As a high value expert, there’s no better way to smooth out your cash flow and raise your value in the marketplace than content marketing. If you want to stand out from others in your field it's the easiest and most inexpensive way to do it.
In the context of experts, consultants, authors and speakers, we refer to it as 'authority marketing' because its purpose is to present you as an authority in your market.
If you want to maintain a high profile it does take a lot of time and effort and, in some cases, resources. This is why a lot of experts and authorities don’t have an active authority marketing plan in place. It’s sitting over there in the too hard basket. But you’ll be pleased to know there is a middle road you can take. In between the all out effort that high profile players put in, and the almost no effort that the majority put in, there is what we call, the Minimum Viable Presence effort, or MVP.
While maintaining a minimum viable presence may not give you a high profile, you can at least stand out from the crowd. So grab yourself a coffee and invest a few minutes to set yourself up with your MVP plan. And don’t worry about taking notes. We’ve put together a Authority Marketing Minimum Viable Presence (MVP) Cheat Sheet that you can download below. Print that out and keep it handy and you’ll have all that you need on hand.
There are three principles to keep in mind when it comes to authority marketing: 1) Be generous, 2) Be useful, and 3) Engage with others. We covered that separately in this blog post here so won’t go into too much detail on that now.
Suffice to say, if you keep the principles front of mind you should stay on course easily enough. Beyond that, there are three MVP essentials or action items that form the framework of your plan.
The centre of your authority marketing universe should be your blog. If you don’t have one then get one. Regardless of how you produce your content, written, audio, video or whatever, your blog should be home base where people (and Google!) can find you and find out about you.
Why? Because your blog is where you have the most control. Social platforms change all the time and always leave you at the mercy of the provider. It’s the same with guest posting sites like Huffington Post, or Medium or Buzzfeed.
But with a blog, you get to control the conversation. Not just the conversation with your audience, but also with the people that will lead you to your audience. Especially Google. I don’t know who said it first but “you are who Google says you are” isn’t just a platitude. And if Google knows where home base is for you online, they’ll help people find you.
As you’ll see in the next action item, it’s important to use the other platforms but use them for leverage rather than your base.
POST CONTENT ON YOUR BLOG AT LEAST ONCE IF NOT TWICE A WEEK
A-list blogger Derek Halpern from Social Triggers says he puts 20% of his effort into writing his posts and 80% into promoting them.
That’s an A-list strategy that he and others have got great results from it. If you’re only aiming for an MVP presence you don’t have to be so dedicated to the promotion side. But you’ve got to do it for sure. Even if you dial it down to 40% writing and 60% promotion you’ll still be ahead of the pack.
The folks at CoSchedule curated a bunch of data from Ahalogy, QuickSprout, LocalVox, Buffer and Constant Contact and recommend that you post according to the following frequencies. It’s easy enough to do and there are plenty of tools that can help you schedule them in advance (Hootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule, Meet Edgar).
Pinterest and Instragram may be ‘optional’ for your market so if they seem like too much effort then keep them off the list.
You may also have access to industry blogs where you can syndicate your content as well. If so make use of those too.
On top of this, you also want to be emailing to your list at least once per fortnight. That keeps you on their radar and puts you top of mind when they need services that you provide. A low or no cost option for this is Mailchimp. And if you’re serious and ultimately have A-list plans you could consider a tool like Ontraport.
POST CONTENT DAILY ON YOUR SOCIAL STREAMS USING ONE OF THE SCHEDULING TOOLS MENTIONED ABOVE. EMAIL TO YOUR LIST AT LEAST ONCE PER FORTNIGHT
How Do You Maintain a Minimum Viable Presence Through Content Marketing?
For your minimum viable presence, you can be seen in all the right places but just choose two platforms to be engaged on where you know your customers are. This keeps you aligned with the third guiding principle mentioned above.
If you’re a high value consultant or expert, your two main platforms will probably be LinkedIn plus Facebook and/or Twitter. If media exposure is important to you you might want to choose Twitter over Facebook as that’s often where journalists go to get their finger on the pulse.
Comment on other people’s posts in their streams and join LinkedIn or Facebook groups where you know your customers and peers are hanging out. And while doing this align yourself with the 1st and 2nd guiding principles of being both useful and generous.
SPEND TEN MINUTES AT LEAST THREE TIMES PER WEEK ENGAGING IN CONVERSATIONS ON SOCIAL STREAMS.
Chances are you will be a little frustrated by the amount of time you put into this versus the results you get but be open to being pleasantly surprised.
Once you get a rhythm going, the amount of time you invest into this will drop, and the results will start to show. Clients and prospective clients will have you front of mind because they are seeing you more frequently and, soon enough, the timing of their needs and your availability will sync up. Sometimes just one simple enquiry can result in a project or relationship that takes your business to the next level and above.
We’ve put together a simple cheat sheet that outlines all of the above with a few extra ninja tips thrown in. Enter your details below and we’ll get that to you straight away so you can print it up and have it on hand.