By Sharon A.M. Maclean
Self-publishing books is a formidable task for some. You can see panic on the faces of business people when it comes to discussing the need for content such as an ebook for social selling. To remind, social selling is the sales technique that builds relationships using online media.
Think of “content as currency,” explained Jill Rowley who left Salesforce to train Oracle’s 23,000 sales people before opening her own firm. Wow—that’s a powerful analogy when it comes to building the top-line performance of any company. We also know from Incite Communications and Marketing that the content boom is still booming through a 2014 survey of 300 U.S. brand marketers: 70.40% of the marketers who felt they produced more content than their competitors still planned to increase their output over the next six months.
Jill joined Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert Melonie Dodaro who recently gathered four experts for a telesummit to explain how digital media is monetized for business. Melonie hosted the occasion to launch her new book, The LinkedIn Code. Also on the panel monitored by Lynn Serafinn, author of The 7 Graces of Marketing, were Allison Maslan, author of Blast Off! and architect of, at last count, 10 very successful businesses; and Boom! Social author Kim Garst named by Forbes among the top 20 bloggers in the world. Kim also created Twitter for Profits – Turn Twitter from a Time Waster Into a Money Maker, 140 Characters at a Time!
Are there any ideas for creating content—other than setting out to pen the next best seller? What about musicians and artists, asked moderator Lynn, on behalf of all those who might not have the publishing wherewithal to further their careers.
“Yes,” came a life-saving answer from Melonie. Here’s four ideas worth considering:
1) Interview other artists. Or business leaders. Or clients in whichever field you serve. These interviews can even be recorded live on YouTube or Google Hang Outs.
2) Transcribe the copy from the interview. Transcriptions later can be converted into blogs, LinkedIn posts and Tweets.
3) Have you delivered a seminar or course? Record the session and have the material transcribed for later re-purposing.
4) Bring the intended audience along with you as you teach a series of lessons to follow their progress.
Kim Garst rounded out with this counsel: “Spend the time to build relationships by attracting customers with great content—before you ask for the sale.”
Business coach Allison added, “Do more of what’s working and stop what’s not working.” Allison wants us to make an impact with whatever content is created but cautioned, “Create a strategy and know what you’re going to post.” Melonie helped out with these insights for creating that strategy.
1. Clearly define your ideal client. This means digging deeper into their common language, their challenges, which websites they visit, reasons they may choose your product or service over others.
2. Research your prospects using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to narrow down and target your preferred company size and seniority level.
- Connect with them by sending a welcome message
- Send them some content
- Make sure you get them into an email list
- Move the prospects into the relationship process
- Move the relationship offline or stay in touch with them.
What about those salespeople who don’t like to write or create content? asks Jill. It’s the company’s job to create that content for their staff, says Melonie. “Or share other people’s content.” Of course, this advice is for larger companies; as ever, entrepreneurs do most things for themselves.
The take-a-way here: Do 2 or 3 things really well. That means beware the shiny new tool syndrome. It can drain your marketing budget.
Where’s all this headed? To building your email lists—the only real estate you own when it comes to marketing and it’s where money often is left on the table. On this point, Moderator Lynn recommends automation.
I liked this one a lot.
Automation is the process that sets up actions when the specified trigger conditions are met. For example, if a link to a product-information page is clicked (the trigger) by a new prospect, an email notification can be sent for an immediate follow-up. Even better, users save time by automating introductions, weekly or monthly campaigns, and special events.
Jill summed up the telesummit this way: Listen twice as much as you talk. And measure.
Brava, ladies. Thank you for your gifts of time and wisdom.
Need help with your strategic content? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email: email@example.com. You can also pick up more ideas from my website: www.worldgatemedia.com
Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.