Marketing can be a real challenge for small business owners and freelancers but it is possible to grow your business on a budget using content marketing, if you know how to do it right.
To help everyone better understand how you can effectively use content marketing to build your business, Hub Australia interviewed Dan Norris, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author of “Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising“.
Dan built his million dollar business WPCurve using content marketing, without spending a cent on advertising.
Key Mistakes to avoid in content marketing:
1. Not being different.
Think about it. We are constantly getting bombarded by messages – hundreds of notifications on facebook, mobile apps, phone messages and so on.
Because content marketing is so noisy now, businesses that don’t do anything that’s really good or different enough to their competition will fail.
10 years ago, people use to blog like a journal. People don’t do that anymore.
Dan’s Tip: Up your quality standards. Unless your content has a really good title, with a really good image, and is different to anything else that is out there, then it’s average at best.
2. Not finding the fit between your content and your business.
Sometimes it’s really hard with content to find that nice fit between content and your business. You may be good at writing content but not so good at monetising that content.
What you want is content that drives consistent, ongoing business revenue.
3 Tips For Better Content Marketing
1. Do more of what works.
- Look at what content is already being shared and that people really like.
- Listen to your audience – did a previous content piece particularly resonate with them?
- Use media monitoring tools like mention.net to see what people are saying about you.
Dan’s warning: be careful of vanity metrics like Facebook shares and other numbers. Though they can be used as an indicator of interest they don’t always validate that people are reading what you publish.
Interestingly enough, there’s data to suggest that many people don’t read entire articles, and many more share links of content they haven’t even read.
2. Don’t be afraid to share your story.
When Dan was building his business he shared his company’s income reports and told the behind-the-curtains story of what it was like to go through the founder’s journey. This won him a lot of fans and a supportive community who could relate to the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur.
3. Write about contrarian topics.
Taking an alternative view to the mainstream is a strategy that can work well. Dan was able to do this with a blog post he wrote that asked “Is Startup Validation Bullsh*t?” which still ranks highly on google for keywords “startup validation”.
2 Lessons on business from Dan Norris:
1. Make sure people want what you’ve got – first.
“It’s too easy to get stuck working on things for months or years, and spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on something before you really know if people want it. There is an alternative, which is to launch the kind of business that you can launch quickly. ” – Dan Norris
2. Find what works for YOU.
A business idea may have been validated many times before, but the true value is in determining whether or not YOU can make it work.