Content Marketing Made Easy for the Self-Employed
When you're self-employed, especially during the early days of your business, you don't just play the role of boss. You're also the secretary, the bookkeeper, and the sales force, and your life can be consumed by work. If you're already wearing multiple hats, taking on yet another role — marketing manager — might seem impossible. However, by marketing your company and gaining new customers, you could finally generate enough workflow to justify hiring more people.
Depending on your goals and your budget, hiring a marketing company might be the best decision. (And when you're ready to hire a digital marketing firm, Digital Current will be there to help. Until then, these tips will help you make time for your marketing efforts.)
1. Blogging Made Easy
Writing a blog post once a week might require one to two hours of your time, but it will create value for your clients, present you as a thought leader, and enhance your Web presence. If you want to blog, you can either add a blog section to your current website or set up a separate blog on an outside platform. These are some popular choices:
- WordPress.com. WordPress allows you to connect your Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ page, and LinkedIn accounts (among others), and it will post to those accounts automatically when you publish a new blog post. You can use one of the site's free domain names or purchase a domain that's relevant to your work.
- Medium. Medium has a lush, modern appearance and lets you share your content within the Medium community as well as with your followers. You can also submit your content to some of Medium's collections so that people interested in your work can find it.
- Silvrback. Silvrback is a free and easy-to-use blogging platform that allows you to integrate videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and JsFiddle. The appearance and user interface are clean and easy to use, and comments are powered by Disqus.
2. Curating Content
Content curation operates similarly to the way that a curator chooses museum or gallery artwork. You search for the best information in your industry and share that information with your followers. These tools make curation quick and easy:
- Pocket. Pocket lets you save Web content and read it later. When you install the Pocket extension on your Web browser or link Pocket to your Twitter account, you can save articles for later with a single click.
- Evernote. Evernote goes a step further than Pocket, allowing you to organize saved content in different notebooks. Install the Evernote Web clipper on your browser to clip articles, classify them, and save them for later.
- Flipboard. Flipboard lets you create your own magazines based on content that you like. Open your Twitter feed in the Flipboard app and create magazines based on the best of what others are sharing.
3. Sharing on Social Media
When you share content on social media, set aside time not only for posting but also for interacting with others in the network. Instead of placing scattershot posts on many social networks, concentrate on one or two networks and get really good at them. Choose the right platform for both your style and your business needs:
- Facebook. If you have a small budget for promoting your page, then Facebook provides outstanding targeted marketing tools.
- Twitter. Use Twitter if you enjoy spontaneous conversation with your customers and with others in your industry.
- Tumblr. Tumblr is great for short blog posts and for sharing visual content, like GIFs.
- LinkedIn. Nothing surpasses LinkedIn for B2B social networking.
- Google+. Google+ gets a bad rap, but it generates a lot of relevant traffic for businesses. If you share a lot of “how-to” content, Google+ could be perfect for you.
- Instagram or Pinterest. If you make beautiful products or have a highly visual catalog for your business, then Instagram or Pinterest are great places to share.
Content marketing builds a collection of valuable resources for your clients that's either created or endorsed by you. It not only positions you as an expert in your field but also shows that you're generous about sharing resources. Make time for content marketing today. It's a great way to invest in the future of your company.
Chris Brown is the marketing manager for Digital Current, a digital marketing agency offering comprehensive integrated online marketing solutions.