How Things Change
What was that one Christmas (Hanukkah, holiday) present that changed your life? If you never had one… then bear with me. I was blessed with some great parents who did everything they could to make Christmas special for us kids. The one that really changed my life was my first boom box. It was a radio with a cassette recorder that let me record my favorite music off the radio and listen over and over again to only what I wanted to listen to!
So a few of you are smiling, while others are saying “What is a cassette?” The bottom line is I would listen to an hour's worth of radio and record one or two songs and keep adding to the collection over and over till the cassette wore out… then do it all over again.
That grew into a love of music and technology. What followed was guitars, amps and ultimately recording studios, computers and more. I really doubt that my parents knew the affect that present would have on me, but they certainly learned later how much it changed my thinking and sculpted my life.
Every Post Is A Gift
What is your audience listening to hour after hour and recording to listen to over and over again? People pay attention to their passions. As much as you would like to believe it's about you… it's generally is NOT! There is a reason why only 25% of emails get opened and less than 10% get clicks. If people perceive your posts, emails and blogs as noise, they will tune out!
To really engage people, you have to give them a present. Something that is wrapped in a killer title. Something that is not too hard to assemble. Something that changes their lives. It has to have a real value and not just be another long winded commercial or advertisement.
Give a Gift Worth Sharing
Content marketing is all the rage right now. People are blogging, emailing, and posting at a feverish pitch. How can you make that work for you? What is the difference between a welcomed gift and more junk mail? It really boils down to knowing who your audience is, and what they want. What follows is a few tips to help make the most of your content marketing.
1) Make It Them Focused – Giving your wife a vacuum or your husband a shovel as a gift is a biggy Bozo No-No (unless they asked for it)! What is going to make your fans or followers go WOW? Make it something that they don't expect (under promise and over deliver). It's not about how much you spend on them, but how much you know them. Make them feel like “You posted that just for me.”
2) Make it Actionable – Don't just tell audiences what you know. There are millions of posts that look like information but act like infomercials. Give them information, then give them something to do. Give instructions on how to do it and how to measure results. My version… make a post with a tip, show them how to do it (write a them post), tell them how to measure results (check your analytics on this post, verses past posts), then give them next steps (ask for comments and feedback – then respond to it).
3) Ensure Value For The Reader/User – Solve their problem, heal their pain or improve their process. The more immediate the results, the bigger the fan. Fans share things and can grow your sphere of influence. If your only goal is to sell your stuff then good luck! Evernote is free. They help you by teaching it to use it better through emails and videos. They make their money by selling upgraded versions to businesses and corporations. The half baked, half working sampler is no longer good enough!
My Gift To You
My dad was a (corporate) teacher and my mother was a nurturer. Those were the best gifts I ever received. They taught me how and WHY to pay it forward. There were many more Christmas gifts that I remember like a Radio Flyer sled, Fireball XL305 spaceship, guitars and so much more. None of those lasted long as the knowledge and love they have given me. Your fans, audience, and clients want to look up to you so give them a reason to. That does not mean you have to give everything away for free. It does mean that you can't just be a running commercial to sell something! If you have the real goods, start by teaching people how to get started. They will flock to you and pay for more of it!
I would love to hear about your favorite gifts that changed your life? Comment away!