We live in a golden age of marketing, with amazing opportunities for you to grow a hugely successful business. So, what are you doing with it all?
Today, you can share your ideas via blogs, email and social networks and build a community of people, who are interested in your work and what you have to say. Moreover, you can do it for peanuts. When done correctly, this generates regular inquiries from highly targeted prospective clients.
What an amazing opportunity.
What does the typical small business owner do?
They decide not to build a community around their own ideas, beliefs and thoughts. Instead, they create social networking accounts for their business, then mostly fill them with the thoughts, links and work of other people. They start a blog, but fill it with generic ‘me too’ content that tells us nothing about them, their beliefs or ideas.
I was prompted to write this, after hearing some very strong words on the subject from marketing thought leader, Seth Godin. I provide a link to the audio below, so you can hear what he has to say, in context (it’s around 7 and a half minutes in).
No personality, invisible conduits
During the 15th episode of Seth Godin’s Start Up School podcast, Seth called those who regularly share his content and the content of other well known experts (rather than their own ideas): “No personality, invisible, conduits”.
Seth continues: “These people aren’t showing the guts to say, I have a point of view. I have something to say.”
That’s a little harsh and very different to my experience of business owners. Very few of whom are gutless.
It’s not guts that small business owners lack
I disagree with Seth’s belief that it’s fear, which primarily stops people from creating their own content.
I started what’s now called Content Marketing in 1998, with my marketing newsletter. Over the years, I have spoken with countless small business owners, about building their business via email, then via blogging and social networks.
Do you know what stops them?
Here’s a clue: It’s not fear!
In the majority of cases, they simply don’t know what to do or where to start. It’s a strategy they need.
They don’t want to waste time just adding to all the noise that’s already out there. They want results. Let’s not forget, business owners have already shown the courage to start their businesses, often leaving ‘safe’ careers to do so.
When business owners know what to do and they can clearly see the direct commercial benefit of sharing their own ideas, most will get straight to work on it. They are not gutless – certainly not those I work with.
If you are not developing effective marketing assets online right now, stop what you are doing. Then, either learn how to build an effective content marketing strategy or hire someone who can show you exactly what you need to do.
Yes, feel free to share other people’s content, but remember to tell us who you are and what you think. It’s the latter, which creates community, builds relationships and drives marketing success online.