A little over a year ago, Bredemarket announced two changes in my business scope and business hours. I stopped accepting work from clients who marketed systems to identify individuals, and I reduced my business hours to Saturday mornings only.
I had to change my business scope and business hours. On May 9, 2022, I started a full-time position with a company in the identity industry, which meant that I couldn’t consult on weekdays and couldn’t consult on identity projects.
But things change.
As of May 31, 2023, I will no longer be employed at my day job.
Which is my misfortune…um…opportunity.
Has Bredemarket changed its business scope and business hours a second time?
As of June 1, 2023:
If you need a consultant for marketing or proposal work, and your company is involved in the identification of individuals, Bredemarket can accept the work.
If you need a consultant who can meet with you during normal business hours, Bredemarket can accept the work.
My…um…opportunity is your opportunity.
Now that I can expand my business scope and business hours again, you can take advantage of my extensive marketing expertise, including deep experience in the identity industry.
This means you can obtain quickly-generated and expert content with an agreed-upon focus.
This means you can get content that increases your revenue.
Now that’s Ontario California, not Ontario Canada.
Let me quote a little bit from the page I just created.
For example, let’s say that an Ontario, California content marketing expert wants to target businesses who need blog post writing services. This expert will then create a web page, and possibly a companion blog post, to attract those businesses.
If I’m going to talk about blogging, I need a blog post to go with it, right?
The other purpose of this blog post is to direct you to the web page. I don’t want to repeat the exact same copy from the web page on the blog post, or the search engines will not like me. And you may not like me either.
Needless to say, you only need to read the web page if you’re an Ontario, California business. Well, I guess Fontana businesses can read it also; just ignore the video with Mayor Leon and substitute a video with Mayor Warrent instead.
The web page addresses the following topics, among others:
Why do you want to use content marketing to promote your Ontario business? (The web page also addresses inbound marketing.)
Why do you want to use blog posts to promote your Ontario business?
How can an Ontario business create a blog post?
How can an Ontario business find a blog post writer?
Tech is the fastest-changing industry in the world. New innovations, tools, and capabilities are continuously reshaping the way every company does business….
Companies of all types, then, turn to tech thought leadership to understand emerging trends and potential disruptions.
For CIOs and other tech thought leaders, this presents a huge opportunity. Establishing yourself as a tech thought leader gives you a wide audience and a platform for increasing your brand’s (and your own) visibility.
Benefits for your business and yourself? Sounds like a win-win to me. Be sure to read Brenner’s article for more of his thoughts.
Who should write the thought leadership piece?
Ready to be a thought leader? You need to get someone to write the thought leadership piece.
You could write it yourself.
You could have someone write it for you.
You could work with a writer and collaboratively create the piece.
How you work is up to you. Perhaps you have communication experience and know how to convey technical thoughts to non-technical audiences. Or perhaps you dread writing and would love to pass that task to someone else.
Once you’ve decided who will write your thought leadership piece, you don’t want to just start typing. You need to prepare.
Whether you’re writing the first draft, or someone else is writing the first draft, you need to specify your needs for the piece.
And ask some questions before you start writing.
Click on the image below to find out what questions you need to ask.
The idea is that your content creator hosts a kickoff session, asks you the six questions, and only then starts to create the content in question—the blog post, case study, or whatever.
Are the six questions overkill?
But simplicity advocates may argue that those six questions are five questions too many.
Analysis paralysis may prevent you from moving forward at all, much less realizing your content creation goal. Perhaps you should be more efficient and just put pen to paper and, as the shoe people say, just do it.
The company had hired an international marketing firm “to develop comprehensive marketing strategies….We expect their work to incorporate a website redesign, brand refresh, new strategic messaging and content, as well as focused video and digital campaigns.”
So, when I wrote the “In marketing, move quickly” post three months later, what had this international marketing firm accomplished in the interim?
The website has a full slew of data sheets on the company’s products, and I found a 2017 brochure that effectively served as a white paper. But that’s it; no other white papers, and no case studies describing happy customers’ experiences.
The company’s YouTube channel has two videos from 2021.
The company’s Facebook page hasn’t posted anything since 2017.
Neither of the company’s LinkedIn pages (yes, the company has two LinkedIn pages) has any posts.
Now I have no visibility into this particular company, but I’ve been around the block to guess that the international marketing firm was probably still in the analysis stage, optimizing synergies according to “out of the box” criteria, to ensure bleeding-edge revenue maximization.
No, the six questions aren’t overkill
After reviewing what I wrote before in that blog post, I realize that my e-book lacks a very important point.
Don’t spend three months answering the six questions.
I shouldn’t HAVE to say this, but perhaps it’s safer to explicitly say it.
Now practices can very from consultation to consultation, but it’s very likely that a content creator and their client can breeze through those six questions in half an hour or less.
Or maybe the client can answer the questions on their own before the meeting.
If your content marketing expert schedules six one-hour meetings (or worse still, workshops) to address the six questions, run away!
(Is the content marketing expert billing by the hour?)
And the six questions create a content strategy
There’s something else that I failed to explicitly say in my e-book.
Not only do the answers to the six questions benefit that one piece of content, but they benefit everything else that your company does.
For example, let’s say that a content marketing expert is working with a gourmet ice cream shoppe (not a shop, but a shoppe), and the proprietor (Jane Cold) answers the “how” question as follows:
At Jane’s Gourmet Ice Cream Shoppe, we keep the internal dining temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that our guests enjoy ice cream as it was meant to be enjoyed. We inform our guests of our temperature policy beforehand to ensure they bring proper attire.
Now let’s say that the piece of content in question is a social media post describing a new farkleberry ice cream flavor. (Thanks, Live Eat Learn.)
While the content marketing expert will use the answer to the “how” question to create the content, the ramifications go far beyond the social media post itself.
Perhaps the new flavor could be branded “Frigid Farkleberry” to suggest how the ice cream should best be enjoyed.
Maybe in addition to branding, the “how” answer may even influence pricing. Perhaps prices incorporate the number “32,” as in a single-scoop price of $4.32. (Yes that price is high, but after all this is an ice cream shoppe.)
And what of future social media posts?
Let me clue you in on a little secret: once your content marketing expert has asked the six questions for the first piece of content, the kickoff is much quicker for subsequent pieces of content.
Chances are the basic “why” and “how” won’t change, although some of the later questions such as the target audience could change for each individual piece of content.
So without explicitly trying to do so, the six questions have created a de facto content marketing strategy. After creating five pieces of content, you’ve essentially defined your company’s mission, purpose, and differentiators, and may have defined as many as five separate vertical markets along the way.
Not a bad investment of thirty minutes of time.
(But a terrible investment of three months of time.)
About a year ago, I wrote a two-part series of posts entitled “In marketing, move quickly.”
How can you move quickly?
If you’re an Inland Empire business that needs rapid written content creation, I’ll tell you how Bredemarket can help you create that content.
Why move quickly?
On the 99.9% chance that you didn’t read my twoposts on this topic, here’s a brief TL;DR on what I (and others) said.
If you don’t move quickly, you may miss your opportunity.
The first post mentioned a company (whom I didn’t name) that hired an international marketing company in December 2021, but that hadn’t created any customer-facing content by March 2022.
The first post also mentioned a bank that put a customer-facing email test togehter in eight weeks.
Oh, and John DeLorean took eight years to get his car out, which didn’t help with his financing issues.
On the positive side, the second post described how one company moved quickly. Rather than waiting for a centralized content creator to distribute content, Intuit provided guidelines so that its employees could extend the reach of Intuit’s content through their own social media posts.
The second post also noted that quick generation of content is appreciated by customers, vendors, and partners.
How can you move quickly?
So let’s say you’re an Inland Empire business who needs to create between 400 and 600 words of content quickly, such as the text for a brochure, a blog post, or a LinkedIn or Facebook post.
How can you get it out quickly?
How can you avoid waiting eight weeks, or three months, or eight years for your customers to see your content?
Here are four actions you can take to get your content out.
Specify your content needs.
Ensure you are available.
Ensure your content creator is available.
Book your content creator.
I’ll describe these four actions below.
One: Specify your content needs
If you rush to create content without thinking through your needs, your content won’t be that effective. Take some time up front to plan what your content will be.
Ask yourself critical questions about your content.
Don’t know what to ask? I’ve written an e-book entitled “Six Questions Your Content Creator Should Ask You.” You can skim through it here.
The six questions (hint: you’ve already seen two of them in the first two parts of this post):
When Bredemarket meets with a customer, I ask more than these six questions, but they’re the most important ones.
If you can answer these questions, either on your own or with the help of your content creator, then you’ll have a roadmap that allows you to create the content together.
Two: Ensure you are available
Note the word “together” in the paragraph above.
After you meet with your content creator, your part of the task isn’t done. Or shouldn’t be.
When Bredemarket creates content for a customer, there are points within the process where the customer reviews the content and makes suggestions. Normally when I create between 400 and 600 words of content using the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, there are two review cycles. Here’s how I explain them:
Bredemarket iteratively provides two review copies of the draft content within three days per review. (The number of review cycles and review time must agree with any due dates.) The draft content advances your goal, communicates your benefits, and speaks to your target audience in your preferred tone of voice. Relevant examples and key words/hashtags are included.
You return comments on each review copy within three days. For longer content, you may provide the draft formatted copy for the final review.
Why? (If you read my e-book, you know the “why” question is important.)
Maybe I have questions that popped up while I was drafting the content. Maybe something occurs to you after you see the draft content. Whatever the reason, these review cycles provide opportunities to improve the content as I develop it.
But to get your feedback, you have to be available. The standard process gives you three days to return your comments, although of course you can return them faster. But if you don’t return your comments for weeks or months…well, that kind of kills the idea of getting the content out quickly.
Of course, in some cases delays are unavoidable. One of my customers was dependent on a third party to complete his part of the review, but the third party was not delivering. In that case, there was nothing the customer could do, and that content was delayed.
One critical question: what if you need your content very quickly?
Now if you add up all the times in the Bredemarket 400 process, your total comes to fourteen days: one day for the review, three days for me to create the first draft, three days for your review, three days for my second draft, three days for your second review, and one day for the final copy.
If you need it in one week rather than two weeks, then we jointly need to figure out a faster cadence of reviews. I can adjust the schedule to meet your due dates.
But you have to be available for the reviews.
And as I note below, I have to be available for the creation.
So when you’re planning to have Bredemarket or another content creator generate something for you, remember that you’ll need to spend a little bit of time on reviews.
Three: Ensure your content creator is available
You know how I said that the Bredemarket 400 process gives you three days to review each content iteration? Well, at the same time it gives me three days to draft (and redraft) the content.
Can I, or the content creator you select, hold up our end of the process?
Right now I’m going to tell you something that has happened since I wrote those two “In marketing, move quickly” posts in March 2022. In May 2022, I accepted a full-time position with an identity company, and therefore no longer spend full time on Bredemarket activities.
Therefore, if you need to meet with me Monday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm (Pacific), I can’t meet you. I have my day job to worry about.
I have regular office hours on Saturday mornings when I can meet with you, and I can arrange to be available on weekday evenings or early weekday mornings. And of course I can draft your content and incorporate your suggestions at those times also, outside of regular business hours.
But if you need a content creator that is available during regular (Inland Empire) business hours, then you’ll need to select someone else.
Just make sure that the content creator you select is available when you need them.
Four: Book your content creator
When you’re ready to move, move. If you don’t start the process of creating your critical content, by definition you’ll never finish it.
So take the next step and find someone who will create your content. There are a number of content creators who serve Inland Empire businesses.
But if you want to use the Ontario, California content marketing expert, contact me at Bredemarket and I’ll arrange a meeting. Be prepared for me to ask you a few questions.
Instead of writing “online,” I should have written “offline.”
I don’t know whether I just made a typo, or if I intentionally wrote “online,” but I shouldn’t have.
Why QR codes rarely make sense online
Because if you’re online, you don’t need a QR code, since you presumably have access to a clickable URL.
But if you’re offline—for example, if you’re watching a commercial on an old-fashioned TV screen—a QR code makes perfect sense. Well, as long as you explicitly identify where the QR code will lead you, something Coinbase failed to do in 2022. “Just click on the bouncing QR code and don’t worry where you’ll go!”
But there’s one more place where QR codes make sense. I didn’t explicitly refer to it in my 2021 post, but QR codes make sense when you’re looking at printed material, such as printed restaurant menus.
Or COVID questionnaires.
Which reminds me…
What I didn’t tell you about the Ontario Art Walk
…there’s one story about the Ontario Art Walk that I didn’t share in yesterday’s post.
After leaving Dragon Fruit Skincare, but before visiting the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, I visited one other location that I won’t identify. This location wanted you to answer a COVID questionnaire, which you accessed via a QR code.
I figured I’d do the right thing and answer the questionnaire, since I had nothing to worry about.
I was vaccinated.
I was boosted.
I hadn’t been around anyone with COVID.
I didn’t have a fever.
I entered the “right” response to every single question, except for the one that asked if I had a runny or stuffy nose. Since I had a stuffy nose, I indicated this.
But hey, it’s just a stuffy nose. What could go wrong?
When I finished the questionnaire, I was told that based on my answers, I was not allowed in the premises, and if I was already in the premises I should leave immediately.
Which I did.
And which is why I didn’t write about that particular location in yesterday’s post.
Bredemarket, pressing the flesh (sometimes six feet away)
But back to non-health related aspects of QR codes.
The Ontario Art Walk was actually the second in-person event that I had attended that week. As I noted on Instagram, I also went to a City of Ontario information session about a proposed bike lane.
Now that COVID has (mostly) receded, more of us are going to these in-person events. My target market (businesspeople in the United States) is mostly familiar with the century-old term “press the flesh.” While it usually applies to politicians attending in-person events, it can equally apply to non-political events.
Whenever I go out to these local events, I like to have some printed Bredemarket collateral handy in case I find a local businessperson looking for marketing services. After all, since I am the Ontario, California content marketing expert, I should let relevant people in Ontario know this.
In those cases, a QR code makes sense, since I can hand it to the person, the person can scan the QR code on their phone, and the person can immediately access whatever web page or other content I want to share with them.
On Saturday, it occurred to me that if I ran across a possible customer during the Ontario Art Walk, I could use a QR code to share my e-book “Six Questions Your Content Creator Should Ask You.”
Unfortunately, this bright idea came to my mind at 5:30 pm for an event that started at 6. I dummied up a quick and dirty page with the cover and a QR code, but it was…dirty. Just as well I didn’t share that on Saturday.
But now that I have more time, I’ve created a better-looking printed handout so that I’m ready at the next in-person event I attend.
If we meet, ask me for it.
Making myself look less smart
Well, now that I’ve gone through all of this trouble explaining how QR codes are great for offline purposes, I’m going to share the aforementioned handout…online.
Which has probably prompted the following question from you.
It gave me the excuse to post the question “Why?” above, thus reiterating one of the major points of the e-book.
Because I felt like sharing it.
Just in case you don’t make “Event X” that I attend in the future, you can experience the joy of printing the flyer and scanning the QR code yourself. Just like you were there!
To demonstrate that even when you provide a piece of content with a QR code, it’s also helpful to explicitly reveal the URL where you’ll head if you scan the code. (Look just below the QR code in the flyer above.) And if you receive the flyer in online form rather than printed form, that URL is clickable.
But I thought I’d better check the “Who I Am” page before resharing it to Facebook. And it’s good I did, because I realized that it required one important update.
Well, perhaps the page didn’t require the update, but I personally thought the update was necessary. I’ll let you judge for yourself.
Regardless of whether this edit was needed, static web pages certainly can change.
The “Who I Am” page before the change
If you haven’t seen my “Who I Am” page, it starts with a description of me and my writing background, then transitions into the story of how Bredemarket came to be. After describing the events that prompted me to establish Bredemarket, I concluded the section as follows:
So I formally registered Bredemarket with the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County, and with other private businesses that allowed me to offer my services.
It’s a nice little story about the establishment of Bredemarket in the fall of 2020, but as originally written the “Who I Am” page doesn’t describe the changes to the company that took place in the spring of 2022.
So I just inserted some material between the two paragraphs reproduced above.
For nearly two years, Bredemarket was my primary source of income.
Now some of you would probably argue that the “Who I Am” page needs some more extensive edits, or perhaps a wrecking ball.
But for now, I’m sticking to incremental changes.
As mentioned above, I have limited time to spend on Bredemarket, and revamping the entire website is not the best use of my time.
Of course I could pay someone to do it, but Bredemarket’s revenue is also limited.
There are also SEO considerations. Some time ago I knew of a company that performed a complete (and necessary) website revamp, despite the hit that it would deal to the company’s search results. And yes, search results did take a hit.
So I’m not going to chuck the existing Bredemarket website and start over.
However, I am going to try to slowly refresh the existing static web pages (currently 39) as I encounter them, so that the existing search results will be improved.
A persona is a fictional, yet realistic, description of a typical or target user of the product. A persona is an archetype instead of an actual living human, but personas should be described as if they were real people.
Harley shared an example of a persona (go to her article to see it) that incorporated a lot of detail:
A name (in this case, “Rosa Cho”)
Biographical details (job title, age, city of residence)
Behavioral details (what motivates her, her frustrations, her goals)
Why all the detail? Because this detail allows us to think of this abstract persona as a living person. As marketers design their product, they can reference this persona and ask themselves if Rosa Cho would like this content.
So all you have to do is build the personas.
But how do we create Rosa Cho and her persona friends? Do we need weird science to perform this feat?
Or maybe not.
How to create a professional persona in 9 steps, or 4 steps
When professional marketers at large companies create personas, they often use a persona creation process.
The first of these 9 steps is to perform research to obtain reliable data (rather than mere hypotheses) about your persona. This research may be based on your own knowledge, on interviews with customers and customer-facing salespeople, or on data sources (including web analytics).
The remaining 8 steps use this research to segment the audience into individual archetypes, decide on the layout (what the persona will contain), and fill in the details. I’m not going to reproduce all of McCay’s content; you can see all 9 of his steps here.
If you’re someone who thinks that 9 steps is too many steps, perhaps you’ll prefer Louis Grenier’s 4 step process. Although frankly it’s pretty much the same.
Choose questions for your survey
Set up a survey on a popular page
Analyze your data
Build your persona
OK, the emphasis is slightly different, but in both cases you assemble data (McCay uses multiple sources, Grenier uses a survey), analyze it, and then create the personas.
And I’m sure there are a variety of other methods to create personas. If you want to go down the persona creation route, choose the one that works for you.
But why create personas?
Because marketing research emphasizes that persona creation is better than the alternative.
As every professional marketer knows, the data-driven method of persona creation is necessary to create accurate personas. As McCay states:
It is important to keep in mind that a persona is a collective image of a segment of your target audience (TA). It cannot be the face of the entire TA. Nor can it be just one person. You need somewhat of a golden middle.
Note that you should never base your target segment on the attributes of a single person. That’s going to skew your data and perhaps overemphasize some quirk of the individual person.
For example, if your company were marketing to part-time consultants, and chose to market to me rather than a persona created from data, then your company would erroneously conclude that all part-time consultants have prior experience with FriendFeed and an interest in orienteering.
This is not accurate for other part-time consultants, 99.99999% of whom have never heard of FriendFeed and think that orienteering is some form of Japanese study. (It isn’t.)
If you aspire to be a professional marketer, don’t read this
As professional marketers will tell you, using a real person rather than a constructed persona to define your target audience (or target segment) is an absolutely terrible thing to do.
But be terrible.
For some of you, I recommend that you consider using a real person as a starting point.
Large multi-million dollar businesses can devote the resources to the surveys, interviews, analytics, and other steps necessary for thorough persona creation.
But what if you’re a small business and don’t have the time or resources to do all that?
Don’t tell anyone, but you can cheat.
Don’t read this either: two steps to define a target segment
So you’ve read the warnings above, but you’re ready to ignore them and forgo you chance at a Super Duper Marketing Research award (application fee $899, not counting the cost of the awards dinner).
Without further ado, here are Bredemarket’s two steps to define a target segment.
Start with a real person.
If you read above, you realize that this method has severe problems, especially if you skip the second step altogether. By starting your focus with a real person, you could inadvertently create marketing text that emphasizes individual eccentricities that are relatively unimportant.
Is your content true north, or magnetic north?
But if you use your smarts to adjust and generalize the original person, you have a quick and dirty way to create your persona.
Rather than collecting extensive survey results and deriving an artificial persona from those results, you start with a real person.
For example, let’s say that my company Bredemarket is targeting local businesses that need content or proposal creation.
I could start with a real local person who could use Bredemarket’s services, and then adjust that real biography and behavioral attributes as necessary to remove the oddities.
Or I could start with a non-local person and adjust as necessary to make the person a local person, filling in biographical and behavioral details as needed.
Either way, the end product is a quick and dirty persona that Bredemarket can use to target local businesses.
But what do professional marketers do in reality?
But are quick and dirty personas too dirty to use? Shouldn’t we stick to professional marketing techniques and create fictitious personas?
For example, when you create your Rosa Cho persona, how do you depict the persona? Do you use an illustration, or do you use an image of a real person?
A real photo is obviously a terrible thing to use, because it is based on a real individual and ignores all of the research that you performed to create the rest of the persona.
And illustrations can be fallible, since chances are that they don’t incorporate all of your research either. (Does the median 34 year old freelancer from Seattle really look like the illustration? Or does the illustration more accurately depict a 35 year old from Tacoma?)
Let’s face it: persona creation is not merely a science, but also an art. And sometimes you may take artistic license. This content marketing expert gives you permission to do so.
TL;DR Do what you want
There are valid arguments for a 4 step, 9 step, or 96 step (heh) persona creation process.
And there are valid arguments for just winging it.
The important thing is to target somebody when creating content, or having someone create content for you.
Which is why Bredemarket asks customers who their target audience is in the first place. It’s all in Bredemarket’s most recent e-book; read this post to find out how to download the e-book.
This gave me an opportunity to revisit the topic and add critical information on wildebeests, George (H.W.) Bush, and Yogi Berra.
But more importantly, it allows me to share my thoughts with a wider audience.
If you missed the October blog post, I state that there are six critical questions that your content creator must ask before creating content These questions apply whether your content creator is a consultant, an employee at your company, and you yourself.
The e-book discusses each of these six questions:
And as I note in the e-book, that’s just the beginning of the content creation process.
Whether you intend to use Bredemarket as your content creator, use someone else as your content creator, or create your own content, the points in this e-book are helpful. They can be applied to content creation (case studies, white papers, blog posts) or proposal work, and apply whether you are writing for Inland Empire West businesses or businesses anywhere.
And if you read the e-book, you’ll discover why I’m NOT sharing it on the Bredemarket Identity Firm Services LinkedIn page and Facebook group.
You can download the e-book here. And you can be a content marketing expert also.
If you want a content marketing expert to write for your business, do you just say “Write this, and make it viral”?
Six words of instruction will not result in great content.
Even if you just say “Write this” and leave off the viral part, this will not work either.
You and your content creator have to have a shared understanding of what the content will be.
For example, as I indicated in a previous post, you and your content creator have to agree on the tone of voice to use in the content. The content creator could write something in a tone of voice that may not match your voice at all, which would mean that the content would sound horribly wrong to your audience.
Imagine a piece for financial executives written in the style of Crazy Eddie. Ouch.
And that’s just one thing that could go wrong when you and your content creator are not on the same…um, page.
Bredemarket’s content creation process includes six questions
When Bredemarket works with you to create content, I use a content creation process. I’ve revised my original content creation process severaltimes, and I’m sure I’ll revise it more as I work with more of you.
But as of today, Bredemarket’s kickoff meetings with clients begin with six high-level questions that set the scene for everything that follows.
Question One: Why?
As I noted in my Simon Sinek post, the “why?” question needs to be answered before any other question is asked.
Before you ask a content creator to write a case study about how your Magnificent Gizmo cures bad breath, you need to understand why you’re in the good breath business in the first place. Did you have an unpleasant childhood experience? Were you abandoned at the altar? WHY did you care enough to create the Magnificent Gizmo in the first place?
(As I write this post, I’m going to look at how each of these six questions can be answered for the post itself. After all, it’s fair to ask: Why does Bredemarket do what it does? Short answer: because I write. You can pry my keyboard out of my cold dead hands. For the longer answer, read the “Who I Am” page on the Bredemarket website.)
Question Two: How?
You also need to make sure your content creator can explain how you do what you do. Have you created your own set of algorithms that make breath good? Do you conduct extensive testing with billions of people, with their consent? How is your way of doing things superior to that of your competitors?
Once these are clear in your mind, you’re ready to talk about the “what.” As Sinek notes, many people start with the “what” and then proceed to the “how,” and may or may not even answer the “why.” But when you ask the “why” first and the “how” second, your “what” description is much better.
(Again, you may be asking what Bredemarket does. I craft the words to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences. For additional clarification, read “What I Do,” which also notes what I don’t do. Sorry, finger/face/ID document vendors.)
Question Four: Goal?
Once the Golden Circle is defined, we’re ready to dig a little deeper into the specific piece of content you want. We’re not ready to talk about page count and fonts, yet, though. There’s a few other things we need to settle.
What is the goal of the content? Simple awareness of the product or service you provide? Or are you ready for consideration? Or is it time for conversion? The goal affects the content dramatically.
(In the case of this post, the goal is primarily awareness, but if you’re ready for conversion to become a paying customer, I won’t turn you away.)
Question Five: Benefits?
I’ve written ad nauseum on the difference between benefits and features, so for this question five about benefits I’ll just briefly say that written content works best when it communicates how the solution will help (benefit) the customer. A list of features will not make a difference to a customer who has specific needs. Do you meet those needs? Maintain a customer focus.
(Bredemarket’s primary benefit is focused content that meets your needs. There are others, depending upon your industry and the content you require.)
Question Six: Target Audience?
This one is simple to understand.
If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing for kids who buy lollipops in convenience stores, you’ll write one way.
If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing to the convenience stores who could carry your lollipops, you’ll write another way.
Now sometimes content creators get fancy and create personas and all that (Jane Smith is a 54 year old single white owner of a convenience store in a rural area with an MBA and a love for Limp Bizkit), but the essential thing is that you understand who you want to read your content.
(This particular piece is targeted for business owners, executives, directors, and managers, especially in California’s Inland Empire, who have a need to create focused content that speaks to their customers. The target audience not only affects how I am writing this post, but also how I will distribute it.)
What if you use a different content creator?
I am forced to admit that not everyone chooses Bredemarket to create their content.
Maybe you create your content yourself.
Maybe you already have access to content creators.
Or maybe you have a limited budget and can only pay a penny a word to your content creator. Let’s face it, a five dollar blog post does sound attractive.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these six questions. I did publish them, after all, and they’re based on questions that others have asked.
If you create your own content, ask yourself these six questions before you begin. They will focus your mind and make your final content better.
If you have someone else create your content, make sure that you provide the answers for your content creator. For example, if you seek a content creator on Upwork or Fiverr, put the answers to these questions in your request for quotes. Experienced writers will appreciate that you’re explaining the why, how, what, goal, benefits, and target audience at the very beginning, and you’ll get better quotes that way. If someone knows your target audience is crime scene examiners, then you’ll (hopefully) see some quotes that describe the writer’s experience in writing for crime scene examiners.
And if you provide the answers to those six questions and your content creator says, “That doesn’t matter. I write the same for everyone,” run away.
Maybe the resulting content will even go viral. (The good viral.)