5 Ways a Solid Content Planning Strategy Helps You Get More Clients

5 Ways a Solid Content Planning Strategy Helps You Get More Clients

Many Virtual Assistants do not realize the impact that content planning can have on their business.

There are a lot of mental barriers that come up for VAs when it comes to what to put out there, where to put it, and what it’s all for.

That can lead to a lot of time wasted thinking about all of these things.

And often, it means that Virtual Assistants put the wrong kind of content out for their audience to see.

Or worse, they don’t put anything out at all.

How many inspirational quote graphics do you post in your social media channels?

If they are not relevant to the services you offer your clients, they are not working for you in the way that they can be.

The bottom line is that we use content as a means to get clients.

If you don’t take the time to plan your content strategy, you can waste a lot of time and effort and see no results whatsoever.

Here are 5 way a solid content strategy helps you get more clients:

1 - Strategic planning saves you time.

If you have ever done any business planning, you know that the better prepared you are, the easier it is to execute your plan. We do this every day for our clients, but sometimes we forget to do it for ourselves. When you have a strategy, you know where you are going to focus your marketing – and that give you more time to spend interacting with potential clients. Tip: If you find yourself spending endless hours trying to put content together, take a half hour now to plan your content for the coming week. What you want to post, and where. You’ll see how much time you’ll save! (then do the next week, and the one after that!)

2 - Content goals become clearer.

What do you want your audience to do when they see your content online? Knowing your end goal is very important whether you are writing a blog article, recording a video, or creating graphics to post on social media. What do you want them to do? You want them to work with you, that’s for sure. While it’s nice to see email opens and blog comments, you really want them to take action. Tip: Instead of just writing any article for a blog post, plan what you want your people to do and work back from there. Your message will come through much more clearly, and they will know the next step.

3 - Measurable results help you improve what you put out there.

When you use content marketing as a means to build your business, you need to make sure that your business is, in fact, building. Using SEO properly in your content helps it get seen better, which is the point of content in the first place. When you build content using keywords and relevant hashtags, you are putting more eyes on it. Are you getting more signups to your list? Are you getting consultations? Are you having conversations with potential clients? If not, your content could use some work. Tip: Choose some keywords that will be the foundation for your marketing message. Don’t underestimate the power of Google and search functions. People want to find what they are looking for. When you choose your SEO pieces effectively, you will be seen.

4 - Consistent messaging positions your expertise.

Is your marketing message consistent through all of your marketing? If it’s not, your audience could be confused by your content, making it less effective. Planning helps you to figure out how to sprinkle your main marketing message throughout all of your marketing platforms so your message is the same everywhere. Tip: Use your content plan to select some broad topics and some categories, and develop your content around those.

5 - Reach your audience in a way that makes them respond.

Your audience doesn’t always like to consume their content in the same way. Some people prefer short posts, some like video or audio. If you make a plan of what you want to post, you can also plan to produce content in different formats that might be more appealing to some of your audience. Tip: Repurpose blog posts into social media graphics or videos. The more your potential clients hear about your expertise, the more effective it becomes.

Remember the whole idea behind sharing content is to get clients.

Marketing is all about putting your message in front of your potential clients so that you are top of mind when they need help.

Make your content work better for you by making a plan and developing your content around the plan.

You will make better use of your time, your audience gets a clearer message, and you can position yourself as the expert in your field.

Content Planning Masterclass for VAsWant to learn more about content planning?

If you want to learn more about content planning and see a demo of a really cool tool to help you manage yours, join us for this Content Planning Masterclass on Thursday May 17th at 1 pm Eastern.

Andy Lambert from Content Cal is my special guest for this training class.

Read more about the session and register here!

 

How to Make Time for Marketing

To start getting business and success, you must make time for marketing. Most small business owners and solopreneurs know this…let's face it, they've heard it over and over again.

Virtual assistants are no different. We are often so busy doing client work that we run out of time to do our own marketing.

People insist that they don't have enough time to do everything, and certainly not to do marketing!

I know that it's tough – believe me it's the same for me sometimes. But I have seen the results when I do make time to market and so that keeps me finding time, even when it seems impossible.

I have also seen the results that other successful business owners get…and it's because they make marketing their #1 priority.

If you've made marketing a low priority, here are some things for you to do TODAY to start to change that:

• go to your calendar, make a 30 minute block every second day, for the next month and label it: Do Marketing!

• turn off your email/phone/social media and work uninterrupted for 20 minutes on making simple connections on social media, or on follow up
from an event you have recently attended.

• make a list of your time-wasters during the day (internet surfing, computer games, yakking with friends, surfing Facebook) and the next time you
start to do one of these activities, stop and do a marketing task instead: call a client, jot down 5 ideas for new articles, write a blog post, research a
guest for your next teleseminar, write a special email to your list, etc.

• take a look at all the ezines you get and ruthlessly start unsubscribing – keep only the ones you actually open, read and take action on.

Marketing is an ongoing process for you for the lifetime of your business. The sooner you start cultivating consistent marketing habits, the sooner you'll start reaping the rewards you want.

Try taking these small steps...they may seem big, but they are doable. With consistent effort you will see consistent results – attracting more clients and prospects than you think!

You will also feel really good about your ability to market effectively and this increased confidence will show throughout all areas of your business and personal life.

So what are you waiting for?! Get going on those steps….

How to Get That First Client

Congratulations! You’ve set up your Virtual Assistant business and are ready for your first client. It’s a big step and one that deserves celebrating. So now that you’re ready to work, how do you get that first client? Consider these options:

Job Board

Job boards are a wonderful tool. They can help you launch your business. They can provide a consistent income while you’re building your business. And when you have the eventual dips in your schedule or slow season you can use them to provide additional income.

As a virtual assistant you may want to focus your attention solely on job boards for virtual assistants. There are all encompassing freelance job boards. These generally require a membership. The freelance job board can serve its purpose. However, you may find better clients via a VA job board. Check out both options and choose the opportunities that are right for you.

Always research your potential client. Make sure they’re legitimate and that they follow through on their commitments. Some job boards simply work like classified ads. You apply for the position and communicate directly with the client. Others work as a go between. All agreements, payments and work are managed through the job site. Both situations have their pros and cons. Again, make sure you’re working with a legitimate company and job site. Check references. Read reviews. Most opportunities are legitimate. However, it always pays to be safe.

Use Your Resources

When you’re ready for that first client, tell your friends and family. Make a list of 100 people you know and begin to determine who you can contact regarding your business. Send an email to your associates. Let everyone know what you’re able to provide. Your rolodex of contacts is a great place to get started. With a few simple email messages and phone calls you’ll likely land a few great clients. There’s no shame in using your resources. And there really are no better clients than those who are referred to you from friends, family and associates.

Network

If you’re not already active on a social networking site, get a profile and start connecting. Networking online is a wonderful way to market your services. It’s also a great way to meet new people.

Network offline too. Join your local business association or networking group. Become a member of your Chamber of Commerce. Participate in local meet-ups and networking events. Make sure you have a business card and a positive attitude when you’re networking. (An online presence is a must as well. )

Also consider:

• Making sure your business is listed on your local online business directory
• Advertising
• Article marketing
• Blogging/guest blogging
• Posting flyers around town

There are many ways to market your VA business. Knock on doors. Connect with people online and in your community. Use your resources and explore your opportunities. You’ll have a full schedule in no time.

 

Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Message

Your marketing message describes the core of your business and your clients. It's essential that it accurately reflects your offerings so that new and future prospects and customers know exactly what you offer and how you can help them.

The whole idea of a great marketing message is that it helps prospective and current clients, vendors and partners understand quickly and easily how you can help them. You will use it in all of your promotional, sales and marketing materials and activities.

Your marketing message serves as your message blueprint and will be where you go every time you need to write marketing copy. By referring to your marketing message whenever you create marketing you'll ensure your marketing communications are always on target and consistent.

You can take the elements of your marketing message and put it into different forms to suit different marketing purposes and situations.

Below are many of the ways you can use your marketing message (or components of it):

• Social media profile bios
• Social media posts
• elevator speech (what you say when someone asks you what you do)
• headline on your webpage
• headline for a sales page or ad or flyer
• your voicemail message
• author resource box on articles and podcasts
• tagline for letterhead
• email signature
• title for an article
• title for a seminar or workshop
• use in creation of a logo
• content for an email campaign
• include in your bio for talks, books, website, teleseminars
• create a product, service or program
• website copy
• business card

Schedule an hour every week for the next while and use this time to look at all of your current marketing communications – your website, brochures, ads, emails, direct mail, business cards, social media profiles, sales literature etc. Choose one or two at a time to look at, and rewrite or tweak it to ensure that it is current and clear.

Your marketing message needs to grab your prospect’s attention immediately, and describe how you can solve their problem, why they should trust you and why it’s in their best interest to do business with you.

Your business, you, your products and services, your target market – are all in flux and will change and grow and develop over the course of being in business. As a result, your marketing communications will change too – as will your core marketing message.

Take the time to ensure that all your marketing communications say exactly what you want them to say and accurately reflect you and your company. Then start reaping the rewards of a fulfilling, lucrative and successful business, providing a valuable and needed service!