Section 2: Planning and building your content strategy
2.1 Choose your content topics
Your ideal client profile is your guide to fine-tune your message and communicate your purpose. And it also holds the key to unlocking the content ideas that will turn strangers into prospects.
Because the focus of your content strategy at this stage is to fill your funnel with all those potential clients you’ll move down to becoming partners, you want to make sure your content helps your potential clients get to know you and how you can help them.
There is a lot of technology out to brainstorm ideas, but nothing beats a little old-fashioned low-tech for this particular exercise. This is what you’ll need:
- Ideal Client Worksheet: by now, you should’ve completed your ideal client worksheet with the description, challenges, and behavior of your ideal client. Print your completed worksheet
- Highlighter: You will highlight parts of your printed worksheet with it. Any color will do!
- Post-its: grab a pack (or a couple) of square or rectangular post-its, big enough to write full sentences on them. I like the 76 mm x 76 mm ones because they are big enough to write but small enough to keep it concise.
- A pen or marker: I’m a big fan of a good black Sharpie, but any other pen will do just fine.
1. Grab your Ideal Client worksheet and read the challenges box carefully. With the highlighter, go over the challenges your ideal client faces. But not just any challenge. Focus on those your product or service is most likely to help overcome them.
Here’s an example using my ideal client worksheet for my Alice profile:
2. Study each of those items and ask yourself: how can my product or service help my client overcome those challenges? When you think about some of these challenges’ more emotional nature, you can probably imagine multiple ways to overcome the challenge beyond what you can offer. So it’s very important to be very concrete about how you can help.
Here’s an example analysis of how content marketing helps Alice overcome some of her challenges:
- She’s beginning to experience stagnating sales results: content marketing can expand her network to new audiences where potential clients may be. Some high-value assets could also lead to more contacts for more sales conversations.
- Her work is very intense and requires many hours of one-to-one work: which translates into not having a lot of time to create content. But there are strategies to maximize every content effort.
- She also feels a bit out of her depth with it all: the online marketing world is pretty vast and always changing. Content marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to boost visibility and attract new clients.
- “Too old for this” might come up to refer to all the technology and trends to follow: It’s not necessary to be a tech wizard to deal with marketing technology. All that’s needed is the right tools at the right time.
- She has some great content ideas, but she’s not sure how to execute them successfully: a good content strategy can help harness all those ideas into a solid plan.
3. Use post-its to write down all the strategies your ideal client could use to overcome those challenges. Note one strategy per post-it. The image below shows a selection of some of those strategies I identified.
You’re probably thinking now; these look very much like content topics. And that’s exactly where we’re going!
Now, let’s bring things up a notch.
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