“Lead with value”. Dependent on how closely you follow me on social media, how often you read my blogs and whether you join our weekly Live Lunch show on a Thursday, you might be bored of hearing me use that phrase! Yesterday, I was asked what that meant and how I did it. I was a little surprised at the question, but of course happy to answer!
What does it mean to lead with value from a marketing perspective?
Put simply, it means you do not sell through your content! I’ve written articles before where I’ve mentioned how important it is to consider your ideal client. It is your responsibility as a content creator to serve those individuals who should be buying from you. That means really understanding what makes them tick. Knowing their interests and behaviours allows you to get into their heads and see the world the way they do. When you do that, you know what the questions are they need to answer and the concerns you can support them with by offering the answers and reassurance they need.
If we get this right and we’re truly leading with value, our audiences will grow organically. From that audience, we’ll gain loyal followers and advocates who will want to buy from us and recommend us.
How do you know it’s working?
I was asked this question by someone who had been introduced to me by one of my LinkedIn connections. The LinkedIn connection is someone I met several years ago who has used our services in the past but isn’t someone I’ve spoken to in the last year or so. But this connection often engages with me and with Green Umbrella across our social channels.
I know my content works because, in that situation where two friends were discussing the struggles they were having in their business, I was the person that sprung to mind that would have the answers. There was no googling, just a LinkedIn message and a request for a call back.
If my content game wasn’t strong – would I have been so easily remembered? Who knows! But before the request for the call back was made, I know that content was viewed both on my LinkedIn profile and website, I know resources were accessed, and I know these created reassurances that we were going to be the right call to make!
How do I stay motivated to create content?
Literally yesterday I was asked this question, and it had me stumped for a second. I make no secret of the fact I hate writing these blogs! Creating long-form content is not something that comes naturally to me, so staying motivated to do it can be a struggle! So I focus on creating the content and then as soon as this is published, I look to the next article and the next one and the next one!
I avoid the information that’s going to demotivate me! So, when I hit publish, and this is live for you lovely people too see I won’t be looking to see how many people have read it. That’s one of the biggest demotivators. But it’s because we look for instant gratification. This article, if it works and is a success, will bring me business. But not today or tomorrow.
This article is an asset – that’s how we should see the content we produce. It will be as relevant as it is right now in the days weeks and years to come. I’ll use it to answer questions that come via Live Chat, I’ll reference it in presentations, I’ll share it time and time again on social media, and I’ll link to it from other assets I create too! The longer this asset is on my website, the more it will mature, and its value to the business will increase.
The real motivation, though, comes from the fact that the content we create is very much linked to the reason we’re in business. We want to help small business owners to find success using online marketing strategies even though its a minefield and they feel overwhelmed by what they need to do. Through my content, I can break down and make tasks feel manageable; that’s where I can lead with value.
But how do you make money from content?
It’s not the content that makes you money. Let’s get our heads around that one! It’s an integrated marketing strategy that pulls someone through a well thought out marketing funnel and passes them seamlessly through into a structured sales funnel that makes money.
This article alone will not make me money. But the social activity that happens around it, the email activity, the paid social advertising, the free resources we offer… all of that working together is what’s going to make the effort of writing this article pay dividends!