If you are a consultant looking for a structured process to explain (market) your consulting offer this article is for you. You don’t need fancy sales pitches or expensive technical tools to create a simple funnel that attracts, vets, and serves your BEST client. What you need is a system for weaving high quality content into your marketing funnel.
A couple of truths you KNOW you should DO something about...(but maybe don't know how)
Your BEST client expects to see content. The reality is that clients expect to be able to go online and search your company…no matter what you sell. Your BEST client expects to go to a search engine, type in your niche (or website name), and find something about your business. Years ago, having an ad in the Yellow Pages made you “real”. In today’s environment having a clear web presence makes you “real”.
It’s the content that differentiates. So when your prospective clients searches for your company what content do they find? Will they find powerful, sharp content that sparks their interest to learn more about your company? Or will they find random, disconnected articles you wrote 3 years ago and forgot all about? Your BEST client is going to use what they find to decide if they want to engage with your business…and this happens way before a phone call or other inquiry is ever placed.
But how do you create the content? That is what today is all about. See below
Intro: What Makes Your Content "Work"
If you've been around the site for a while, you've seen me draw this map before. This is a content marketing funnel, and it starts with your core concept, and it ends with your BEST client. What we're acknowledging here is that there is a process, there are a series of steps, there is a strategy involved with how you go from what you do, to attracting clients on a regular basis.
If you haven't seen this before, let me walk you through it very, very quickly, just for a review. It begins with your core concept. I've written some other articles that really explain how to do that. We're going to skip that for now. Your core concept is going to be broken out into a series of pieces. What you offer is transformational. There are steps in that transformation, and you're going to create standalone pieces of content about that transformation.
Each piece of content drives people to a landing page, where you tell them about your core concept. These are symptoms of an illness, if you will, and it's right here at the big landing page where you tell them that really what you have is an illness, not just separate symptoms.
They are aware that they really have an illness, you follow up with your autoresponder series. Then there is a discovery call of free consultation where you just kind of figure out where they're coming from. Then, there is a second call which leads to a proposal, which, hopefully, secures your BEST client. That's the process.
What Should You Write?
Today in this video, what we're talking about is how to get this part done. How do you create the kind of content that attracts the kinds of people who actually will want to go through the remainder of this process? Without any further ado, let's get to that part.
Let's start here. Let's start with what you actually want to write. This is the most powerful part. The rest of this stuff is just stuff if you don't get this part right. The value of your content is to get your BEST client unstuck. That is the only reason why you create content ‑‑ is to get your client unstuck.
You're in the get‑them‑unstuck business. Your client is stuck, your job is to get them unstuck. Anything you create should move them along a process to being better in whatever your expertise is. There's a lot of content out there to help create suggestions on the kinds of content you should create and it provides too many options.
You should only create stuff that gets people unstuck. Create content directly related to your big product or service. You take that big transformational product, you break it into pieces, and there's your answer. You create content around each one of those pieces that gets them unstuck one step at a time. There's your answer for actually what to write.
How Does the Content Get Written?
Now, how to write it. To get to step number two, I have to make an admission. I am not a writer. I cannot tell you how many years I have promised myself as a New Year's resolution that I'm going to write more this year.
I'm in the consulting business. I know that writing is important to building authority, thought leadership, spreading my message, et cetera, et cetera. I know all that. But I can't tell you how many years I didn't do it. I just didn't do it enough for my business to see the benefits.
The only way I was going to write, and write at a high level, and write at a consistent basis, was if I put a process around how I write. I'm sharing with you that process right now.
My Easy Mindmapping Formula:
- Are you stuck? (Do you have these symptoms?)
- Here is how you can get unstuck (Follow this simple process.)
- When you finish you should feel X (accomplished, smarter, faster, richer, etc)
- If you are still having these problems after your finish you should call me (Call to action to speak with you)
The first thing I do, is I take whatever topic I'm talking about, and I mind map it. My first step to mind map is on a sheet of paper, not on some software. Wherever I'm standing, whether it's in a lunch room, whether it's washing my hands in the sink, whether it's eating lunch, whatever I'm doing, I will stop, grab some paper and begin to do this thing, and map out my thoughts to solve for whatever issue that would help my clients.
I start with a very simple mind map process. It begins with the topic in the center. I just draw in a couple of major nodes. The first major section is acknowledging the symptoms for your BEST client. "Are you stuck? Do you have these symptoms a, b, c, and d? If you do, then this article is a good article for you." Then you walk them through your unstuck process.
Whatever gets them through the first thing, that one little stuck issue, you get three, four, five steps, whatever they are, to work them through this issue. At that point they should be unstuck at least from that part, if not further along.
The next part you say, "Now, if you've done this process, you should feel a certain way. You should feel happier, nicer. You should be richer, you should be more peaceful, whatever. You should make more money, create better ads, whatever you do, have a better website, whatever you do. You should feel a certain way."
If they complete this process and still have issues, they should call you. "If you're stuck, follow this process, you should feel a certain way when you're finished, if you don't feel that way, maybe you should call me." That is the outline of your great content.
At this moment, this is only on a sheet of paper. I scribble it out as fast as I can. Now it's on a sheet of paper. How does that translate into these big, long posts you see on the site? Here's what I do. I take what's on paper first, and then I put it into a mind mapping software. I use MindMeister.
There's many of them, that's the one I used. I go to MindMeister, and I literally talk out this mind map, like I'm talking to another human being. I talk it out and I record that. I'm going to transcribe the recording, and then I'm going to use a header image to put at the top of the post. That's how you rough out high‑level content. That's that piece. Now lets move on.
How to Create the Post
Creating the actual post itself, because you've got a bunch of raw material. You've got to outline a post that makes some sense. Here's how the post comes together. The mind map itself is a shareable piece of content. You can share your mind map publicly, and put the link in different places if you want.
How a Good Blog Post Comes Together:
- Mindmap is shareable content (linked or embedded)
- Video is shareable content (linkd or embedded)
- Transcription is the core written element of the blog
- Header image is the main visual element
- Content upgrade creates the lead generation opportunity
The mind map itself is actually shareable. When you talk through the mind map, that's a video. You can screen capture that and make that a video. You've seen that used on my site. The screen cap becomes a video. Now, you're video marketing.
When you create the audio, that audio can be transcribed. That becomes the meat of the blog post. That's how I get the core of my writing done. I transcribe my thoughts. That's the only way, from a process perspective, that I'm going to write like I'm supposed to.
The transcription becomes the core, meat, written word of your blog post. The header image goes at the very top of the post so people can kind of visually get a sense of what they're about to read. Then, you want to include a content upgrade, because that's how you generate leads from each piece of content.
Now, the post has come together. Now we can see, starting with the header image, then you might include the video, then you have all the meat of the post, then you have the content upgrade down at the bottom. There you go. Your great post has now come together.
How to Generate Leads with Your Content
There's one more step. How do you get that lead generation thing done? For those of you who are familiar with the content upgrade terminology, that's another step. Another piece of content you've got to create. You've made this big blog post, and now you've got to create some more content. Here are couple of quick ideas on how to get that done.
Content Upgrade Options
- Copy of the post
- Video tutorial
- Resource list
One quick, easy high‑valuable thing you can do, is just give away a copy of the post itself. You've created the big post, it's there. Allow someone to print it out, or to get a PDF of it and download it. That's a good opportunity to create leads just from that. You can create a supplemental video tutorial. If you didn't include the video in the post but you just had the steps in it, the video can be what you offer for leads to download.
You can summarize everything in an infographic, you can easily include a very simple checklist summarizing each step of your process. Allow that to be downloaded, or you can include a resource list which, by the way, I'm including with this. There are a lot of resources that I used to get this done, and I'm going to put them as a link down here so that you can download them and use them for yourself.
This is how you create the kinds of content that attracts high‑level clients. It's high‑valuable content.
For the Skeptics...
There's one final warning because I know there's a typical objection that I get from consultants when we talk about doing this kind of stuff. That is, "Alzay, I don't want to give it all away. If I give them all the answers, then they won't come to me to do the rest of the work."
Remember what we're giving away here in this content is just one piece of content at a time, not the entire system. The reason why we're doing that is your client only understands their individual pain point. They just know that their shoulder, their hip, their elbow hurts.
They can't really appreciate how to get it all solved. Your great content solves for one problem at a time. They're going to need some help gluing it all together. Bottom line, if your client could glue it all together, they would. They need some help putting all the pieces together.
Your format here is going to help you create some really high‑level content, and I'm going to make the resource list available to you down beneath this content, so you can download them to get and do this for yourself.
What did I miss? Did I miss anything, should I have said something? Please give me your feedback, let's talk about it, let's make sure that your content creation process is not only simple for you, but also creates the high‑level output you're after.