Amateurs mistake tactics for technique and mechanics for mastery.
You’re no amateur are you?
Are you pitching the tactics of design, blogging, seo, or content creation as your product or service?
The clients you want.
They aren’t buying into pitches that sell blogging, seo, massive traffic and social media tactics. They are rarely buying content creation or design or coding either.
The clients you want are buying an answer to a problem based on leadership, uniqueness, and assets.
They are buying technique and mastery not tactics and mechanics.
Pro content marketers trade on why’s not how’s in order to sell themselves.
Pro content marketers don’t sell traffic or top rankings; they sell assets – marketing assets. (tweet this)
Pro’s know these marketing assets generate all kinds of benefits like leads, authority and sales. And of course traffic and ranking and social engagement and so on.
Your services must be seen as marketing assets.
Not web ninja internet guru garbage.
No crap – you say?
As a content marketer and a pro, you know this – right?
Cornerstone content isn’t the pitch either.
In fact, it’s never the upfront pitch.
Content marketing is your service and from it flows traffic and seo value and all sorts of benefits, but it’s not what you put out front so don’t hang your shingle on it. Even when you are being approached directly for this service – it’s not the pitch.
The pitch – and the point of this post – is this.
Sell the business on their hidden assets and how you are the one that turns that into enduring marketing assets through content marketing.
Clarify how these assets strengthen their brand, their business, their uniqueness and their connection to their best customer.
That’s precisely what they want.
Here’s how pro’s sell content marketing.
A conversation I had with a one of the largest C.P.A.’s in my area makes for a great example.
Talking to the senior partner and decision maker revealed some real challenges to their ideas about their customers, their industry and the value of marketing and communication.
In the start of our conversation they said they served every business because all businesses had taxes to file and this alone was evidenced by the fact they had clients from every industry in their customer list.
Their belief was that all C.P.A.’s were the same and that customers didn’t generally shop or switch a C.P.A when they had one. At least from their experience and by talking to other C.P.A’s.
Additionally, in 20+ years, all their business was referral only so there was clearly no need to do any external marketing, it was just noise and wasted dollars.
Obviously, they had no interest in the web, traffic, or seo – not initially.
In fact, they could care less.
But what they did want was leads, systems, and tools.
And they did want someone to show they what they couldn’t see for themselves.
They knew they needed more referrals or more business opportunities they just couldn’t see how to do it.
We needed to unpack the challenges.
So, addressing their point that C.P.A.’s were all the same and their belief they served a general business audience was a critical part of my job.
They saw no value in online content and the thought of it was easily dismissed.
They assured me that tax content on the web didn’t matter much and wouldn’t be worth reading – all C.P.A.’s were the same and customers had no interest in learning about taxes. Besides, the IRS had everything and was the logical place people would go for that information.
In a conclusive chuckle, he said “I mean, when was the last time you sat with a cup of coffee and enjoyed a leisurely article about taxes”?
This conclusion was understandable.
And this is where amateurs shrink away and pro’s step forward.
I said “Oh, so I should just go to the other C.P.A. across the street since it’s the same product, same service, and cheaper”?
His head began to shake a clear and visible no in response.
Suddenly the conversation shifted.
“Well no, while we are all certified public accounts and the accreditation is standardized we have different areas of expertise and proficiency.” He said.
Ah ha! Differentiators.
Tell me more.
After probing deeper, I discovered their best clients were Doctors, Engineers, and Attorneys – not every business after all. So I put focus on those three business types to gain more understanding.
Why was that?
A few reasons emerged.
Doctors, Engineers, and Attorneys all included partners in their business model (financial/stakeholder complexity), all had a similar diligence to record keeping, and they all had similar professional standards and appreciation of the C.P.A.’s. tax and compliance services because it had similar traits as their high credit, high authority professions.
In other words, those three industries resonated with the expertise and offerings of this particular C.P.A. firm because of their unique proficiencies. There was a great transfer of trust and value because of their professional traits. And, they also had highly specialized knowledge on staff to serve those customers in ways other C.P.A.’s were not equipped to do well.
Hidden assets found.
So, back to content marketing.
Pitching traffic, seo, blogging, social media and inbound strategies is pointless here – and in a gazillion other examples that include your best new business opportunity.
These prospective clients are not buying that.
That pitch will never resonate up front.
What this C.P.A. (and your prospects) need is a clear understanding of how their business connects to their ideal customers. Once identified, suggesting a blog and content marketing strategy that achieves that is a smart and easy discussion.
So, from that, we were able to have focused and specific discussions about how connections and interest can be created around their unique authority and intimacy with their ideal clients – Doctors, Engineers, and Attorneys.
As a result, content marketing through a blog was clearly a key asset to communicate, cultivate and keeping in touch with who they cared about most.
And that is how to connect content to clients who don’t get content marketing.
Focus on them
- Their why
- Their uniqueness
- Their hidden value
- Their ideal customer
- Their need for quality leads
- Their marketing assets
- Their results
Then, show how content marketing pulls all that together to create long-term marketing assets.
What do you think?
Are you helping businesses discover their hidden assets and create marketing assets?
How do you connect folks to content marketing?