When you become the source within your marketplace, it all comes from finding a content tunnel that is yours to fill.
If someone cannot talk with real purpose and have an original slant, then it’s just the same as everyone else. Nothing is different, it gets lost.
We are on a constant journey to skill-up and recognise what looks good in the eyes of someone else.
However, the original intentions of a purpose can get lost, when you are not the source.
The Life Hack I Bet You Never Knew…Until Now
I discovered during the Christmas break that you can keep an aluminium foil roll always in its box, rather than reams flying out so you can rip a sheet.
This is how I have spent my life, pulling more than I needed to shred off.
My brother in law, told me there are two perforated tabs on the side of the box that you press in. This keeps the roll firmly in place.
That’s it, two pieces of card that you push in.
It keeps the whole roll in the box. Did you know that?
I have been doing things the wrong way and over the years have been extremely wasteful. That was the only way I thought you tore off kitchen foil. A key point here is that you can’t simply think you know ‘what works.’
What I am trying to highlight is that businesses spend years doing things the way they expect things to behave (we take to LinkedIn to tell everyone how noble we are, to the video on how professional we look). However, there is always a purpose to using the medium in the first place. The kitchen foil box had a function, but the world just grabbed and pulled.
We Stick By A Method We Think Is Right
When it comes to a content marketing approach, many businesses take the ‘just pull’ method. By this, I mean adopting old behaviours with the objective for top of funnel awareness and building leads by any means necessary.
The proof is from the recent Content Marketing In The UK report, from the Content Marketing Institute, where the main goals for businesses in 2017 are brand awareness and lead generation. The focus on building an audience that you can address (and save money) gets lost.
Instead of looking for acceptance and throwing the net out to everyone, it all comes back to the source.
Taking on board a content marketing approach is centred on providing something to someone else that they thought they might not need. When it provides value, it becomes difficult to go back to the old ways of behaviour. From now on, I’m pressing in the tabs on the kitchen foil.
Becoming The Same As Everyone Else
This is where we all are.
It is easy to become the same as everyone else and talk about the same things in order to build awareness/acceptance and leads through the funnel, we all just fall into this big cavern and the wheels keep on rolling.
We all get used to the way that everything should behave. We fill spaces with self-promotion, interrupt channels with nothing compelling and nothing to lead the way for a marketplace, or a community.
This is where you need a content tunnel to fill that is currently empty. It is the space that is not chartered by others, but you can attract others to fill it with you.
Be the tabs on the side of the foil box so when people discover you, things become so much easier that other people think that once they’ve discovered you, there is no turning back.
It’s about changing behaviour and building a relationship before someone needs you. In the words of Jay Acunzo, ‘it’s never been easier to be average, but it’s never been harder to be exceptional.’
The sides on the foil box represent that ‘aha’ moment, it’s the habit changer. Coming back to you, how can you inspire people to buy something that they didn’t know they needed?
Mark Schaefer, highlighted in a recent article that the connection we can make with others, helps position businesses as a beacon. He states in an article where we need to ignore SEO “you need to earn a sustained emotional connection with your audience by being original and interesting, not by being common. If you ignore SEO and focus on creating content that is your own and exceptional, you become a beacon.”
So, how do we make this sustained emotional connection where people didn’t know they needed you? In 2017, you have to go beyond just leads and awareness and find your content tunnel.
Five Pillars That Make The Tick Box
Here are five pillars to think about, to start filling your own content tunnel for a niche audience that will join your side.
Here is how to make that connection and others to recognise you and your business as a trusted source.
- Embrace the power of subscription. Subscriber growth is essential for a content marketing approach to work. By this, I don’t mean more likes and followers, but people who are willing to impart their email to receive information from you. Building your audience is key.
- Set your expectations with someone else. What time can you own from your audience? I set my time as a Thursday morning with my You Are The Media email. If you can become consistent by taking control of a day/time, you become remembered by someone else (and not a fleeting email or one that is just sales noise). The more frequent you become, the less opt out rates.
- Make an attachment with a person. Rather than a generic message from a company, ensure your audience learns through a person, not an info@ address. This is what Crimson Guitars have built their business around and Ben Crowe’s approach to having the perfect guitar.
- Find a consistent hook. Rather than thinking everything revolves around customer personas, is there a particular theme that you can deliver on? This becomes so much easier than focusing on customer wants, that can become limiting by narrow topics linked to what you do. For instance, Farrow & Ball’s The Chromologist blog has a hook on colour. For further reading, find out the one word that you stand for article.
- Commit to a format, then repeat. We all become bogged down by being lured to try everything. I found that the best way is to find a channel, then become consistent with it. Five years ago I posted my first blog article on January 19th, 2012 (here it is), I have posted every week since. You have to own a format and become relentless with it. Over time, as you build your voice and audience, then other channels become the next natural step (after the blog, I started podcasting in January 2015 with Marketing Homebrew).
It is time for people and businesses to stop contributing to the information overload and start having real meaning to an addressable audience.
Lets Round Up
Creating content that resonates comes back to becoming a source, that once found, people won’t go back to their old ways of behaviour.
The habits that we form, may not be the best habits.
There is always a source to come back to where the focus is on creating value for someone else, that they associate themselves with what you do and the role you serve.
If you can become relevant to someone, before they need you, you are in a far greater place to be held in higher regard than the others in your marketplace vying for the attention that you have already gained.