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Create Content with the End in Mind

An article about an important step in the content creation process–create content with the end in mind.  

How many people do you need as clients for your business? 

I talked with a business owner recently, and her idea was to sell “as many people as possible.” Dream big!

She wanted to use Google and Facebook ads to drive leads to sell her services. She was thinking of a strategy that would get her message out to basically the entire internet, maximizing her chance of landing every single client she could land. OK, I thought, but I had questions. 

First question: “who is your target client?”

She explained her client base very clearly as upper-class citizens who live just outside the city limits, people who are parents, business owners, or executives, people with limited time for anything other than business or family, but with disposable income and a desire to find time to invest into themselves—someone who is willing to spend money for the right service.

Second question: “if you only had those types of clients that you just so eloquently described, how many of them would you need?”

She said she needed 30 of them.

30. Not 100,000, not 1,000, not even 100. 

30!

That’s a far cry from “as many people as possible!”

I’m not saying a Facebook or Google ad done correctly couldn’t help, but the strategy is going to be completely different. Instead of trying to cast a net to catch the entire internet as cheaply as possible, she’s going to need to build one-on-one relationships. It’ll be OK to put more time and money into each prospect because she doesn’t need to convert everybody in the world. She just needs to convert the right people—30 of them. 

That requires branding. That requires finding someone who truly cares what she has to say. That requires content that speaks to the target audience.

I’m not saying content marketing is only for businesses that need small numbers of high-paying clients. Think of Buffer, a low-cost social media scheduling platform. They do need thousands of people buying their product, and they get those people by blogging and podcasting. People can get Buffer’s ideas for free, and then some of those people go on to buy the service. Nothing tricky, they just provide good quality content that engages their target clientele, beginning a relationship that can lead to a sale. It’s not exactly the same business plan, but it’s the same philosophy, and it still works.

The point is, don’t get lost in large numbers and vague, unformed goals. Sure, everyone wants views, likes, leads, and clients, but take a step back. Ask yourself, how many do you need? How many can you even handle?

Develop a strategy that’s actually designed around your business and what you need and want. As Dr. Stephen R. Covey said, “begin with the end in mind.” 

And then create content to begin the process of introducing yourself to those who might be interested.

 

We have a content creation process for our podcast. Check it out on Apple Podcasts.