You might decide you are only going to target a particular nationality of female entrepreneurs between those ages, because your product or your service is of particular value to them.

This is one of those things where you really have to know who your ideal client is. You need to know exactly what kind of things they’re interested in so that you can target them based on their interest, but you must, must, must, must, must tie it to what you do, okay? You really must.

Target Generations…

The last one is generations, and no I don’t mean the really crappy Star Trek film. Hello. Yes, yes, [Creambum 00:20:30] we don’t like the ice cream then do we? No.

Generationally speaking, people have very different attitudes, very different values, very different lifestyles and stages of life, and if you know that your ideal client is in a specific generation. So for example, the majority of my clients are millennials, like me. So that makes it very, very easy to target them because there are certain things I know about millennials that can be targeted. Like we are very interested in technology. We tend to be liberal and very tolerant. We really like our music and our pop culture, and we also tend to be quite interested in clothes. I don’t know why, but we are. So if you’re targeting millennials, and for the record that’s anyone born between 1977 and 1995, you can use that knowledge of how millennials think and what they like to actually target your content to them and build your tribe around the specific things that they are really, really interested in.

Now the topic of how to target generationally is absolutely massive and there is no plausible way that I can go through it all now, but really what I just wanted to do was demonstrate how you can draw distinctions between age groups. You can actually tailor your whole brand and not just your content, but your whole brand to target your ideal client. So you can see the way I am, is clearly targeted at my generation. That’s not to say that I don’t love working with people from other generations, I do, it’s just the majority of my clients are from my generation, so my branding and my content is aimed at that particular age group, at that particular generation and the demographics that go with them.

And Finally…

There you have it, there’s my eight ways to grow your tribe using your content, and I hope you’ve enjoyed that and you found it useful. If you have any tips of your own on how to grow your tribe, I would love, love, love to hear them, and if you have any questions then do please comment below, or email me, or head on over to the website and have a look at the other content that I’ve got there because that might help you out. Also do please like and share this post and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to ensure you never miss a post…

8 Ways Content Can Grow An Insanely Powerful Tribe (4)

7 Awesome Ways Content Marketing Can Uplevel Your Business

If you haven’t heard the term before, Content Marketing is the use of really high quality, interesting, useful, and entertaining content to market your business. Content can mean anything from blog post, to tweets, to Facebook updates, to Instagram photos, newsletters, videos; anything that has your information, brand, and genius in it, in any way, shape or form, small or large. It could be as tiny as a tweet or as big as a book, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve created it, it’s your contents. There are various ways content marketing can uplevel your business.

If you have a blog, you are already using content marketing whether you realize it or not.

If you have a vlog the same is true.

If you have a Twitter feed, you’re already using content marketing.

The likelihood is that what you’re currently doing is a little haphazard, and you may be frustrated that you’re not seeing better results. But the more you focus on your content marketing, the more consistent you are, and the more you tailor your content towards a specific goal, or goals, the more powerful it becomes.

One of the main concerns people have about content marketing is the need to constantly produce tons of content. But if you’re smart about it, you will find that there are a great many ways to repurpose your content and get loads of mileage out of a small amount. For example this blog post was originally recorded as a video, then transcribed to form the written post. At some point I will almost certainly convert it into an audio and use it as a podcast. In addition to that I will be pulling bits and pieces from it here and there and using it for tweets, posts, memes and various other things for all my social media.

That is one piece of content I’ve created that goes a very very long way.

If you can regularly create high quality content and learn to repurpose it in this manner, with a really clear idea of how you need to use it, and who you are targeting with it, it becomes an incredibly powerful marketing tool. If you’re searching for a way to uplevel your business and really supercharge your sales, content marketing is the way to do it.

Here are just seven of the really awesome ways that content marketing can up level your business…

Content Marketing Drives Website Traffic…

This is the most obvious benefit of content marketing and it’s the easiest result to achieve. Quality content naturally generates an awful lot of traffic to your site. So if you have a website and you’re struggling to get people to visit it, the more content you publish, the more people will visit it. It really is that simple. The higher quality your content is, the more focused it is, and the better your SEO is, the more successful your content will be at driving traffic. The long and short of it however is this: content drives traffic, and traffic drives sales.

Raises Brand Awareness…

Content marketing is also really good for your visibility. It’s a great way of raising awareness of your brand and really making you and your business as recognizable as possible. The more content you produce, the more people will see you. The more people are exposed to high quality, really cool content from you, the more they’re going to remember you, the more they’re going to think of you when they need that particular thing you do, and the more your brand is going to become a recognisable, visible brand. Visibility can only be a good thing.

Builds Lasting Relationships With Your Ideal Clients…

This is absolutely key to upleveling your business – content marketing builds lasting relationships with your ideal clients, the people you most want to work with. Rather than relying on ‘spray and pray’ advertising techniques, content marketing creates a community around your business which is specifically designed to attract the exact type of people you most love working with. They will come to you. Content marketing is the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to build that all important, know, like, and trust factor with your audience. If you’re blogging, vlogging, tweeting, whatever, the more you say, the more people get to know you, the more they get to know you, the more they like you, the more they like you, the more they trust you, and the more they trust you, the more likely it is they all to give you their money, which again is good!

Provide Real Value To Your Readers…

Content is a brilliant way of giving your audience, your existing clients, and your potential clients really good value with no strings attached.

When you produce quality content, you’re not saying, “This is my awesome stuff, give me money for it!”

That’s a hard sell.

Instead, you’re saying, “This is my awesome stuff. This is how cool I am. This is how great I’m going to be able to do this job for you. This is how awesome this product is going to be for you. This is just a taster, and it’s yours to try for free. No strings attached!”

That’s an easy sell!

Content creates endless opportunities for you to market to people in this manner. You give them high quality content that is extremely valuable to them, because it teaches them something, helps them, informs them, or entertains them. That value is given freely, and it means a great deal to your audience. They appreciate it, they remember it, and because it clearly demonstrates just how good you are at what you do, when they make the decision to pay for more of that information, or help, or entertainment, they’re going to come to you first.

They know how valuable what you have to offer is.

Content achieves this for you in a way that is very difficult to do with anything else. You can write blog post, after blog post, after blog concerning your area of expertise, your niche, and really help people with your content. You’re giving your audience something immensely valuable and you’re asking for nothing in return. You may at some point ask them for their email address, to sign up to your newsletter, and further down the line you may try and market a paid product or service to them, but they are never ever going to have to give you anything in return for the privilege of reading your content.

That is theirs, it’s for them, it’s free forever, and that is a really powerful thing, because the more people devour your free content, the more that will say, “Oh my God! This woman is amazing, this guy is great! And this is just their free stuff! Imagine what their paid stuff is going to be like, if the free stuff is this good!

Content Marketing Positions You As An Expert…

Content marketing is hands down the best way of building your credibility and establishing yourself as an authority figure. You can position yourself as an expert in your niche (your specific area) simply by producing quality content about that area. For example, I talk a lot about blogging and content marketing because that is my niche.

When it comes to establishing someone’s expertise, people respond a lot better to content than any other form of marketing. It’s one thing to stick an advert in front of people and tell them that you are good at something. It is quite another to actually demonstrate it in a tangible way that they can use for their own benefit, at no cost to themselves. That is what content marketing enables you to do.

Starts Conversations…

Content marketing also opens up a free line of communication between you and your audience, through social media, the commenting functions on your posts, sharing, and all the wonderful stuff that happens online. The second you have content published people can like it, they can comment on it, they can share it. They can also enter into an open and free discussion with you, your other clients, and other people who are interested in what you’re do. They can talk to the people who are already working with you. They can get ideas from each other, as well as from you, and suddenly a whole little world opens up. You have a real community going, rather than just a static website that doesn’t do anything but try and sell stuff to people.

And Helps People Make The Decision To Buy From You…

And finally, the part you’ve all been waiting for… Content marketing helps potential clients make the decision to buy quicker and more easily.

If you are establishing that you know what you’re doing… that you’re really good at what you do… if you’re giving people great value and expecting absolutely nothing in return… if you’re constantly building that know, like, trust factor, people get to the point where they are willing to invest in you and your products or services an awful lot quicker, and a lot more easily than they would if you were just blasting them with adverts 24/7.

As marketing goes, content marketing is the nicest, softest, and easiest way of convincing people to like you and get on board with what you’re offering.

7 Ways Content Marketing Can Uplevel Your Business

Truth Bomb: Not Everyone Likes You, And That’s Awesome!

 

I’ve got a bit of a truth bomb for you today… Not everybody likes you, and that’s awesome.

Okay, you’re probably sat there thinking, “What the hell is she talking about? How can she say not everybody likes me? How does she even know not everybody likes me? She doesn’t even know me!” Well, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter who you are, how wonderful you are, how lovely you are, how talented you are, how phenomenal you are, there is not a single person in the world who is universally liked.

That’s actually a really good thing.

Why It’s A Good Thing Not Everyone Likes You…

If you stop and think about it for just a second, it’s perfectly okay that not everybody likes you, because you don’t like everybody. And, more specifically, you don’t want to work with just anybody, you want to work with a very specific type of person.

You might have sat down and written out a profile for your ideal client, or it might be that you subconsciously know what kind of people you like working with, and what kind of people you don’t. If you haven’t thought about this already I really recommend that you do.

The better you understand the person you want to work with, the more effectively and efficiently you will attract that type of person. This is where the whole “not everybody likes you” thing comes in.

Authenticity And The Marmite Factor

I talk an awful lot about authenticity and the need to be authentic in your blogging, to really be yourself, and I get a lot of people saying to me, “Do I really want to be myself? Not everybody likes me!”

The answer is yes, you do want to be yourself, no, not everyone likes you, and that’s good!

The kind of people you want to work with are the people who really click with you, the kind of people who just ‘get’ you, who love you.

They love your style, your sense of humour, and the particular thing that you do in your niche that nobody else can do the way you do it.

If you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be able to do your thing, your way, and your ‘thing’ is what they love about you, it’s what they want from you.

The people who don’t love you, and don’t want that ‘thing’ from you are not the people who you want to work with.

So why would you want everybody to love you when you don’t want to work with everybody?

The thing about authenticity is if you’re being inauthentic in any way it is really obvious. It’s very easy to see through someone who is putting up a façade, even if it’s a professional façade and the reason they’re doing it is because they want to appear corporate, straight-laced, professional, and give the impression they’ll do everything exactly as you want it done.

That’s fine, that image works for some people, but what for entrepreneurs it’s a little different. When you run your own business, to a great extent you are your business.

If you’re doing any kind of content marketing: blogging, vlogging, even social media, trying to put on a ‘front’ is just not going to work. Nobody’s going to click with it, nobody’s going to mesh with it, nobody’s going to like it, because they will sense there isn’t a real person behind it. If, however, you are your fabulous self, people will get to know, like and trust the real you, and the people who really love you are going to absolutely adore you.

They are the people you want to attract to your business, so authenticity is the perfect way of attracting your ideal client. The reason it’s so awesome that not everybody likes you, is that it automatically filters out a massive number of people you really wouldn’t want to work with.

The people who aren’t going to click with you, the people who are going to find you annoying, the people who are going to think your Northern English accent is a bit weird, the people who are going to dislike the fact that you occasionally drop an F-bomb, the people who aren’t going to like your clothes and wonder, “Why the frigging hell is she doing wearing that? Like, really, she’s wearing that?” The people who think like this are not your people, they’re not the people you want to work with. Simply by being yourself, simply by allowing that natural process of people liking you or disliking you to happen, you automatically filter out a bucket load of people who you really don’t want to deal with.

This is what’s known as The Marmite Factor – people either love you or hate you; the ones that hate you never give you another thought, and the ones that love you can’t get enough of you.

Why Vlogging Is The Perfect Filter For Your Audience…

One brilliant example of this is when I started vlogging. I knew right off the bat that going from blogging to vlogging was going to be a bit of a transition, both for me and for my readers.

They are used to reading my words on the computer screen, their phones, or iPads. They weren’t used to seeing me, they weren’t used to hearing me, and they weren’t used to the kind of full-on personality that exists behind the words that they’d been reading.

Even though they’re your words, when they’re not spoken with your inflections, when they’re not given with your particular flair, it does come across as a bit flat, and it can be quite difficult to get a feel for the personality and the intention behind those words, which is why some people will occasionally misunderstand something you’ve said. You might have made a joke and they’ve taken it the wrong way, you might have said something seriously, they thought you were joking, and that this was in poor taste. The reason that happens is because without being able to see somebody’s facial expressions, without being able to hear the tone of their voice, and get a sense of how they’re saying something, it’s very easy to misinterpret it.

Which is why you will often find people being quite cautious when they write and blog, because the want to make sure that nothing they say is misinterpreted in the absence of the person behind the words.

It’s a lot easier to interpret the meaning behind what I’m saying and whether I’m joking or not when you can see me.

But the thing is, going from that distant, detached, just reading your words on a blog, to getting a full on, “Oh, crap, she actually does dress like that. Oh, my God, she really does talk like that!” is a lot to take in.

Let’s be honest, talking is not even remotely as polished and edited and pretty as my normal blogs would be.

I don’t have an auto-cue. I don’t record my Vlogs off a script, I have no script, I don’t even have notes. The most I ever do is write a brief list of my main points, for example, the Vlog I’m recording after this on is on Five Sites You Need To Be Guest Posting On, and so I have a written list of the five sites. That’s it, that’s all I have. The names of those sites to keep me on track.

This isn’t scripted in any way shape or form, this is just me talking the topic of the day. When I write, obviously I have a chance to draft and edit a post, go over it, tweak it, check it, make sure it’s as perfectly pristine as possible and really get my wording absolutely spot on. Now unless I want to sit around all day recording, re-recording, and re-re-recording every single thing I say, perfection is just not going to happen.

I do edit my videos. I do screw up. I have to go back and start again, repeat myself, and do various little bits a few times to get them right, but I’m not worried about it being word-perfect.

That’s because a vlog is very different to a blog.

That was the first thing that I knew was going to be a bit of adjustment for people.

The second thing is, let’s be honest, you’re getting to see me in all my insane glory, and not everybody’s going to like me.

They’re just not, and that’s fine, I don’t mind. It really doesn’t bother me, because the people who don’t like me can simply not watch me, and the people who do like me are going to like me all the more, because I’m really being myself and they’re actually getting to know me properly.

I anticipated getting a few comments off people when the vlog first went live, I was expecting it. Sure enough, the first week or two I had comments flooding in from people, and the majority of them were really positive, saying things like, “Oh, it’s so nice to see you on camera!” or “I’m so proud of you for doing this!” and “It’s so nice to be able to get to know you properly and see the person behind all these words.”

These are the sort of comments that I was hoping for, and I was really pleased to receive those comments, that positive feedback, so thank you to those of you who said it.

There were also a few…not negative comments, but certainly comments that were more along the lines of, “Well I’m not really sure about the way you’re doing that, maybe you should do it this way.” Or, “I didn’t really like what you said today, I don’t think you should talk about that.”

And that’s perfectly fine. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and everybody has a right to express that opinion. I have no issue whatsoever with people coming to me and saying, “Ooh, I think you’d do better if you did this way instead of that way.” Sometimes I’ll go, “Do you know what, you’re right. Thanks. Brilliant advice!” and other times I’ll be like, “That’s not really me.”

When that happens it’s a case of, I’m doing things my way, not because it’s ‘my way or the highway’, not because I’m right and everybody else is wrong, but just because there are certain things that work for me and certain things that don’t. I have a certain way of doing things, that’s my methodology. That’s my zone of genius. It’s what I do and it’s how I do it.

There are always going to be people who don’t like those elements of it, people that don’t like my method. And it’s totally fine. They are more than entitled to have that opinion, those thoughts and feelings, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m in no way offended by them.

The fact they’ve reacted like that is actually very helpful to both of us: I know they’re not my kind of client; they know I’m not the kind of writer they want to work with. For whatever reason, there’s something that’s not quite clicking between us.

The Bottom Line…

When you put yourself out there online, when you use content marketing, when you use any kind of branding that involves you as a person, even if it’s nothing more than a photograph of yourself, you start something. It doesn’t matter how big your content is, whether it’s a Tweet, a blog post, or a vlog, if it’s yours, if it’s something personal to you, and by personal I literally mean it’s your person doing it, so you’re saying it, it’s your photograph, it’s something you’ve written, that’s you in a sense. People are either going to love it, be kind of indifferent to it, or hate it.

The people you want are the people who love your stuff, like seriously love your stuff, cannot get enough of it, they are your ideal clients. They may not all be your ideal clients, but you’ve certainly narrowed down the pool from all the people who are looking at your stuff, reading you, and watching you, to just the people that really love your stuff. That’s a big chunk of people you don’t want to work who have been automatically filtered out. And they’ve been filtered out in a really polite way, in a really nice way, in a really positive way that doesn’t ever require you saying to someone, “I’m really sorry, but we’re not a good fit.”

You never have to have that really awkward conversation where you say, “I’m sorry, I can’t work with you because you’re just not right for me.”

It’s never a nice thing to have to explain to somebody that you can’t work with them. I will admit I’m guilty of always finding a less offensive way of saying it. This way you never have to have that conversation with people, you avoid any kind of friction where that is concerned, because they have already decided whether they like you or not. They’ve done that all on their own without any prompting from you. You’ve not had to make them fill in a questionnaire, apply for your services, or go through any kind of screening process or conversation, asking them annoying questions that they don’t want to answer, about the manner in which they work, and what it is they want from you.

They will get a sense of what they’re going to get from you just by reading your stuff, and watching your stuff, and if they don’t like it, they won’t ever ask to work with you in the first place.

Awesome.

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