There's been a big trend in the last few years that says that the way to win clients as a professional service provider is to become seen as a leading expert in your field.
As a result, more and more professional services marketing has become focused on creating mounds of content which showcases and proves the expertise of the service provider.
It makes sense, in theory. When clients want help for complex, tricky problems, they call the best expert they can find.
Or do they?
Let's give this idea a little reality check.
Think about the last few times you pitched for a piece of work with a client and didn't win. How often was it because you weren't seen as being enough of an expert by that client? Or because the winner was seen as a bigger expert?
My experience: very few times indeed.
The reasons you win or lose work are rarely because they don't see you as an expert.
It's difficult to move these days without hearing that “content marketing” is the future of marketing. If not the present or even the past.
It's somewhat trickier to pin down exactly what content marketing actually is.
The problem with most definitions of content marketing is that they confuse and blur rather than clarify. They talk about how content marketing is all about “creating and distributing valuable and relevant information” as if somehow in the past all you needed to do was send useless irrelevant information to customers and they'd bite your hands off to buy your products.
Creating valuable, interesting material that your customers and potential customers want to receive is good marketing. It's not specific to content marketing.
We all know that relationships are vital when clients come to choose a supplier to work with. That's why it makes sense to make building relationships a core part of your marketing.
But if you're trying to win a new client who already has an existing supplier they may have been working with for years, then unless that supplier messes up or is basically “asleep at the wheel”, you'll find it incredibly difficult to “out-relationship” them.
Instead, you're better off focusing on trying to “out-value” them. I explain why and how in this 5 minute marketing tip video…
Last week's video on Breadcrumb Content was very popular, but prompted a number of questions on the topic of how to produce all that great content efficiently so you don't spend half your life in front of a computer.
In this week's 5 minute marketing tip video I share my 3 big process tips for creating content productively.
I was speaking to one of my Momentum Club members on the phone last week, and one of the topics we focused on was how to move potential clients from that initial point of not really knowing you, to where they're ready to buy from you.
Great content has a big role to play in how you do that online, but it's not enough. In particular, your content has to not just build your credibility and deliver value, it has to bring your potential clients closer to the specific mindset they need to be ready to buy.
In this week's 5 minute marketing tip video I show you exactly how to do this with your content marketing.
In this episode of the More Clients Podcast Michael McLaughlin reveals why most content marketing falls flat and how to get your content to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Have you ever been told you ought to write a regular blog, produce articles, do presentations, share your content widely? It seems to be the accepted wisdom these days that regularly churning out content is the way to attract clients and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Except: it doesn't work.
At least not if you do it the way most people do.
You've probably noticed this. Most blog posts and articles are mediocre. “7 Leadership Tips”, stunning insights like “Work Smarter Not Harder”, stuff you already know or don't need to know.
Maybe you could get away with stuff like this 5 or so years ago. When markets were local and you might be the only game in town. These days it's just far too easy for people to find decent material anywhere in the world.
Writing mediocre article after mediocre article doesn't position you as an expert. It positions you as an also-ran.
But if you can say something different. Something insightful. Something that catches people's attention. Then things begin to change.
In this episode of the More Clients Podcast I talk to Michael McLaughlin, author of Guerilla Marketing for Consultants and Winning the Professional Services Sale about how to make your content stand out.
Thanks to Michael's insights and ideas, I think it's probably the best, most valuable podcast I've done.