Welcome to the WP Elevation podcast “Best Of” series where we dig into the archives to bring you the best golden nuggets and business principals from over the last few years. Yes, we even looked at the metrics to find the most popular podcasts so if you have missed a show or are a fairly new subscriber, you will love this!
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Are you struggling to create new business for yourself as a WordPress consultant? If you can relate, stick around. Our guest today, Joe Pulizzi, knows how to create more business than you can handle! You will see why this WP Elevation podcast was one of the most listened to! There is SO much gold in here.
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A Bit About Joe
Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing evangelist, speaker, author and founder of Content Marketing Institute which is the leading content marketing educational resource for enterprise level brands. He writes one of the most influential content marketing blogs in the world, and also writes for Entrepreneur.com and LinkedIn.
Tune in at the 5-minute mark to find out more about Joe’s background.
Stepping Away from Working with “the Man”
Joe spent time cutting his teeth in the marketing industry at Penton Media, the largest independent business publisher in North America. While there, he ran the content marketing group and spent a lot of time working with customers who didn’t want to go the traditional advertising route for their businesses and so he decided to go out on his own.
Joe put together a 40-page strategic business plan by researching and approaching mentors who were business owners. However, once he started his company, he never looked at it again!
What he learned from this:
- Write down your goals and review them almost every day
- What are your business goals, family goals and spiritual goals?
- Check that you are on target
- Ask yourself “is what I am going to do today going to help accomplish these goals on time?”
The act of writing it down and making it real is important. As far as a business plan goes, perhaps that isn’t as important!
Own Your Category and Be the Leading Expert
Dan Kennedy once said, “If you want to own a category, the best thing you can do is to invent that category”, and that is exactly what Joe did.
The term “Content Marketing” used to be called “Custom Publishing” or “Custom Media” when Joe started out in 2000, but nobody was interested or liked those titles. He knew he had to use another term especially to sell the idea to marketers who needed to know that the term was actually relevant to them.
Joe isn’t sure if he coined the term “Content Marketing” but he definitely was the one who got the term out there.
His advice is that if there is some ambiguity around the thing that you’re doing, it’s completely ok to say “this is what we are calling it now”. Hubspot did the same thing with the term “inbound marketing”.
Another important piece of advice he has is to make sure you are differentiating yourself by telling a different story than everyone else.
If you are in an industry with a lot of other competitors (hello WordPress consultants!), how are you different from the next guy? What’s your story? A lot of people find their story by niching down to a smaller audience. It’s counterintuitive, but you’ll build authority much faster that way.
The goal is to build an audience, they will then trust you which will increase sales but it won’t happen immediately, it takes time.
The Business Model and Sponsorship
50% of the Content Marketing Institute’s focus is actually the event that they run “Content Marketing World” which they hold all over the world. The webinars, consulting and training are the things that lead to the events.
With their events, 70% of their revenue comes from registration and 30% from sponsorship. In order for events to work you need the ecosystem of the leaners and the tech providers to be there. You are helping the sponsors too, as you have built the audience and you have the ability to put that company in front of that audience.
I want to be the octopus of content. I want to wrap our customers in so much wonderful content that they would never think of going anywhere else for their education @JoePulizzi on WPE podcast
Creating Valuable Content
- Every bit of content you put out needs to be valuable. If you’re selling something in the blog, it isn’t going to be successful.
- You need to own your own audience by having an email list. If you build your audience on social media, you don’t own that, and it can be taken away from you at any stage if they make changes. Email subscription is at the top of the hierarchy here.
Wise Words on Finding Your Niche
- Find the sweet spot between some skill area that you have and your passion point.
- Content Tilt. You have to move that area in such a way that it positions you to be telling a different story. This way you won’t get lost within the millions of others who are blogging about it.
- Go smaller. Market to the little audience and then you can still take on other work if it comes your way.
- Build the base audience and then monetise the base.
Gold Nugget Take-Aways
- Position yourself as the leading expert in some informational niche and build an audience.
- Be the leading expert in something.
- Go small. Market to a small audience, build your base, then you can charge whatever you want. It takes about 18 months if you do it right.
- Set proper expectations with a client and put those into the agreement.
- Get referrals by giving your customers something to talk about.
- To differentiate yourself, tell a different story than anyone else, especially if you have a lot of competitors.
There is so much more to this episode with Joe so don’t miss it! Be sure to tune in to hear all the incredible insights and wisdom Joe shares.
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