Is Content Marketing Worth It?
I often get asked about blogging and podcasting. I’ve been doing it for years. As a matter of fact, I just finished episode 268 of my podcast, I believe. I’ve been doing it since November of 2015, so it’s been over two and a half years. I’ve consistently done two podcasts per week. I do a monocast, and then I do a guest expert interview. I’ve been consistently doing that for two and a half years.
As far as blogging goes, I believe I started back in 2006, so it’s been almost 10 years. But the blog itself has kind of gone through a transition. When I first started blogging, it was like, “Okay, I want to blog; what do I want to blog about?” Well, I had just gotten an iPhone, the first one, the iPhone 1, and so I was talking about apps and things of that nature. Slowly but surely, it evolved into what it is today, because that was kind of like right at the beginning of social media and none of that was really making sense from a business standpoint yet. Even though LinkedIn came out in 2004, it just wasn’t taking hold.
So, the biggest thing I want to discuss today, is how do you use consistency, and how do you use building relationships to grow your business? Because a lot of it takes time, and a lot of people don’t want to wait. They want the instant gratification. I’m going to tell you three different stories that happened over the course of the last handful of days. You have to kind of think about what makes sense as far as spending time and doing this consistently, because it doesn’t always reap the reward right now. But sometimes, the reward it reaps is huge.
An example of this is, a handful of years ago, I gave a speech to a group of people in a program called Vistage. If you’ve never heard of Vistage, it is a mastermind group. It’s actually nationally known, and just in Chicago I believe there are 23 to 28 different Vistage chairs. Let’s call it 30. That means at any given time, there are 30 people holding masterminds. These masterminds are to help small- to mid-sized business people get their arms around solving problems. This is a paid-for service, and it is not inexpensive. It can be upwards of $1,000 a month or $12,000 a year. Now, I know of a lot of masterminds that cost $24,000 a year. They call it a 2K mastermind.
Anyway, I was giving this speech, and it was on LinkedIn. This was three years ago, when I wrote my book, “It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World“, and the Vistage chairperson asked, “Would you come in and talk about LinkedIn?” I said, “Sure, no problem.” Now, LinkedIn has evolved a lot since that time, but one of the things I was able to do after giving that speech was to get some people on to my list.
Every single week, I email out basically three things: my podcast, my blog, and my expert interview, and then also any other presentations I’m giving. Just last week, I got an email from somebody, and basically she said, “It’s time.” She said, “I want to grow my business, and I need to find out more of what you can do to help me.” I think that came about because she connected up with a LinkedIn seminar that I was doing on line, a webinar, and then remembered what I did in that presentation.
So, we got on the phone. We talked for about an hour, and it was a perfect fit. For what she needs, I have the system and the programs in place that I can definitely help her grow her business, and I know that I can provide her great value and give her a good return on her investment. The only question is, will she execute? That’s always the challenge that I run into, but after three years she finally said, “You know what? It’s time.” That’s what you don’t always know, is when is it time for people to say, “It’s time to pull the trigger. I need to invest in myself. I need to do something different.”
The second story actually comes from another speech that I did for a Chamber of Commerce, but this one happened to be the wife of somebody who works for a large IT company. He contacted me and said, “I want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to get my sales people to do a better job.” So, we had probably an hour, hour and a half conversation on the phone. He was impressed, and he said, “You know what? It sounds like a great opportunity for us. Let me go talk to my boss. I’ll get back to you, we’ll sit down, we’ll have lunch and we’ll kind of explore what could happen.”
Well, nothing happened. I didn’t hear back from him for at least a month. So then, I said, “Let’s do some follow-up.” So, I went on LinkedIn, of course, and I contacted him and said, “Hey, you know what? I’d love to reconnect. Can we do a quick phone call?” He said, “Yeah, here’s my number. Give me a call today.” We talked for a while and I said, “What happened?” He said, “Well, my boss could not figure out the ROI on this. He could not figure out how we were going to get a return on investment.”
It just so happens that I have a new course on leveraging LinkedIn for sales, which I just finished. It’s a six-week, one-on-one coaching/mastermind, all online stuff that I had recorded and ready to go. So I offered him, I said, “Hey, what if I give you access to that for free and you can just go through the course and see if you find any value in it?” He went, “Oh my God! That’s fantastic!” He said, “Send me the link, let’s go.” So, the second point of this is the consistency of producing great material. The blogs, the podcasts, and all the other stuff kept me top of mind, but it was the follow-up phone call that made the biggest difference.
Then finally, it’s about clear messages. As I work with individual clients, I try very, very hard to ingrain in them principles, very strong principles about marketing and what happens. So, today I get a Facebook message that says, “Hey, my husband and I have opened up this business, and I want to talk to you about putting together the system that you helped me work when I was working at this other company.”
It was an HVAC company and I was training her how to do the Bacon System, how to do blogging and social media and all of this other stuff to drive traffic to the website. She remembered all the principles that I taught her. She was contacted by a handful of other web companies and people that are making these promises, but she just didn’t feel right, because something was missing.
So, the key thing that I did is make sure that the materials that I provided were very, very solid on the basics of what she needed to do, those principles. She remembered that. After we got off the phone, she said, “Let’s go.”
So, from that constant communication that I do, whether it’s through blogging and podcasting, whether it’s through giving speeches, whether it’s through follow-up, it all leads to the bottom line that people will contact you when it’s the right time. How do you know when it’s the right time? You don’t. They have to make that decision, but you want to make sure you stay top of mind by continuing to communicate with them on a regular basis. That leads to success.
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share ways that you used consistent and patient marketing communication into great clients that have helped you grow your business!