The biggest problem most small businesses have with creating content is that they don’t know what to say.
The second biggest problem is that they hate to write.
Let’s talk about why neither of these “problems” actually exist and how to get started creating content that gets you more customers.
Talk about what you know
You’re still in business, so it’s safe to assume that you’re great at what you do.
Whether you’re a landscaper, plumber, dentist, lawyer, chef or any other occupation, you know a lot. In fact, you’ve probably been doing it for years and can tell us more about your specialty than we could ever ask. So, tell us!
Things that you consider basic knowledge are unknown to most of us. For example, tell us:
- Handyman: How to relight a pilot light.
- Mechanic: How to check a timing belt, jump a car, or change a tire.
- Dentist: How to teach kids to brush and floss teeth properly.
- Dance teacher: How to prevent ankle injuries.
- Swim coach: How to swim freestyle.
- Landscaper: How to choose the right plants for the season in your part of the country.
- Triathlete coach: The best places to swim, bike, and run in your city.
You get the idea. All of these things are simple to you, but not to us. In any specialty there are thousands of things to teach your audience. This makes for an infinite number of ideas to create content about.
How to pick a topic
There are thousands of things you could create content about, so how do you pick one? Start with the questions you get asked the most.
After you get the hang of it you can even start asking your customers and website visitors to send in questions. To increase your exposure, this could even turn into a weekly or monthly column in a local newspaper, magazine, or on a website.
Also take advantage of “seasonal” opportunities if they apply to your industry. For example, tell us:
- Plumber: How to prevent pipes from freezing if that’s common in your part of the country in winter.
- Accountant or financial planner: Useful tax strategies during tax season.
- Doctor: How to manage allergies during allergy season.
- Dentist: How to prevent cavities around Halloween.
- Triathlete coach: How to keep up training during the winter months.
- Mechanic: How to take care of your car in the winter.
- Hospice nurse: How to take care of patients and their families during the holidays.
You may think that seasonal opportunities don’t apply to your industry, but they usually do. Are certain times of year more busy than others? Do certain times of year cause more problems for your customers that are related (even tangentially) to your specialty? If so, tell us about it!
But I hate writing!
Then don’t write.
These days there are plenty of ways to dictate blog posts. For example, you can use your computer’s microphone to speak your tips and the computer will transcribe it for you. Most phones an even do it these days too!
There are also other forms of media like podcasts and videos that you can create. For example, the iPhone’s built-in camera makes incredible videos. There are even high quality wireless microphones that can connect to your iPhone for higher fidelity audio. The technology is out there!
For example, if you’re a handyman it’s probably a lot easier to show how to fix a leaky faucet than to write about it. You could create how-to videos for small fixes around the house and post them to YouTube (free), Vimeo (free) and on your website!
If I tell them how to do it, they won’t need me
This is the most common excuse I hear about creating this kind of content, but it’s nonsense.
For example, if you’re a handyman and creating a video about how to relight a pilot light puts you out of business, then you didn’t have much of a business anyway!
Joking aside, most people have a limit to what they’re willing to do themselves. Most of us are only willing to do the small stuff ourselves–we hire experts like you to do the complicated stuff.
Additionally, many of your how-to articles and videos will be about how to tell if an issue is serious enough to hire an expert like you. Wouldn’t you like to be their first call?
Whenever you teach, you’re providing quality, useful content. Not only will this get you more traffic to your website, but it will also position you as a knowledgeable expert and get you more customers.
I’ve never once heard anyone complain that delivering value and teaching prospective customers decreased their business.
So, what are you waiting for?