I didn’t have the time on Thursday to answer @MadalynSklar‘s #TwitterSmarter questions because I was working. I hope you don’t mind Madalyn, but I’ve answered them here; I thought it’d be clearer for you?
Q1: Where should small biz owners start focusing their attention on networking with content marketing?
# It’s got to start with the small business owners understanding what their target audience’s requirements are, and then being where they hang out! It all depends on the type of business, and what the audience’s needs are: Typically, it might be in a problem solving capacity (customer services) within a specialist forum!!!
Q2: Why should professionals use content marketing to build relationships with others in their industry?
# Building relationships with others in the hairdressing industry opens doors at one end of the spectrum and educates at the other. Obviously it’s very worthwhile – Everyone usually benefits.
Q3: What are some key similarities between content marketing and networking?
# The lines are blurred, but when I write a blog post or share an image it starts a conversation, reminds my clients I’m still breathing and that maybe the should give me a call, for me the key word is conversation. And they are both ‘on message.’ [by-the-way, I liked the business card metaphor]
Q4: What are a few tactics for networking with content marketing?
# Collaborate with others who use/share Your content to add value to Their related product or output.
Q5: Is content marketing a cost-effective solution to expanding a Professional’s network?
# Content Marketing, IMHO, is the simple, free, organic method of pointing people to YOUR hub on the internet. And like all organic methods on the internet (they are usually free) the cost-effectiveness must be measured by what one is aiming to achieve – Free may end up as being V.expensive as there are many pitfalls!
Q6: How does content published online impact networking offline?
# It may act as a foot in the door, or give one the opportunity to shake someone’s hand and say, “thank you very much, here’s a box of chocs.” It may act as a catalyst to a conversation between a client/reader and a third party – Hairdressers rely on recommendations for new clients.
Q7: What are the biggest content marketing mistakes that negatively impact a professional network?
# In my opinion the biggest content marketing mistakes that negatively impact on a professional network are: not having a comprehensive marketing plan and not understanding one’s target audience – Spamming selfish bollocks comes in at a very close second!
Q8: What are 3 resources that a small business can use to learn more about networking with content?
# My two are: my dear departed friend, author and all round marketing guru Ray Willsmer; and Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, who oddly taught me about being honest about everything – not just about usability!
Q9: How should content be designed to appeal to the individuals you’re trying to connect with?
# Start off by understanding one’s target audience’s needs and marry that with one’s goal. Look at one’s business competition, then, surprisingly, ask one’s target audience for input. Of course Madalyn, this is the golden ticket question!
Q10: How do you measure if content marketing is working to develop your professional network?
# By having a defined goal and by looking at the multifarious results! But actually this may be almost impossible! Within hairdressing content marketing may be used to maintain clients, following the premise that it is more cost effective to keep clients than it is to find new clients!