I’ve spent the last few days at IMTS – the largest manufacturing show in North America.
I’ve been surveying companies about their use of Web marketing.
I’ve learned many things. But one thing is incredibly clear: If they understand the importance of search engine marketing and social media, most can’t do it because they don’t have the content.
They don’t know how to get the content and then they have no idea what to do with it if they had it.
This is what I want you to do:
- Make a list of all the companies you wrote for in your previous jobs. Or if you didn’t write for companies, pick your area of specialization, go to Google and make a list of companies in that area.
- Make a one or two page pdf that includes stats like this: (click on the image to go to the article where this infographic is located):
- Go dig around at Google Agency Edge. They have tons of resources they want agencies to use to help sell Google products. Using these resources will make you look awesome. They will help you sell yourself as well. Put some of this info in your 2 page document as well.
- Charge this: $0.15 cents a word. That’s for writing from provided material. Research, interviews, emails, and calls, are hourly. $35 an hour. This is pretty aggressive pricing. Once your content agency starts taking off and you are too busy to handle the work coming in bump your price to $0.25/word and $50/hour. A higher price will make you look like the serious professional you are. Get them on a monthly schedule where you are writing 2-4 pieces a month. In the hourly rate you will post to Twitter and Facebook. Let them know that you will manage all engagement on social media. (They hate thinking about how they are going to do that too.)
- Write their content on a blog at either a domain like: blog.theirdomain.com or theirdomain.com/blog. I don’t recommend setting up a completely different domain for their content. This content will help their overall site become more popular with the search engines. If you don’t know how to do this ask around. I guarantee one of your friends knows how to get this done. Bill separately for this work. If they already have a blog setup and it’s on their domain just use that.
- Start speaking at local small business event. Or make your own events.
- Start a content marketing blog of your own. Write on it daily about your target industries and what is going on with them from a Web marketing perspective. Get a WordPress.com site with your own domain, if you aren’t overly tech savvy. Set up your own WordPress site on your own hosting account if you are a little more tech savvy. Hostgator.com has a one click install for setting up a WordPress site.
- Start sending around your spiffy pdf about why content marketing is so important and why using you will help them dominate the search engines and social media platforms. Please note that I said WHY I did not say HOW. Don’t talk about the how unless directly asked. Talking about how you are going to do things will just confuse them into indecision. If you want to talk about how, talk about how you are going to measure their success.
- Get your PDF and business cards printed at Vistaprint. It’s as easy to use as anything you will find and it’s really cheap.
- Name your company like this: Sage Lewis Content Marketing. Just switch out my name for yours. Don’t sue me if I’m wrong here but I’m pretty sure that as long as you use your own name in your company name you don’t have to do anything else from a legal perspective. If you use a name other than your own you will have to setup a company. If things take off you should definitely do that. But don’t let it get you bogged down now.
- Get a separate checking account for your business.
- Use Paypal to send invoices and receive money. It’s really easy to use.
- Tracking: Just talk about what you accomplished over time each month.
That’s everything I can think of off-hand. I’m sure you’ll run into issues I haven’t mentioned here. But if you do just post your issue in the comments below and I’ll try to help you as much as I can.
I’m pretty sure you could do the above steps today and be promoting your company tomorrow.
Don’t over think any of this. Just do it.
If you find your dream job down the road so be it. But what else do you have to do in the next couple days. You’re out of work, remember?