If you’re a service professional, coach, a trainer, an author, a speaker or a consultant, you love to give and help people. You have a message and a mission that drives your business AND using free content to grow your business is the single most powerful online marketing strategy for you.
Ana, I have a blog already and I give plenty of “free” sessions and I’m still not getting enough clients.
My point exactly. You need to learn how to strategically use your free content to spread your message, attract awesome clients and grow a profitable, sustainable business to be proud of, while having a big impact in the world.
In other words, you have to have a structure to give and in this article you will discover how it is done so that you can give and educate generously and also make money doing what you love.
What you are going to do is technically called… Content Marketing.
Wikipedia defines Content Marketing as “Marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential customer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.”
Let me translate this for you: you will be strategically creating free content to attract clients who are ready to invest in what you’re offering.
Top Content Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
STRATEGY #1 - You Need To Strategically Structure your Free Content
Why? Because everybody wins if you do. Your website visitor, newsletter subscriber, list subscriber win because they get help with their problems. You win because you get highly invested clients and ultimately the world wins because you are able to make it a better place with your work.
So let me show you exactly how to structure your free content...
STEP 1 – Know Your Audience
If you need help with this, you can get free resources here.
STEP 2 – Choose ONE Pain
Choose an urgent pain that you know that your audience has.
STEP 3 – Choose Your PAID Offer
Decide what you are going to sell in order to solve this pain. It ca be a program you already have or a new program you create.
Let me give you an example: let’s say that your audience pain is that they have just had a baby and they want to get rid of the baby weight and you’re a weight loss coach. You can decide to offer a 90-day coaching program for new mothers to lose the baby weight and get back into even a better shape than when they got pregnant.
STEP 4 – Reverse Engineer
Now you know where you are going with your free content. The destination is an invitation for the right people to sign up for your program.
Reverse engineer this into the free content you will create content that helps immediately with some of the biggest problems that your audience has.
Continuing with the example of the weight loss program, let’s say that your audience biggest problems is cravings. OK, now you know that you can create some free content to help them with their cravings.
But Ana, if I do that nobody will buy my program…
First, no matter how much free awesome content you pack in your blog post, newsletter, webinar, etc., you cannot teach everything you know.
PLUS, some people also want the support and accountability that no free content can offer.
In your free content, give generously and at the end invite people to your paid offer for those who want support, accountability and are ready to get results.
It is that simple.
STEP 5 – Call To Action
Remember to include a call to action in your free content. What do you want them to do next? Schedule a free conversation with you? Sign up for your email list? Join your program? Tell them what to do.
In other words, remember to include an invitation at the end that will allow the person to move forward.
STRATEGY #2 – There Is Not Such A Thing As FREE Content
It might not cost you money to produce it but you still need to invest your most precious asset: your time.
Your website visitor or email subscriber invest their time consuming your content as well.
This leads to…
STRATEGY #3 - Your Content Needs To Be Awesome
You want to wow your website visitor or your newsletter reader to the point that they thing “Wow, if this is what she/he gives away for free, I cannot imagine what the paid programs are like.”
The so-called “Internet marketers” talk about just “putting up some articles to make some money online.”
Let me clarify the situation for you: you are an expert at what you do so you’re going to use your free content to solve people’s problems and you happen to be using the Internet as a medium to spread your message.
The so-called “Internet marketers” are people who have no skills and just want to find a way to selling whatever they can in order to make a buck. See the difference?
Unfortunately, they often sell “how-to-make-money-online stuff” because it’s their only way for them to make money.
You are a business owner and an expert at what you do and your free content needs to show that.
[Ana steps down her “Internet-marketers BS” soapbox]
HOT TIP – It doesn’t have to be complicated to create your free content and it doesn’t have to be long. It just has to be immediately applicable and helpful.
STRATEGY # 4 -Your Free Content Needs To Give Immediate Value
The reader comes to your website looking for relief to their pain. Your blog post, for example, needs to give them immediate relief, something they can apply right away to move forward.
That way they can go apply what you have recommended and get results, even before they hire you. You are ensuring that they come back for more.
STRATEGY # 5 - It is About Them Not You
One of the most frequent mistakes I see is that coaches decide to write about what interests them, which is usually coaching.
It is like a person comes to your house with a headache and you start telling them how awesome coaching is.
NOTE: I love coaching AND nobody wants to buy coaching, like nobody wants to buy marketing or business mentoring… What people invest in is RESULTS.
In my first coaching/training/consulting business, we used to teach foreign languages and do translations and interpretations.
It is funny because today I still teach languages: the language of your clients. And that language is called RESULTS. Learn to speak the language of the RESULTS your clients want and you will grow rich.
STRATEGY # 6 – The Right Mindset
Once you have decided to create this awesome content, get excited about the possibilities. You will be attracting awesome people who are willing to invest in solving their problems.
They will be investing first their time consuming the free content and then some of them will decide to invest financially to go on working with you in your paid programs.
Regardless of whether a person decides to invest in your paid offer or not, you will be able to help thousands of people to move forwards. They will refer other people to your free content because it is awesome and you message will expand.
So get excited about giving and inviting. Create something you can be proud of so that you can carry this energy into…
STRATEGY #7 – Spread The Word
Now it is the time to let people know about this awesome free content that will help them create some awesome results.
This is where your social media strategy fits in. Social media is perfect for invitations and whether you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, let your enthusiasm show.
NEXT STEP – Make a list of the biggest pains of your audience and create some free content to help them with that pain.
Keep growing a business to be proud of!