This is a series of blog posts. None of them are particularly earth shattering. However, if someone had sat me down a year ago and gone through them with me I’d be in a different place today. This fifth post, and maybe the most important post, is about how important it is to produce powerful content.
I started my own business in 2014 with some big ideas and big goals. 2015 helped me realise some of these but I mostly learned a huge amount about being a small business owner. I thought I’d share what I learned in 2015 to help anyone else who has just started out or is considering making the jump on their own. I hope it makes sense and helps a little.
Produce powerful content
Throughout my working life something that keeps coming back to me is the premise that ‘you can’t not communicate’.
As soon as someone is aware of your presence, online or offline, real or virtual, you are communicating with them. Whether it’s verbal or non-verbal, implicit or explicit, consciously or unconsciously you’re sending them signals.
At the receiving end of your initial signal is a first impression. The first impression you give others will greatly influence how you are treated and viewed in future interactions. The worst case scenario is your first impression means there won’t be a chance to make a second impression.
Whether you like it or not you’re sending out signals and being judged on them all the time.
That’s kinda scary.
With this in mind, regardless of the size of the job or the audience I’ve tried to create the best possible content every time, for four reasons.
- If you do the absolute best for a job, you can use it again with a few minor updates and tweaks. Even if it was a 30 minute one-on-one consultation, powerful content is more likely to be shared meaning down the road you might get booked 100+ conference based on your piece of content.
- Powerful content is easier to re-purpose. For example, if you’ve put the effort into creating an eBook, you could then use it to record a Blab (a live streaming video platform) hitting the main points. This will give you a video to upload to YouTube and share. Blab also provides an audio only version for download meaning you can create a podcast for directories like iTunes. You could also serialise the chapters of your eBook on your website blog. Not to mention all the social media posts for all the re-purposed content.
- Regardless of where it is used or seen, you’ve put your best foot forward. Communication over the internet is largely passive. People can view your content and you only know they were there through your analytics. If you commit to producing content you are proud of, you never have to worry about where things turn up and you have a powerful marketing message 24/7/365.
- Bottom line – creating fantastic content gives you a better chance of landing work and make a great 1st impression.
You can’t afford to put below-par work online because we are so connected to the web. In a recent Google report Ireland came 6th (out of 46 countries) globally for multi-screening. Multi screening, for example, is sitting watching TV but also browsing on a connected device. Irish people have on average three connected devices at their disposal, so you can be guaranteed they’re looking at more than TV in the evening.
Over 90% of Irish people aged 25–34 browse the internet every day. This slides down through the age groups but still comes in at over 70% for over 55 years olds. People are searching for the products or services you provide. Make sure when they find you it was worth it.
While approximately 80% of the consumers purchasing decision process is now completed through online research, a good online presence will help your offline business. Despite all the online activity involved in consumer research just over 50% of Irish people still like to walk into a shop to buy their goods. If your business is considered more traditional or offline, it can still benefit hugely from having a great online presence.
Having an ugly, clunky website with weak content will actually go against you. While it may never get found in the first place, if someone does happen upon it you may be ruled out of consideration for the product or service you offer. This is the same as a tired looking sales person in a cheap suit with no answers. Your weak online presence is sending out negative signals. Make sure you consistently produce powerful content if you want to be effective in your online pursuits.
If you’re a new business owner and want to discuss any of the above OR if you’re a company looking to find their way through digital… give me a shout. All my contact details are HERE.
Thanks for reading.