When I started creating B2B niche content over a year ago, one of the first things I did was research the best way to find clients…after all, I knew that they’re what keeps a business going.
It was bigger than that for me though. I’d given myself a year to see if I could really make a reasonable living creating specialized B2B content, and I knew that if anything would kill my fight to walk away from a regular corporate job, it’d be marketing.
So I read.
And I listened.
And I read some more.
Blogs. Ebooks. Podcasts. I blew out my iPhone’s storage seemingly overnight. (Just last week while cleaning for visitors, I found 3 content marketing books buried in plush coats of dust.) I learned a lot, but I learned little.
I grew more confident in contacting clients after soft rejections and more tenacity in repeat contacts (I’m an AWFUL sales person), but I still hadn’t learned the specifics of my industry. Then one day it hit me. I hadn’t learned them because no one could teach me.
If you’re looking to make a name and a life for yourself in niche content creation, especially in the B2B space, you’ll be facing the same thing. As much as you can study advice on selling case studies and whitepaper…as much as you can take courses to refine your business blogging, it’s unlikely anyone will be able to tell you how to sell what you specialize in to the people who most want to buy it…they probably won’t even know who those people are.
Establishing The Right Frame Of Mind
Personally, I’ve been surprised at just how important the peace of mind my understanding the healthcare industry has been to my clients. It’s made them even more willing to explain particulars I might not understand. Still though, I’ve had (and have) a lot to learn about what organizations need from outside content creators.
Once you understand what your ideal client needs, doing the work (and getting clients who pay well…a great perk of the B2B space) is a lot more simple. I’ve found though, that I could do much less work in getting new clients if I shaped my outlook properly, and approached connecting with new prospects with a frame of mind that was tuned in to what makes my industry special.
You can do this in multiple ways, but here are five that will make your life easier, calm some of your worries, and get you on the path to understanding your clients’ special needs:
- Make time to market: One of the best things I’ve done to cut back on the chaos of new entrepreneurship is decide on a marketing day. Mine is Mondays, and I do most of my social media work in the morning when directors, executives, and founders are checking email and engaging via social. Not only does it put me out there to hear the needs of the people I’m serving, it cuts down MASSIVELY on my marketing worry, so when I am doing paid work, I’m fully devoted and not worried about that imaginary awesome client I could be missing out on.
- Listen on LinkedIn: This place is a gold mine. When I had a normalized career, it was just a site where I kept my resume because I was supposed to. What I’m learning though, is that the people who are engaged most on this site are the ones who care about connecting — Those are the people you want to create relationships with because they are the discoverers. So post, write updates, and comment. Even consider a premium membership (I’m testing it now and like it) since it seems to get you more exposure to the people who make content decisions.
- Engage via Email: Since you’re stepping into the world of online content, you’ll be doing a lot of communicating via email. If you’re not great at it yet, you’ll need to get there. Executives are busy and founders are all over the place. Trusty ol’ email is convenient, and it sells what you do. If you can sell your business to their business, selling their business to another business is basically the same thing. Phone and Skype are important and preferred by many, but email is absolutely essential in developing relationships and even your end product.
- Talk to Twitter: The reasons for getting involved here are very similar to LinkedIn. You’ll be working a lot with marketing departments, and marketers adore this site. If you’re posting here regularly, you’ll soon develop a feeling that you’re in tune with your industry needs…and as important as it is to genuinely be in tune (you can definitely do that on Twitter…a lot of professional and academic organizations engage heavily there), it’s important that you feel that way too. Basically, Twitter builds confidence, and it builds it quickly.
- Automate, Automate, Automate: They can feel impersonal, but services like Buffer are mind-savers. They do work like collecting feedback, and getting your name out there even when you don’t feel like. The trick to it not feeling stale and disconnected? Keep up numbers 1 through 4.
So moral of the story, learn your niche for your sanity and the sake of your business. Any client you have — whether they came to you in a panic or you had to scrounge them up from Odesk and upsell them on your services — is an opportunity to learn about yourself, your market, and the best path to building the professional life that works best for you.
Want to get started getting started? Check out the “Unsimple, Simple Steps To Becoming A Niche Specialist In Content Marketing” here.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community