Ask SUCCESS is your place to get questions answered on how to market more effectively. In each issue, marketing expert Bob Serling is joined by another expert to answer your questions. Have a question you’d like answered? Just email it to email@example.com
Today’s question is: What advice can you give me for creating quality content that will attract more prospects to my business?
Bob Serling: The expert who I’ve asked to help me answer this question is extremely qualified to speak on this topic. Pam Hendrickson was in charge of content creation for Tony Robbins’ organization and she has helped many other companies as well. So, Pam, I’ll turn it over to you.
Pam Hendrickson: I think the initial challenge is how we approach thinking about content. What I mean by that is if you think about it, any topic, pretty much any information that you or I want to know about, is readily available at the click of a button on the Internet.
In fact, there is so much information out there, they measure it in a unit called exabytes right now. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes, which if you’re like me, you might not know what that means. Right now, there are 276 exabytes of information available to the world online. If I were to pack CDs full of information and stack them up, that much information would reach 50,000 miles past the moon. That’s how much information is out there in the world.
I think we get caught up thinking that we need to come up with this unique concept or this thing that hasn’t been thought of before, and yet, that’s not what people are looking for when they’re looking for your content. What they’re really looking for are three things.
First, they’re looking for your unique perspective. Whether your company is big or you’re a solopreneur, what makes you an expert is your own experience with the content.
So the first thing you want to provide is that exclusive perspective—your trials and tribulations, the mistakes you’ve made, what you’ve learned and shortcuts for how someone can use your content to get better results. The more raw, real and authentic you can be in that process, the more you’re going to connect with your audience. That’s really the secret. It’s not so much the information of the content—it’s the perspective you’re sharing about it.
Second, once you’ve shared your perspective, you have to break it down into a structure. If you can give your audience a step-by-step formula for how to use the content to get their desired result, then you’re helping them solve their problems.
The third factor people want in terms of your content is simple human connection. Your focus should be on creating a relationship with your reader and showing your genuine heart—if your strategy is to show how much you care about your reader, then you’re going to have a connection that is more real, that is deeper and more meaningful. And that’s really the secret to creating great content—more than the information itself.
Bob: Excellent, you want to help people get a better result and the way to do that is share your perspective. When entrepreneurs who are new to thinking about and writing content, they think about what I call a “company outcome.” And that’s dangerous.
They think, “What could I say that would really sound great and attract people to my company?” It might sound something like, “Get your site listed on the first page of Google.”
When you first think about that you might decide, “That’s great and it will attract people.” But the problem is that it’s really a generic outcome that hundreds of other companies are also offering. So, instead, think of an outcome as a company outcome. “What’s going to attract people to my company?” is the better question to ask.
What I advise people to do instead is create a “customer outcome”—flip it around to think about how your customer looks at using Google for advertising. If this wakes them up in the middle of the night they probably are not thinking, “Today I want to get on the front page on Google.” What they’re really thinking is, “My Google ads aren’t working nearly as well as they used to. What do I need to do to fix that?”
If you take that perspective that gets to the core of what your customer already wants, you’re much further ahead.
Pam: No question about it. Also, I think when people are starting out in business, we think we’ve got to be and sound professional. I made that mistake. I started out thinking, “I’ve got to just talk about the facts and the information.” Then, by accident, the more I started to talk about my own mistakes and the lessons I’ve learned in that process, or case studies about how the content really interacts in a person’s life, that’s when the magic started to happen.
So we tend to overthink this. And it really makes the whole process a lot simpler when you’re focused on solving a problem you know you can solve for your customer. That’s also what makes you unique, because your experience and your perspective is unlike anyone else’s. And that’s the key. Because marketing has to be specific.
Bob Serling helps business owners and entrepreneurs generate more traffic, make more sales, and do both more often. Get his free ebook of interviews with 30 leading experts, including SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy, at www.ProfitAlchemy.com/success
Pam Hendrickson is a renowned product, content and marketing expert, having produced products and services for traditional companies, high-end brands including Frank Kern and Mike Koenigs, as well as Anthony Robbins, where she was the Vice President of Content & Product Development for almost 18 years. Visit her site today for a free copy of her best-selling book Make, Market, Launch IT at www.PamHendrickson.com