What do you write about on a business blog? Take inspiration from the conversations you are currently having with clients and prospects and turn them into content pieces.
No way. It can't be that simple, right? Well, let's see the logic here.
Let's say there's a person who wants to be your client, right now.
They want to sign and begin work, but they have questions.
The only way they are going to be clear, confident, and excited about working with you is if they have seen answers from you already.
One of the most powerful ways to express your answers is by putting them inside well-structured content. You can simple write the answer out and publish it on a webpage. This gives your potential client the opportunity to read, digest, and decide that you have the best approach for their situation.
Consulting Blog Ideas: How do I know what the questions are?
The only way you know how to create a good content piece is if it's driven from an actual question. You have to know what question to answer inside the content piece. But the only way you're going to find the questions is if you talk to a human being, so you know what a human is actually searching for when they look for a service professional.
Now you may be thinking, "Okay, but Alzay wait. You just provided a circular reference here. You just said, the only way I can attract someone is by talking to them, but I can't talk to them so I can attract." Let's break that chicken or the egg conversation here. The thinking here is that you start from wherever you are right now. The people you currently have access to, those are the people that you grab, ascertain, digest questions from.
Answer the questions of:
- Your clients. You already have people that you've worked with in the past. So understand what their questions are.
- Your prospects. So if you don't have clients, then you have prospects. You got people in the past that you've talked about doing business with.
- Your colleagues. No prospects yet? Turn to your colleagues. They have their own perspective on how questions are asked and the answers are provided.
- Online forums. If you are truly on your own, find out what dialogue is happening on line. You can grab questions there.
Here's my point. There are people in your world that you have access to today that can provide insight, that can help you see the clearest question that you should be answering for your client base. And then take the challenge of answering that question in a content piece.
Necessary Content Creation Tools: Do you need what they say you need?
There are other options for “content creation” out there that a lot of people will say you should use, but how much good will they do? Will they help you accomplish the most important task?
- Keyword Tools. The landscape of keywords is complex. Short-tail keywords, long-tail keywords, search volume, keyword tools, keyword competition. If you understand them, great, but your expertise is in something else. So don't force yourself to learn keywords and then try to leverage keywords.
- Content Calendars. I'm sure you've had somebody recommend this to you. “You should be posting once a week,” or “Three times a month,” or whatever it is. So you build out this month’s worth of calendar. But, what ends up happening is you spend more energy trying to just complete the calendar than you do getting or establishing relevance to your prospective client base. Forget the calendar. Be more concerned about what answer the prospective client is trying to get, and focus on answering that.
- SEO. You may have hired someone to do SEO. You tried to study SEO. And if you thought keywords were complex, try figuring out SEO, how it relates on different platforms and what the hierarchy of a page needs to be. If you want to figure it out, be my guest! The core premise of SEO is matching content to a person's intent. So a person's intent is the question that they're asking. So if you already heard the question from a human being, what do you need SEO for? Answer the questions as best you can and move on.
- Social posting. You probably have been introduced to forum posting and all of these things have a place. The trouble is that you find yourself trying to understand these things and you've gotten away from the human being that's actually trying to be served.
Honestly, you don't need these things. The primary focus, the most important task, should be on answering a human being’s question. That's where the money is.
Do not neglect your available leverage
With all this said, I think there are two important points of leverage to appreciate here:
- You're supposed to be having conversations anyway. That is a heavy part of what it means to be a service professional. You talk to people and you deliver services that meet their needs. So much of what you do comes from conversations. What we're doing now is providing a business development strategy inside that job description. So keep talking to people.
- This process is self-refining. Every time you talk to someone, you hear a question, and you create content, which puts forth an answer. People respond or interact to that piece of content. That helps you figure out what the next question is. You answer that question in a piece of content. People can experience it, then you get some more feedback to do it again. So the more this process continues, it refines itself every single time. You get better at hearing what needs to be heard and then you get better at responding in the way that it needs to be responded to. This process makes you better.
As consultants, sometimes we get a little proud of ourselves because we only want to talk to people who are prepared to buy. We discard all of the leverage that's possible because we have that attitude. Hopefully, this reintroduces you to the power of conversations and the leverage it has in your business. You can try the internet marketing tools if you want, but there's existing leverage inside your current expertise. Leverage that for maximum profitability.