What the @%$^& Is a Content Plan, and Why Do You Desperately Need One?

If you’ve been in business in for a few years, you probably know exactly how to reach your target market and how to make your existing clients happy, and how to generate new business easily and effectively.

Which makes you totally unlike us.

In true “leap and the net will appear” fashion, we jumped into business back in 2004 with a couple of retained corporate clients and a coffee pot. No plan in sight.

We’re not bragging. In fact, most of our 2006 has been spent rectifying the bedlam.

And as we’ve grown, gone to boot camps and seminars, and learned the hard way how to attract new clients, we’ve discovered what’s most important for our business development (and our prosperity).

It’s called a Content Plan.

***What IS a Content Plan?***
A Content Plan focuses on informing, educating, and entertaining your ideal audience. It involves them in your story, inviting them to care about you on an emotional level.

And since people buy on EMOTION, this is a very good thing.

Strong Content Plans take the “Know, Like, and Trust” factor and formalize it into an honest and genuine relationship-building habit.

And here’s the secret sauce:

Everything you send out becomes another reason or opportunity for your prospects to invest their time and money with YOU.

(WARNING: Content Plans don’t work if you don’t genuinely care about the audience you serve and the goals they have.)

***What’s in a Content Plan?***
The details rely on your core competencies and your audience’s needs and desires, but yours may involve one or a combo of the following:

* An industry blog
* Focused press releases
* White Papers or Special Reports
* Articles for trade publications
* Live workshops
* Speaking engagements
* Newsletters
* Teleclasses

The point is to start with one, get good and comfortable with it, then add another one that builds purposefully on the first.

***Why Do I Desperately Need a Content Plan?***
Out of the 47,321 ways you can communicate with your target market, a Content Plan helps you:

1. Focus on 3-7 that are most aligned with your business goals.

2. Get ’em on your calendar in a strategic way.

3. Roll ’em out one at a time, so by your next fiscal year, you’ve got a treasure trove of audience-focused information, marketing assets, and public PROOF you’re an active expert and THE leader in your field.

The end result?

Because you’ve taken the time to forge a relationship with your posse, you become their go-to resource when they’re ready to invest in the product or service you offer.

If you DON’T have a plan for how you’re connecting with your audience? You’re just another generic storefront – one of thousands yammering about why consumers should buy from you.

Ick.

In essence, a Content Plan is an official dis of the Transparent Pitch, in favor of a win-win method and mindset.

Content over time. Regular, repeated, varied forms of follow-up touches of useful, gotta-have information. It’s a beautiful thing.

And at the end of just a year – even if you haven’t done it perfectly! – you’ll have created a veritable, profit-boosting empire within your niche.