Go on, admit it...
You were expecting a post about the very latest in marketing software, right?
Something slick and shiny, the next ‘killer app’ for your data business?
The headline grabbed you because client attraction for your data business has been a challenge; your ‘data management client pipeline’ being more of a drip than torrent of late.
You’ve made the leap into data management consultancy and the dream has quickly turned sour.
Are you in that situation? If so, I can relate 100%.
When I first launched my data consultancy, I felt that same sense of dread, guilt and rising panic as I looked at the bank statement each month.
Worrying whether it’s time to get on Jobserve and dust down the CV, already mentally thinking about the excuses for that big gap between assignments due to your ‘creative downtime’ as you tried to make a go of your business.
And all this lack of demand is frustrating as hell, because...
You’ve got a website.
You’ve ‘leveraged your network’.
You’ve pitched up at events and commented in forums
You've even cobbled a few articles together on LinkedIn.
But aside from the occasional referral, your sales forecast is 'cloudy with storms approaching'.
So what if there was a tool you could use to attract those ‘hard-to-find’ data clients and start to get that pipeline flowing again.
But without all those installs, upgrades, licenses and subscriptions that tech demands.
And what if this ‘tool’ was available to anyone in our industry - irrespective of age, skill, experience, wealth, nationality or qualifications.
So what is it?
Answer: You’re reading it.
The Power of Resonant Content
Let’s start with the essentials.
The reason you read this article was because of the headline.
You run a data management business, right?
Probably a consultancy (but it could be a software business).
And you’re struggling to attract clients, agreed?
And you’ve been desperately looking for a solution, correct?
So a headline promising a piece of software, some ‘quick-fix’, appealed to you because you desperately want out of the pain of an empty sales pipeline.
That’s the first lesson:
Your headlines must speak of the pains and gains your audience desires.
And it’s a simple lesson but ask yourself this question…
“Q: Over the last 3 months, how much content have I created that addressed the specific needs of my 'ideal customer'?”.
Was your answer “not enough”?
If so, remember that it’s not just about volume, because we all know there’s far too much crap in our LinkedIn feeds and Inboxes as it is.
The answer lies in creating content that creates resonance - topics that connect deeply with your audience.
Why is my content not resonating with my audience?
The big problem facing you right now is that you’re not specialising enough to create that ‘resonant hook’ you need to attract clients.
If you are creating plenty of content (which if you’re reading this article then you probably aren’t) then chances are you’re mostly sharing 'tips and tricks' without any clear client avatar in mind.
And while you’re doing a great job of inflating content in the ‘data bubble’, your ideal clients are really not that bothered by this type of material.
Because they care about the problems that are keeping them up at night and until you make that connection between the data trickery you do, and the stressful shit that these clients have to solve, you won’t attract them to read your stuff and take action.
Important: this relates to all avenues of sales and marketing, not just the content stuff we see on LinkedIn.
As an example, one of the comments I used to get from Telecom heads of data was:
“Why the hell do these data management salespeople keep coming to see me with canned demos of cleansing customer data when I have millions of equipment assets with terrible data quality and not a customer record in sight?”
So how did we react and start attracting these type of clients? By creating telco data quality demos that used real telco data, telling stories that relate to telco problems!
When it comes to creating ‘magnetic’ content to attract your ideal customer, one size does not fit all, you need to get laser-focused about who you serve, the problems they face and the outcome you create.
And this may mean going back to the drawing board and re-jigging your value proposition because I suspect that if you have a lead generation problem, chances are you actually have a proposition problem.
So stop saying things like...
‘LinkedIn is crap, it doesn’t work since they messed up Pulse’.
‘Social media is for kids, ‘real’ customers don’t engage on social’.
‘I’m not creating content, competitors will steal my ideas’.
These are all just excuses for a poorly defined proposition.
I’ve connected on LinkedIn with hundreds of ‘C-level’ execs, and many of them comment, like and share content that relates to their world.
Which leads us onto the next key ingredient in resonant content: empathy.
Earlier in this post I talked about how I made a hash of attracting clients back in the day with my first data management business.
I blew thousands of pounds running ads, attending events, mingling at meet ups and generally ‘faffing about’ trying to find leads.
That all switched when I got focused about creating content, running webinars and directly connecting with the very people I wanted as clients.
By talking about the frustration, embarrassment and guilt you’re feeling right now, I created empathy and connection because I’ve stood in your shoes.
Do more of that in your content.
It works because people need to believe that they can move from their present state, to a future, more desirable state - their 'aspirational identity'.
Your customers need to believe that change is possible and if you come across as some ‘uber-guru’ that has never made a mistake, it’s much harder for them to relate to you.
By being transparent and publicly sharing that (shock-horror) you too have experienced the same shit-storms that they’re facing, they’re far more likely to resonate with you as opposed to some faceless ‘big 4’ consultancy.
How do I know when I’m resonating with my ideal client?
This is easy.
Your ideal clients will tell you, then try to find a way to connect with you to explore what you do in more detail.
They may not use the term ‘resonate’ but they may say things like
‘Your article really connected with the problems we have here at ...’
‘...I felt like you were writing that article for me...'
‘Your webinar really summed up my situation...'
If you’re not getting this kind of feedback, there is work to do.
It could be a proposition ‘nip and tuck’, working on your copywriting chops, or creating the systems and discipline to create more content.
What should I do next?
Now you’ve got this far, the real question is: are you interested, or are you committed?
It’s a subtle difference, but one with huge implications.
If you’re interested in attracting clients through content, you’ll carry on reading articles like this, buying the occasional book and listening to a few podcasts.
You’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling that you’re moving forward and getting closer to that aspirational identity of a ‘real’ data business owner.
But that is all a facade.
Because deep down you’re not creating the type of change that moves the needle in terms of consistently creating great content to attract clients.
And if you’re committed?
You’ll get serious about this stuff.
You’ll speak to your customers.
You’ll gather intelligence on their problems, pains, frustrations and aspirations.
You'll lock down your proposition, tighten up your sales pitch, and start to ship ‘meaty' content in the form of guides, blogs and webinars.
So are you committed or interested?
If you’re committed and want help to figure this ‘content marketing’ thing out, book a breakthrough call and let’s get to work on the methods and mindset you need to take this to the next level.
Book a breakthrough call today (slots are limited so book early):