Not so long ago about the only thing we had to worry about distinguishing  was a feature or a benefit for a service or a product. I remember grueling sales trainings where all we did was role play features and benefits – Oh M Gee!  Now, we have to not only worry about features and benefits but also messaging, content, digital strategy, branding, positioning and oh my…so many more!

So what is all this stuff? What does it mean and how does it apply to my business? We are going to start with the basics – content.  (Other blogs talk about all the other confusing things we know have to learn about!)

Put simply, content is the medium you use to get your information out. Blogs, whitepapers, tweeks, website copy are all examples of content. Content today is the way we establish relationships with our clients.

We have found, the more valuable the content is, the more your client wants to engage with you and provide you with more information.

Pretty valuable information! So how do we “provide value” to our clients? What are the secrets and tips we can use everyday?

Value

Provide value. (I know I just broke a rule by using the term to define the term!)   Value is what benefits your audience. Value is the “benefits” of the features and benefits from years ago. Value, in this case, is information your client didn’t know about what you do or provide. It’s information presented in a different way.

For example – a hair salon could offer their clients information on skin care or fashion. This information will fit right into their overall purpose to help their clients look their best.  A realtor can offer information regarding activities in the area for new homeowners or a school calendar. They can provide tips on how to arrange a kitchen for maximum efficiency. All of these examples provide information above and beyond the main service of the business.

Trends

Identify trends in your business.   Most businesses have something that is new and current about their business. For the website industry, this article would be a trend as content. How to use this content to attract clients is a very trending topic. Financial companies can still (in spite of regulations) post trends they see in the marketplace – and those change all the time! Speaking to and identifying trends is a great way to add value.

Identify

Identify what they are really looking for!   The ability to dig deep and discover what your client is really looking for is a terrifically useful skill most business owners should cultivate. Look beyond the obvious. Writing and providing content about the “unobvious” will enable a business owner to provide even more value! For example, a cleaning company is not just providing their customers a clean house. They are offering their clients more time for other things – family time, alone time, vacation time, movie time. A cleaning company can offer tips on how to clean your home. They can link to their own Pinterest boards that are full of decluttering and cleaning information. Did you know home organization tips on Pinterest are some of the most popular right behind recipes?

Personal

Be Personal!   Stories help your content stand out. If you are a foodie and love Top Chef – you will notice they are constantly talking about the stories around the food. Food! Who knew that spaghetti could invoke a story! But it can… I hope that one day my son’s story will revolve around my homemade spaghetti – and I make a darn good – simmer all day –  sauce! My spaghetti stories brings back memories of my family dinner. My mom always had dinner ready at 6pm. My dad was always home at 5:45 promptly. Spaghetti was always the favorite and my mom taught me how she made hers. I made it my own – tweaking and refining. My son now requesting my spaghetti for his birthday dinners and for our Christmas dinners… memories!

What is your story and how can you tie it to your business and your content? Try it! Let me know how it goes!

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