It’s a golden rule in any business: you have to know what you’re selling. You won’t get very far without a solid grasp of this, whether you’re in digital marketing or consumer goods. And if you run a content creation agency––or if you’re looking to start one––then your business is selling content to clients.
But how do you go about doing that?
Whatever your ultimate goals for your business are, there are a few things that will keep get you off to a good start—especially when it comes to establishing solid relationships with the people who need your service.
In this article, we’ll take a look at four of the major questions you need to answer in order to sell quality content to clients.
- Why Does SEO Content Matter to Your Client?
- What Is the Best Way For You to Generate Content?
- How Do You Pitch Your Service to Clients?
- How Do You Retain Clients Once You Start Working With Them?
This particular industry can give you remarkable flexibility. The need for quality SEO material is not limited to one market or continent. You’ll meet an extraordinary range of people, and with these principles firmly established, soon you’ll be selling content to clients all over the globe.
Why Does SEO Content Matter to Your Clients?
Simply put, SEO brings the best potential customers to a business, rather than forcing the business to go out and look for them.
When properly researched and written, SEO-generated leads can have a conversion rate of 14.6%, which is far more effective than other forms of mass advertising (such as TV, print, and mailings.)
Those other traditional forms operate at about a 1.7% conversion rate.
What business doesn’t want to expand their customer base by over 700%?
The value is there, but not every business owner realizes the true potential here. And while SEO-based blog articles can bring in much higher conversion rates, it often takes a little time to build up a new blog’s standings in search rankings.
But the advantage of ranking high is undeniable. At the very end of 2017, Search Engine Journal reported that when someone does a Google search, 91.5% of the traffic goes to the first page. A whopping 32.5%––almost a third of all searchers––visit the very first page.
Understanding the vital importance of this content will help you convey this message to your clients.
Once you know the value of what you’re selling, you need to deliver it.
You need a system.
What Is the Best Way For You to Generate Content?
Before you can think too much about selling content to clients, you’re going to need to make sure you have a system in place so you can deliver it.
Are you planning to write every article personally? This is hardly a recipe for success, especially if you plan on accomplishing more than a couple of posts a day.
If you’re building a business, you’ll want to start producing a significant amount of material, and that means bringing writers on board.
The Write Stuff
So, where do you find these writers?
The most immediately obvious solution would be to hire a team of in-house bloggers as employees. However there are significant downsides to this, as often their workloads will fluctuate over the course of the year.
Busy seasons can result in a glut of work (and late deliveries, which will damage your relationships with your clients). Dry seasons can lead to insufficient workloads for your writers, with you paying salary for more than you need.
How do you create a system that is responsive to the ebb and flow of your business, but also delivers good content to your clients in a timely fashion?
The best solution is to get writers involved as private contractors.
Create a screening process to make sure all your writers are capable. Then give them access to the jobs that need to be completed, and allow them to get to work as they are able.
Pay per job. This way, you’re not spending money on work that isn’t being done.
The situation will attract plenty of writers who are eager for either full-time employment or a flexible side job. If you have a special need of particular niche writers (say, in the medical or tech fields), it may be helpful to let only certain writers have access to these orders as they come in.
Now you just have to edit it.
Make Sure You Have Quality Control
Even the best writers are going to need editing from time to time. You’ll want to have a quality-control editing team that makes sure all work is ready to send to clients.
As you grow your agency, you’ll need to set up stringent tests and screening methods for both writers and editors alike. Low-quality work is going to result in a lot of time wasted, and it’s better to find the right people first, rather than having to rewrite unusable material.
Make Your Own Content
It’s also important to get up to speed with generating content for your own blog (yes, content companies also use online content to drive traffic).
For one thing, it helps to reinforce the fact that you know the value of what you’re selling. For another, it’s a good way to widen your reach and bring new visitors to your site.
Now that you have a system in place for clients to find and use valuable content, how do you communicate that value to them?
How Do You Pitch Your Service to Clients?
Hopefully, new clients who contact you will already have at least some understanding of why digital content is so valuable. But just in case they need more information, it’s good to have a pitch deck or readily-available stats on the benefits of SEO content.
One good thing to keep in mind is that your clients will likely know their specific business better than you ever will. But they may not be as up to speed on the world of digital marketing.
Have Solid Supporting Data
For instance, clients may not be aware that the internet market is moving to become increasingly mobile, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of I-want-to-buy moments happening on a phone instead of on a laptop.
They may also not be aware that 69% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose sites answer questions easily.
When it comes to this sort of information, your content agency should be prepared to help small business owners understand the benefits of digital content. Give as much context and information as they need, and of course, discuss general trends that businesses see in terms of return on their investment.
If they already see the advantages of digital content, the next step is to help determine what sort of content will best suit them.
Determine Client Needs and Goals
First thing’s first: not every client is the same.
In order to make the best pitch to a client, you’re going to need to understand what that client’s particular objectives are.
Most clients don’t hire blog writers simply because they “want to have an amazing blog.”
They want the blog to do something for them.
So what matters here is what the blog accomplishes, and this is going to vary from client to client.
It’s generally the case that most businesses want to increase traffic. Some may already have their sales funnel set up, and simply want to increase traffic to their site by using interesting informational content.
Others may be looking for more posts they can monetize. Product reviews, links to an affiliate, and cross-promotion are all options here. Some may be selling a subscription to a service, and others may have a product that they are selling directly.
This is an important lesson to agencies, and something to keep in mind when selling content to clients. The clients’ content is there to bridge the gap between them and their customers. It needs to accomplish something, and it’s up to you to work with them to make sure you agree on what that should be.
The best pitches usually come as a result of listening first, and understanding the needs of your client’s business. After that, you can really get to work, building them a blog that will be ideal for them.
How Do You Retain Clients Once You Start Working With Them?
Clients will have better conversion rates from their customers if the customer experience is easy and painless.
The same is true of the relationship between your content company and your clients.
Most small businesses hire content creators because they’re looking to spend less time worrying about the blog. They might want to write an article themselves now and then, but the full-time hassle of writing something every week is a distraction from the bigger issues.
Make it easy for a client to review and approve material before it goes up.
Hopefully, this has given you a few things to think about when selling content to clients, or when setting up a content agency in general.
At SteadyContent, we prize our relationships with our clients, and we look to get things off to a good start, by offering a trial period for new clients. We also offer special agency partner opportunities here.
Any questions? We’d love to hear from you!