There is perhaps a no more effective way of attracting the right clients than to position yourself as an authority and expert. And there is no more effective way of being positioned as an expert than to publish original, thought-leadership content.
Coaches and consultants can benefit greatly from using content marketing, automation, and easy-to-use tools to attract new clients, qualify incoming leads, and convert website traffic.
The problem? Many tactics and experts mystify the process, keeping the simple steps hidden or intentionally complicated.
I’ve outlined exactly how to use content marketing to attract and convert new clients to your coaching or consulting business. Start at step 1.
Don’t forget to read the next section about the recommended tools and terminology to make your marketing machine most effective – freeing you up to do what you do best.
All the best,
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CONTENT MARKETING
1. CONTENT (FREE)
Your clients have problems they want solved. Like you, they head to Google and try to find answers. Google sources its answers from websites and blogs that it has found and ranks them based on relevancy. You can rank higher in these results by publishing high-quality, original content on your website focused around your niche and the problems of your ideal client.
Identify 5-6 specific needs your clients have and regularly publish content addressing those pain points.
Once a visitor has found your website, you should deliver on your promise. Provide expert advice through free content (on your blog). Often, this addresses the most common questions your ideal client may have. On each page of your site, offer a Call to Action inviting the visitor to ‘take the next step’ and convert from a reader to a known lead.
This is an important piece of the process! This is where an anonymous visitor becomes a known lead – a real person!
3. CALL TO ACTION
A Call to Action may be a button or a form. Most often, a strong call to action is topically related to the content of your blog post. The form (sometimes called a lead capture form) collects the name and email address of your visitor in exchange for a premium piece of content.
Make it clear how your prospect can take the next step. If a visitor is unclear about the next action item, they will abandon your site (and probably not return).
4. CONTENT (PREMIUM)
Your premium content is available in exchange for an email address. This may be a How-To Guide, calculator, worksheet, ebook, template, or script. It goes beyond the advice given for free on your blog and extends the trust between you and the reader – establishing you as an authority in your industry to gain their confidence.
Generosity goes a long way here. Just because you’re not charging money directly, don’t be afraid of giving top-level knowledge.
A visitor who has converted and downloaded your premium content has signaled their pain point and intent to solve it. Use email automation to nurture them, seek out more information, and qualify them for your product or services.
Think of this process as similar to a dinner party or happy hour. Don’t rush in to try to close the sale. Be open to conversation, listen, answer questions, hear the problems and challenges being communicated back to you.
A successful nurturing campaign will sort your leads into three categories: Qualified Leads, Subscribers, Non-Qualified Leads. Reach out to the Qualified Leads for a consultation, paid product, or next steps. They have repeatedly raised their hand to receive more information from you. Help them.
This process has brought you interested visitors, converted them to warm leads, and you’ve nurtured them to well-qualified prospects.
TERMINOLOGY & RECOMMENDED TOOLS
1. HOSTING YOUR CONTENT
The best place to host your content is your own website and domain. For simplicity, you can get both your website hosting and domain at SiteGround. If you’re feeling ambitious and want a website that will grow with your business, use WordPress. If you want to get started quickly and not worry about any of the tech, start with SquareSpace.
2. CONVERTING YOUR VISITORS
To convert your visitors, you’ll need a form and email service. I recommend WPForms for building high-converting forms and syncing it with SendFox or MailChimp. There are many others, but these will get you up and running quickly.
Your email list will quickly become your most valuable marketing asset. Treat it with respect and thoughtful consideration.
3. CALL TO ACTION
Your call to action is best displayed on both your blog post and on a landing page. A landing page is a page intentionally designed for conversion. Often extra navigation buttons and “distractions” are removed so the visitor can only submit a form. For landing pages, you can use SwipePages, LeadPages, or MailChimp (yep, they do both email and landing pages). They all work well and connect to email services.
4. PREMIUM CONTENT DELIVERY
The email services I mentioned earlier can all handle the automation needed to send a new subscriber your premium content piece. Look at Triggers and Workflows and you’ll see exactly how to send a new fan your sweet content.
Similar to delivering your premium content piece, nurturing your new lead will be handled in your email service through Workflows. This is where you can map out which email messages are sent automatically and on a specific schedule.
What do you want new leads to do next? Ideally, they would convert from passive readers to paying clients. Do you have a product or service to offer them? If you don’t have a product (or worse, are selling access to yourself right away), let’s talk. You’re leaving money on the table and doing your clients a disservice.
I’ve outlined how you can use content marketing for your coaching or consulting business. I’ve also shared some of my favorite content marketing tools that will help you get set up quickly and easily so you can start serving the clients you are so passionate about.
There are people who need to hear your message, problems that need to be solved. Take action. Apply these steps. Go do work that matters.
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