When I say in my bio that I have attracted nearly 100% of my own clients through content marketing, that doesn't mean that I never go out.
I learned early on that there are two forms of marketing: passive and active. As an introvert, it's no surprise that I prefer marketing in the comfort and quiet of my home office – passive marketing activities like blogging, upgrading my website and scheduling social media updates.
I also know that to market my business I need to have real conversations with real people. Here's how my blogging efforts support me during those conversations (and vice versa):
Clients: It used to baffle me when clients would ask a question that I had already answered in a blog post. Then I remembered that they have full lives and businesses and – gasp! – don't always read my blog posts or newsletters.
Does that mean my blogging isn't working? Hardly! Do you think those clients are impressed when I have a well-written answer to their question right at my fingertips? Absolutely!
And the other side of that coin is when I'm able to take a client's questions and draft my answer in the form of a blog post – benefitting that client, as well as other people with the same concern.
Networking contacts: As I describe in this blog post about using your blog to follow up with networking contacts, conversations with other business owners are easier when I take the time to discover their blogging questions. Then I can follow up by emailing them a blog post that addresses that very concern.
Social networking contacts: When I alert my networks about new content on my blog, that helps me get the conversation started. Sharing my content is what turns social networking into business networking.
That's only the start, though. From there, it's my job (not something to outsource) to nurture my connections by responding to comments or starting new conversations about what other people are up to.
Audiences: I often use content from blog posts as the basis for my training webinars or when I speak as a guest at someone else's event. If it's a new audience, all of the content is new to them, so why not use my best material? If they're regular readers, they appreciate the reinforcement of my core message.
Referral partners: Through all of those other activities, I've built a network of people who know me, stand behind my passion for what I do, and trust that I will take good care of whoever they refer.
I stay on their minds by publishing consistently, being active on social media and by reaching out via email. By striving to produce quality content, I show them that I have expertise in a very specific area so it's clear what types of referrals would be best. Who will they think of first when someone expresses a need for blogging support?
When you put the effort into creating high-quality content for your blog, you'll feel more confident about your expert status. That confidence will shine through all of your conversations, attracting your ideal clients as well as the people who will refer them to you.