Writing a business-focussed book can be a good lead-in strategy as well, but since you have to write it first, it is less accessible. When I wrote ‘Power Marketing’ from some experiences and lessons we had in business, some people asked me if I consulted in marketing. (I didn’t at the time).
Podcasting is another area of interest for the professionals. It seems lots of people have started one but those that keep going and market their podcast as well really seem to hit on a leveraged way to attract already warmed-up clients. Their voice is doing the work for them rather than them having that first conversation each time. Ensure that episodes are structured – then pay someone to design Podcast art and deliver it to iTunes and Soundcloud.
Speaking or having a stand at local business expos – if your target clientele will be there. If not too high an expense for you, this is a great opportunity to get in front of B2B people willing to grow and network. Those that aren’t wont be there! Remember to collect cards for a prize draw and if consented to on the form, these names can be put into your automated email system.
Publishingvideos that highlight key problems or give valuable insights to users in that industry. Remember to make it broader than your business. Of course, add a link to your website in the description unless loading straight into Facebook.
Building long-term partnerships with other businesses who target the niche market you do. Especially if your time in this business has not been very long, but you have expertise, a partnership with an association, a visible blogger in your industry, or a media group will help you get more traction – while they get some key industry insights and give value to their readers. (More in the clever partnerships article by LittleBlackBook Marketing).
Do generous / crazy / amazing stuff and put out a press release each time. The press release should sound ‘real’ and be targeted to the readership of the paper, web portal or station. See ‘the Happiness Ninja’ for a great example of media promotion – see video.
This list of creative marketing ideas is just the start! You can see there are many ways to create a strong brand presence in your own market. Publishing helpful and relevant content… plus building partnerships for leveraging your content… are the main ways suggested to aid brand visibility and get real leads.
When you’re busy, instigating proper follow-up marketing is often overlooked, unless you have a sales team. Many articles draw you into the lure of “sexier” marketing tactics and new ways to approach social media. Meanwhile that person who emailed you recently ‘just wondering’ is not receiving any further information after that initial response.
If you focus a lot of time and money driving new leads and prospects, but don’t follow up on the 80% or 90% of leads who are not yet ready to buy, your system has a lot of holes. And I hate waste! By fixing this follow-up marketing failure, your business can turn any type of leads into more workshop attendees, more clients, or reader fans.
Perhaps you’re better than most; maybe your business stays in touch with customers through a regular newsletter and various offer emails. That’s great, but you can still do better! For the marketer/author who desires to get their book or product to a bigger target market, it’s important to use strategic follow-up methods (often helped by email marketing software and attractive sign up forms).
This is much like a bricks and mortar business who uses personalised follow-ups to differentiate their business from others, often delighting prospects with how they approach and educate. When your marketing system is automated and streamlined, the fact is, you can promote with less money, but end up with more ready-to-buy people. That’s more people who would have slipped through your response system’s holes.
We advise to have autoresponders set up from your contact forms and have the email marketing system (with branded templates) send regular and thrilling content that is created by your content manager/copywriter.
Fixing Follow-up and qualifying is covered in Step 7 of The Differentiator Program by Power of Words. Get a preview of this in person (Redcliffe Qld), or coming soon, here online.
In this golden age of the personal publisher, introverts must play to their strengths within content marketing. If you’ve ever read the book ‘Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’, then you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying. We introverts need to speak up, but in our own quiet way.
Are you good at asking questions, but self-conscious about making personal video? Then try Podcasting.
Podcast Your Way to a Larger Presence
Podcasting is the ‘slow burn’ way to attract a fan base. You own the podcast, so you also own the advertising that can be inserted in a short grab inside the show.
Keep in mind that shows seem better with two people, so invite multiple guest specialists to talk about a topic within your new genre range. It doesn’t matter if you only just cottoned on to the guru’s mantra, however, you will attract more top people if you really know your niche and can talk about it too.
To determine which category your tribe might seek, see Blogtalkradio.com (the talk radio and podcast platform) and iTunes for popular category ideas.
How do you Start Podcasting?
If you have a WordPress or Blogger site, then it’s a six-step process to get your RSS feed (linking the files) to connect to Apple iTunes. First, you’ll need to find a place to host your podcasts and apply post tags, categories, etc. Apple Podcasts Connect has a podcasting guide and best practices.
You’ll also need a good quality USB microphone (e.g. Nessie Blue), come up with a Podcast logo – which you could make on Canva for free – and plan how often you’ll produce an episode. It’s best to plan ahead a few podcast shows.
See ‘Amplify’ author’s podcast show, Bond Appetit, for a runaway success example — Ronsley Vaz is from Australia.
Video Killed the Radio Star
I know you won’t believe me, but video promotion is also for you, quiet one. Why? Well, there is no need to be outrageous on video. You can use your creativity, instead of speaking-to-camera-with-terror-in-your-eyes.
With Apple Keynote, you can put bullet-point presentations together with narration. It takes time though, so there is a faster way.
We use a tool that takes key points of a written blog post and through using a wizard, converts this text into video for marketing purposes. This will make a 1- or 2-minute image-plus-text-and-music video. Limitations are on the free version of these, but with a paid upgrade you can have full flexibility of timing, sound and ‘outros’ (little promos at the end).
Perhaps film in your local area in order to tell a story relevant to your target market. Of course, most modern smartphones have very good cameras built-in, but for some shots you might need a tripod and a digital camera. Try not to walk while filming, as this creates a lot of shake.
When you’ve perfected your video, it’s time to export it as a .mp4 (at 30 frames per second) and upload it to Youtube or Vimeo and add shorter ones to Facebook. You can boost your video post if you would like more views (that is, paying $7+). For introverts, Facebook Live is a bit scary; it plays on our nervousness of impromptu public speaking.
Webinars that use your voiceover presentation are also a good idea because you can rehearse the critical points in your special presentation. You can do live webinars or ‘fake live’ ones with a webinar program called Everwebinar. Don’t you love the modern tools that let you sleep.
Still a great way to attract a massive niche audience, blogging is not only for the confident confessor. There are all types of blogs for all kinds of people.
One quiet local computer repairer blogged a tip every time he learnt something new, which over the years brought thousands to his website.
While my own JenniferLancaster.com.au blog tells of the lessons I learned in publishing, branding, and book marketing, I also write on other diverse topics. So it’s best that these other articles are placed on another blog — because the audience is completely different. And Google search appreciates clarity.
What topics will attract your target audience?
For a successful strategy, you need to consider what information would attract those you can service or sell to. Are they looking to save money — or time? What language will you use? You might have a technical expertise… but need to write in analogies and everyday terms to help general small business owners understand the topic.
A further thing to consider is the concept of bias and social proof. If you can bring in an expert’s opinions, guest reviews or informal client stories, then you will begin to overcome your audience’s critical viewpoint and at the same time, give your blog more credibility.
Don’t forget to offer something relevant as a freebie (lead magnet) to invite those folk onto your email list.
Over the past six weeks, I’ve been learning different ways to improve business. Not just mine, but every client business that I help as well. I went to the business improvement conference ‘52 Ways’ put on by Business Blueprint. Dale talked a lot about systems and clever online apps, i.e. shortcuts to success.
Apps for creating great content are helpful time-savers and shortcuts also keep the cost of content creation down, if we are judicious.
Yet you don’t want to be shortcutting your way to low quality and inconsistency. Those posting inconsistently and offshoring a lot of content creation/writing will find that the outcome of content marketing is poor…
Indeed, according to Content Marketing Institute, the professional B2B marketers feeling most successful have clarity on what success in content marketing looks like. The top two contributing factors of those who felt their marketing was more successful this year (2017) were:
Doing a better job with content creation and
Developing or adjusting the content strategy.
Documenting their content marketing strategy is also one of the markers of success.
Small Business Content Marketing
If you can’t afford an agency though, where do you go to get promotional images or written content? What shortcuts can you use? Do you know your brand voice? What about story? What persona am I selling to?
Why are we even creating the content? Is it to be a leader in the niche? Or is it more defined and your team wants to highlight a new offering in a subtle and persuasive way?
It is for all these reasons that an external freelance marketer can help your business soar. Rather than a hefty set-up and monthly agency fee, the freelancer can charge per hour, per project (for campaigns or static pages), or for amped up results, as an equity share (plus expenses).
Many stable small businesses have nobody with a background in permission-based marketing. So they go at content marketing with an advertising framework, expecting instant results. Traditional advertising is usually two simple steps: advertise to attract customers, the advert begs them to contact the business or (if a larger business) sets the branding tone.
While content marketing and advertising online can go hand-in-hand very successfully, a planned content strategy in a longer-term tool that is best viewed as a four-step process.
One: Advertise content (landing page) OR develop content that attracts web visitors.
Two: Get permission to give relevant content to wonderful person in exchange for email.
Three: Email with informative material (or perhaps call for a free appointment) to wonderful person to convince of your value.
Four: Finally, pitch for a trial of your service or sell a related product. (Product related to all your lead magnets and emails)
So, you can see that there is more to this system – and there are a lot of little online steps to be set up too. At no point do you want pages (thank-you page, download page) and downloadables going up online, with no idea of whether they work.
Other Benefits of Using a Freelance/Contracted Marketer
If contracted over a longer period, the Freelance Marketer can build ideas through briefing, Brainstorming and content arcs. (Content arcs are monthly or quarterly themes that you can write about).
They can also bring their constant learning and knowledge of better apps to your business – rather than having a staff member struggle through learning a complex and expensive program.
So always get the best quality content and use the best person that you can find to do your content marketing.
When you are building up a reader platform, seriously consider creating and giving content and ebooks away. These will help sell both “you” (your services or overall brand) and your current book. It’s Content Marketing 101. And it comes across far better than shouting “here’s my book — do you wanna buy it?”
So, what are these easily-created content items? They are blog posts, print articles and news releases. (Newsletter articles no longer have their own category, because smart marketers send their blog posts to their reader list, perhaps adding a small editorial).
The most read and shared kind of content is How To posts, Picture List Posts (montage stories, comparisons or before/after images), Infographics and Quizzes (according to Uberflip/BuzzSumo). Which of these are the easiest to do for you?
‘How to’ posts are fairly easy to write if based on something you have done before. Step by step, you will reach an audience who is looking for such information on Google or Bing. How to posts are usually 1,000 to 1,500 words long. Also make sure your blog has “social share buttons”, so that viewers can share them. (e.g. Shareaholic plugin).
If you want to influence, then there is no better way than getting a print article published and mentioning your book. It doesn’t usually have to be letter perfect, as magazines have sub-editors, but it does have to resonate with THEIR readership’s target audience. So aim for industry magazines, business magazines in your area, and also try for digital magazines with a similar target following. (e.g. you run women’s female empowerment webinars and their market is for female entrepreneurs).
You could also take an intriguing, ‘understandable’ extract from your book, adding a quick introduction, and mail it to a select few magazine editors.
Ensure that you have read each publication’s submission guidelines, particularly about word limits and format.
Ensure you have omitted any direct advertising and self-promotion.
Remember to write a 20-word bio for your byline and include your book’s title and where to buy it.
You can wait for something amazing to happen in your world… or you can research your way to a news story. You might have discovered some things about your topic or its audience while writing — so dig out one nugget which coincides with media commentary or current social thought.
Here is a basic News Release structure (with thanks to Jack Delosa in Unprofessional):
Headline that Talks to the Topic
Outline your argument
Introduce your facts / stats
Expand the debate… perhaps use another person’s influential voice
Quotes from you (in third person voice).
Closing: Why this is relevant. Include where you can download the report or buy the book.
Perhaps cherry pick 4-5 newspaper or radio stations to send it to, follow up with a couple of phone calls, and explain you can send a high resolution photo or be available for interview. You can also use ‘news wires’ to distribute releases: PR Wire (mainly free) or the huge one, PRWeb ($159).
So that was three strong, simple types of content to reach your audience — an audience who is looking for your knowledge. Now, are you going to hide your light under a bushel — or are you going to start creating a debate around your topic?!
If you’d like to some help in creating eBook content, then contact Jennifer by email or phone today… a professional copywriter.