Connecting With and Opening a Channel of Dialogue With Your Target Audience
Our Austin WordPress Beginner classes continue our “Back to WordPress Basics” series with exploring how to use content marketing to attract your target audience. As we discussed at the beginning of this series, WordPress has made it technically easy for a beginner to build a beautiful website. The more challenging aspect of building your WordPress site is producing engaging content that will attract and meet the needs of your intended audience.
Content Marketing isn’t just about your website’s blog anymore. To find, connect and open a dialog with your ideal customer, you will have to reach them in a manner and a media they feel meets their needs. The successful content marketer knows it’s always about how the customer feels about their perception of you and their interaction with your company’s Brand.
Content Marketing Starts With How You Share Your Story
The first step in attracting your ideal clients is carefully developing the story of your brand. As I mentioned during our presentation, that rules of branding under when a subtle change with the rise of Freelance / Solopreneur economy.Thiry years ago when Nick and I founded our business, it was normal to come up with a unique name, get a logo and present yourself to the world as “REAL” business with that magic set of initials, LLC behind your Company name. As the tech-driven internet economy spun-off more very independent Freelancers, it became common to simply “Be” the brand of your freelance practice. If you study the really great “Personal Brands” in our industry, they are all just that person’s name. Their personal brand says it all. Carrie Dils, is a brilliant and trusted Genisis framework expert and has built some of the best StudioPress themes available in the market. How did she build that personal brand? If you look in the Genesis forum you will see that Carrie was and is a tireless contributor. She started a Podcast, OfficeHours, where she interviewed WordPress experts. Carrie spoke at WordCamps and other WordPress Conferences. If you read Carrie’s blogs she has countless tutorials on how to build a great WordPress site. More importantly, as far as personal branding is concerned, she writes in an authentic voice, the Carrie you read is the Carrie you will meet in person. She is funny and passionate about helping you improve your skill set. In a word, Carrie is completely ‘Genuine’. She is a wonderful example of how to build a personal brand. The other example I mentioned as a great personal brand is, Chris Lema. I will include links to both Carrie and Chris’ blogs in the after class resources.
Some Starter Thoughts For Developing Your Personal Brand
- Who are you as a company?
- What is your purpose?
- Who are you trying to help?
- What makes you unique?
- Why are you trying to help them?
Sharing your story on your site helps build a relationship between you and your customers. Keep in mind, the most successful personal brands in our community, have done so by being honest and very open in their Digital Dialogues with their audience of ideal customers.
Who Is Your Ideal Customer
WordPress makes it easier than ever before to communicate with your ideal customer…it is your job to figure out who that ideal client is. During our class, I mentioned that any time a client tells us that their product or service will appeal to everyone, it is my sad duty to inform them that they don’t have an ideal client, or a targeted market, therefore it will be impossible for our company to help them build a successful site. You can’t build a successful site until you have identified YOUR target audience. Here are two basics you can start with, your ideal client is someone who can afford what you sell and someone you will enjoy working with. Some clients will just flat wear you out. Look at the traits that client exhibits in their dealings with you, then make it a point not work with that type of client again.
Start by Creating a Client Persona
A detailed client persona will help you focus your Content Marketing to your targeted audience. When building a client persona you need to be as specific as possible. You need to be very clear about the types of clients you feel best qualified to help. You need to build a detailed description of the clients that will appreciate the value you will bring to their project. Identify the exact kinds of individuals you want to attract. You need to describe their age, gender, fears, hopes, challenges, and interests. Give each persona a name. If these client personas become very real to you, every blog you write, every podcast, video or direct mail campaign will be directed to them. Google Creating a Client Persona — there are hundreds of great articles on the web that can give you detailed guidelines showing who to get this critical step right.
Developing Users Stories
Developing a clear set of user stories is the next step in creating content that will attract your ideal clients to your site. As Ryan Schoenbeck mentioned during the class, your user story is the basis of your “Elevator Pitch” and the answer to when you shake someone’s hand at a networking event and they ask you what you do. Just answer these three questions and you have defined ‘Who” you can help “Do” what they need to, so “They Can” reach their goal.
Simple User Story Matrix
I help ______________________
So they can __________________
Key Steps to Getting Content Marketing Right
- Identify your clients’ pain points
- Describe how your services can effectively address/solve those pain points
- Create a focused content development plan based on your client persona and user stories
Social Media is an Integral Part of Your Content Marketing Plan
So, once you have developed your ideal client personas and have completed your user stories, it will be easier to determine which social media platforms your target audience is most likely to use. However, do not assume that you know. Test on the most likely social media platform and analyze customer engagement. We strongly suggest you work with one platform at a time so your customer engagement metrics are easier to measure. Once you find the right mix of social media for your specific target audience, cultivate relationships with your prospects, customers, and their influencers. No matter which social media platforms your clients use, always, always, send people back to your website. I have several clients who build an amazing loyal tribe of followers on FaceBook, only to have Zuckerberg and his FaceBook Minions change the rules limiting their access to a community they developed. Brian Clark, Founder of CopyBlogger, StudioPress and Rainmaker Digital, refers to building a community on platforms other than their website, “Digital Share Cropping” and after working with clients who have had very bad experiences when they built a following on someone else’s platform, I have to agree, always direct any social media contacts back to your website.
Some Tips for Attracting Attention and Increasing Target Audience Engagement
There is an old expression, “You have not because you ask not.” When developing a winning content marketing strategy, always remember to ask for their help and support.
- Ask your readers to comment on a blog post
- Ask your readers to share an article or podcast
- Ask customers to participate in a poll or survey
- Encourage site visitors to download a free video or training course
- Use ‘Permission Marketing strategies to persuade site visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter
- Ask customers to follow you on social media
The Five-Step System to Write Copy That Consistently Attracts Your Target Clients and Organically Build SEO
Step 1. Take the time to analyze what information your target market is looking for and why. What problems are they trying to solve?
Step 2. Set your Blog Categories and limit your other content marketing (Podcasts, YouTube videos, and other social media) to those high-level topics that represent the topics your target market is seeking. Just another cautionary note…if you chose to use your name to personally brand your business, be mindful that your prospects, clients, and influencers are following your Twitter feed. Make it a policy to use that social platform responsibly. Don’t use a very public platform to go o a profanity-laced rant as several high profile WordPress developers chose to after the last election. It just is a bad business decision to risk alienating part of your client base.
Step 3. Turn on your Idea Machine! Look for ongoing topic conversations both online and in your community. Use your blog and Cornerstone pages to express your unique value as an industry expert.
Step 4. Tune your Idea Machine! If you need help tuning your idea machine, check out these two get sources, Feedly and Google Alerts for staying on top of what is happening in your field of specialty.
Step 5. Use a Content Framework! Everything I know about writing I owe to Mother Mary Gerald, Copyblogger, Authority and Troy Dean’s WP Elevation courses. I enjoy learning from others. I think that is what I love so much about the WordPress Community. We all share our knowledge and experiences with each other. We all want to support our colleagues to success. Google Content Marketing and Content Frameworks. Read about the various approaches and options, See which one suits you best. I have included one of my favorite content frameworks works below.
The WordPress Blogger Six-Step Framework
- The Promise — Your blog introduction should outline the promise of what you will deliver, It should include the ‘Big Why’ a reader should invest their time with you and how will they benefit.
- The Problem — Next, your content needs to outline the problem your readers are facing – which reinforces why they need read your article.
- Myth busting — This is the part of the blog or Cornerstone copy where you position yourself as an expert by busting a common myth your readers are likely to believe.
- The Method — In this section of your content, you actually share your three to seven teaching points.
- The Do’s & Don’ts — In this section, you outline the some of the tips for advanced users and the mistakes that newcomers make.
- Next Steps — Finish off your piece of content with a call to action or an action step. Give your readers something to do and they are far more likely to remember you.
Content Creation Check-List
- Check your “inspiration sources” for content ideas
- Choose a headline
- Check keyword competition and edit your headline as needed
- Research and plan your article
- Choose your category and add tags
- Fill in the SEO fields
- Write your first draft
- Go back and edit out cliches and add keywords and phrases
- Add images, video, and/or other rich content
- Re-read it. Edit
- Add an excerpt
- Read it again
- Check your editorial schedule for the next article
Cool Tools To Help Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Edit Flow —An editorial workflow management system
Table Press — A plugin that allows you to add tables to your WordPress posts and pages without writing any HTML or CSS
Canva — An intuitive drag and drop interface that creates beautiful graphic designs edit images that is easy to use even for beginners
PictoChart — Creates beautiful infographics charts and presentations
Engagement Grower — A plugin that creates a customizable related post section
Navigation Tips and Tricks and Resources — Help with the issues that may be tripping you up
Broken Link Checker — Scan your website and fix broken links and missing images
After Class Resources
As promised here are the URLs of the WordPress Blogs and Podcasts that will help you on your WordPress Journey
- Carrie Dils’ Blog
- Office Hours PodCast
- Chris Lema Blog
- Brian Clark’s Unemployable Podcast
- CopyBlogger.FM Podcast
- CopyBlogger Blog
- Youpreneur with Chris Ducker Podcast
I think these podcasts and blogs are all the ones we mentioned las night. If I forgot anything just DM me through the Austin WordPress Meetup and I’ll track down that resource for you.
I hope these class notes help. I have included a link to the class Slidedeck below. I’m sorry if the transfer from Keynote to PowerPoint format sometimes does odd things to the headers and some images. I urge you to join and perhaps contribute to the Austin WordPress Tribe by volunteering to take notes for our wpauston.com website, present at WPATX meetups or helping with our annual WordCamp. You can always find the current class schedule at https://www.meetup.com/austinwordpress/ We look forward to seeing you at an Austin WordPress Meetup soon.
Follow Sandi Batik @sandi_batik / @WPATX / Contact me at: handsonwp.com / LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/hsandrachevalierbatik
Follow Nick Batik @nick_batik / @WPATX / Contact me at: pleiadesservices.com / LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasbatik