Episode 71: Gain Visibility For Your Business With Personalized Content Strategy

Episode 71: Gain Visibility For Your Business With Personalized Content Strategy

You need to know what your audience needs to know. Know what they’re looking for and create the content around that because if you’re not, then frankly, you’re wasting your time.

Susanne Mariga:Hello Profit First Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders. I am so excited today because we have a special guest and her name is Abby Herman. Abby is a content strategist. She’s also a coach for service-based businesses who want to gain visibility for their business by creating personalized content and implementation strategies. She specializes in idea generation and content strategy and delivers to her customers so that they can really keep on doing what they love in their business, and making marketing pieces that really feel easy to do. Now. Abby is the voice behind the Content Experiment Podcast, where she features guest and solo episodes that talk about business growth, as well as mindset, content strategy, and visibility. She’s the host of the Content Mastery Lab, which is a growing membership program that helps newer business owners really be able to deal with themselves and implement content marketing in their business. So, please join me in welcoming Abby Herman to our platform. Hi Abby, how are you doing today?
Abby Herman:Hi Susanne. Thank you so much for having me. I’m great. 
Susanne Mariga:We’re excited to have you and talk all things about content today because everything is content. Facebook, YouTube, social media, LinkedIn everything is content. So tell me, how did you get into this specialty and this field? Tell me about that.
Abby Herman:Prior to doing what I’m doing right now, I was doing what I like to call ‘Content on demand.’ So, I was teaching, I was a full-time teacher. I was doing just content writing for clients while I was teaching and, I started to notice that clients were asking me to write this blog post or,  get this email ready or this email sequence. But there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to why they’re doing what I was creating and why it was creating. It started to feel really icky. So, I thought, this particular blog topic would serve this audience better, or, we really need to be sending this email sequence, not that email sequence. So, I started working with clients, and we have to create a strategy around it. You have to have a reason for creating the content. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’re wasting your time and your money. And while the clients were paying me, which was nice, it was not feeling very good because they weren’t getting the results that they needed. I think it was 2016 or so I made a big shift where I said, I lost, we’re doing a content strategy. We are not working together. So, I’ve been just kind of doing that ever since.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. That is so amazing because not all of us have a gift in creating content. Someone was an accountants, great plumbers, but we don’t do content. So, it’s amazing to have someone that does that for us. So tell me, Abby, in terms of creating content, what makes great content? What needs to go into creating memorable content that sells and creates profits?
Abby Herman:So, first, it needs to be what your audience is looking for. First and foremost, it needs to be what your audience needs in order to make an informed purchasing decision from you. Your people, your audience, the people who are following you on your podcast, who are following you on social media, who are reading your blog posts, watching your videos, all of that, they’re doing that because they want something. They want some information. They want to learn from you. They want to be inspired. And so, first and foremost, good content is that they are looking for, that they are searching for, otherwise they’re not going to find it. They’re not going to find it on Google. They’re not going to find it when they look at what the title is on your podcast episode. 
Abby Herman:They need to be inspired. You need to create something that they want. Content is something that gives value. You need to offer value to your audience because again, they’re looking for something really specific. And so, what value can you offer? Yes, we all want to make money. Yes, we all want to make that sale. We want to send people to our sales pages. We want them to get out their card and all of that, but they’re not going to do that if you’re not offering value. A lot of people, a lot of business owners kind of hesitate about offering value and telling people how to do things or what they need to do in their content, but the reality is that, there will always and forever be people who all they want is the free stuff from you.
Abby Herman:All they’re looking for is that free stuff. But, there are people out there who are looking to you because they want to know that you’re an expert. They want to know what you’re talking about, that you can offer value. They want to know the way Susanne teaches and talks and interacts with people. That’s what’s going to help them to buy from you. So, get that free content out there and get that information out there and start attracting the right people to you and the people who like your style will buy,  the people who are just after the free stuff will get the free stuff and go away, and that’s okay.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. Or, buy your book right when it comes out. 
Abby Herman:Absolutely!
Susanne Mariga:Tell me about, when content goes wrong? We’ve all seen terrible copy and what were they thinking type of copy. What are the common mistakes that happens with business owners when it comes to creating content?
Abby Herman:Well, going back to the offering value, content that is just totally self-serving for the person creating the content for the business owner, that’s where it goes wrong. If it’s self-serving, if all you’re doing is trying to sell, that’s where it goes wrong. Another thing that I think that we need to watch out for a little bit is, I’m all about transparency and, being real and authentic at the same time, and I should also say, I think that’s really, really important, especially for smaller businesses. People are buying from people and I don’t care if you’re barely scraping by with six figures, or you’re not even there yet, if you are at seven figures, we’re still small businesses. We’re not Nike. We’re not Sizzler. 
Abby Herman:We’re small businesses. So, it’s important to be real. It’s important to put your face out there. I think that we need to have our faces in the content or our voices. I think that’s really important. And I also think we also need to be real about our real life, and we’re working in our home offices and, we have dogs and cats in our offices with us that sometimes make noise and that’s okay. At the same time, there is a limit to that. So, I think that there is a limit to how much of you, you should put out there. We don’t need to know absolutely everything about you and your personal life and all of that little tidbits are fun, but beyond that, I think that be yourself, be authentic, be real, put yourself out there, but think about what it looks like from the outside, and do people really need to know what you ate for breakfast or marital problems or things like that?
Abby Herman:That’s interesting that you share that Abby, because there’s been times that I’ve been Facebook friends with someone that may be a public figure or more of an influencer for their brand, and they’ll have these great posts over and over again of strategy. And then suddenly, you’ll get this weird one, “I’m looking for an apartment,’ or, ‘having this problem personally.” And you’re right, it sometimes causes as mismatch between brand and what you’re really communicating. And you can really put a bad zit in the reputation, depending on what you share. So, you have to be really, really careful about that.
Abby Herman:And to piggyback that on that, too. There’s nothing wrong with posting. Sometimes I’ll post something about a hike that I did or one of the things that I’m trying to do in my business right now is not work on Fridays, and that’s allowing me to be able to get outside more and have a little more personal space and have a better work-life balance. So, I could post about that and post about the hike and the places that I go and things like that. And, at the same time, I can take that and relate it back to work. I can relate it back to what’s going on in the world today. I can relate it back to things that are part of my values as a business. And so, I think if you can do that, if you look at it from that lens, is this something that I can relate back to my business in some way? Or relate back to something that kind of attraction method for myself then great, post it, but if it starts to become complainy or ranty or things like that, then maybe think twice about it.
Susanne Mariga:Definitely. Or even what you might say about somebody else. You don’t want to bash the other brand because that’s something that you’re going to have to live with for that. And so, with content, what’s a great strategy in terms of approaching content? I know one of the things that I always fell, and I hear people say that, too, that they have writer’s block, they just run out of ideas. How do you generate ideas consistently? Because you just can’t put out one blog and then nobody ever hears, you have to consistently do that. How do you create ideas that just keep on flowing? 
Abby Herman:Yes. Great question. So, this goes back to something that I was talking about at the beginning where it’s really important that you know what your audience needs and wants. So, I recommend serving your audience and asking them ahead of time, “What do you need and want from me? What are the things that are challenging for you?” So, ask your audience, get information from them, get some feedback. I actually have a survey template that you can use that I can offer to you. And then, at the same time, you want to know what your audience needs and wants, but you also want to create content based on your own business goals. What are the things that you are promoting in your business? What’s an area in your business where you want to attract new clients or new customers?
Abby Herman:So think about that and create content around that. So, I talk a lot about, I call them ‘zones of genius.’ Those are the big areas, the topics that you can talk about over and over and over again, without getting sick of talking about them. And they all relate back to your offers. So, we do want to create content that our audience needs and wants, and we want to create content around those offers and what that looks like while we’re still offering value. So, think about your zones of genius. I recommend putting these on a spreadsheet of some sort, and have the big topics up at the top, and then you can plug in the ideas that your audience have. You can also plug in your own ideas, the things that people are coming to you with, and you think in your head these questions that your potential clients ask you.
Abby Herman:Because you as the expert feel like they should already know this information. This is the stuff that they need to know before they can make a decision to work with you, or you want your audience to come to you with already knowing and being able to do so think about topics like that. And then, I also like to think within your zones of genius, I like to think of questions going back to fifth grade, who, what, when, where, why, how, what are the questions that they are asking you around those zones of genius and, and just run through. Can you come up with a who question? Can you come up with a what question, why question and start to list those, and then you kind of end up with a bank of ideas that you can use over and over and over again?
Susanne Mariga:I love that. Starting with the who, what, how, why, and when, and just keep exploring on those topics over and over again. Just digging further into it in order to create and generate more content. That’s an amazing thing, too. I also like what you said, Abby about when you’re putting out content, looking out based upon what your ideal client needs at a particular moment. I know one of my all-time favorite books is Jeffrey Shaw. He has a book called Lingo, and it’s about how to connect with your audience through using words that they would use. What language do they speak at? Because for example dealing with more of a higher echelon type of client, maybe you don’t want to come out with some everyday language, maybe you want to cater that. So, just making sure that your lingo correlates with the target audience that you’re trying to reach. It’s amazing. Now, we had a really interesting conversation, Abby, off-air, and you told me you use Profit First. I love to hear about how that has been going for you and how you’ve used it? Because we’re a Profit First channel, we’re always loving to hear about other people’s experiences with it. So, tell us about that.
Abby Herman:I’ve been using Profit First in my business for four years or so. And just recently started actually using it totally proper, properly, correctly, the right way. And it’s been huge. It’s been such a huge boost to my business that I’ve been able to really see where my income is. I no longer am I afraid of tax day because I have the money in my tax account, and it’s all there ready. I pay myself consistently. So, I have been paying myself consistently for years now. I have three employees that I work with, who I’m never afraid that I’m not going to be able to pay them because I have them set aside. Not only that, but I think my favorite part, which probably is everybody’s favorite part is the quarterly distributions and getting that bonus.
Abby Herman:I was able to get myself a larger bonus and this year, actually in March quarter one than I have ever been able to in the past. Because I had a surplus in a couple of the accounts, and so my bookkeeper said, “Yes, go ahead.” And I was like, “Really? This is great.” And I have a client who’s a Profit First Professional also. And so, I’ve just learned, I just keep learning more and more about it and the mindset behind it because it’s true, if the money is sitting in there in the OPEX account, it’s going to get spent. And so, it’s nice to have everything set up.
Susanne Mariga:It’s Parkinson’s law, we use what’s available. The more that’s available, the more we’re going to use, just human nature with that. So, it’s really great. I remembered my first profit distribution, I bought a piano for my kids. That was like a super exciting moment for them. Now, I wish they’d practice more with it. What was your first profit distribution? 
Abby Herman:It was a little mini getaway vacation. And, before that, lots of little things that I can’t even remember at this point from my very first profit distribution, but in this quarter one, I took a little mini vacation, and it was really a nice getaway.
Susanne Mariga:I love it. That’s amazing. That is so great. Now, one of the things I like to ask our guest before we close out today, Abby is, if you could leave our guests with one piece of advice in terms of business, personal, it can be anything, one piece of advice that will be a game changer, a life changer for them, what would that advice be?
Abby Herman:Of course, I’m going to go back to content. You need to know what your audience needs to know and know what they’re looking for and create the content around that, because if you’re not, then frankly, you’re wasting your time, because you don’t know what’s inside their heads, you don’t know what they’re looking for until you actually ask them, you’re the expert, you’re the pro, so sometimes we project these ideas on our audience because we think that we know what they need, but we need to really ask them so that they do know.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. So, survey your audience and find out what they really are seeking so that you can make sure that you’re meeting that need. That’s amazing. Now, Abby, in terms of being able to work with you, find out more about content strategy and how  we implement amazing content in our businesses, how do we reach out to get in touch with you to work with you?
Abby Herman:I would love to get a quick chat with anyone. You can go to thecontentexperiment.com/chat, and I’d be happy to get on a call.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. And, I’m going to go ahead and put Abby’s contact information in our show notes so that you’ll be able to reach out with her, to work with her, to contact her, to ask her more amazing questions about content and strategy. Thank you, Abby, for joining us today and sharing your wisdom. 
Susanne Mariga:I want you to have your most profitable year ever. Yes, no matter what’s going on in the economy, no matter what’s going on in the world, you can have your best year ever. And, I want to show you how. Join me in our private Facebook group where I will be hosting our Free, Yes, I said, FREE Profit First Masterclass on Facebook. Please join the Profit First Master Class with Susanne Mariga. I look forward to seeing you there and watching you have your best year ever.

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