When I tell business owners they’re sitting on enough marketing content to last a year, I’m usually met with more than a little skepticism. And that’s putting it mildly. The typical response sounds something like this:
“Are you kidding!? The last time I sat down to write an article I ended up staring at a blank page for an hour. I finally just admitted defeat and moved on to something else. There’s no way I have that much to talk about, let alone that much content that people want to hear.”
Sound familiar? Hold that thought for a second and let me ask you this:
Do you ever run out of things to talk about with your clients and prospects?
Have you ever stopped mid-sentence while pitching a prospect because you bored yourself? Or because you didn’t think they wanted to hear what you had to say?
Probably not. More than likely you’re confident in what you’re saying. That’s the nice thing about instant feedback. If you see a prospect’s attention waning, you change gears or move on to something else.
You know where I’m going with this. You already have good content, you just need a good plan and some direction to create it with confidence.
First of all: this shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, so turn your phone on silent and let’s get to work!
Start by writing down the major problems you solve for your customers. Then, categorize them. If you could put all the problems you solve into buckets, what would they be?
For example, Fluxe’s main categories are content marketing, blogging, social media, productivity, and lead generation.
If you’re a plumber, your categories might be drain and sewer, plumbing, water heaters, and water treatment systems. (Check out this plumbing blog for a great example.)
Or, if you sell software like Zapier that helps connect apps to automate and streamline tasks, your categories might be productivity, tips, reviews, and team collaboration.
Aim for five main categories. You may have a few more or a few less, but five is a great starting place.
Now that you have the main categories for your business, it’s time to think back to the questions your clients, customers, and prospects ask about each of those categories. What are the questions or objections you receive most in each section?
IMPORTANT: Don’t overthink this! Give yourself a time limit of 10 minutes and start writing as many questions as possible for each category.
Don’t think of them as blog posts or anything more than just the questions you receive. You can also include the questions you WISH your clients would ask you. Shoot for 10 questions in each category.
Next, go to your employees or team members and ask them to do the same thing. Have them write down every question they receive in their department.
While they’re working on their list, go back to your email and do a search for anything with a question mark from your clients and prospects. What questions did you answer in an email without even thinking about it? Write those down under the appropriate category. Chances are if you responded to a question in an email, you already have a good chunk of content for a blog post!
Finally, write down the steps of your sales process and think about the questions, pain points, and education that needs to happen for those steps to be successful. What do your prospects need to know in each step? What’s their biggest problem in each step?
If you have trouble, think about a few of your favorite clients. Why did they come to you? What questions did they ask at each step? What was the moment they decided they couldn’t live without your products or services? If you need to, go ahead and call them up and ask!
Now take all the questions you created and all the FAQ’s your team created and put them together. I definitely recommend using a Google Doc for this step so you can easily share it and everyone can add their own questions to the list in real time.
If you came up with five categories and ten questions for each category, you’ve created enough content for a weekly blog post for the next year. Congrats!
Now that you have the foundation for your content, the next step is turning those questions into articles. For each question on your list, you must come up with an article type that fits the best. You can download my free ebook with 32 article ideas for help on this.
Warning: The biggest place where business owners stumble, even when they have ideas for content, is second guessing themselves when they start writing. You know the question sounds great and it’s asked all the time, but when you start writing you doubt people will care enough to read about it.
I saw this over and over again with clients when I started Fluxe. It didn’t matter how great our strategy and content ideas were, the blog posts just didn’t get published.
One day out of sheer desperation, I stopped a client mid-sentence and said, “Let’s record you talking about this and see if we can use it to create a post. That takes the work out of it for you while keeping your words and authority.”
Since that day six years ago, we’ve helped our clients publish hundreds of blog posts in a fraction of the time. Literally. We’ve reduced the time it takes them to publish weekly content from 16 hours a month to just one hour per month.
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife and son.