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22 Maybe You’re Just Thinking About Content All Wrong

The topic for today’s post is drawn from a conversation I had about content with Bob, a remodeling contractor.

I recently published a free eBook called The Crazy Busy Marketer’s Guide to Content Creation in the Real World and Bob wrote to me express his concerns about the subject.

I thought I would share our conversation because I hear this very same line of thinking often.

Bob: The main problem I have is that we are home remodelers. We don’t have an online product and we aren’t writers. Most offers are for an ebook or white paper. We don’t have anything like that and wouldn’t know how to create one, so how do we have an offer to use as a call to action?

Great content isn’t about your stuff, it’s about trust, education and value.

Content Management

depone via Flickr CC

I have to tell you that I believe a service business like a contractor has far more reason and opportunity to create content than most product businesses.

Let me ask you this – do remodeling customers ever want to know about design
trends, color trends, appliance use, finishes, how to get more for their money?

All of the kinds of things that your prospects ask you about prior to becoming a customer make great topics for content.

Bob: Thanks for the response. I hadn’t thought of putting together small eBooks on topics like designs, trends and colors. Usually all people ask us about is if we have any references and “How much will it cost?”

Use content to differentiate

If the first question you receive in your prospect interaction is “how much,” there’s a very good chance you’ve not communicated how your approach is unique.

Sharing useful content allows you to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise and unique way of serving your customers. Customer success stories offer proof. Process maps, checklists and customer orientation content allows you to demonstrate a level of professionalism that your competitors lack.

Bob: We are just 5 people and trying to pay our bills so finding the money for professional services like writing, coaching, etc, isn’t in the budget.

Create content partnerships to lighten the load

In this case I would tell Bob to consider ways of getting content from some of his subs – there’s a really good chance that he works with people like faux painters, appliance distributors, paint suppliers, HVAC companies, interior decorators and home theater installers.

There’s also a pretty good chance that one of more of these folks would be set to support his content efforts by providing guest blog posts, eBooks and presentations on the latest styles coming from the remodeling shows and manufacturers new product roll outs.

There’s also a great chance that with very little effort Bob could find a marketing virtual assistant that would be happy to set-up a list of industry related blogs that his organization could draw content from or one of the many content curation tools, like Storify that would effectively create industry or topic related news magazines.