But I digress, so let’s get back on track!
I’ve been kind of fascinated with this topic lately. So I’ve decided to do a bit more research and find some truly inspiring stuff, which I can then expand upon and share here. So, the ideas themselves are something I’ve stolen from the likes of Neil Patel, Forbes magazine, Jeremy Clarkson, John Jantsch, and a bunch of other people.
1. Be a true-blood guy (or gal)
No, wait. This doesn’t sound right.
Anyway, what I mean is that there’s a general belief circulating around that we should always be nice to all people (no matter what they say about us) and that if we have a critical – yet not fact-based – opinion, we should keep it to ourselves.
This works against the one thing we probably all want to achieve – getting our personal brand across.
For the life of me, I can’t remember who said it, but it was something to the tune of:
‘People come for information, they stay for personality.’ – Who said this?
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And the problem is that if you want to be all things to all people, you will probably end up attracting no one.
For example, here’s what he once said about Sarah Jessica Parker:
“People think ‘oh she must be pretty, she’s on television’. She isn’t – she looks like a boiled horse.
Did he offend some people? Probably so. Did he make thousands of people around the world laugh? For sure.
2. Create products and give them away for free
Let’s take a look at what happened with Quick Sprout a while ago. Previously, the site’s homepage was the blog (I think). Now, there’s an online SEO tool.
And yes, he did make it profitable eventually. Neil has a great funnel set up in the background. In short, everyone who visits the tool is also exposed to Neil’s Pro membership.
Although Neil is clearly far ahead, I can mention a small success of my own too. It’s my Social Share Starter plugin. Since its release, it has generated hundreds of new subscribers and opened a couple of doors for me in terms of WordPress software projects.
“Free is the most powerful word in the English language.”
3. Break the pattern by publishing unusual content
And don’t get me wrong, in a way, predictability is a good thing, especially if your content is predictably exceptional.
However, introducing something new every once in a while and breaking the pattern, so to speak, can work even better.
Here are some ideas:
- If you’re known for publishing ultra-long content, publish an image post with a quote on it and no additional text whatsoever. See how it goes, how many shares it gets, and so on. Like this one:
- If you’re mainly publishing text-only posts, try investing in an infographic.
- If you’re publishing just your own perspective on things, try inviting someone who has a reputation in your niche and do an interview.
- Need more ideas? Try either of these 52.
The idea behind this is to check if what you’re currently doing really is the best use of your publishing calendar, and if maybe your audience would actually resonate with something else even more.
This knowledge is something you can only get through experimentation. No case study on the web will give you reliable data whether you should or shouldn’t try Technique X in your content game.
4. Focus on just the essential info and invoke curiosity
As it turns out, this doesn’t always work. Actually scratch that; it rarely works. The thing is that people don’t really need all that information when making a purchase decision.
For example, consider the following. Do you know what components your iPhone was built with? Do you know what’s the processor, who’s the RAM manufacturer, how many mAh does the battery have, and so on?
Most likely, unless you’re an iPhone freak, you have no clue, yet you still wanted to buy it when it came out.
And it’s not just me talking here. Neil Patel reports this to be the case as well. At one point, he shared that changing the landing page on his private site from long-form, in-depth content, to just the essential short form has given him 318 percent more leads.
5. Dedicate just as much time to writing your headlines as you do to writing your content
It’s a known fact in the world of publishing that headlines account for around 80 percent of a given publication’s success.
What this means in plain English is that headlines are more important than content. And it makes sense when you look at it.
At the end of the day, if your headline isn’t a success, no one will even get to your actual content.
So here’s what I encourage you to do:
This is not my idea, and to tell you the truth I was also shocked when I first saw it.
The reasoning behind it is that writing the first 5 headlines is ultra-easy. Writing the next 10 gets difficult, but you can still get through it. However, writing that final 10 will get you bleed through your fingertips.
It’s those final 10 headlines that can give you some gems – things that are not obvious at all. Things that you’d have never come up with if you hadn’t used all the common ideas on the first 15 headlines.
The secret is that people tend to resonate with things that break certain patterns.
6. Steal ideas from Reddit
Reddit is an extraordinary source of content ideas that are interesting to people at this very moment. Now, I don’t encourage you to steal content in any shape or form. But I do encourage you to steal ideas. So if something works on Reddit, maybe it can work in some other form on your site as well.
Here’s how you can implement this:
- Look for things that are fast growing in popularity.
- Try identifying something about them that you would be able to do or present better.
- Release your own version.
I know that such a description is a bit generic, but I leave it up to you to find exact applications.
7. Invest in relationships with potential clients by doing free work
The big problem here is trust, or lack thereof.
In other words, people don’t really trust your expertise enough to pay you for your services if you’re new to the market. To overcome this, you can do either of two things:
On the other hand, if you start offering your services for free, people will understand that it’s not a permanent thing, and that you are likely to ask for money pretty soon.
However, what’s different now is that you’ve already built trust with them and proven that you can deliver results. This entitles you to ask for higher rates.
8. Be a show off
Showing off is a very interesting marketing and promotion method. On one hand, it’s very easy to appear like a jack ass who’s just bragging about a new watch or some other gizmo. But on the other hand, it can reinforce your message and present a specific persona that resonates with your audience’s wants.
This can work especially well if you’re in the coaching business, or in consulting. The idea is to make people think, even subconsciously, “Hey, this guy has what I want to have. Maybe if I listen to what he has to say, I’ll get there too!”
Whether it’s a valid thought or not is another thing.
9. Reuse your existing results
But there’s always a small set of posts or articles that did exceptionally well and gave you big recognition. Maybe they even continue bringing consistent traffic through Google today.
So first of all, by all means, go out and find those articles. And then reuse them as a marketing tool.
A man much wiser than me once said that it’s easier to improve something that already works, than it is to build up something that doesn’t.
I couldn’t agree more!
Here’s what you can do exactly to reuse some of your best content:
10. Guest post with a purpose
Here’s what I mean. Every day, I see tens of guest posts where people link to their generic websites (from the bio boxes) or social media profiles. I’m sure this gets them some traffic and recognition. But at the same time, they’re leaving a lot on the table.
(I need to be honest with you and admit that I was just as guilty of doing this as anyone else.)
In short, it’s all about these four main elements (in that order):
- Picking what you want to promote with your guest post.
- Deciding what you can write about to pre-qualify the people that are your target group.
- Figuring out how you can point them to what you want to promote.
- Finding the best place where to publish your post to reach the exact target group you’re looking for.
The main reason why guest posts are great for this sort of promotion is because you get to position yourself in front of any audience you wish. You just need to find the right website. There aren’t many advertising methods that give you this opportunity.
11. Try local offline marketing
What’s even better, oftentimes, they are really cheap to execute too. Literally, all you need is some creativity and a bit of time on Saturday.
Here are some of the cleverer things I heard people doing:
12. Find, and get on board with existing giveaways
There’s nothing holding you back from picking one product from your own offer, and adding it to the giveaway. That way, you’re piggybacking off the giveaway’s popularity by itself. It requires almost no marketing on your part whatsoever.
Of course, the difficult part is contacting the giveaway’s managers and convincing them to include your stuff.
13. Supervise everything
In today’s world, countless experts preach the idea of outsourcing and finding other people to do some of your tasks for you. (By the way, I’m generally preaching it too.)
But the thing we need to keep in mind is that we shouldn’t ever let anyone take over a whole department of our business for us.
This is a relationship very easy to lose if you disconnect yourself from the publishing process later on. Whoever you hire, will always have their own ideas and ways of handling things. And while you do want to get the most out of their expertise and skill, you need to be very careful not to lose that unique touch that only you can provide.
And this goes for all kinds of tasks you’re doing in your business.
So all of my rambling boils down to this:
14. Be persistent
(If hard work paid off, slaves would be the richest people on the planet.)
Jordan was not accepted on his high school basketball team. This may not sound like a big deal, but what it actually means is that he was not a talented kid. I mean, clearly, no trainer in the world would say no to a talented young player who wants to be on their team.
Yet despite not being talented he became the biggest star in basketball history.
He did it because he was persistent.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Let me end this post with this. If you don’t believe me, believe Michael Jordan.
Be persistent. Fail forward. Fail to succeed.
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