Content marketing is THE way to increase your networking sales

Talking to Chris Marr about content marketing and business networking

Content marketing is THE way to increase your networking sales

Content marketing isn’t a new thing. I think people are scared of it because they think its new, but it’s been around for a very long time, and we’re all familiar with it really.

By the way, before I go on, if you missed the two previous Emails in the series you can find them here and here.

It is often put out there that the Michelin Guide was the first instance of content marketing (tell people where the good restaurants are, they drive to them, driving uses tyres, Michelin sells tyres) but it goes way before that.

In the olden days, you would go to the butcher who was able to tell you how to cook that joint perfectly. You’d favour the off licence where the people really knew about wine and could give you advice on the best one to serve your guests. You’d queue for the travel agent who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of which resorts were best for kids the same age as yours.

Putting it simply, you bought from people because you trusted their knowledge on their subject matter, the people who knew their stuff, the people who didn’t just sell you what they wanted to sell, but sold you what was absolutely right for you.

We haven’t changed, and our buyers haven’t changed either. People buy from people. And people buy from people who they know, like and trust.

If you’ve read the last couple of Emails, you’ll be making steps to get your networking and your social media right. Content is, in my opinion, the thing which joins everything else up. Content is the thing which can genuinely get people over the line to buying from you, and the brilliant thing is, it’s a complete win – win.

I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to work with Chris Marr, founder of The Content Marketing Academy. I go to Edinburgh to Chris’ main event for two days every year, and recommend that event to anyone in business. If you want the chance to work with Chris and I for one day in Oxfordshire though, we’re hosting this joint event. Book before the New Year and you’ll even get £100 off – thenetworkingretreat.co.uk/moresales

You see, if you’re doing your networking and social media right, you’ll be building an audience. An audience of people who have met you at networking events, or connected with you on social media and who you’re using both networking and social media to keep in touch with.

If you’re doing social right, you’ll be spending time engaging with others and taking the time to be interested in them. And the more of that you do, the more they will be interested in you.

So what are you giving them now they’re interested?

For most people, and even most people in business, the answer is nothing. People check us out, and there is nothing to see. People accept out invitation to “like” our Facebook page, but all that’s there is adverts for our services. Or subscribe to our blog, but it’s just updates on stuff that really is only of interest to us and the people who work for us.

Content marketing is the use of blogs, articles, posts, videos, podcasts, Emails (like this one) and anything else you can put out there to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about, to give value to your audience, and to show people what you’re about.

Content attracts the right sort of customers and clients to you, because you are constantly educating them.

Content is the biggest shortcut to trust, and the real opportunity is that most people won’t bother.

What knowledge do you have that you could share? What could you do a video about, or write an article about, that would genuinely help your followers?

What do your potential buyers now know – and knowing that piece of information would massively help their buying decision?

What advice do you often give for free anyway, which you could write down and share for everyone’s benefit?

Actually putting some effort into your content enables you, in 2017 going into 2018, to land grab your niche. Gary Vaynerchuk says that you can become “the authority of content”. Marcus Sheridan states that “the person who controls the conversation controls the industry”. The shopkeeper who was the most knowledgeable and the most helpful was the one who had people queueing out the door. Everyone else was left to compete on price alone.

I am building myself as the “authority of content” by creating and sharing information which I think is helpful to my audience on my niche – making more sales from networking. I have had people book onto The Networking Retreat, or hire me as a speaker for their conference, who have never met me, but trusted me because of the volume of content I put out there. I can genuinely see now how putting content out there in the right way has accelerated so many of my business relationships through the Meet – Like – Know – Trust – leading people to trust me enough to buy from me, or refer people to me.

In my first Email this week I talked about attention – how to get it, and how to keep it. Joining up my networking and social media with content, is the way I achieve both.

You’re ready to start, or up your game. All of the tools are there. But if you want to massively accelerate your success with networking and content marketing and make more sales in 2018 than you did in 2017 – book onto this one day event, and save £100 if you do so before New Year – http://thenetworkingretreat.co.uk/moresales

Becoming a recognised authority in your field, someone who people actively want to buy from, is at your fingertips. I hope many of you take advantage of the opportunities which 2018 will present, and I look forward to working with you.

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