Content marketing can uplevel and totally transform your accounting, bookkeeping or financial advisory practice, but many professionals are extremely nervous or simply don’t know where to start. The good news is that creating content marketing isn’t actually rocket science and I’ve broken it down into a simple six-step process.
There’s a common misconception in the industry that you need to be super creative or experienced to create content marketing, but that’s simply not true. You don’t need to be writing industry-defining blog posts or delivering groundbreaking livestreams. You simply have to show up and share value, and you already know how to do that because you do it every single day with your clients.
Why Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a powerful and cost-effective way of attracting high value clients to your practice. When you share helpful and informative content, you position yourself as an expert within your chosen hunting niche and show up as the solution to your prospects’ problems.
Moreover, the majority of leads you generate will not be ready to buy from you in the first 90 days, but by showing up and delivering content to your audience each day, you remain front-of-mind. When your prospects are ready to buy, you are sitting right in front of them as the obvious choice, having held their attention all of this time.
Furthermore, content marketing allows you to build stronger relationships with your current clients, ensuring that they remain loyal to you and get the most from your services.
Stage 1 – Research
I find research to be the most fun but also the most time-consuming stage of the entire content marketing process.
It’s important to create a strong foundation for your content marketing. You need the right audience, offer and message to ensure that your marketing hits the mark, so you need to do in-depth research before you proceed.
It’s imperative that you get super clear on exactly who your ideal client is: what problems are they experiencing? What do they want to achieve? What makes them tick?
Surveys and audience feedback are both very helpful for gaining an insight into the pains and problems of business owners and the areas in which they need the most help.
Another effective tactic is simply to start conversations. Don’t try to sell anything, just listen and learn more about your ideal client. When you understand what keeps them up at night, you will be able to create far more effective content marketing materials.
Stage 2 – Set Goals
What do you actually want your content marketing to do?
Is it about the number of downloads, the new leads added to your database or the growth of your community?
Do you want to attract new clients or build relationships with your existing ones?
Your goals will inform your content marketing strategy and function as a metric against which to measure your success, so be sure to get clear on this.
Stage 3 – Create a Strategy
Once you have performed intensive research and set clearly defined goals for your content marketing, it’s time to sit down and decide what content you are actually going to create over the next few months.
The covid-19 pandemic actually changed my process quite a lot. I used to map out my content a whole year in advance, but that was back when the future still seemed certain – little did I know.
At present, we have no idea what the world will look like in a year’s time, so it becomes impossible to create content that far in advance. I still plan out my content carefully, but only four weeks in advance these days. Otherwise, I may end up wasting a lot of time creating redundant material!
Stage 4 – Create Content
It’s important to schedule time in your diary for creating content, otherwise it will slip further and further down your list of priorities.
Fortunately, creating content doesn’t have to turn into a full-time job so long as you’re smart about repurposing.
Focus on creating key pieces of content, such as live videos and blog posts, then repurpose this across as many channels as possible.
For example, you can share a video across Facebook and YouTube, as well as embedding it into your website. If you go live, you can do so across multiple social media channels at once using platforms like Zoom, Restream or Castr.
You can also take a blog post and break it down into several social media updates. It’s also a good idea to pull quotations to create attention-grabbing graphics.
Thanks to these techniques, I do my content marketing in around 10 minutes per day and still have plenty of material to ensure that my audience’s eyes remain firmly on me.
It’s natural to be nervous about showing up, but remember that quantity comes first when it comes to content marketing. No-one is expecting you to be a Hollywood star in front of the camera!
Daily social media updates, several short blog posts each week and regular livestreams are far more effective than beautiful, cinematic videos or groundbreaking articles.
All you need to do is show up and share your knowledge in a straightforward, no-nonsense way as often as you can.
Stage 5 – Distribution
Once you have created your content, you need to share it for all the world to see.
Focus on the platforms that will ensure your content makes the maximum impact. Where does your ideal client hang out? There’s no point showing up on Instagram each day when your clients mainly focus on LinkedIn. Of course, this is something that you should have researched during stage one.
By repurposing your content in as many different ways as possible, you can achieve the maximum reach by using multiple platforms to attract attention. You should put the most emphasis on your ideal clients’ favoured platforms, but the more you use, the better.
For example, my ideal clients mostly hang out on Facebook and LinkedIn, so these are the platforms that I focus on. However, I still share content to Instagram and YouTube to reach as many eyes as possible. It costs me nothing and takes almost no time at all because I have a solid system and strategy in place, so why not?
Stage 6 – Engagement
Content marketing is not about likes and comments. Those are vanity metrics. They make you feel good (or most often, absolutely terrible) but they don’t really mean anything in the context of practice growth. You are not trying to become a famous influencer, you’re here to attract clients.
Use your content to start conversations with your ideal clients. You should end each post with a call-to-action (CTA) to engage your prospects in a conversation with you. If you notice a certain prospect is regularly liking your posts, send them a message to thank them for their support and learn more about them.
Conversations get clients, so you need to leverage every single piece of content to start conversations with your prospects. If you skip this last step, all of your efforts will mean very little.
Content marketing is a powerful way to level up your accounting, bookkeeping or financial advisory practice but it requires commitment and consistency. You can’t expect overnight results, but if you continue to prioritise marketing and commit to showing up every day on social media, you will create a steady stream of clients and ensure that your diary stays booked out with sales calls.