Here's something that made a huge difference to the number of enquires I was getting from potential clients once I figured it out.
You see, like most people, it wasn't long into my time online that I heard the immortal advice: “content is king”. That you must create useful, valuable content for your blog. And I absolutely followed that advice.
I tried to create the best, most insightful content I could.
But I discovered that useful, valuable content is not enough.
It must be useful, valuable content that wins you clients.
And there's a difference. There are certain things you can write about. Certain topics and certain ways of covering them that will lead some of your readers to believe that you're the right person to hire to help them.
Are these secret topics and magic words known only to insiders – the top echelon of bloggers?
In fact, the content that wins you clients is actually unique to you.
The things that you should write about that will win you clients are different to the things I should write about to win me clients. Because they're dependent on what your potential clients and my potential clients need to believe before they're ready to hire us.
And those things are specific to our target clients and what we have to offer them.
So how do you figure out what it is that your potential clients need to hear from you?
Well, the thing I've found that works the very best is simply to get out a blank sheet of paper and visualise my ideal target client. If you've downloaded my free Pain Free Marketing course, you'll know I like to create little pen pictures of my ideal clients so that I can put myself in their shoes and think from their perspective.
In this case the thing I think through is “what do they need to know and feel before they'll be ready to hire me?”. I write down as much as I can on that.
I also test my ideas as much as possible. Get feedback from my mastermind group and, of course, clients themselves.
So, for example, let's say you're a leadership coach. Before clients are ready to hire you, they probably need to know you've coached other leaders who've become successful. Maybe even been a successful leader yourself.
They probably need to know that improving their leadership will pay off for them and their organisation. They probably will need to feel they can work with you – that they like you enough for the relationship to work. And they probably need to have enough confidence in their own capabilities that they'll be “coachable”.
(Normally you'd get a bit more detailed than this – pulling out examples specific to your target clients and the type of coaching you do – but not being a leadership coach myself I've kept it fairly generic).
Could you write blog posts which help potential clients know and feel these things about you?
You have to make them informative and insightful too – rather than just “hey, I've coached other leaders”. But rather than just writing a “how to” post about an aspect of leadership, use some examples from leaders you've worked with.
Your readers will learn from the post – but subtly and subconsciously they'll also remember that you work with leaders who've successfully improved their skills.
Do a video or two, or a few light-hearted posts, and especially ones where you share your own feelings and insecurities – and they'll begin to feel they know you as a person and begin to feel they could work with you.
Share a case study of how one leader used his new leadership capabilities to transform his organisation, and in particular, what it was worth to him and that organisation to do so – and you'll be building the business case in their minds for working with you.
Talk about some of the common fears leaders have, their insecurities and issues and how it's possible to overcome them – and they'll begin to feel that they too could improve.
Keep working at that list. Maybe not every post. But regularly (and repeatedly as not everyone will read everything every time). And pretty soon, you'll have established yourself as being the sort of person they could hire.
And like I did, you'll find yourself getting more enquiries and more clients.
The next post in the series is about finding the right “voice” for your blog to engage with visitors.