Years ago, I did a deep dive into investment banking. Looking at home ownership, retirement savings and ensuring my family was protected, whether something happened to me or not. I looked at traditional sources like Dave Ramsey and Gary Keesee, as well as plumbing the depths of the stock market, mutual funds and what financial planners have to master to become licensed.
Just can’t help myself. I crave knowledge and can become obsessive at times, filling my brain with facts and miscellaneous information.
One lesson that was consistent across all my sources was something that seems counterintuitive on its face. A $100 investment made in your 20’s, and never added to or touched again, can, over time, grow to dwarf the results of making weekly $1000 investments in your 50’s or 60’s. The power of compound interest causes the tortoise to beat the hare every time – assuming the tortoise starts early enough.
Sadly, this is a lesson we fail to teach our children in high school or college. (Along with balancing a checkbook and doing their taxes. But that’s a discussion for another time.) Too often they struggle to get ahead early in life, thinking they can always invest later.
Now take it one step further and imagine they don’t stop at the initial $100 deposit. Instead, they add $100 every month, and when they make more money, they progressively increase that monthly, weekly, annual amount.
The Content Connection
When you’re looking at content creation – especially doing a periodic content blog targeted at your ideal customer – it’s easy to think that it’s some sort of magic bullet. A one-size fits all solution that will guarantee the growth of your business.
And, in all honesty, it can easily and quickly cause a spike in your customers, sales and reach. One that easily justifies taking the time to plan and build strategically. It thrusts digital marketing head and shoulders above many traditional marketing efforts. When properly executed, it can vault your results high enough to create an illusion of instant gratification.
But, sadly, while it does work quickly, it doesn’t sustain that growth over time – not unless you take some additional actions. Content creation is not one of those “set it and forget it” tasks.
But just like the early investment I talked about earlier, content can compound. In fact, in many ways, content creation can be sustained and create continuous growth over time. Some small businesses would be content with that spike at the beginning and then slow, gradual increases year over year.
But I know the readers of our blog tend to aim higher. Their businesses were established, in some form or fashion to enact true change in our world. The goal is to make this world or life better. So why would you be content with minor changes, when a little more effort and strategy can lead to more global results?
To truly get the most out of your content creation investment – and it IS an investment in time and effort – you need to think like Warren Buffet or Peter Lynch. You need to create content like an investor.
Customer Experience Rules
At first this may appear to be pretty boilerplate advice. Of course you want to focus on delivering a good customer experience rather than making quick cash. But in this case, we’re not talking about customer service or CX or similar.
Specifically, we’re making sure the customer – and potential customer – get the best experience within the context of your blog posts. You need to make sure every post has value to your ideal customer. You can vary a little on subjects and angles, but you need to consistently create content that they find useful.
The stock market has its ups and downs; you win some, you lose some. But if Warren Buffet consistently made poor picks and his hedge fund dropped over and over, he would get booted. By the same token, your customers have limited patience for rabbit trails and content of little or no use. Fool them once, shame on you – you won’t likely get to fool them twice, cause they’ll go looking elsewhere for information.
And guess what? Google doesn’t send searchers to you if the content isn’t of value and authority either. And the algorithm is more ruthless than people are. It has to be.
So make sure what you’re posting is valuable to your ideal customer.
This is the most obvious parallel between investing and content creation. Again, one post won’t launch your business, no matter how clever your title or how valuable the information. Here at Grow The Dream, we recommend at the very least posting once a month. Realistically, though, if you want to see growth, you’re accelerating your posting to every two weeks minimum. The biggest bang for your content buck? Once a week – every week.
Depending on your product or service, the long term approach can also connect to repeat business.
You build relationships over time, and the same is true of content. The more content, going further back, builds solid credibility on Google search results and in your professional life. A track record builds on itself – that’s the content version of compound interest.
Follow the Numbers
The best investors will tell you that data rules. Despite the fact that our customers make decisions based on emotion, we must limit how they influence us. Yes, you’ll still make emotional decisions, but you need to let numbers and logic dictate whenever you can.
Of course, this is part of your strategic work as well. In profiling and targeting your ideal customer, you’re using whatever data you can to hone the final picture. The more detailed and specific you can aim for, the better your initial results will be. And the more likely you’ll still gather in the outskirts of that target customer.
Peter Lynch might deal in mutual funds, but that doesn’t mean he just rides whatever wave or crest is happening in the market. You don’t get 30-75% returns by indexing to the average. He follows the trends, tracks the data and makes picks based on past performance and strategically reaching for companies to invest in that haven’t hit yet.
Again, yes, he makes some mistakes. But he’s secure in the knowledge that he’s following a plan, based on the data and his interpretation of it, based on his skill-set.
No, this does not fly in the face of my customer experience section. All of these points build on each other. You do the strategic work. Make a plan for the long term. You follow the numbers. And, yes, you take a few “chances.” But they are always calculated risks.
We all know not to put all your eggs in one basket. And while you are always focused on your ideal client, there is room for different approaches to gain their attention. And to gain a stronger Google ranking.
So some posts are short, to the point – but valuable. 300 words or less.
Some posts are longer, more impactful, maybe even more evergreen – 500-1000 words.
And some are pillar posts – the ones that rank higher on the Google SERP scale – reaching for the Zero Position of search engine results. They become the paragraph that the searcher can read without clicking to your website – but that’s often what it leads to.
This is also where social media and email blasts fall. Both can be used as solo advertisements of your product or service. But they can also point back to your site, to significant articles. Diversifying means you can draw more eyes onto all of your posts, which, again, compounds your credibility and authority, which raises your Google ranking, and on and on. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Accept the Call
When you make the effort to approach your content creation with an eye of an investor, you will compound your efforts and outreach. But again, only when you’re creating consistent, regular content. If you don’t have the time and the resources to do that, you’re not going to grow – not very quickly anyways.
Let us help you. We can get you on the right track with a strategic approach – something no small business should be without. We can also help you implement the strategy, from the smallest efforts and planning all the way up to creating and posting the content for you. Our writers are qualified and experienced, ready to engage with your ideal customers.
There are no guarantees in life. But I can promise you – if you’re not taking a strategic approach, your business isn’t likely to grow to its full potential. If you’d like help with any or all of the above, please reach out. We’ve built our business helping other small businesses expand. Let’s Grow The Dream together!