It’s 2023, and content is still king.
That’s why TikTok has blown up. That’s why Google (blogs) and YouTube (videos) are the two biggest websites in the world.
That’s why the Harvard Business Review says that content is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
And I’m here today to say that if you’re in sales, you must be creating content on a daily basis.
High-quality content, posted on a consistent basis, puts you top-of-mind for your prospects. They might not be ready to buy after your first conversation, but as you reach them over several weeks or months from every angle — from your blog, your podcast, your YouTube videos, your TikToks, etc. — they will eventually come to you when they are ready to buy.
This is the same reason why politicians have billboards and yard signs and bumper stickers — the more recognizable their name becomes, the more likely you are to vote for them. It’s basic consumer psychology at play.
Of course, content creation makes the most sense for founders and small business owners bootstrapping their startups. But it also applies to salespeople in the corporate world. If you have something to sell, it’s time to make some noise.
Why Salespeople Must Create Content
Create content and you’ll become known as a subject matter expert (SME) or authority in your field. The more you put yourself out there with quality content, the more your influence grows, and the more you’ll stand out from the crowd throughout the buyer’s journey. It pays to be a specialist in a generalist world. Your ideal buyer will find you, so long as you’re posting content to the media channels they spend their time on.
And when you become known as the go-to authority in your space, you’ll be tapped for other opportunities that will ultimately lead to more sales and success. This week I’m appearing on Bloomberg for my sales coaching expertise. This isn’t just a feather in my cap — it’s real exposure in my market. And this will ultimately lead to more deals closed. See how the positive feedback loop works when you become an expert?
Builds Brand Awareness
Big brands understand how marketing content plays into sales. That’s why McDonald’s has old-school billboards on backcountry roads, giant neon signs on the Las Vegas Strip, TV commercials, and the list goes on. They know that if you see their marketing message in different formats throughout your day, you’re more likely to get a Big Mac on your lunch break (don’t do it). Just remember … those who make the loudest noise get heard!
Strengthens Relationships with Existing Clients
Want to upsell a big account in Q3? Well good thing you’ve been posting to LinkedIn lately. Now when you reach out it won’t be “out of the blue.” Your client/prospect will have seen your name in their feed — and they may have even read and engaged with some of your content in the past few weeks. Chances are they’re already primed for your big ask.
By consistently creating and publishing content that positions you as the authority, your value increases in the eyes of your existing clients and customers. This will translate to higher lifetime value (LTV) of your accounts, and you’ll be better positioned to upsell and cross-sell additional offerings.
Creates A Living Library of Expertise!
Imagine having a library of content, created by you, searchable on the open web. When prospects Google your name — Boom! — there you are. Your website, your articles, your videos, your books, and pictures of your face. There’s no better way to brand yourself in the digital age. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to leave behind a true legacy of your work? After all, you’ve spent most of your waking hours dedicated to your craft — why not document it for future generations to see? Once it’s online, it’s not going anywhere. Use that to your advantage.
What Kind of Content Should You Create?
Start by writing on LinkedIn every day. Then begin keeping a blog, writing about the latest in your industry and speaking to the problems you solve. Get on YouTube and create videos, even if the videos are simple and low-budget. Then get on social (if it makes sense for you) like TikTok, Instagram, etc. Each of these platforms mentioned above is a search engine. People are actively searching for what it is you offer. So make sure you put yourself in the game to capture these opportunities.
These days, you can create one video or social post and upcycle it across several different platforms. For instance, you can use a tool like Hootsuite to automatically post and adapt one LinkedIn post to multiple platforms. These efficiency and productivity hacks abound in the marketing space. And so much of the publishing work can be set to autopilot. Work smart, not hard.
In the same vein, you can create your own high-impact creative assets using tools like Canva. Sit down and devote 2-3 hours each week to create a handful of on-brand images. Do it in batches so that you maximize your time and energy. And keep in mind that AI tools are hitting the market that make it easier than ever before to publish content that’s finger-clicking good.
Here are some guardrails to keep you on track. Be sure to create content that is:
- Relevant to your audience
- Thoughtful and well-conceived
- Engaging and fun to read
- Valuable and informative
- High-quality and up to your standards
- Timeless (although capitalizing on trends can work, too)
If you can’t hit all those points in everything you create, at least hit as many points as possible. Whatever you do, don’t just “create content to create content.” While I described it as making noise earlier, over time the noise should coalesce into a symphony of digital promotion and branding, not a cacophony of chaos.
The sales cycle is a long and twisted road, and you need to use every form of marketing and sales to your advantage. What you put out into the world today might catch the eye of someone two years down the road, and that someone might turn into your biggest client or customer. You just never know. But remember what Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss every shot you don’t take.” If you’re not taking shots on goal by creating content, you’re missing out on potential opportunities to increase sales, increase your income, and make a positive impact on the world.
But… you have to do the work. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. It will take daily discipline to sit down and get your creative juices flowing. But once you’re in the habit of doing this, it actually becomes a blast and a whole lot easier. Not to mention you’ll get that daily hit of dopamine as people interact with your content. There’s nothing quite like it. So get out there and become a creator. As the folks at Harvard say, it’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Until next time…