“What the hell am I going to blog about this week?”
If that question feels too familiar to be fun, and you’re nodding wearily and wishing you weren’t—you’re going to love what comes next.
First, know that everyone else is asking themselves the same.
Those top-notch brands generating tons of content which all seems to hit exactly the right note? They’re asking this. (Their production lead times are probably just a bit longer than yours. And they probably have a bigger team and more resources to come up with ideas and turn them into stuff.)
But like you, they know content is one of the main things it takes to grow relationships and reputations today.
Big gun or little brand, while content marketing might be the new black of business—it’s also the bane of anyone who runs one. Because if you’re anything like the clients I work with, you’re too overwhelmed and close to what you do to know what to write about. (Even if you had the time or desire to!)
Luckily, there’s a simple solution.
Listen to the questions your prospects and clients ask you. Then write answers to them.
That’s it. If you’re thinking this is so simple it couldn’t possibly work well—I hear you. You don’t want to look like an idiot out there. (None of us do!) But here’s the thing: All the successful brands you admire are doing exactly this.
The secret to writing content people read and react to by initiating a call with you, or a coffee? It boils down to knowing what they want to know more about, and giving it to them. Because in doing this, what you’re saying is: ‘I know you. I get it. I can help.’
It’s resonance, in other words.
Start by taking note of advice or insights you share that land especially well with clients as you work together. Information or techniques that are ‘ah-ha’ moments for them, or make them say things like, ‘I never thought of it that way.’
(Don’t worry if it seems obvious or small to you. It probably will. You’ve been doing your thing for ages, remember, and are an expert at it—which is why they hired you. So some of the stuff you take for granted will be the stuff that changes their business significantly.)
Listen to questions your prospects ask, too. Ones that typically come up in your initial conversations or discovery calls. What do they wish they knew how to do better? What don’t they understand but want to? What are they scared to tell you or hope no one finds out?
For me, I’ve had many people confess they struggle with creating content. Even those who think they ‘should’ know. It comes up time and again. (And is one of the reasons you’re reading this post!)
When you’re seeing a trend, you know you’re on the right track.
Another big benefit to all this is that not only does it inform content your prospects and clients will love—but products and services, as well. Consider how you might build solutions that answer all those questions they’re asking. Listening in this way is like having your own informal feedback loop.
How do you know when you’ve hit the mark with content?
They’ll tell you. Literally, in my experience. When you start getting emails that begin with, ‘I loved your blog post on x,’ and end with a meeting request—you’ve cracked it.
So, here’s my question for YOU: What are you writing about this week?