This morning I was on a training call with @Janice_Clark of Business Mom.Net and Team Double Click and other small business owners talking about creating content to promote our businesses. Some of the questions we discussed were:
A) What is content?
B) What do you need to know before you start creating content?
C) Who are you?
D) What you are all about?
E) Who are your competitors?
F) What are they all about?
G) What differentiates you from your competitors?
H) Who are you customers/clients/partners?
I) Where do they spend their time?
And Last, but not least!
J) What can you do to make that customer say, “WOW, you can do that?”
I’ll get back to those questions in a bit. Later in the day, I was online doing some reading and ran across this Set of Design Guidelines for Homepage Usability. At first I thought I was reading about a different subject entirely. However, as I read the guidelines, I realized that they had a lot in common with what we discussed earlier in the day. I’d like to provide you with what I took out of both situations as the truly important information.
1) Know Who You Are and What You Want to Provide – This is critical to success. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes is key to being happy and making your business flourish. Define exactly what services you want to offer. Recognize what sets you apart from your competition and make sure this is communicated in your content. Most of all, find something that you can do to make your clients understand that difference.
2) Provide Value – In order to provide value, you must understand your audience.
- Who do you want as partners in business? You must be specific about your target audience. Specifying a niche is a great start but what about digging deeper? Do you want to work with Small Businesses? Great, where to from here? Narrow it down even further. Solo-Entrepreneurs, Women, Men, Technology, Work At Home Moms, Online Retail, Marketing Consultants. I know this is hard to do when you are first starting out. You might even take jobs outside of this target market. However, if you keep the goal in mind when creating content, the people you are trying to reach will hear you.
- How do you provide value? Think about what your target audience needs? What is creating their pain? Can you help? If so, show them what you can do to alleviate their troubles. If you can’t help directly, provide them with information that could help them find a solution. Think about what makes you read what other people write. Offering helpful ideas will allow you to stay connected while you figure out how to best help them with their needs.
Make it Easy for your target audience to find what they need –
- Once you have a clear understanding of who is your target audience, find out where you can “talk” to them. Are you interested in the small business owners who already have an online presence and understand technology? Then you need to be on the social networking sites. What about if you are targeting authors? Then you need to be at book signings, online at the many bibliophile forums and sites. ]
- When creating content make sure to include contact information, offer different ways to open communications lines. Include other options to “follow” you or find out more information about you and your business.
I learned a lot today and I will be using it all towards bettering myself and helping others be successful.
Here are ways you can contact me:
Smart Virtual Assistant For You
Woodburn, OR 97071
Phone: 503-597-VA4U (8248)
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