If I got your attention with that headline then you must feel like I am talking to you.
Ouch. No pain, no gain, right?!
I have hit a nerve that you feel a little too often.
I have seen this scenario many times before and I have been through it as well. Why do some people swear by content marketing and for the average person they see no results? This is the million dollar question that so many people want the answer to.
Before we get any deeper into that, we need to quickly remind ourselves why we pursue content marketing in the first place. For starters, it costs little to nothing which is attractive to anyone trying to carve out space for themselves online. This is especially true for the cash-strapped startup that has no choice but to be resourceful. Again, I have lived through this as well. Content marketing also promises that we have the opportunity to build a brand and an audience. Who doesn’t want that? Finally, content marketing can give us a platform and gives us the opportunity to build a platform that promises credibility and social proof.
Does all of this sound familiar?
Now that we remember why we started down this path, let’s look at what might not be working. First of all, the single biggest problem of all is that you don’t know who you are talking to, who you are trying to reach and why. You may want to stop and read that again, several times over in fact. If I were to ask you who you are in business to help, how much could you really tell me about your avatar or your ideal customer? If you don’t know who are you talking to, how will anyone else? This sounds silly, but it is a common and massive problem for entrepreneurs.
Secondly, you have really unrealistic expectations for your timeline. You may have read a one-off story of someone who started podcasting and made a ton of money 3 months later. This is the exception, not the rule. More importantly, what does that have to do with you? Stop using other people’s experiences as a benchmark for your own. This leaves a lot of people disappointed and when it doesn’t happen, they give up. This is my 74th blog post and I have just recently started to see daily traffic from Google. If I told you to write for two years before anything happened, would you do it? If not, content marketing may not be a good fit for you. It’s not for quitters and whiners, but once it builds momentum it keeps going.
The next thing that I will mention might offend some of you. Have you ever considered the fact that your content may really suck? If you have a podcast, how is the sound quality? What do you talk about? Does anyone really care? If you write blog posts, can you write in a way that is relatable and real? Can you share some of your experiences, some of what you have learned and make someone laugh all at the same time? Maybe this is not your style, but it is mine and it works for me for one reason. It is my real voice and my real personality. Be true to yourself and others will see and appreciate that.
Finally, you need to consistently produce and push new content on a predictable schedule. Let’s pretend that you produce videos and build up a little audience. If you decide to get lazy and take a month off, what will that audience do? They may sit back and wait or they will just go find someone else who creates the type of content that they want to consume.
If your content marketing has been disgraceful to this point, now you have some information that can and will get you headed in the right direction. You need to get clear, focused, quality driven and consistent to make things happen for you. Now, what are you going to decide to do?