We spend a lot of time talking about how important content marketing is to our clients. Be influencers. Carry the torch, we tell them. Give your clients incredible value and you NEED to be consistent with it. Yet it has been 2 months since I last wrote something original for Digital Noir and we are constantly fighting an uphill battle in the studio to produce original content of value. Is this the old “a plumbers sink is always broken” syndrome (is that actually a syndrome, I apologise for all the plumbers out there with perfectly flowing drains). I think that is a lame excuse. Sure we are busy, incredibly so, but so are all of you, and who are we to sell the Kool-Aid but not drink it…
So why is it so damn hard to produce valuable internal content?
I believe that one key answer is that we ‘overthink’ the process. We know that our customers and followers enjoy seeing original posts, articles and videos but when we sit down to brainstorm ideas we get carried away with what we can execute. Our wishlist of content ideas looks amazing on paper and may even get scheduled into the calendar (oh I will get to that next week for sure) but when push comes to shove, client work gets put first, and that blog article or video gets pushed back. It will just take too long and I don’t have the time.
There is always time.
As modern working professionals, we just love ‘busy work’. Email, scanning social media, meetings, slacking… Even just now I sat down in a cafe (Kicco in McLaren Vale…great coffee by the way) with the intention of finishing this piece and I got sucked into 3 slack conversations, a messenger chat and had 4 emails (all in the time to order and drink a short black). None of it was urgent and all of it was me putting off the real work at hand.
Which is what we spend a huge amount of our lives doing. There are authors out there who are much smarter than me and much more eloquent on this subject, check out Steven Pressfields The War Of Art and Seth Godins, Linchpin. But as humans we are scared to do the ‘Real Work’ and are warm and comfy in our busy schedule. Content marketing seems to live in this world of fear. But why?
I love to extol the virtues of video to clients. It is the best channel for communication online. If your customers see you talking about [insert your product / service here] with enough conviction they are going to believe that you are the best in the biz. Pretty much everyone is petrified of the idea though. Excuses run wild – Production quality concerns. No time. I hate my voice. What will I say? None of us has the same crazy excuses when it is time to engage a new lead in a meeting or chat to a supplier about a great new product. So why the fear in front of a camera or a blog post? It is 100% irrational. If you are good at what you do then you should have no problem writing or talking about it and that is exactly what your customers want to see.
The other excuse I hear a lot is “Social media and content marketing is not fit for our business”. I honestly cannot think of an industry that can’t benefit from it. If you sell Pool Supplies, why shouldn’t you be building a tribe of your loyal customers on Facebook and offering tips on how to keep the pool sparkly for summer. Go LIVE from someone’s backyard and show the steps to empty the filter bucket correctly etc. Providing the value might empower a few people to go the DIY option but they will come to you for the chlorine and let’s face it most of them will also be too lazy to get their hands wet and your name will be the first on their minds when they need someone to de-green for summer.
Sure it is going to take a bit of time but it shouldn’t be painful, it should be an extension of what you do every day. If you aren’t knowledgeable in your industry then you are not going to last long in business. Switch off your inbox and Facebook for an hour a week and work on putting something original, of value, together for your clients. It is worth the effort and like anything hard, the more you do it the easier it will become.
I’ll be back here next week to prove the point ?