By Alcides Alvarado.
The success of most solopreneurs depends on their ability to market effectively.
In this day and age, it would be silly for any solopreneur to ignore the power of content marketing. These kinds of marketing techniques allow you to attract customers in a way that builds credibility, authority and trust.
Let’s just be honest for a second.
Building a business by yourself is tough, isn’t it? It’s not easy to get customers. This is especially true if you do a lot of business online.
Online marketing is a huge challenge for many solopreneurs. You try to design an attractive website. You work on writing your web copy. You may have even dabbled in blogging.
But it’s not working. You aren’t getting any traffic. There’s nobody subscribing to your website.
Content marketing is a solid way to find highly targeted leads even if you don’t have a huge marketing budget. It’s a great way to increase your influence by providing great value to your audience.
However, just like any other kind of marketing technique, it has to be done right. You can’t just throw a website up with any old type of content and expect people to be eager to read it. Quite the contrary, you will usually have to try harder to get people to pay any attention to you, since they are bombarded with free information all the time. It is your job to stand out from the cacophony of content.
To that end, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re using content marketing as a strategy:
1. Create a Plan
If you try to “just wing” your social strategy, you’re never going to get far. You’ll go days or even weeks without posting, have a difficult time coming up with content, or you’ll start posting irrelevant information. If you’re not connecting with your followers, they’ll leave you in exchange for a competitor.
Creating a calendar for your social posts can keep everything organized and in order, and ensure you’re reaching your posting goals for the day, week, or month. A social calendar allows you to see what posts will go out on what day, so if you have a promotion or event coming up, you can give yourself an adequate amount of time to push information on your social platforms.
A calendar can also help you save time. Say you carve out at hour or two at the beginning of the month to craft all your social posts for the next few weeks. While this may be spending more time on social upfront, you’re going to save yourself a lot of time and energy worrying about it for the month ahead.
Use a pre-made social schedule to make the process even easier. With online resources and programs, you can simply begin inputting your ideas into an already existing template.
2. What frustrations do people have with your competition?
Solopreneur marketing comes down to building relationships with potential clients. All relationships need a starting point, which is what these two questions help identify.Case-in-point: I’ve just built more relationship with you by sharing this info on my blog for free. That’s different from other consultants. People in my niche are frustrated because solopreneurs, small businesses, or non-profits don’t want to or often can’t afford to pay consulting fees before they know what they’re going to get.It’s the same with you. Your market is waiting for someone different, someone that fixes their frustrations. Get to work!
3. Use the Right Tools
There are plenty of useful tools out there that can help you turn your website into a lead generating machine. The key is to find the right tools for your type of business. These tools are designed to make it easier for you to accomplish your content marketing goals.
After all, what’s the point of having great content if you’re not selling anything?
If you run an eCommerce business, there are plenty of WordPress plugins you can use to get more people to buy your products. There are also more comprehensive lists of tools that can help enhance your content marketing.
4. What is different about you?
If you don’t tell people what makes you different, they will default to making choices based on price and location. Whole Foods isn’t just more expensive, it’s different. That’s why people drive out of the way to buy food there. To many, it’s worth the extra cash and travel. What about your product or service makes it worth the extra cash and travel?
5. Create great Content
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. You need to make sure that each piece of content that you create is of the highest quality possible. Creating high-quality content takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end.
You can have tons of information, but if it’s unreadable or inaccurate, few people will share it, and the whole point of content marketing is to get people to spread your material around as much as possible.
Think of your content as a seed that will grow into new prospects when it falls on the fertile ground of your niche. That was rather poetic, wasn’t it?
But it’s true. If your material is high quality, your audience will continue to grow.
6.Make it Easy for Prospects to Find You
There’s no point in creating great content if nobody sees it, right? That’s why it’s important to focus on your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
You should write for people before you write for search engines, of course, but you can’t ignore the power of search engines. Search engines are the main way that consumers find the products and services they purchase. That’s why you can’t afford to neglect search engine optimization.
There are many ways to get your website to rank higher in search engines. You need to find the techniques that are best for your company.
7. Social Media is Your Friend
Another thing that can influence SEO these days is social sharing. You need to make sure that your material is getting shared on social media. Everyone is using social media nowadays, so it would be foolish to ignore it.
One of the best ways to get people’s attention is to simply show up where they hang out. Of course, you need to find out what social media platforms are best for your business. You want to make sure you’re actually posting on a platform that your prospective customers are using.
8. Schedule Posts
You don’t need to get on your computer or pull out your phone every time you’re ready to post on a social page. Instead, you can schedule posts ahead of time with resources and tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or SproutSocial.
Each of these programs allows you to input the editorial calendar you creating in step one into an automated posting program. You can select the platform the post should be shared on, the time you would like it to be shared, and what day it should appear. Once you pre-determine the settings for the post, you don’t need to worry about it again.
When you’ve already created a social calendar for the month, it is easy to input it into the posting software. At the beginning of the month when you create your calendar, spend another few minutes inputting the calendar into your posting service page. Once it’s all in there, you’ll know that your social will be active during the next month and you can focus on other business items.
Even with your posts scheduled, you are able to go in and make modifications to your plan. If you want to remove posts before they appear, change the date or time of a post, or add additional posts, you are free to do so with your scheduling software.
9. Be Human
Although scheduling your posts is perfectly acceptable and encouraged, your platforms shouldn’t read as if a computer has been uploading your content for you (even if one has). Instead, your friends or followers want to feel like they’re really engaging with you.
Some companies and businesses believe their social platforms only needs to be a string of links to blog posts or products that can be found at the website. They add a simple “Check this out!” before the link appears and hope that it is enough to entice fans or customers to click through. Unfortunately, this behavior will probably only lose you some followers and probably won’t generate any new business.
With each post that you create, be sure that there is an actual human voice behind it. Your friends and followers want to engage and connect with someone that they feel like they can relate to, not someone who is just pushing their products or services at them. Listen to what your followers are talking about, acknowledge when they connect with you, and use your social platforms as a way to make a connection.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource
Now, you might be thinking: “Sure, content marketing is great and I should definitely do it, but who has time to make all of that material?” This is a valid question, especially when the content you need falls outside of your specialization. If this is the case, you might consider outsourcing some of your content creation.
For example, let’s say you need articles on your website, but you’re not a writer. It would probably take you longer than a professional writer to write up the kind of ideas that you want to express, and you may not be able to express them as well. This could be a waste of time because you could be using your talents for other things. In this case, it may be better to outsource.
Now, if you like having a lot of control, you don’t have to outsource everything. To go back to the example above, you could just write article outlines and have a writer fill in the blanks. If you are making video content, you could shoot the content yourself and hire an editor to make sure the raw footage is fit for consumption.
No matter what, though, don’t fall into that trap of thinking that you’ll “save money” by doing everything yourself. You know what? Time is money, and if you are using your time inefficiently — working on a task you dislike or that you’re not that great at doing, instead of working from your strengths — then you are wasting money. Many new entrepreneurs, in their zeal to save every last bit of capital, make this mistake.
11. Realize marketing is evil only if it markets evil things.
This is one of the biggest obstacle for many solopreneurs, Speakers, creatives, freelancers, independent contractors—many are proud of their product but act like it’s borderline evil to tell anyone.
We all can fall in the trap of social media that why you need to focus and have a schedule for your post or for respond question that some of your followers have and not let be a waste of time by spend the time necessary in each of your platforms.
12. Use Analytics
Analytics aren’t just for your website. You should also be using them to measure how well your social profiles are doing. For most of the major platforms, you can use the website’s own analytics components to see how well your posts are reaching, who is connecting with them, and how many click through they have. You may also be able to see demographical information about them, so you can tell if you’re reaching your target audience or not. If you want to see how those parts are translating onto your website, you can use Google Analytics, allowing you to see what happens once they click off the social page.
Using analytics can help you make a deeper connection with your client or customer. When you understand what information they are connecting with and what they enjoy, you can push more posts of that nature to them. It can also help you to acknowledge which kinds of posts aren’t performing well and eliminate them from your schedule.
Analytics are a great way to understand the give and take that comes with social. Too many small business owners believe that their social platforms are only there to act like a sales tool to drive information to the website, but it is really a wonderful opportunity to truly see inside the lives of the people who purchase your products or use your services. As they are your customers and they are the driving force behind your business, you should be doing everything possible to accommodate them and keep them interested.
Checking the analytics of your posts can also help you from wasting time or resources. Instead of posting a tidbit of information and hoping it sticks with your customers and clients, you know exactly what they like and what they don’t. You can reduce the time you spend on your social calendar and free up your schedule for other business activities.
Managing and maintaining strong social platforms is crucial for solopreneurs looking to see their companies take off. Whether you have been using social for years and you’re just looking for ways to make it a bit less stressful or you’re completely new to the game, hacking the social system is easy. With these four tips, you can create better social strategies and connect better with your customers.
Growing a successful business means earning the trust of your prospective clients. You have to build influence with them as much as possible.
Content marketing works because you are providing value to your audience without expecting anything in return. When your prospects look to you as a source of valuable information, it increases the chances that they will buy from you. You may not see dramatic results at first, but if you keep at it, you’ll discover how powerful content marketing can be.
What are the challenges that you have face as a solopreneur?.