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Episode 1

Really Useful Content

It's your weekly dose of inspiration, insights and ideas.
And now, every episode will be under TEN minutes long.
Hopefully, it'll become an essential part of your working week...
This week we're looking at what it REALLY takes to create some Really Useful Content.

Episode 1:
Really Useful Content
00:00 / 00:00

Episode Transcript:

Nigel Botterill:
Hi, welcome to Business Growth Central. And this week, we're going to look at what it really takes to produce some really useful content that will attract your ideal customers towards you.
Now, we all know that this established way of marketing is what we should be doing. The principles are very straightforward. You put out some really useful content, your target customers see it and engage with it, that pulls them closer to you. They get to know you, they get to like you, and because your content is really good, they get to trust you. And that makes it easier to engage with them, to get into dialogue, and ultimately to convert them into customers. But it all hinges on how compelling your really useful content is. And the truth of it is most content that is put out by most business owners, it's a bit mediocre.
This was brought home really clearly a couple of weeks ago now on one of our regular marketing clinics. And we had a lady, Sarah Bates is her name, and she's a graphic designer, a really good one. And Sarah also teaches other graphic designers. And she put a question in because she'd really lost the will to continue to produce content because she was putting stuff out that our audience wasn't paying attention to. Sound familiar? This is how we cracked it for Sarah.
Sarah Bates. Now, we talked to Sarah on Monday. Hi, Sarah, how are you doing? [crosstalk 00:01:48] Have you had a good week?

Sarah Bates:
Super busy. Did two logo brand things, brochure design, and two client pitches, which I won.

Nigel Botterill:
Nice, nice, nice, nice. "I've lost the will to try and interest my audience." Is that what you just said, then?

Sarah Bates:
Only because I'm really super busy. It's great. You advise me to go out and do a little video. So I did. I put it on LinkedIn and Facebook. I now look like a dwarf. I look very small. I'm getting some traction, I'm getting some likes. I just don't seem to have the hook in to my audience. So I'm just putting out really dull stuff.

Nigel Botterill:
Yeah. That's an interesting point there. And I haven't seen your stuff, it may be false modesty on your part, or it might be a really insightful realisation. Let's not beat about the bush here, Sarah. There is a lot of meh stuff that is put out there. The strategy of actually putting out really useful content that their market will find interesting is a good strategy. Here we are. Yes, I see what you mean. Do you want us to watch this?

Sarah Bates:
If you want to watch it, I would like your opinion.
Basically, graphic design is the skill of communicating a specific message to a specific audience. An experienced designer will know how to use colour effectively, and we do this really efficiently because we do it every day of our working lives.

Nigel Botterill:
First up there. Good on you for doing that. I'm going to be trying to be constructive now [crosstalk 00:03:04].

Sarah Bates:
No, honestly, please be brutal.

Nigel Botterill:
What that sounded like was it party political broadcast, part of the graphic design party. And I'm not a graphic designer, but here's what I would have said if I was doing a little piece like that. Not all graphic designers are created equal. I want to have something, I want to give my audience something that is really, really useful to them. Too many graphic designers never even begin to try and understand what the real purpose of the work they're doing is. And I think the first thing will be this recognition that not all graphic designers are the same. And then, here's how to tell the good ones. You do that properly and well, that'd be a really ah [inaudible 00:03:49] piece.

Sarah Bates:
Yeah.

Nigel Botterill:
So the mistake that most businesses make, that you can fairly easily avoid, is to ensure that your content really is really useful. The clue is in the name, but it's easy to say, but much harder to actually do. Well, it is until you actually apply what we call the ah test. You see, really useful content should make your ideal prospects go, "Ah." There should be something in it that is new to them. They should discover an insight of some sort, something useful, something practical maybe, but something that makes them go, "Ah." Because when you let your readers or your viewers go, "Ah," they begin to like you, they begin to know you, and they begin to trust you. And your really useful content starts to do its job.
But when your content makes your customers go... It's game over, I'm afraid. And the strategy that you're putting so much effort and energy into, well, it just won't work. So it's all about the ah test, and does your content pass it?
So when it comes to producing really useful content that's going to engage your target market, your prospects, your future customers, that's going to pull them closer to you and help them to know, like, and trust you, first thing you need to remember is you don't need very many pieces of really useful content. Just three or four things that are super useful for your market is perfect.
And the way you know that your pieces of really useful content are super useful for your market is they passed the ah test. That's the tricky bit. And the only way you know for sure that things pass the ah test is you have to get mentally, get into the head and the mind of your ideal customer. And that's why so many business owners fall flat. Their efforts fall foul because, in truth, they're lazy and ineffective at deeply understanding their customers. But when you get into your customer's head, often your RUC can be a piece of content about something that to you is very obvious because you live and breathe what you do every single day of the week. And you know this stuff inside out and back to front and any way up, but your target customers don't. And sometimes sharing what to you is the most obvious thing can be the most ah moments that's ever happened for your customers.
Really useful content that is practical is definitely best. It's way better than mindset stuff or anything that's a bit woo woo. Practical content definitely works better.
And once you've got the content, here's a little bonus nugget that will help you to disseminate it and cause your ripples to go out into the world and have more of an impact. Find and join Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups where your ideal customers hang out. Groups where your ideal customers are going. It's perfect if you're B2B because you can find them, and it's also very doable if they're B2C. And what you then want to do is go into those groups. Don't start sharing your RUC with them too soon. Instead, go into those groups two or three times a week and post value. Help people. Show people by your actions, not by your words or your promises, show them by your actions that you can be trusted, that you know your stuff, that they can have confidence in you and that you can help them. The old "let's show them you can help them by actually helping them" trick.
And then once she got established in those groups, then eventually you can let people know, I've got this little piece of content that I wrote. If you find it helpful, let me know. And you start to share it and you disseminate it about, but it has to be really useful. That's what a RUC is. Really useful content, and three or four pieces that make your market go, "Ah" can be transformative for your business.
This isn't about producing really useful content every day or even every week. Most businesses just need three or four pieces of really useful content to help them crack the rhythmic acquisition of customers. The key is to make them really useful, to have content that makes people go, "Ah."

Matt:
Remember today's key takeaways are three or four pieces of really useful content, and you need to make sure they pass the ah test. See you next time.

Nigel Botterill:
Ah.

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