Content is an essential piece to any successful marketing program, but there’s certainly a right and a wrong way to go about it. Too many times, firms get sidetracked with other priorities and the result is content that’s more likely to make prospects grimace than to attract them and convert them into paying clients. Here are five surefire ways to turn your prospects away with your content.
- Talk about yourself and your services
It’s not uncommon to revert back to your merits when you produce content, after all, you are trying to promote yourself and your business. However, there’s a difference between firm-centric and being client-centric, and your content should always speak to the prospect.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters, take a moment to consider what you, as a consumer, like to read. Chances are, you gravitate toward content that provides you value personally. Value could come in the form of travel tips or an opinion piece on parenting or politics. Whether you’re reading for pleasure you find yourself interested in the advice, you gravitate towards content that was written with your own needs in mind—and your prospects expect the same.
It all starts with your buyer persona and chances are that you have a few. Understanding who you are writing for and what their particular pain points may be will give you the tools you need to create the content they want. When you concentrate on the buyer, not only will topics come easily, but they will relate back to you and what you can provide your clients. (It’s a win-win!)
- You set social media on autopilot
Speaking of being client-centric, how are you doing on social media right now? Everyone and their mother (and even grandmother!) are on Facebook these days, and you can certainly benefit from attempting to connect with them there. You may not be doing this effectively, however, if you’ve set your account to autopilot.
There are certainly benefits to having your blog posts syndicated to all your social media platforms—it’s one less thing on your plate! But social media is about being social, so if you leave it at that, you’re selling your firm short.
Start by realizing that not all social media platforms are created equal. You simply can’t post the same content to LinkedIn that you post to Facebook, it’s not effective. Second, identify which networks are the most likely to work well for your business. Lastly, create a content calendar for social media and begin making posting and interacting on your social accounts a priority. (Nothing is more client-centric than interesting content and personalized responses.)
- Keep things short
There’s certainly something to be said for keeping things short and sweet, but when you’re blogging with law topics in mind, short articles are unlikely to truly cover a topic well. Google knows this—which will be a problem for your rankings—but worse yet, your readers know this. In the end, any piece of writing that doesn’t adequately get the points across will reflect poorly on your authority and that of your firm.
Think about it. If your audience wants a simple definition, they can go to Wikipedia. They look to your site because they recognize that you have the insight and experience to cover the information fully. If you keep things short, you’ll run the risk of turning away prospects who are searching for solid details.
- Don’t speak your prospect’s language
If you’re keeping things too short, you may not be understanding the needs of your buyer persona very well. Let’s go back for a second. Like I said before, it’s more likely than not that you have several—and that’s a good thing. Before you can type out a single word, you need to fully comprehend how your buyer likes to communicate.
This could mean that you need to keep your content strictly academic. It could mean that your writing needs to stay at a 9th grade level. You could have to break down simple topics quite a bit or it might be necessary for you to cover things with more complex language.
The most important thing about speaking your prospect’s language is understanding that you aren’t your ideal client. Just because you find a type of content or specific tone more appealing doesn’t mean it’s the correct voice to utilize in your content.
- Write for the search engines
Not too long ago, we used to be able to tell Google what we wanted to rank for. We could research keywords, use them a bunch and voila! your page would rank. That’s not the way it works anymore.
Writing for the web is much more complicated than it used to be thanks to the constant changes to Google’s ranking algorithms. This is a wonderful thing for consumers, as Google is dedicated to providing high-quality search results for a user’s query instead of superficial and keyword-packed junk. This means that if you’re writing with Google in mind, you’re going to fail at attracting Google—and your prospects. Write for the people and the search engines will reward you for your efforts.
Are you ready to use your content to generate revenue?
It can feel like a stretch…. I write blogs and keep up with social media, and magically, I’ll get more paying clients? Puh-lease. (Except that’s kind of how it happens!) There are lots of ins and outs of SEO and digital marketing, but the underlying theme is that if you provide value, they will come. Always keep your buyer persona in mind and make content a priority for practice and you are likely to see a return on investment you can get excited about.
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
- How Even the Busiest Attorneys Make Time for Content Marketing (and Why They Should!) - December 5, 2016
- Are You Writing for the Right Person? - April 29, 2016
- Are My Prospects Getting Social? - April 4, 2016