I am an Independent Advisor and Content Strategist, specializing in helping authors, writers, bloggers, and other entrepreneurs develop and implement a cohesive content strategy. We are all media producers now, forging connections over content. Don’t go into this without a strategy. Why?
Content = connection.
Your success depends on it. Here’s how I can help you.
For Small Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs:
Creating a business relies on making connections, whether you are building a product or offering a service. As an entrepreneur, you need a story that is clean, consistent, and compelling. One that generates excitement; one that carries. Your customers are your best marketers—but only if they have the right content at the right time. This can’t wait until the end-of-cycle. You have to start now.
Successful companies rely on continuous contact with customers, learning from them at each step of the process. Successful entrepreneurs know how to ask the right questions, elicit meaningful responses, and translate them into a product plan. Connection is everything to a young business; getting closer to your customer allows you to see things that others cannot.
This connection will happen around content. Make this a part of running your business. It’s not an add-on; it’s critical to your success.
You need a content strategy. You need to be able to tell your story. But more importantly, you need to empower others to tell your story too. There is no amount of marketing that you can do that will equal the power of a genuine advocate.
Content Strategy for Entrepreneurs
Building your credibility requires a clean, unified, and consistent story around your solution to the market problem. You have to start early; this is not an end-of-cycle activity.
- Story Development – A great idea is not enough. Investors pay for a story, not just a belief in the mission and the founders. Articulate the problem you are trying to solve, and create a story around your idea. The story needs to satisfy both constituencies, potential investors and potential customers.
- Marketing Strategy – How to promote yourself and your business without coming off as “self-promotional.”
- Content Marketing. I’ll help you create an overall content plan, including a content schedule and channel selection. All of it needs to be consistent and in tune with your intended audience. Let’s make it all work together in concert.
- Brand Development. Your customers will ultimately control your brand, if you are lucky. Create and test a unified story around your concept. Make it compelling and sharable.
- Web/Social Presence. Social connections are an important part of your overall content strategy and customer development strategy. I offer direct, demystifying help at any level, including account modeling.
- Content Creation – Create regular content that provides direct value to your users and supports the story/brand.
- Website Content. Are you discoverable and optimized for search? What happens once your customer arrives at your site? Don’t lose a lead due to poor content.
- Blog Writing and Editing. Critical to developing an audience and your own credibility. The time to start is now, not when your product is complete.
- Video Scripting and Production. Add a personal, get-to-know-us touch with video; great for pitches and product walk-throughs. I can help you produce audio if you are camera-shy.
- Customer Development – Define your customers, develop an ideal profile, identify the early adopters, and let them help you create your story.
- Community Development – Convert early adopters into a network of vocal brand advocates. This will not happen without a story and a strategy.
- Product Validation – Get your customers involved early to iterate quickly towards product/market fit. Rigorous research required; no white-washing or “success theater.”
- Funding Strategy – Make this a part of your marketing strategy. Angel investors are important, but crowd funding in particular can serve as concept validation.
- Pitch Development – Funding depends on being able to tell a concise and compelling story. You have one shot; let’s get it right.
- Product Presentation – Sure, you can describe your product. But can your customers describe it? They are your best marketers; make sure that they are confident and compelling in their pitch.
For Authors, Writers, Bloggers, and other Content Creators:
While you were writing, the rules changed. In your favor. That is, if you know how to harness the power of the New Tools. Your success depends on two things: creating good content and connecting with an audience. You need a strategy, and I can help you. I was a publisher for 17 years as an editor and marketer, helping textbook authors conceive, develop, produce, and propagate their ideas. I specialize in non-fiction, because non-fiction authors are educators—but I take clients of all types. I am obsessed with Good Content.
Success as an Author
Whether you intend to self-publish or get picked by a traditional publisher, the path is the same. No agent or publisher is going to look at you if you don’t come to them with proof that you are a good writer with a strong following.
How do you achieve this? Recognize that your role has changed. In the New World, you are no longer just a writer. You are a publisher, and you are an entrepreneur. Embrace those roles.
- Think like a publisher. It all starts with good content. You won’t get anywhere without content that connects with your audience. There’s a process to creating good content, one that I’ve learned by producing hundreds of projects over my long career in publishing. I can give you my knowledge, and help you think like a publisher.
- Think like an entrepreneur. You are running your own business. An author is a start-up, and a book is the product. You need a business plan, a strategy, and a framework. Successful businesses develop the product before producing it. You need to iterate, gather feedback, and build your customer base while you are producing it. I can help you think through all these issues.
How can I help authors?
Every author is different, and every audience is different. If you are ready for specific strategic help, I’m here for you.
- Goal Setting – What do you hope to achieve?
- Investment Strategy – Don’t go into this without a financial plan.
- Project Planning – Based on your goals, let’s set milestones and, yes, some deadlines.
- Audience Development – This starts very early in the New World; you can’t put this off.
- Content Strategy – This is your book plus supporting content. Let’s make it work together in concert.
- Brand Development – You are your brand, let’s make it consistent and appealing to your audience.
- Funding Strategy – This should be a part of your marketing strategy; it may include crowdfunding.
- Product Development – Tone, tempo, language—are you in tune with your intended audience?
- Asset Curation – Advise on copyright allowances/issues, including images/figures.
- Product Validation – Let’s make sure you are delivering a product that will connect.
- Product Presentation – A professional product is table stakes. Let’s get it right.
- Partner Evaluation – You are going to seek some outside help. How do you know if they are good?
- Contracts – Evaluating and negotiating. Don’t take a bad deal because you are not informed.
- Production – The part of the publishing process that requires the most witchcraft.
- Delivery – What’s the best platform for your content? Which ones should you avoid?
- Marketing Strategy – How to promote without coming off as “self-promotional.”
- Web/Social presence – Direct, demystifying help at any level, including account modeling.
- Return on Investment – Setting realistic goals and measuring yourself against those goals.
Let’s get going.
You’re going to have 1,000 decisions to make. Don’t try to do this alone.
I will engage at any level. My rates are lowest for independent authors and small businesses, and the first “orienting” session is always free. Let’s find out if I’m a good match for you—I will not work with you if I don’t think I can help you.
In the meantime, here’s a little more about me:
- For articles that I’ve written specifically for non-fiction authors: http://bit.ly/articles-for-authors.
- For articles that I’ve written specifically for small businesses: http://bit.ly/articles-for-entrepreneurs.
- For more about my professional background, here’s my résumé: http://mboezi.com/cv.