I’ll start by saying that I’m as big a fan of content marketing as any other Copyblogger reader.
And for good reason.
When it comes to selling online, there isn’t much that puts customers more at ease than quality content.
If you put in the time it takes to produce useful, authoritative articles that provide real value to potential customers, you’re halfway to the bank before clients even land on your site.
But should any company or blog use only one technique to get more clients?
Does Dirk Nowitzki refuse to drive to the rim because his 20-foot jumper is so smooth? (For those who don’t follow basketball, the answer to that question is no.)
Of course not.
Everyone knows that diversifying is the way to succeed in business and in life.
So how should a blogging business owner diversify?
Make sure you have a solid foundation
Before you do anything else, get your content marketing program in gear. Start by writing great content for your site, and then work on killer guest posts for the most popular blogs that will give you air time.
Go ahead, give that keyboard a workout.
If you’re not quite sure what kind of content to create, sign up for free updates from Copyblogger right now … there’s a box right there in the upper right hand of the site. While you’re at it, pick up their free 20-lesson marketing tutorial by email, it will get you off on the right foot.
After you’ve started on this, what’s another way to get more clients and make more money?
How to use Twitter to land more clients
After content marketing, the second most successful way that I land clients is through Twitter.
Here’s how I do it:
I click into the search box in my Hootsuite dashboard (you can do the same thing in the Twitter console).
I search for phrases that match the services I offer, then I comb through the results and find tweets that match people looking for my services.
Finally, I click through to the blogs from tweets that match my criteria and do one of three things: 1) Leave a comment 2) Submit a message through the contact form 3) Send an e-mail if an address is listed.
That’s all I do.
It’s so successful that I’ve landed more clients this way than through content marketing alone.
Granted, having meaningful content increases the chances that these clients will sign on the dotted line (or click through to Paypal), so content still reigns as king.
What inspired this lead generation technique?
How did I decide to cold tweet clients on Twitter? (Is that what cold calling is called in the Twittersphere?)
Here’s the answer: it came from a print newspaper piece.
The article discussed a business owner who had tried to use blog posts (content marketing) to land more clients.
He was having a rough time of it, and wasn’t landing many clients. Eventually, he decided that content marketing wasn’t for him.
His reasoning went something like this: “Is putting in two or more hours a week into writing blog content the best way to get more clients, or would that time be better spent cold calling?”
His answer was the latter — he decided he got a better return from cold calling. He thought this was the best scenario for him.
But there happens to be an alternative.
Instead of relying solely on content marketing or giving it up as too demanding (although don’t kid yourself … it’s work), choose the alternative — use content marketing as one of the many tools in your marketing box.
A good internet marketing strategy starts with content as its base.
After that, you need to find other ways to reach potential clients, like the Twitter method outlined above. You can go old-school (cold calling, direct mail, or even showing up at potential clients’ storefronts — although finding their home address and knocking on the door would be going too far). Or you can use newer methods like pay-per-click and social media networking.
The point is that an effective marketing program is made of more than a single tool. And your great content doesn’t (at least at first) find readers all by itself. You need to promote it.
Contacting potential customers on Twitter works best when it directs them to blog posts that demonstrate your competence.
Cold calling a client will be more successful when you have a well-designed website showcasing a portfolio of your best work.
So the next time you’re thinking about giving up on blogging because it’s demanding, or you aren’t seeing the rewards yet, don’t forget that content marketing works best when combined with the other tools in your marketing box.
Don’t forget how a simple Twitter search can get you more clients, especially when it’s combined with an effective content marketing strategy.
In other words, diversify.
You’ll be happy that you did.
About the Author: Joseph Wesley Putnam has a marketing degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and recently started Blog Tweaks to provide technical services for bloggers. Visit his site to see how you can get your blog tweaked.
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