In the age of social media and personal branding, the content that you put out will make or break your career. In the next 500 words, you’re going to learn how to massively increase your ability to make content and speed up how quickly you can produce it.
My top tip for you today: Chunk your time into tasks.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t put out a lot of content is because they don’t feel like they have time to produce it.
I get it! If you’re producing written content, and you’re not a writer, the blank page is a terrifying mind-numbing prospect.
Having interviewed and consulted a lot of you guys, I’ve realised it’s because most of us are trying to do three things at once! Instead of thinking of what to write, writing it, and editing it at the same time, chunk your time into three activities: thinking, writing, and editing.
The first thing we can do to speed up the content writing process is to simply think about what it is we want to write about.
Come up with a question that your ideal clients ask you about your product or service and then write down three bullet points that answer that question.
For example, if you’re a property investor:
“Why is putting money into property investments better than in a bank?”
– It builds passive income
– You have a better asset to leverage
– The potential return is greater
See how many of these you can come up within 30 minutes.
Then take a break.
The next time you come back to your content creation, you no longer need to think, “What on Earth am I going to write?!” You can easily sit down and start answering the question you’ve set, using the bullet points as inspiration for the points you want to make.
When you do this, just write. Most of my clients (that do the writing themselves) had the following mental blocks when it came to writing:
– “No one will care about this”
– “This isn’t very good”
– “How do I be unique and original?”
Force these out of your mind and just write. Mentally understand that all these things will be fixed in the next stage of your content creation; editing!
Editing is where we should be looking at our content critically and making sure that what we’ve created is useful to our target market/ideal client.
Essentially, editing is all about asking questions like:
– Is this easy to understand?
– Does the logic flow?
– Have I explained why this is important?
Well, my three minutes are up! Have a great day and if you have any questions send me an email.
Something that you’ve been asking for is to know some “cheats” or “hacks” that will save you a tonne of time. Whilst I wouldn’t call the pieces of content featured in today’s article “cheats,” they are essential for saving time, being more professional, and increasing your sales rate.
Brochure / List of Services
I used to dread that moment in a sales call when the person on the other end of the phone inevitably ended with saying, “can you send me all of this in an email?” To me, that felt like they were just fobbing me off and weren’t really interested in working with me.
However, what I realised is that it was another opportunity to sell to them in a medium I was more comfortable with!
The brochure is a powerful tool that allows you to share with prospects exactly how using you and your product or service will benefit them.
In your brochure, you should include:
– The results that the buyer will get
– Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
– Your Price points
Also, don’t call it something lame like, “xyz business brochure”. Instead, jazz it up! Call it something that will entice the other person to read it, something like; “5 Steps to [result your product/service provides]. Where each of the five steps is part of your product or service.
In the follow-up email, you send to prospective clients, you can write:
“Dear Ms. Chandler Bong
Great speaking to you on the phone.
You mentioned that you’re looking for [result]. My team and I have put together a simple 5 step document to getting [result].
From our conversation, it seems like step 3 would particularly interest you.
This is a much more effective way of getting someone to read your brochure than merely emailing something that says, “Here’s my brochure”.
A big objection that I was stuck on for a while was when prospective clients would ask “Why YOU?” I didn’t have an answer. There were a tonne of great options for them to use and I saw myself as just another company for them.
Until I sat down and wrote out my personal bio.
Now, there are a tonne of ways of writing your personal bio. I give my clients a simple five-step formula (send me a PM if you’d like the template).
Having been in media since 2010, I’ve seen some shitty personal bios! These bios:
– Focus too much on the person and not the results they get
– Don’t give a clear indication of the target market
– Don’t highlight tangible results that they’ve gotten
– Don’t give the reader an idea of who the person is as a human (e.g. interests, sense of humour, etc)
As with all the content you create, the personal bio should be considered a sales document. It needs to SELL who you are to whoever is reading it.
Your personal bio can be re-used when you have:
– Media appearances
– Introducing you when you have a speaking gig
– Anytime someone wants to know, who you are
As you build your business and work with clients, you’ll quickly realise that there is a tonne of different things that you can do for your clients that they’ll pay you for.
When I first started, I thought all I could do was produce training manuals…this turned into marketing copy…which turned into writing books…which turned into creating video interviews promoting the client…which turned into producing video courses.
It was driving me mad!
I thought to myself; “What kind of company do I even run?!”
So, I sat down and thought about what my core services were and found a through-thread of all the different things I did:
– Sales Optimisation: Increasing the efficiency of my clients sales process
– Product Creation: Increasing the Lifetime Value of my client’s clients
– Online Branding: Empowering my clients to charge what they’re worth
(Here’s how I phrase it in my brochure:)
All through content!
It’s essential that you create this piece of content for both external and internal readers. If you don’t know what you do, how are other people supposed to know what you do?
Like the brochure, don’t call this document something lame like, “xyz business core services” instead call it something like “3 Ways [Your service] Empowers You to Get [Result]”
When anyone asks you “What do you do?” You can then use that document to SELL what it is that you do to them in an easy-to-understand way, remember; A confused mind doesn’t buy.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or want that Personal Bio template, send me an email.
What piece of content do you use regularly? Let me know in the comments.
Before we begin exploring today’s topic I want you to place a question in your sub-conscious. Let it percolate there as you read through this article because that’s the question we’re seeking to answer;
“What makes you believe someone’s authenticity?”
Today digital marketing is the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way of directly getting your message out into the world and getting clients.
For all it’s advantages there are three major problems with digital marketing today:
1. Most of it is boring/generic/easily found everywhere else
2. It’s unverifiable and therefore we are trusting it less
3. Most people are full of shit
How many articles that claim to have “the secrets” to success have you read?
How many times have the “three habits you need to live a successful life” been, meditation, journaling, and being grateful? (Side note: I do think these are great habits to start doing, I just wanted to highlight how saturated the content marketing space is)
How many times have you read a “review” of something only to realise that it’s an advertorial piece where the writer gets a cut of any of the products sold?
In the first part (here) we looked at how the new age of marketing philosophy works. How we as consumers are drawn to doing business with those that look, act, and think the same way that we do.
In the second part (here) we did a deep dive into the “Like Us” portion of the philosophy. We looked inwards to discover who we should be doing business with, why, and how to understand the actual value that you provide (it’s rarely what we first think it is).
In this part, we’re going to go even deeper into understanding ourselves, our business, and how that impacts the marketing message we put out. In the closing moments of the previous part of this series, I introduced the phrase “Acta Non-Verba” Latin for “Deeds not words”. Our actions are what builds our authenticity in the market. Our authenticity is what will build trust in your business and your services.
That trust is what will get you sales.
Today, we’re going to look at how you can produce authentic, original content, that’s going to convert your audience into clients.
What’s the most important thing to you right now?
In part two we looked at how the thing you sell is just a vehicle for your clients to get what they really want. Few of us buy stuff based on what we need, we buy things because we think it’s going to help us get what we really want.
Here’s the test to understand what we really want.
Ask yourself, “do people wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, and think I need [your product or service]?”
They’re worried about their kid’s future, or if their co-worker fancies them, or if they’ll finally get the respect of their family.
They’re worried about what others will think of them if they don’t have the fanciest car/purse/phone.
They’re worrying that they’re wasting their lives.
For now, let’s stop worrying about “them” and look at “you”.
You’re the one that they’re going to invest in to get them closer to solving their problem. So what do you wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, and think?
That’s the pain point that you can relate to, that’s the problem that you’re actually trying to solve, that’s what’s most important to you.
Sadly, we aren’t as unique as we think we are, and if you’re suffering from that worry do you think others are too?
Based off of that concern, you’re building your business to help solve that worry.
Now let’s flip it back to our wonderful “they”.
They want to do business with someone that actually understands what they’re trying to do. They want to work with someone that’s on a similar path to them with similar goals and similar values. They want someone that’s going to solve the problem they actually have (they just don’t know it yet).
If you and they are aligned, then the next question is:
What are you doing to achieve your goal?
I was eating lunch with one of my book-writing clients the other day and we started talking about webinars. I boldly told her, “No one’s going to buy a £1,000 package from a webinar”. To which she responded, “Have you even tried?”
All I was doing was regurgitating advice that I’d gotten from one of my business coaches.
But it made me realise something. Something that completely changed the way I looked at the content that I consumed.
I started to question the validity of the majority of the marketing messaging that I see on a daily basis.
“How much of it is real?”
How much of the content that we read is from actual people that have done the thing they’re telling others to do?
Over the years I’ve had a tonne of meetings with business owners that scrape Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur Magazine for article titles that are performing well, change the title slightly, farm out the content to cheap writers and post it on their blogs.
And they wonder why it’s not working for them.
In our digital age, authenticity and trust are at an all-time premium.
With so much content out there, it’s easy to be an “expert” simply by googling a few articles and amalgamating them and slapping a call-to-action at the bottom.
Do you want to stand out? You want people to trust you and your business? You want to build a brand with integrity?
All you need to do is base your content and marketing on:
· What have you actually done?
· What hasn’t worked? (and what did you learn from it?)
· What has worked?
One of the reasons Neil Patel’s content (check out his website here) is so well respected is that he shows his actual numbers, he admits to his failures, he’s constantly experimenting with new ways to build his business.
People will buy from you if they know that you walk the walk of the talk you talk.
That’s what people respect.
What’s your next step?
At my workshops, one of the biggest points I make is that we’re looking for clients that will grow with us. My philosophy of business is that if I can provide the value that I say I can provide, my clients are going to have more money.
If your clients have more money then they can invest more with you.
It’s a win-win.
If you’re just starting out, you want to let your client’s know that in five years they’ll be bragging about how they saw the potential in you when you had less than 10 clients.
If you’re growing, you want to let your client’s know that you can take them all the way to what they actually want.
If you’re already on top, you want to let your client’s know that you’re doing everything you can to give them better results, building a better company, and changing the world.
But if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t share our vision then how is anyone supposed to know?
It’s a terrifying prospect to publicly make a bold claim. But what if you pull it off? How much trust and brand value are you going to create if you set a goal, publicly claim it, and nail it?
When you share your vision with your clients and potential clients you create something that they can be a part of.
We want to be part of something bigger.
We want to be part of a movement.
We want to feel included.
That’s why you should also be actively talking with your clients about what your plans are for the future, this may be:
· New products
· New services
· New content series
· New business partnerships
· Awards you’ve been nominated for
The main thing that links all of these is progress.
For the majority of people “success” is that act of moving forward with goals. And as the saying goes, “success builds success”.
Similarly, we want to work with those that are constantly looking to increase the amount of value that they can provide.
The simple truth of business is that we work with people we know, like, and trust. The best way to demonstrate that to people is through the content that you put out into the world.
It really is that simple.
When it comes to creating content that will get you to know, liked, and trusted it comes down to three main points:
As you build the strategy for what content you’re going to create, remember:
1.) Authentic content is built on you sharing what you love, what you’re passionate about, and what you’re actively doing to achieve your goals
2.) Trust is built through sharing what’s working for you, what’s not working for you (and what you did about it), and sharing the experiencesthat you’ve had
3.) Originality is shown through what you’re doing to change the industryor sector that you operate in
Join us next week for the final part of this series where we bring everything together and show you how to create an impact with those you’ve chosen to help.
the previous instalment of this series, we looked at Seth Godin’s “People Like Us Do Things Like This” philosophy when it comes to marketing.
People make purchasing decisions that are in-line with their personality, more so than with what they can afford, more so than what makes logical sense, even more so than what will give them the best long-term outcome.
We made buying decisions not by asking ourselves about the value (although we do this to justify the purchase) but my asking ourselves, “is this who I am?”
In order to effectively sell your product or service to your target audience, you need to get them to identify with your brand.
It’s this concept of “identity marketing” that we’re exploring in this series.
Last time, we explored the foundations of this concept and how you can use it in your business. Now what we’re going to look at is the “Like Us” part of the concept.
For us to attract the attention of “People Like Us” we must first figure out what “Like Us” even means.
The next two parts of this series are going to show you exactly how you can build on that idea by looking inwards so you can easily impact the right people and stop wasting time on those that either will never buy from you or who aren’t right for your product or service.
What do you stand for?
All of us want to fit in.
Even those of us that actively try to “not fit in” are doing so to become one with whatever our idea of rebellion is. When my Mum was a teenager, her idea of rebellion was joining a different church to her parents, edgy.
What most business-owners marketing their business try to do is align their business brand with those of their target market (or “People Like Us”).
This series isn’t about helping you do that.
The world is full of businesses and people that will say anything to get the sale. That will promise the moon and give you rocks. They build relationships with you and as soon as they run out of things to sell you, it’s like you don’t even exist.
Businesses that try to become exactly what they think a customer wants are like every date that you’ve been on where the other person was doing everything they could to please you, whilst charming at first, you can’t build a long-term relationship on that.
This series is about building a business with integrity.
The series is for those of you that do stand for something and, at the end of the day, feel content not by the money in your account (though that will come) but by the people that you’ve helped.
This series is about showing you how you can create marketing materials that perfectly align with your own values, desires, and dreams and using those to make a massive impact on those who you’ve chosen to serve.
It all starts from a single question:
What do you stand for?
Everything stems from this.
What aspects of life are the most important to you?
If I could give you something right now that you’d unquestionably give your life savings to have, what would that be?
Would it be that your children would be safe, happy, and wealthy for the rest of their lives?
Would it be the ability to travel to any country in the world, doing work you love, and choose the hours you work?
Would it be speaking on stages in front of 10,000 people that are bought to tears by the power of your message?
The truth is that in your business, that’s exactly what you’re trying to do for yourself. So if it’s so important to you then it’s going to be as important to others. And if it’s as important to others (so much so that they’d give everything they have to own it) why isn’t that your core message?
Remember; “People Like Us Do Things Like This”
People that want their children to live long, safe, happy lives invest in their businesses.
People that want the freedom to travel wherever and do work they love, buy this product or service.
People that want to impact and influence millions of people, go on this video course.
That’s the power of knowing what you stand for. Once you know the value of what you do and start sharing that message, your prospective clients will build that emotional story-driven narrative into their own lives.
And you can help them achieve it…which leads us onto the second question you need to ask yourself.
What are you actually trying to do?
After you spend some time in the business world, everything starts making more sense whilst at the same time being an entirely baffling endeavour.
Here’s one of those baffling truths: the majority of business owners have no idea what the value is that they provide to their client.
Ask anyone what their business does and you’ll get an infinite number of responses;
“We’re Britain’s leading supplier of…”
“I empower businesses to dramatically increase their leadership by…”
“My team and I… providing multiple streams of income…”
The more I hear, the more it all sounds the same, because it is.
Tesla, McDonald’s, Apple, my business, your business, they do one of four things:
– Increase a client’s wealth
– Give the client more time
– Give the client higher status
– Make the client more healthy
But those things themselves are, well, boring.
It’s the next step that grabs our attention, it’s the step beyond what the client gets that they really care about. It’s the “…so that you can…” that comes after that we pay attention to.
“I’ll increase your sales by 30% SO THAT YOU CAN finally take those 6 months in Japan that you’ve dreamed of”
“I’ll make your business 23% more efficient SO THAT YOU CAN spend an extra 3 hours a day with your children”
“I’ll make your personal brand one of the largest in your market SO THAT YOU CAN speak on the world’s biggest stages”
What you actually do comes after the SO THAT YOU CAN. That’s what you’re actually selling. That’s what you actually do.
That’s the message that, because you personally connect with, your prospective clients will attach themselves to and give you their attention.
The problem is that so few business-owners know this. It’s the reason why the majority of content put out feels so generic.
It’s the reason why your fantastic business is being ignored.
“Acta Non Verba”
I have this phrase written on my wardrobe door so that I see it every day that I choose to put clothes on. It means “deeds not words,” and it’s the final marketing hurdle that we’re conquering today.
It’s there to remind me that my actions speak far louder than my words ever will.
If you don’t have what you’re actually selling to your clients, you can’t build that trust and authenticity with whoever you’re selling to.
Imagine going to a mechanic with a broken car.
Imagine going to a triply-divorced matchmaker.
Imagine going to a personal trainer that’s hugely overweight.
You are the living testimonial of your product or service. If what you’re actually selling is “more time to spend with your children” and little Jimmy is with his nanny 90% of the time…it’s a bad look.
Trust is earned and the currency is, surprisingly, honesty.
Honesty in your actions, honesty with your clients, but most importantly honesty with yourself.
If all you care about is money and having more money than anyone else on the planet, own it. You’ll find your audience. If all you care about is lying on a beach in Thailand as attendants bring you various alcoholic concoctions, make it yours. I guarantee there are those that want that too.
But it’s those with bigger ideas. Those that want to make a larger impact. Those that are actively seeking to change the world. Those are the stories that sell.
Your story starts with you. It starts with what you’re doing to get what you actually sell. That’s what people don’t understand about branding, that they have to be a walking, talking product of what it is they do.
So we come back to “People Like Us Do Things Like This”.
In order to know what your clients truly want, you need to become your own client. In order to deliver what you actually sell to your clients, you need to walk the walk. In order to build the business you want, you need to build the life you want.
Then you’ll connect with the people you want to connect with.
If you want to be authentic with your marketing, build meaningful relationships with your clients, and build a kickass business you need to realise that humans are beautiful, frustratingly, uncompromisingly, and wonderfully irrational creatures.
And we can celebrate that fact.
Once we come from that place, and our marketing reflects that, we can start to build on the results that we’ve spent so long developing in our businesses, so here’s what you’ve got to do:
1.Accept what you truly stand for. Maybe you just want to build a lifestyle business that ticks over to give you the lifestyle you want, maybe you want to be the world’s richest person, maybe you want to fix the world’s problems. No matter what you want, own it
2. Look at what your clients actually want. Look at your current marketing statements and take them one step further and add a “…SO THAT YOU CAN…” on the end. This is what you actually sell via the medium of the product or service you provide.
3. Follow me on Medium so you don’t miss out on Part 3 (Part 1 here)
4. Start building into your life the systems that will give you what you actually sell. Whether that’s spending more time with your kids, getting bigger speaking gigs, working from exotic locations, whatever. You are your own product, remember that.
Thanks for reading.
In part three, we’ll take an even deeper dive into understanding our clients in what I’ve imaginatively called “Who Are You? Round 2”
There are some books that plunge into your heart, take hold of your still-beating vital muscle, and rips it out whilst living on a yacht, raising kids with scholarships to Oxford University, and curing cancer on the side.
These books break you in two because of A.) How badly you realise you’ve been doing your job and B.) How effortless they make it seem.
Anyway, in other news, I’ve been reading marketing deity Seth Godin’s latest book This is Marketing.
It’s the kind of book that…well, we’ve already had one overwrought metaphor and we’re not even out of the introduction.
The book is great, let’s move on.
There was one chapter that’s inspired this series of essays titled, “People Like Us Do Things Like This” and we’ll get to the summary in a second.
Before we get to that, think about what that statement means in your business;
“People Like Us Do Things Like This”
When we think about our businesses we look at the value we’re providing for our clients, we look at what the actual outcomes are in terms of return on investment, and we convince ourselves that if we’re doing all of this in the best interest for our clients.
So we tell them what we found.
We tell them what the numerical return on investment is. We show them case studies and testimonials with beaming faces all saying “This is the best thing ever!”. We publish endless content talking about the “5 killer apps to increase success,” and how they “Won’t Believe How This Simple Habit Will Get You Everything You’ve Ever Wanted”.
And we forget;
“People Like Us Do Things Like This”
Marketing doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it and that’s what this four-part series is about, making marketing simple, actionable, and (hopefully) fun.
“People Like Us Think Things Like This”
I’ve never met a business person that wants to run their business for the rest of their life. Most often, their business is a stepping stone to the next thing, their true passion.
And most are only willing to share that within the confines of an alcohol-induced prison of truth.
It all starts the same “Well, my real passion is…” or “Once I get to £x, then I’m going to…” or “I just need to implement this one business system, and then I can…”
I’m the same.
So why is it that we market to their business goals rather than their actual identity that they really want to show the world?
That’s the first step to choosing your clients; find out what they really want and share with them what you really want.
One of my clients runs a property investment company so that they can learn how to properly house ex-convicts, at-risk youths, and defeat the growing problem of homelessness in the UK.
One of my clients has made it their life goal to ensure that men live their best possible lives and provide a fairytale existence for those they love.
One of my clients is determined to build a business so successful that her team can have the freedom to do whatever they want!
These aren’t small goals. These aren’t “just in it for the money” types.
These people have ideas, thoughts, and dreams of changing the world.
People like us think things like this.
It’s only because of my goals beyond my business that they engage with me. It’s only because we see what each other is trying to do and believe in that other person’s vision of a better tomorrow.
People like us think things like this.
Instead of hoarding their knowledge and keeping to themselves, they want to go out into the world and share with as many people how they achieved their success and how the people they impact can too.
People like us think things like this.
And that’s the reason I can work with them. You’re different (probably), you have your own identity and set of people like you that you want to help. How are you going to find out what they really want?
People Like Us Act Like This
Dreams, for some, are just that. Their goals exist on some sub-space frequency that’s only accessible whilst they’re unconscious, uncaring, and at peace. Others stare their dreams dead in the face, wink, and just like that one episode of Friends where Chandler cannot break up with Rachel’s boss says, “That was fun, let’s do this again sometime” terrified of the commitment.
And then there are people like us.
The people whose identity is based on stripping their dream down to its bare parts, understanding how each nut and bolt works, and once they understand it, get to work building.
Which one are you?
Which camp are you in?
Which type of person do you want your clients to be?
Which type of person are your clients?
More importantly, which type of person do your clients want to be?
People buy cars they can’t afford, wear clothes for a single season, and share meaningless shit on social media all because “People like us act like this”.
Think about that.
Now let’s flip it on its head, people spend thousands of pounds on personal development, they spend days hiking in the mountains, and commit days of their week to volunteer work all because “People like us act like this”.
My point here isn’t that one type of person is objectively better than another.
My point is that you need to ask yourself “who do I best serve?”
We define ourselves by the actions we take and the things we buy.
That’s the second step, what is it about the experience of owning your product or service that makes your clients say “People like us act like this”?
My clients all see themselves as “savvy,” that’s why I put out the content that I do. To teach them something that they can use, to get them to understand what it is that I do so that they can make the most informed purchasing decision that they can.
Think about why your current clients do the things they do, what are they trying to “say” or express with their money?
People Like Us Do Things Like This
And so we come back to the quote that started all of this.
They say business is all about people. The more we learn about the people we serve, the more we can connect with them. The more we can speak to a person’s identity the better we become at giving them exactly what they need.
Novelty seeker or a fan of the classics?
Adrenaline Junkie or Tranquility Lover?
Going out to clubs or staying in with Netflix?
They are core to our identity and that’s why brands create…well, brands.
Apple or Android?
To each one of you reading this that thinks your choice of phone means more than which apps you can use. Apple fans see themselves as stylish, modern, and elite, Android fans see themselves as in control of everything on their phone, freedom seekers, and (at least for me) against the “status culture” that Apple fans brag about.
They’re just phones.
Yet, we assign ourselves an identity based purely on which phone we choose to buy.
“People Like Us Do Things Like This”.
Everything we buy builds our identity. Even those that claim to “not care” about how they dress separate their identity from those that “do care”.
So what does buying from you say about that person?
That they invest in their education?
That they believe in making the world a better place?
That they have status?
People like us read things like this because we want to deliver the best service to our clients. People like us network, graft, and build products so that we can live our best lives. People like us are terrified of waking up one day and thinking, “I wish I’d done more with my life”.
Do you see how alluring those statements are? How tempting an offer they provide?
When it comes to marketing your business, product, or service you need to look at the bigger picture for what investing in your product will do for your client.
By “bigger picture” we’re talking about what your product or service will intrinsically do for the client. The personal goal that it will get them closer toward.
So here’s what you’ve got to do next:
Understand what labels your clients put on themselves
Look past those labels and figure out why they choose to put themselves in those boxes
Start thinking about how your business builds them closer to their ideal identity
Follow me on Medium to follow this series and make your marketing simple
That’s all for today.
Tune in for Part Two when we’ll look at the other perspective and figure out exactly where you fits into the “us”.