Use Content to Sell
Not all services are sold the same.
Selling compliance is much easier than advisory.
The sales cycle for advisory can take months, while selling a client a corporate tax return can take 10 minutes.
If you plan to offer advisory any time soon, you have to engineer how you will get prospects into and through your sales cycle.
The sales cycle consists of marketing (attracting the prospect) and selling (converting the prospect).
I’ve previously detailed the partnership your marketing and sales must have, but I want to discuss content in the sales cycle.
Selling becomes easier with good content. Content allows your prospect to trial the value you deliver.
Simple or stale content will create a bad test drive. I think we intrinsically understand the results of bad content, and that’s why some hesitate to start to create content.
I am here to tell you that your content will suck when you start. It is inevitable.
So get over that, and start creating content.
Content is the ONLY way to start creating an audience.
I hear many accountants say that they struggle to find clients.
I would argue that creating content to be found by clients, improves ROI on the effort.
In most instances, firms struggle to find clients due to:
- One-to-one approach without structure – efforts cannot be duplicated or reused;
- It’s heavy on time and resources (networking, events) with minimal return
- Unless you make a significant first impression, you’ll only get one chance to pitch a prospect.
Content is the exact opposite:
- A single effort can connect with 100 – 10,000 prospects multiple times.
- The ROI on effort is 10X any in-person attempt to meet clients.
- You get in front of prospects dozens of times.
Content is the maximum leverage to build your most important asset: your audience.
Easier Content Creation
I am still learning when it comes to content creation. Everything I do is a test and revise experiment with content.
Here are my favorite tactics to make good content.
Reusing or iterating on content helps refine your ideas and makes your content better.
Many of my LinkedIn posts are ideas and approaches that I’ve had for years but only formulated as content shortly before creating the post.
Sometimes, the posts don’t come out exactly as I wanted. I either forget something, or the delivery is just bad.
Other times, the posts hit the right nerve, and it resonates, racking up 10,000s of impressions.
In either scenario, you can reuse the content to refine the content idea or amplify the good content.
My typical LinkedIn posts get between 2,500 – 5,000 impressions.
That average has improved over time as I’ve refined my process.
I have found that if a post was popular 6 -12 months ago, it will be popular again.
And if you give it some time and tweak the initial post, you can get the same or better traction.
Here’s an example of using the same hook and general idea with refined details:
This first post was back on April 5th – five months ago.
- 24,390 impressions
- 146 likes
- 30 comments
- 0 reposts
The better stat is there were two leads that came as a direct result.
The second one was just last week, on Thursday, Aug 17.
- 26,607 impressions
- 133 likes
- 16 comments
- 2 reposts
The best part was that four leads reached out, mentioning the post.
Two LinkedIn messages on the day of the post, Thursday:
And two LinkedIn messages the day after the post, Friday:
Content is the real deal, and reused content is no less valuable.
Repurpose existing content
Creating a weekly newsletter has helped me write better daily content.
Long-format content allows you to get deeper into an issue.
LinkedIn requires you to tighten up your idea, to be more concise.
And X (previously Twitter) requires even less fluff.
If you have spent the time to prepare long-format content, there are nuggets in there to repurpose for short-format content.
Here is an example:
My newsletter, almost a month ago, delved into lack of conviction as the key barrier to selling advisory services.
Here’s a snapshot of part of that newsletter:
And here is the LinkedIn post restating the ideas I shared from the newsletter.
Same ideas – Presented differently.
Repurposing content is not lazy.
If you don’t remember anything else from this newsletter, remember this:
If you want to price and sell based on value, you have to demonstrate it repeatedly.
Your content should be original AND repetitive.
Keep And Catalogue Your Content
Staring at a blank sheet of paper can be overwhelming and frustrating.
Reviewing old posts as jumping-off points for creating new content saves hours of time each month.
Leverage the creativity that sparked the initial post and reuse, repurpose or refine it.
I have used Notion for the better part of a year to capture ideas, organize, and prep them for content. I’ve kept almost every post since late last year.
I’ve recently transitioned to Trello from Notion – I’ll provide an update soon.
Protip: As I create frameworks and ideas and then refine them, I become a better advisor to my clients. This is an underestimated bi-product of creating content. I know my craft better each time I write about it.
Experts are experts because they’ve gone deep.
When I started posting on LinkedIn, I wanted to be able to track my progress.
The best tool to track how your content performs is Shield.
It tracks every single post you’ve created and their performance. You can see how your content is trending over time.
Here is my dashboard:
In the last year, my LinkedIn content has achieved
- 835,870 impressions
- 7,356 likes
- 1,767 comments
- 139 shares
You can sort your posts by popularity. Reuse the ones that did well, and take another crack at the ones that didn’t get the right traction.