Hi! If it’s your frist time here, thanks for dropping by. I hope you’ll join the 2000+ readers on our RSS feed, or follow me on Twitter. On this blog I write about starting honest-to-goodness businesses from your laptop. I try to write from my experience, but sometimes I get bullshitty.
Speaking of Twitter, I was already thinking of getting customers when I saw this:
“When you first started your podcast, or any other product, how did you get your first 5 customers. I know you talk a lot about cold calls, any other broad tips? Adwords seems to be getting expensive.” via @Ryan Gough
First off, I’m pretty sure our first 20 podcasts were listened to a grand total of 20 people.
Starting a brand like the TMBA or the Lifestyle Business Podcast is a bad idea if you are just getting started with online marketing. A lot of people write me saying they want to do similar stuff, and that’s fine, but helping people build businesses, secure clients, design lifestyles, or build wealth isn’t a winning strategy.
The handfull of people online who started meaningful careers this way have an excess of either grit, gall, or personal debt.
Here’s a quick 3 step process to shaking down your approach to content marketing. Once you’ve got these three steps completed on a basic website, it should be relatively easy to contact publishers, bloggers, and prospective clients in your niche. It’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel! Live your passion baby!!!
STEP 1: Dedicate your site content and tagline to solving task flow problems in your market.
This is where most people fail. The fewer resources you have, the more “angle” your content needs.
You can be an exception to this if you have a ton of money, experience, or friends. If you don’t, try making the key marketing tagline of your business the answer to a specific task flow problem.
TASK FLOW PROBLEMS —> CLIENT PROBLEMS —> MARKET PROBLEMS
“Beautiful WordPress headers” —> “WP site management ” —> “WP themes that convert”
“HK corporations cheap” —> “HK virtual services” —> “Asset protection for internet age”
“Easy expat tax returns” —> “Biz and personal tax plans” —> “A better way for expats to file”
“Increase ebook sales” —> “easy self pub production” —> “lifestyle design biz strategy”
Ok, it’s not science, but I want to drive the point home. You don’t “design stuff.” You make $200 WordPress headers. You don’t help people “manage their assets.” You set up Delaware C corporations. You don’t “help people live the life they’ve always wanted” you help them “lose 10 pounds with a juice fast.”
Having an angle gives people a reason to stick around. Once you get customers in the door, you can broaden your offering and brand message. Solve a few 1000 task flow problems over the course of a few years, and you might find youself owning a company that solves market problems.
It’s a great case study so I’ll say it again– it should not surprise us that the AdsenseFlippers have 100’s of people lining up to join them on webinars, 4000+ subscribers in just over a year, and 10’s of thousands of podcast downloads. If you follow their blog, over the past few months you’ve read articles about travel, niche sites, link building, productivity, internships, life in the Philippines, and the internet marketing industry.
That’s a broader range of topics that you can expect from your neighborhood personal development blogger– and they did it under a brand that focuses on Adsense.
STEP 2: Clearly articulate a product.
Since we started with physical products, we got used to creating well-defined products that were positioned strategically against the competition. Many content marketers operate as if they weren’t competing against anyone else. Not so hombres.
Start with the product (not 15 blog posts). Write at least 5,000 words about every single benefit, feature, anxiety, and question that your traget customer might have. Don’t let up until you are done. At the end of you 5,000 words, you’ll need to put a price and a Paypal web standard buy-now button. Don’t bother blogging until you’ve done it.
STEP 3: Focus on building a legible body of work.
One you put up a simple product that solves task flow problems (even if it’s a simple consulting phone call or webinar), people will refer others to the resources you’ve created.
When you help out people who are influential for free (nice marketing!), they’ll click over to your site. If you’ve got 20 articles about the particulars of website header design theory, I’m impressed.
These types of sites are exactly the type that big publishers like to highlight as experts. Who would you rather hear on Pat Flynn’s podcast? The guy who tested 1000’s of different email opt-in variants and has developed unique insights into what converts, or a story of a guy who travels the world making adsense niche sites?
PS, like the TMBA? You can subscribe here.