One of the companies in our circle that had been considering a thought leadership strategy is now thinking about content marketing instead.
Their consulting service provides reliably correct solutions in a repeatable manner for a long-standing class of financially important problems. It does not make interesting cocktail party conversation; it just makes money.
So I have reviewed the situations where I have made large consulting expenditures that started as a result of content marketing, including the one I made this past week.
They all have the same pattern.
Before I describe the pattern, let me provide two caveats:
- Just because this has always worked “on” me, that is not to say that it would have similar results with typical people in general or any demographic in particular. That is to say, your mileage may differ.
- There is almost zero overlap between what I am saying here and what I see as the common wisdom in the standard literature, which is primarily focused on lower-priced sales.
Four things stand out in my memory and notes of each of these purchases.
First, in each of my personal cases, I read something. I might have seen a video or heard a podcast first, but in each and every case, I read something before contacting the expert or his firm.
Second, in about half the cases, I attended a class or seminar after reading the materials but before deciding to make the purchase or discussing the project with the consultant.
Third, in every case, I learned enough from the content marketing material, perhaps including the class, that I felt I could do the task myself. Not well. Not efficiently. But that I could do it.
This third point is what made me comfortable with buying. If they could explain it that well, they knew how to do it and make estimates around it. If they were willing to give me all the instructions to do it myself, they had enough belief that they could do it better, and they clearly weren’t desperate for business. This helped control my hyper-vigilant worrying.
Fourth they had pristine follow-through. They never dropped the ball or missed a meeting between when I inquired about buying and when I signed. During this time, it felt like they had a well-established repeatable process.
Teach me not to need you
then I will hire you
That’s what they all had in common.
So I will ask our company how well they would do in providing these four experiences. They do sell a very expensive service (that is worth every penny of it).
If you do content marketing, are these the right four for you? If so, how do you stack up? If not, what are they?
If you have recently made a content marketing purchase, how similar is your experience to mine?
Inquiring minds want to know.