I met a ton of people from all over the world at the recent Copyblogger Rainmaker conference.
I was a bit surprised that there were not more entrepreneurs, small business owners, niche marketers – I met a lot of people in the content marketing field already and it felt a little like CB may have been preaching to the choir.
The people who could really benefit from content marketing are the little guys, content is a great way for David to beat Goliath.
Why don’t more small businesses embrace content?
And then I sat next to a Librarian. And I chatted with a man who was opening up a meditation retreat center. These were my people!
So how did the Copyblogger conference impact my pet industry business?
It shed light on things that we are doing right, things that we could do better, things that we not doing at all and should start doing!
In this article I am going to give you the first 3 steps you need in order to make sure your content is working as efficiently and as effectively as possible to help you grow your business.
Before we start, you need to get in (or already be at) the place where you see yourself as a business owner FIRST and a pet sitter SECOND.
I am a member of a local networking group and as I was heading to a meeting one day my 11 year old daughter asked me “Why do you dress up for your meetings? You don’t walk dogs in a dress”. I answered “because I am a business owner who happens to specialize in pets and walking dogs”.
Second, you need to understand what “content” is.
The buzz word can be flying all over the room, but if you don’t grasp it’s meaning, it’s core, it’s potential, it’s possibility for your business – you’re lost. Since CB is all about on-line content, that is what I am going to define for you.
Content is everything you see online. Words are content. This blog article is content. Pictures, video’s, posts on your Facebook page, tweets on your Twitter. When you create your web site, you are creating content.
Content is how people get information.
10 and maybe even 5 years ago, the consumer couldn’t get information from anywhere except the seller.
Before, if I wanted to bake the best apple pie in the world, I was limited to the people I knew that baked apple pies. Maybe I could knock on doors, crash some 4th of July picnics and ask to taste the pie, but that would be a little awkward.
Now, I can Google that exact same question and I get over 12 million results in less than 1 second. I could probably find a recipe from a 100 year old woman in Lithuania who uses apples from a 100 year old apple trees (do apple trees even live that long? Hm, let me Google that to get the INFORMATION).
The Internet hasn’t just changed the marketing world, it’s created a new one.
Creating content is how we give our audience information about our service, our experience, our business, about us and our story and how it may connect with theirs.
When our story connects with our audience’s story – that’s the sweet spot. That’s where you turn the audience into a client.
So how do you do that?
Here are the 3 steps to making sure you are creating the best possible blog posts and content for your business
STEP #1: Identify your audience.
Seeing as we are pet sitters, the first requirement of our audience is that they have a pet or at the very least are thinking about getting a pet. Let’s take it a few steps further and think about exactly who our clients are so we can:
Identify your IDEAL audience.
Does your ideal client chain their dog up outside? Do they bounce checks? Do they want you to come every 4th day to check on their cat?
I doubt it. So your audience isn’t “anyone” with a pet. Get specific in who you are looking for, what do they like to do? How do they treat their pets? What questions do they have about their pets? Which leads right into:
STEP #2: WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE NEED AND WANT?
Once you know WHO your target audience is, you need to figure out what they want and stage they are in. Michael King described this as the Customer Decision Journey.
For pet sitters, there are 3 main stages that your audience may be in:
- They have never heard of a pet sitter/dog walker and are looking for more information,
- They have heard of our industry and think they may need your services,
- They put “pet sitter in XYZ town” into Google. They know what they need and what they want.
They are going to be asking different questions and be looking for different answers throughout each stage of their decision journey. The information you provide, the content you give them is going to influence their final purchasing decision to choosing YOU as their pet sitter.
If you give them the information they need you are increasing your VALUE. By increasing your value, they are going to want YOU for their pet sitting needs.
WANT+NEED=CONTENT SWEET SPOT
CONTENT SWEET SPOT=INFORMATION
VALUE=LANDING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
IDEAL CLIENT=WHAT DO THEY NEED AND WHAT DO THEY WANT?
PetSittingOlogy has lifetime blogging class you can join that literally gives you over 100 topics and titles if you need any guidance, support, inspiration, motivation with figuring out what your ideal clients wants to learn about.
STEP #3: PUBLISH CONTENT
If you have a web site, you already have content out there.
If you have a social media account, you already have content out there.
If you have a blog page, you already have content out there.
CREATE MORE OF IT.
“But I’m not a good writer,” you say?
Then make a video, post pictures, do a podcast. Hire someone to write for you.
“But I don’t know what to talk about.”
Yes you do, you talk to clients on the phone don’t you? Or via email? If you communicate with potential clients in any way, you are giving them information already and you don’t even realize it! Put it in blog form “What You Can Expect Of Your Pet Sitter” and voila, you have content!
“But I’m boring.”
No. You are you. You are unique and awesome and bring something to the table that no one else does. Know what that is? You. No other pet sitter out there has the exact same experience as you do.
Focus on your specialized experience that makes you remarkable. When you talk about your story, you are going to find that other people connect to it. The people who connect to it are your ideal clients. If you don’t know anything about horses your ideal client is not someone with a horse. That would create stress, insecurity, you would be setting yourself up to fail. Don’t do that.
If your experience is with diabetic cats then that’s your SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE. Talk about it, write about it, share your knowledge about it! And give me your number because I don’t know anything about diabetes in cats and will refer any calls to you.
Are You Ready?
Are you ready to take the 3 steps to creating a strong content foundation for your business? Come on the journey with us and we can take the steps together.
Once you’ve built a strong foundation, stay tuned for more detailed ways to not only stand out, but rise above. Are you with us?