Last week I talked about being prolific. But the truth is, not everyone wants to be a content creator. You just want to sell your products, not be an author. Which raises the question: how often should you be writing articles and sending them out to your customer base?
I’m sure you are on some email lists where the company sends you 3 or 4 emails per day. And you probably feel like they are spamming you, even if you are interested in what they are offering. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I try diligently to write a new article and send out an associated email once per week. There is a very calculated reason for doing this on a consistent and regular basis.
But is this too much for your business? Could you just send out an email every now and then when you feel like because you are having a sale or a new product introduction?
Think of it this way: You have a friend, and that friend only calls you when they want something. They don’t call you just to chat or go to lunch, but they only call you when they want to borrow something or ask you for a favor. How does that make you feel – used? When you have friends, you want to establish a relationship with them, knowing that you can count on them.
Believe it or not, business relationships are much the same way. Customers want to know that they can rely on you for quality information and advice, even when they are not actively buying from you. If they only hear from you when you are trying to sell them something, they will tune you out. Many marketing experts actually say that only 1 in 10 messages from you should be a sales pitch. Which means that if you are sending out information once per week, you could be sending out a sales message about every two and a half months. If you are writing articles and sending them out just once per month, that means that only once a year should you be sending a sales message!If you are sending out information once per week, you should only be sending out a sales message about every two and a half months. Click To Tweet
For these reasons, I recommend that you stay in contact with your customer base once per week. You might start slowly, building up the habit of writing some interesting content for your customer base by only doing this once per month, but at least you are starting to make a habit of doing this consistently. Keep at it until you are comfortable emailing your list once per week.
By now you might be thinking, “That’s a good idea, but how am I going to find that much content to publish?” Notice I said publish, not write, because you could just as easily be creating a podcast or video as a written article. I know lots of people that publish social media posts 10 times per day, but that is NOT the same – because of how the social media algorithms work, your followers may not ever even see those posts. I am talking about creating content that you publish on your own website and sending it specifically via email to your subscriber list.
Well, here are some ways you can find content ideas:
1. Set up a Google alert about topics that a relevant to your business. That way you will get daily notices of things that are happening so you can report on them.
2. Follow other people in your industry and see what they are talking about. You can then report on the same topics in your own words.
3. Listen to podcasts and watch videos that others are producing.
4. Join some Facebook Groups about your industry. Members of these groups are always asking questions that are great topics for new content.
5. Quora a huge forum where people ask questions about everything under the sun. Simply type in the topic your readers are interested in or the name of your industry, and you will start finding questions that you can turn into content.
6. Surveys – simply ask your followers what they would like to hear more about.
7. Keep an idea journal or notebook. That way you can refer back to it if you ever get writer’s block.
8. Competitor websites – what are others in your industry talking / writing about?
9. Support questions – What are the frequently asked questions by your customers? For example, if you are selling cowboy boots, what is it that customers always ask you about cowboy boots?
10. Experiments – try something new and report on your findings.
Obviously, there are lots of other ways to come up with content ideas. One thing I do is allow for guest posts on my blog – that way I don’t even have to create the content myself! (If you are interested in guest-posting on my blog, let me know). Certainly if you are doing podcasts or videos, you can apply the same principles by having guests on your show. Then all you have to do is have a conversation with them and they will provide you with a ton of content that you can share with your followers. Its actually easier than you might think to keep coming up with fresh new material to share. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you can start staying in touch with your customer list and followers on a consistent basis. What are you going to publish next? Let me know!