When I tell people that I’m a content marketing consultant, I hear a frequent yet still surprising response: “Oh we need content!” This happens at conferences, networking events, even social gatherings with friends. I heard it again today, from another business owner at an accounting class.
Yeah, me too. I also need more content.
Do you need content too?
So, why do we all need content? From a business perspective, we need content for two big reasons:
- Content helps people find our business.
- Content helps people learn and make buying decisions.
If people aren’t finding your business and don’t have the right information about your products… then your business is in big trouble. However, you’re probably like me: your business is running, you’re busy, content just doesn’t feel urgent.
You have some customers coming in already. Enough people are choosing to buy from you, which means somehow they’re getting information to make a choice about buying from you.
BUT. You could have more customers. People could make faster choices about buying. They may buy without having to call or email to ask questions (think of inquiries that content could answer for them).
You could sell more and save time. Yeah.
That’s why we need content.
Content is an investment
Content is an up-front investment, in time and/or money. We make that investment knowing (or maybe hoping) that it will pay off.
Maybe you’re familiar with the popular investment proverb, “The best time to invest was yesterday. The second best time is today.”
If you try to find the time to invest in your content, you’ll find it slips away from you. You have to make the time. We avoid making the time, because telling your own story is the worst. Often your time is more valuable spent somewhere else anyway, which means you buy someone else’s time and talents (this is why I have a job doing what I do!).
For me, and my content, the investment is my own time. I refuse to outsource, because at this stage in my business, my brand is personal and linked with my own reputation. My products are content and strategy. It’s an intentional choice, but leaves me with major guilt when I’m not following my own advice to my clients and telling my own stories.
You know that content will help your business grow. Content will bring in more new customers. It will keep customers from bouncing off your website. Content will help customers move toward clicking the “Request Quote” or “Buy” button.
I’ve been lucky. In the first year of my business, my clients came exclusively through referrals and networking. Word-of-mouth, the original marketing tactic.
That works great in the beginning since word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of marketing. We often don’t even think of it as marketing, but it is. That continues to keep my business going, but I know how content can power growth. Especially over time, if you keep creating content. It’s like compounding interest.
What is stopping us?
Maybe it’s time. Perhaps it’s your budget. It could be that you just haven’t put it on your priority list, letting it languish down at the bottom with other neglected tasks you “should” do. There could be several subconscious fears bogging you down. There’s probably some guilt wrapped up in there, because anyone running a business has goals that are bigger than the amount of time they have in a day.
For me, it’s 100% time. I’ve prioritizing work for clients and figuring out the back-office tasks of running a business. I’ve prioritized connecting with people in real life in the past year, not through my own content.
But this year, this is one of my biggest goals. It’s an ongoing goal and challenge for me, to push my words out into the void. Hitting publish on your own work is surprisingly hard.
Here’s my challenge to you, if you’ve read this far:
Ask yourself, why do you need content? And what is stopping you from getting the content that you need?
Out of curiosity, I’d love to know your answers to these questions too! Reach out and let’s talk. We can both learn something.
Thanks for reading.