Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar: you’re busy writing content to attract clients. You spend time crafting the perfect post — a meme or a blog post, perhaps. Finally, you hit “share” or “publish.” A bit later you check to see how well it’s doing.
You’re thrilled to see plenty of likes, comments — even a few shares! Bingo! You must have gotten it right this time — people are engaging like no tomorrow… And then you look a bit more closely at who is doing the engaging. You notice that most of those likes/comments/shares are from fellow dog trainers. Oops.
Although it’s great to establish credibility within your peer group, especially if you hope to get referrals from them, there might just be a slight problem with your post from a marketing perspective…
Unless your client group IS other dog trainers, impressing them is unlikely to gain you new clients or increase sign ups.
Generally, if you’re providing training services to the dog-owning public, other trainers aren’t your target audience. And if other trainers are the ones engaging with your posts, you may have aimed your message the wrong way.
Joe Public is unlikely to get what you were actually saying — and therefore will just scroll on by.
Who’s your REAL audience?
A more effective way to create marketing content (things like social media posts, blog posts, or even web pages) is to think back to your favorite three clients. What were their defining features as clients?
Ask yourself what type of…
- …problems did they have?
- …information did they already know? (No need to write about that.)
- …information did they need the most? (Start here for ideas!)
Once you know the type of people and problems you want to attract, it’s far easier to craft content that will get their attention and have them salivating like Pavlov’s dog!
What should you create content about?
Because content needs to appeal to the client you want to attract it has to either:
answer some of their burning questions (or hint that you have the answers they need)
show that you’re the sort of person they’d like to work with.
In marketing jargon, it needs to “resonate” with them.
Go back to your notes about your 3 favorite clients for topic ideas… but before you set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) read on…
What are your goals for the content you’re creating?
Unlike creative endeavors that are just for fun, content that attracts clients needs to have some goals. Most content falls into one or more of the following categories:
- Increasing your visibility: So potential new clients know you exist. Social media shares — and having your web pages and blog posts appear in organic searches on Google — achieve this goal. (Want to know how to show up in Google searches? Read about SEO here.)
- Engagement: Building “know, like, and trust.” Once a person knows of your existence they need to be convinced that they can trust you to help them solve their problem — and that they’d like to work with you, not your competition.
- Sales: Wonderful as it is to have a fan base of adoring followers, if your marketing content doesn’t tell them you have services or products to sell, you’re unlikely to make much money. A percentage of your content needs to be targeted at increasing sales and sign ups.
For each piece of content you create, be clear on:
- Who you’re writing it for, and
- What the goal for that piece of content is.
When you figure out those two pieces, you’re 80% of the way to creating content that will be effective for your business and will talk to, and attract, the type of person you want as a client.
Make it irresistibly readable
It’s important to create content that checks the “who” and “what” boxes above, but there’s a secret ingredient that needs to be added before your creation is complete. It needs to be… “more-ish.” Like a great dish, people just can’t stop at one bite, they want MORE of what you have to offer.
When people engage repeatedly with your material, if you’ve hit the right spot and it resonates with them, the final function of each piece is to build “know, like, and trust” — our secret ingredient.
Why is “know, like, and trust” so important for content that attracts clients?
Think of your client’s journey. Through your content, potential clients (who are initially total strangers) become aware of your existence, then learn who you are, what you do, and what your mission is. This leads them to like you and eventually trust you enough to buy from you.
Without “know, like, and trust” few people part with their hard-earned cold cash.
“Makes perfect sense” I hear you say. “How do I do that?”
Easy! Be authentic, funny, and genuinely helpful.
Ok, so maybe not that easy…
Adding the secret ingredient of “know, like, and trust”
People don’t just like people who are authentic, funny, and genuinely helpful. People also like people who are smart, or who offer a new perspective.
And people like people who understand what they’re going through. They need to be able to relate to you and what you’re saying.
There are many ways to make your writing engaging and readable (you can read more about writing addictive copy here), but here’s a great way to make it relatable, too.
The coat of arms
The marketing guru Laura Belgray suggests creating a voice for your brand by creating a “coat of arms.”
Historically a coat of arms was a visual depiction of the things that a family or institution stood for — the history and beliefs that defined them as entities. Something like this:
You don’t literally have to do this! But the concept of a creating a collection of recurring themes — ones that are personal to you and make you who you are as a person and business — is a useful one.
One way to do this is by creating a list of topics that you want to touch on in your marketing, things that intersect with what you have to offer… But that also give people a sneak peek of who you are as a person.
As a dog trainer, my list might be:
- Cute/clever/weird things my own dogs have done recently
- Conversations with dog owning friends or clients
- Chocolate (my fave food!)
- Drinking tea (my beverage of choice)
- Historic dog training mistakes I’ve made
- Anecdotes from my daily dog walks
By having a defined list of “safe” but personal topics to share, you can be authentic without crossing that line between professional and TMI. And we’ve all seen those posts, haven’t we?
Establishing a list like this can really help you when it comes to creating content that allows people to know, like, and trust you.
The TL;DR of content creation:
When you’re creating your content, you want to keep these 3 things in mind:
- Your target audience
- Your goals for the piece
- Your “safe to share” topics list
When you find the intersection of those 3 things your content should be effective, persuasive, and helpful — and establish and accomplish your goals.
Examples of content to attract clients
Let’s look at some examples from social media:
The main goal with these posts is to get people to click through to a sign up page for a product or service.
Goal: Increasing visibility (shares)
Here the main goal is to have the post shared to increase the visibility of the business.
Here the main goal is to build engagement with the business’ audience — get comments and start conversations.
Remember: Goals are NOT exclusive
As you can see, one post can cover multiple goals. Sales posts can also build “know, like, and trust” and encourage engagement and shares. Engagement and visibility posts can include links and references to products and services you have on offer. Don’t limit yourself to just ONE goal when you’re creating content.
Here’s a screenshot of a sales post by Susan Garret. The video not only explains the product she has on offer but really gives the viewer a sense of who she is and what she believes in.
Avoid the social media blues
Before you start posting your new supercharged, honed, and targeted marketing content, be aware that you probably won’t get huge numbers of likes, shares, and comments. AND IT WON’T MEAN YOU’VE FAILED!
Unless you’re a world-renowned public figure with a following in the millions, your numbers are going to be modest at best.
This is because your posts will only show up in a small percentage of your followers’ news feeds — and an even smaller number of those people will take the time to like, comment, or share your post.
However, far more people will have seen it — and probably noted it, read it, clicked through to your website and now know of your existence. The numbers aren’t necessarily a true reflection of your success!
Struggling to create content that hits the mark? Why not get in touch with us and see how we can help?