I just came from the gym after a long hiatus. I didn’t jump full bore back into my old routine. That would’ve been painful. I have a motto, “No pain, no pain.” So I started in with just enough to feel a burn using lighter weights and fewer reps. My philosophy has always been that it doesn’t matter how hard I workout, as long as I do it regularly. As an old sage gym rat once told me, “If you’re consistent, it always turns into muscle.”
There’s a strong similarity between working out and a content marketing campaign. I’ve recently had several conversations with various businesspeople who own and/or operate small and medium sized companies. All of them told me that they do content marketing – sometimes. My experience is that sporadic campaigns have sporadic payoffs.
In the elusive search for a reliable way to calculate a return on investment (ROI) for content campaigns, I’ve only found one that works for me: zero input creates zero output. To state it as an equation, 0 = 0. If you want to increase the output, you have to increase the input. (I’m expecting my Nobel Prize for Economics in the mail any minute.) Just like exercising, it can be very hard for many owners and operators to get started and stay consistent. I recommend doing exactly what one might do at the gym: start slow and build up.
Checkout my article, How Can a Simple Content Marketing Plan Work For You? If you’re the least bit concerned about the effort involved, start with the smallest increment you can imagine. Plan to spend no more than one or two hours a week, unless you can muster more. Put this on the calendar as though it was a client meeting or a yoga class. Perhaps start with a few hundred words a week in a blog post (you’ve read about 275 up to this point), or an Instagram post, or what have you.
If you don’t have an email list, ask 5 friends or colleagues if they wouldn’t mind hearing more about what you do on a regular basis. Add five names every week by simply asking people if you can put them on your list. A few will say no, but most won’t.
- Now, publish it.
- Email it.
- Post it on social media.
- Pat yourself on the back.
Do NOT worry about all the metrics flashing in front of you, like open rates, bounce rates, conversion rates, etc. According to my formula, if you want a zero open rate, send out zero emails. If you have an open rate to worry about, you’re already ahead of the game. Besides, an unopened email is still a powerful presence in someone’s inbox. It makes you top of mind for just a moment, if not more. Even if they delete it, they’ve likely read your name before doing so. I once scored a very lucrative gig from a contact I made in a playground, only because he saw my name in his inbox.
Try to do this at least once a week. It works for every size company I’ve seen employ it. If you’re consistent, it always turns into money!