You've probably heard about content marketing.
At least, if you haven't, my bet is that you can figure out what it is.
In a nutshell – it's using content creation (media) to provide opportunities for you to sell your service to others.
And it's not new, despite people talking about it more. The fact is that it's been around since Guinness Beer (Guinness World Book of Records anyone?) and John Deere (with their farmer's publication in 1895).
That said, the options for content creation and publication are now wide and varied – and the barriers to entry are very low.
The beauty of content marketing is that no matter if you're a lawyer, an accountant, an engineer, a teacher, or a nutritionist – content marketing is absolutely a viable option for you to capture more market share.
How to Start Content Marketing
With that intro out of the way, the question for today is this: how do you start.
And the short answer is: you just do.
Most people get so paranoid about creating anything that they never actually start.
It doesn't matter if you have the tech, the best microphone, the best camera, or the most expensive equipment.
The fact is that you can start creating content right now, and publishing it to any number of platforms.
When people tell me that they're held back by technology issues, I usually just smile and nod, but in my head I'm thinking “actually, you're just afraid to start”. The fact is that you're going to learn as you go, improve as you go, and refine as you go: so just go already!
That said, there are a few strategic questions you might want to address and think about before you begin that can help your initial content have its biggest impact.
Before you Start, This Might Help
First and foremost, I think the biggest thing you can do is to start listening.
Listen to your current clients: what are they consistently asking, what do they want to know, what are their burning pains and passionate desires?
These are the topics that you should be writing about.
If you hear the same question three times from your clients: write an article about it.
If you have the same conversation with people every week – record a video on your phone and post it to YouTube.
You get the idea – begin with the things that you KNOW people in your field are asking, using the words that they use, and using the issues that they care about.
By a significant margin, that kind of approach will get you further, faster, in your strategy.
Where to Put your Content?
Although I used to think otherwise, as it stands now my view is that every professional should have their own website.
If you want to know how you can do it yourself, then watch this video series on my youtube channel.
If you're totally against having your own website for some reason, then you can blog, for free, on:
If you're up for video and want it to be public, then YouTube is obviously the place to go. Don't have a camera? Sure you do – it's called your phone – just use it, and stop telling yourself that you need to have the latest DSLR video ready camera with all the bells and whistles, because even if you got that you wouldn't know how to use it and you'd spend the next 6 months doing nothing while you learned the ropes).
Starting a podcast is pretty easy to start in, but slightly more intricate than the above options – so how about starting with them and we'll come back to podcasting.
What about Social Media?
Once you've got your content up and running, start sharing it.
Don't just post it generically to your platforms (although do that too) – actually share it with people who care. Send them an email, a message, a tweet or an sms – link the article, and ask for their personal feedback on it.
If they like it – ask them to share it.
And That's How It's Done…
It really is that simple. You don't need to overthink this process, you just need to do it.
You'll get better.
You'll get faster.
And you'll get smarter at the entire content marketing process.
What about you – are you marketing with content? If so – what do you do, and how does it work for you so far? Let us know in the comments!