104 Reasons Content Matters: Reason #11: Content Starts Conversations

In this series, I talk about why having quality content matters even in a world that is overly saturated with information, maybe especially in a world that is overly saturated with information. With so much free information, just a Google search away, how do you stand out from your competition? The answer—valuable, original content.

Reason #11: Content Starts Conversations

How easy would it be to sell your services or products if you could sit down with every prospect and have a conversation over afternoon tea?

Think about it.

You could really get to know your client and understand all of her relevant problems. You could tailor your solution to address every one of her concerns. You could respond directly to each of her objections.

During this ideal afternoon tea and sales pitch, you could slowly build rapport before confidently making the ask at just the right moment.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of selling in this way. Selling enough to pay the bills means grouping prospects together and sending pitches via email or social media. Fortunately, technology makes reaching targeted audiences easier than ever.

But just because the method of inviting prospects into your sales funnel has changed since the bygone days of looking someone in the eye and closing the deal with a handshake, doesn’t mean conversation is no longer relevant.

In fact, in this world of 24/7 roboselling, content that starts conversations is a breath of fresh air.

So, what are some techniques you can use?

1. Ask Questions? I can see why this seems like a good idea. In face-to-face interactions, asking a question is a simple and effective way to break the ice and start a conversation. Online, though, it’s easy to ignore. I often see businesses asking questions on social media. But I rarely see others responding to the questions.

Now, it could be people aren’t answering because the questions aren’t engaging. Or the time of posting is not optimal. Or not enough people who care are seeing your question. So, if you’re going to try this technique, the best thing to do is experiment and figure out what works for your type of business.

2. Solicit Feedback. This is especially helpful for certain types of creative products. If you sell jewelry, for instance, create two styles of one item, say a pendant. Post pictures and ask your fans which pendant they prefer and why. This is a great way to get some free market research. Then build your product line based on what the people want.

3. Go Beyond the Blog. You can initiate a conversation on one platform and then move the conversation to other platforms to reach a wider audience. So, start a conversation on your blog. Borrow an excerpt for Facebook and an even shorter excerpt for Twitter.

Each medium will give you slightly different results. Twitter conversations move fast and tend to be punchier. Facebook focuses on more social interactions and LinkedIn is more professional.

4. Choose Quality. Regardless of what technique you try to get the ball rolling, make sure the content you offer is high quality. Even though you’re giving your content away, it pays to think of it as a product. Take the time to craft a compelling or provocative message. Make sure the final draft makes sense and doesn’t contain any glaring grammatical errors. Stick to high standards with your content and others will know what to expect when they work with you.

I love to create content that starts conversations. Whether you’re looking to make online or offline connections, consider how the original content you put out into the world can move others to engage with you. Feel free to reach out! I’m always up for a great conversation over coffee or tea.