How you can make money in content marketing

Now, I work with a lot of clients who are desperate to get into content marketing. They may leverage traditional advertising for their businesses, but they know that content marketing is an important part of that mix and they want to do it. They see the value in it. It’s been proven. They want it, they need it, but they don’t have the time and they don’t have the people, and a lot of times they don’t have the expertise or the knowledge or the resources in order to do what it takes to produce content and to publish it on a calendar very regularly, which is what it takes to actually be successful with content marketing. Now, a lot of you who are watching today, entrepreneurs, creative professionals, probably use content marketing for your own businesses, right?

You probably do Instagram and Facebook and you do Twitter and you produce videos or you do writing and you do blog posts. You use the content for your business and you have skills in order to do that. You may have audio editing skills or you may have video editing skills. You have writing skills. You have design and thumbnail and graphic and infographic producing skills. You use those skills for your business and they benefit your business, or if you don’t, you’re probably working on doing it. There’s a number of different ways you can go about this. If you have a larger agency or a group of people that you work within your business, you can become or offer a full suite, a full-service content marketing services to clients, small and medium-sized businesses. For example, this e-Signature company providers high-quality create video content to its users through their blog.

You can develop a content strategy, content plans, content calendars. You can actually develop the content itself and publish it for the company. Very full-service offering. But here’s the thing, if you have content marketing skills around a particular niche, you can also use that as a key to unlock, to begin a relationship with a client business to help them in the places where they need help, where they don’t have that particular skill or that particular expertise, that internal knowledge in order to produce the content they so desperately want to do.

This is a way in the door, it’s a foot in the door that you can use by taking your content marketing skills, whatever those skills may be, and marketing them and proposing them and pitching them to small to medium-sized businesses to help them produce their content. Now, here’s the thing, you don’t have to be a full-service content marketing agency and check out this link in order to engage with companies and make money at doing content marketing and leveraging those skills that you have around content marketing to help these companies and to make money. You can approach or pitch companies to say, “I’d gladly do your podcast editing. I’d gladly do your video editing. I’d gladly post all of your content on a regular calendar onto Twitter or Facebook or whatever that is.”

You can kind of carve off an aspect of what they need around content marketing that they don’t know how to do or don’t have the time or resources to do and make that a part of your business. It’s a great business opportunity. I’m seeing it out there everywhere with clients that I’m coming into contact with. They don’t have the time, the resources, the people, the knowledge to do content marketing, and they are hungry and desperate to do it. If you can use that desperation that they have in order to get your foot in the door, even if it’s to offer a particular skill that you have to help them out, they will be very receptive to that message.

How To Find Your First Client, or More Clients

A lot of people think, if they build a website, they will come, or if they put up their portfolio on Behance, clients are just going to magically show up. Well, I got a harsh business reality check for you. That’s not going to happen. People say, “I don’t want to be salesy. I don’t want to have to cold call. Reaching out to people makes me really uncomfortable, or they’re not going to want to hear from me.” Well, here’s another reality check. Businesses expect to be pitched. They expect to have people reach out to them for business. That’s how business works. So they’re not going to take it personally that you are reaching out to them for business. What really matters is how you’re reaching out to them and where you’re reaching out to them, how you’re going about it. So in this blog post, what I want to share with you are 11 ways to find your first or more clients. So whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, pushing your products and services on a stranger is not going to be your most favorite activity. It certainly is not mine. But there are two ways of going about it. Number one is you going out to them, you approach them. I like to call that active pursuit. Number two is getting them to come to you. What I like to call an active attraction. Now you’ll notice that the word passive doesn’t figure into this at all. There is no passivity in getting new business. You have to do something to get new business. And this blog post focuses on an active pursuit that can lead to attraction. 1: Reach out to family and friends.

If you want to reach out to your clients in a meaningful way. You don’t want to send a form letter. You don’t want to send something really impersonal. You want to include a personal note, and you want to describe the kind of work that you do, and also the type of work that you want to get, and the type of companies that you want to attract. You have to tell them and describe to them how they can help you. What do you want? Do you want referrals? Do you want them to share a message on social media? What it is that you want them to do for you. You have to make it easy for them to do it too. So if you can provide them with a little snippet of writing, or a little tweet, or whatever that is that they could share, they could send out in an email to their contacts, which will help them share your services to other people. And then always make sure to include a really sincere thank you. Examples of the type of people you can send it to our true family and friends, or you could send it to people you know from organizations you’re involved in, like a church, or an association, or a club, or a sports team you play on. You could send it to old coworkers, or old school alumni. There are all sorts of people that you can send this sort of personal email to. 2: Search Craigslist, or search local Facebook groups.

Don’t just list your services, but look for people who are looking for your types of services. You can also, on Craigslist, branch out. So just not looking in the city that you live in, but other cities as well. There should be no barriers to who you do business with. You can also look at neighborhood Facebook groups or the chamber of commerce websites. There’s a number of places that you can look for, for people who are looking for your types of services. 3: Send a LinkedIn message.

You can either send direct messages to people you’re connected with, or you can pay for InMail to connect with and send messages to people who aren’t in your connection circle. You want to make sure you keep it short and to the point, and you describe what it is that you do. You might want to also include a link of some sort of interesting comment or some sort of valuable information that could pique their interest. And then also, you always want to remember at the end to say, “If you aren’t interested, is there any way you could forward this to someone who you think might be or respond back with someone I might connect, who you think might be interested in my services?”. Always kind of try to extend the net in any kind of communication that you have. 4: Actively participate in online forums.

So this could be Facebook groups, or LinkedIn forums, or websites, or communities, or blogs. You don’t want to just be passive. You want to be active. You don’t want to be a lurker. You want to really get involved. You want to ask questions. You want to help answer other people’s questions. One of the things that I’ve found to be really effective is to offer up a freebie. Offer up a free website audit, or a free copywriting audit, or a free design audit of their brand identity. It gives people a reason to engage with you, and everyone wants something for free. When I was part of a very large online mastermind community, one of the first things I did in the forums to meet a lot of people and to get attention, honestly, was I offered up a free website audit, a free brand design audit. And a lot of people took me up on it. It gave me an opportunity to meet people, gave me an opportunity to learn more about their businesses. And it also gave me an opportunity to showcase my expertise on this larger kind of format forum. And, to tell you the truth, it brought me a lot of business. So this sort of thing can really help build your client list, either to get your first clients or to get new clients. 5: Use must-open email subject lines.

When you’re sending out emails, you want to pay really close attention to your subject line. You want to make sure you’re creating an openable subject line, something that’s really enticing. Like something you would use in the forum that I mentioned in number four was, “I’d like to give you a free website audit,” or, “Can I send you this cool PDF?” And then offer them up some sort of freebie, or lead magnet. It’s a conversation starter. It’s a way to start developing that relationship, and it’s a way to get them to engage with you. And the first engagement is just opening that email and possibly hitting reply. So making sure that you have openable subject email lines is really critical. 6: Give a free seminar or a mini-training course.

Undoubtedly there are continuing education places in your vicinity. So that could be a school, or a university, or some sort of learning center, or even coworking spaces sometimes host these things. Offer to give a free seminar, or free training course, or extremely low-cost one, and then talk about something that you know about, something that you can offer up as a service when you offer your goods and services to people. That could be how to improve your Facebook page, or how to write better tweets, or how to use color better on your website, or how to take better photographs. 7: Give a mini-training course.

People will come, you’ll be able to expand your network, meet new people who might be interested in that thing, and you’re given the opportunity to kind of exhibit your expertise in that. The great thing about it is that a lot of people will learn about it, but they’ll eventually really not want to do it for themselves, and they’ll want to hire you to do it. So it’s an awesome way to develop new business. 8: Guest post on websites where your clients hang out.

Websites are always looking for more content, so it gives you the opportunity to exhibit your expertise, and it also, you’re showing up in a place where people are not usually coming in contact with you. So you just want to reach out via email from the contact page of whatever the website is to the person who manages that website and then pitch them on doing some guest posting. Keep it really short. Possibly give them examples of the types of articles that you would write or articles you’ve written in the past. And I guarantee you, it’s a great way to get out there to a whole new range of people and potential clients. 9: Twitter.

A lot of people don’t take advantage of the search capabilities of Twitter. But if you search for phrases that people would be using, who are the type of people who would be wanting your goods and services, you can locate people to start relationships and conversations with. For instance, if you’re a business consultant, you might search for a phrase like, I need to start my own business, or even, I hate my job, whatever that is. You can search and you’ll come up with people’s tweets who are posting these questions, and then you can reach out to them with direct messages, and either offer help, offer answers to their questions or pitch them with your services. Designers might look for phrases like, I need a logo. Before I did this blog post, I actually just did that. I searched for it, just to see what would come up, and there was a whole range of people who were looking for new logos. You can reach out to them directly and offer your services. One thing I would recommend, though, is before you reach out to them directly, just check out their profile, see if they’re legit, vet them a little bit, look at their website to make sure they’re someone you would actually want to be reaching out to. 10: Share something of value that’s easy for other people to share.

So for instance, you might want to share an infographic, or a mini ebook PDF, or a listicle, or something like that. You want to make it easy for people to share it. You want to share it on social and then invite other people to share it more broadly. Things like infographics have a tendency to get shared very widely. When you create something like that and put it out into the world, you want to make sure that you brand it. You want to make sure that you put your name, your business name, your contact information on the JPEG itself. So as it gets shared around the web, people are going to know who to contact, or who was the smart person who came up with that thing, and that’s a great way to do business development. 11: Advertising.

Advertising still works. And really, when it comes down to it, you have to spend money to make money. The good news is that you don’t have to spend $5,000 for a full-page magazine ad anymore these days. You can spend $5 a day on Facebook and make an impact on your advertising. You can advertise on Google AdWords. Spend as much or as little as you want. You can advertise on Craigslist. You can advertise on online magazines, or on blogs, or websites. Also, locally, you can advertise on local chamber of commerce websites. It’s really cheap to do that and they really welcome it. And then you can do the physical stuff, right? You can do flyers. You can leave your business cards in businesses around where you live. You can create swag. You can do key chains and fridge magnets and koozies with your brand name on it. Whatever it is, you can create advertising and should create advertising, and take that active role in pursuing new business. And finally, I’d like to ask you a favor. If you could, down in the comments below, leave any ideas that you use for active pursuit of new business that I might not have covered in this blog post. I’d really appreciate it, and I know the rest of the subscribers and tribe and community that follow my blog post would really appreciate it too.

5 Tips to Get a Strong Financial Start in Your 20s

So you’ve graduated from your dream school and have a crisp diploma to show for all your hard work. Congratulations! Your job starts next week, and your parents are both excited (and sad) for you to leave home. You’re ready to take on the world. But you’re a bit worried, too. You have to “adult” now.

How are you ever going to make it? The reality now is likely that you’re young, broke, and in debt. But five or ten years down the road, this can be just a dot in the past. The good news is that you absolutely can survive — and thrive! — in these early years starting out on your own. The bad news is, it will be hard at times.

To help you get started on your journey, here are five tips to help you get a strong financial start in your 20s:

Start Budgeting
Creating and balancing a budget is the best way to watch where your money is going. It also helps you stop running out of money before your next paycheck. So don’t balk at the idea of a budget; it’s not hard at all.

Here’s a quick run-through on how to create your budget:
1: Write down your income. This includes money from your jobs and side gigs.
2: Write down your overall debt. Include credit card debt, car payments, and student loans.
3: Write down your monthly expenses. For costs like auto or life insurance, divide the annual amount by 12 to come up with how much you’ll need to set aside each month.
4: Subtract the non-negotiable items (rent, food, transportation, utilities).
5: Subtract minimum payments on each of your debts.
6. With what’s left over: First, make payments against your debts (highly advised!) and second, build a fund for important, but not urgent, expenses you’ll certainly encounter, like a new winter coat or a new phone.

At first, you might not have enough to fully fund all your categories. That’s when the sacrifices and juggling come in. Your hair-care budget might have to drop from $50 to $25; eating out might need to be eliminated. Cut out whatever nonessentials you carry to in order to help balance your budget.

It will take some time to get used to budgeting. But stick with it, revising budget categories as necessary, and before long you’ll probably feel like you got a pay raise. Use any extra money to pay down your debts as fast as possible.

Pay Yourself First
One day you’ll want to retire, and the best time to start saving is today. Make it a goal to save at least 15% of your income in a retirement account, like a 401(k) or a Roth IRA. Contribute one or two percent this month, then double it next month. Take baby steps to work your way up to the full 15% of your income. Then continue doing that for the rest of your career. As your income goes up, so does the amount you save. Invest in high-performing index funds for the next 40 years, and you could be a millionaire by the time you retire.

Live Frugally
Renting a small apartment is usually the cheapest and easiest route for most 20-somethings. Find a two or three-bedroom apartment and sublet the rooms to others to cut costs. Or, alternatively, find someone else who’s already doing this and move into their place.

For those who can’t wait to be a homeowner, consider house hacking. Buy a cheap, multi-unit home that needs some TLC, rent out a dumpster for tearing out the old, outdated carpet, refinish the floors, and update the paint scheme. Then fill up the extra rooms with well-vetted tenants whose rent pays your mortgage. If you do this with a few properties over the next few years, you could end up with a nice rental portfolio by the time you head into your 30s.

Build or Improve Your Credit
By now, you know your credit score plays a role in your ability to get an auto and home loan. It also determines the interest rate on your credit card balance. But did you know your insurance premiums and potential ability to rent (and sometimes even your hiring status) also depend on this three-digit number? It’s true. It has been found that there’s a correlation between a high score and one’s ability to be a responsible driver or tenant.

So follow these five tips to begin building and improving your credit:

1: Establish and maintain a long, strong credit history.Open a credit card now, use it wisely, and pay it off each month.
2: Pay your bills early or on time. Not only do late payments incur fees, but also, each one registers as a ding against your credit score.
3: Pay the minimum
4: Monthly payment if you can’t pay the whole amount.
5: Don’t max out your card. Your credit score is partially based on your debt-to-income ratio. Having too much debt compared against your income level isn’t good for your credit score.
6: Check your credit report regularly. There could be mistakes on your report, so request free credit reports from the three credit reporters each year. Take the necessary action to get any incorrect items removed.

Learn New Skills
Your education shouldn’t end the day you leave college. Learning a new skill can help you earn more in the workplace, get promoted, or take advantage of extra opportunities that others don’t get. Learning a foreign language could net you a high-paying expat assignment, and obtaining a hard-to-pass certification can lead to being promoted when the competition is strong. Here are some skills that might help you climb the career ladder:
1: Project management
2: Foreign language
3: CPR training or health- and safety-related courses
4: Computer coding
5: Leadership development
6: Certifications relevant to your industry

You probably know at least a few people who are five to ten years past college and still struggling to keep up with bills. Taking action on the above steps is the best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. There are plenty of aspects of life that you can’t control — but usually way more that you can control. You owe it to your future self to get your financial life on the right track now, so the going will be easier later on.