How much free content do you need to create each month to successfully market your business?
How often should you publish on your business blog?
How often should you post to your Facebook page?
What about emailing your list? Tweeting? Going Live?
In this video, I discuss the three factors that influence how much free content you should be creating for your audience.
Edited highlights below for folk who don't want to watch the video.
How much free content you should be putting out there?
Underlying all of those questions is the same kind of essential basic question: how much free content do I need to be creating and putting out there to be marketing my business successfully?
It depends on your business. It depends on your audience. And it depends on what you're trying to achieve.
I'll help you decide how much free content you should be putting out there right now, and also how that's going to change as your business evolves so that you can be prepared for that, and you can adapt your content creation plans as your business changes.
Factor #1: How much money do you want to be making?
If you're happy earning $1,000 a month, enough to justify avoiding a real j-o-b, then you'll need to put in far less marketing effort than if you were aiming for $10,000 per month.
Factor #2: How many people do you need to get in front of per $1,000 revenue?
If you are selling a low priced commodity service, you'll need to get in front of far more people than if you were selling a higher-priced premium service.
If you're a brand new business, you'll need to reach a larger audience, than an established business that enjoys many word-of-mouth referrals.
And if you're relying on a sales page to convert visitors into paying customers, you'll likely need to reach a larger audience than if your sales funnel includes a discovery call (giving you the opportunity to convert in person).
Factor #3: Can you spend money on advertising?
If you've got money to invest in Facebook ads or Pinterest ads or, depending on your business, print ads, Google Ads, then you don't need to be spending lots of time creating free content.
You can create a handful of really great stuff, and then invest money in advertising to get that content in front of other people.
How these factors change over time
How we market our business, will change as our business model changes, as our business grows.
In the early days, when our income goals are probably more modest, and we don't have a huge amount of client-facing work or customer service to do, but we don't have money to invest in advertising - this is the time to create plenty of free content, making sure it's optimized to bring in search engine traffic or bring in traffic from Pinterest.
That is the time when you want to be a posting more frequently to your Facebook page, posting more frequently to your blog. You want to be posting to your blog at least weekly, but if you can do it multiple times a week to start building up that bank of content, then go for it. And if you're haven't got clients on your books at the time, then use that free time to be marketing your business.
Then we kind of move into this middle phase where you've got plenty of clients and you still have income goals, so you still need to be creating some content, but you've got a good bank of free content already on your website and already on your social media pages. And also you don't need to get in front of as many people to generate the income that you want, because now you have word of mouth referrals - you've built up a reputation and you have testimonials. Your website will be converting that much better because you've got that bank of blog posts so people can have the chance to get to know you better. Hopefully you'll have a really good lead magnet sequence set up so people who visit your site stay in touch with you and can be converted to paying customers. In this phase, you don't need to be creating as much free content.
What to do when you add a digital product, membership, or you want to scale
Often what happens is a business looks to expand or add an income stream. They do that by adding a digital product, or a membership, or a group program. To make that work, you need to get in front of a much larger audience than you have done previously.
Often when people launch membership programs, or online courses, they simply don't get in front of enough people. They need a larger number of people to buy at once than they've ever achieved before, and they don't step up their marketing enough to achieve this.
You have to plan for this by getting in front of more people. You can do this by ramping up the free content creation and investing in paid advertising to make the content that you've already created work much harder for you.
When you spend a lot of effort creating something, it can be so disappointing if you launch it and you don't get the response that you're expecting. It's easy to criticize the product. But actually, it's just a numbers issue. You just haven't got it in front of enough people yet.
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