When it comes to creating content for our digital channels, there are many tools available to help. We have tools for content curation like Newsle and Alltop, and tools to help us organize and plan, like editorial calendars. All of this is meaningless, however, if we don’t follow a plan that focuses on our audience.
I’ve outlined below a sales strategy to help align your marketing with your audience. It was developed from research and tested. By following this very strategy, I recently had a prospect reach out to me. She said, “You’re everywhere. I think we need to get together.”
- Define your audience. As your business grows, your audience may change, but get started by narrowly defining your audience. For small businesses to be competitive, we have to define an audience and then cater to their most pressing needs. Use this worksheet if you haven’t already defined your audience.
- Become an information concierge. What image does the word concierge conjure up in your mind? It’s the go-to person you seek out at a destination hotel. They are the person most “in the know.” Brand yourself as the concierge for your industry. If you need help getting started and staying organized, begin by compiling a list of the most pressing needs for people using your services. Then, work to find information to address those needs. As you collect the information, add it to a folder on a program like Evernote. (It’s free to use.) Then use the information you find to fill your content calendar. Try focusing on one key topic each week and uniquely share the information across your social media channels. Use this information to build a robust “resource center” on your website.
- Connect with contacts across their social channels. What is the one thing that every single person using social media craves? Engagement! We post information because we want to help our audience and engage with them. Broaden your connections by connecting with people across their channels and engaging with them on those channels.
- Make helping others your priority. Zig Ziglar taught us that you will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. Few have had a greater impact on people than the late Zig Ziglar. He lived by the philosophy of helping others, and showed us what a difference we can make in our career by doing so.
- Focus on storytelling. Something else Zig Ziglar taught us is that people buy for emotional reasons, not logical reasons. When you develop your online content, such as blog posts, articles, and updates, focus on storytelling. Your goal is for your audience to put themselves in the story. This makes defining your audience very important.
- Connect offline. This is the MOST IMPORTANT tactic. Online communications should never be your only means of communicating with prospects. How can you get to truly know someone through a public online exchange? Take the conversation offline. Prove your value and come to the call or meeting with arms full of helpful information. Want to know the secret to gaining customers? Listen! Engage in active listening and identify your prospect’s greatest needs. This leads you back to #4 above, and becomes your homework assignment. (Read: Four offline tactics to get you long-term results.)
What am I missing? Meet me in the comments and let’s brainstorm.