Does your content attract people or repel people to you and your business?
Spoiler alert…it should do both.
The ‘know, like and trust’ principle is thrown around a lot in content marketing. This is the idea that you get people to know you, then like you, and finally trust you, so that they go onto buy your products or services with confidence. We can often start to feel pressured into ensuring EVERYONE likes us…but is this conducive to a happy working life?
I argue no. Why? Because not everyone is going to be a right fit for each other.
I actually see content as a super-powerful way of weeding out those people that you simply wouldn’t want to work with. Whether your personalities clash or you just disagree with each other’s way of working, content can provide a window into your future working relationship and help people decide if they like you before you start working together. Clients and colleague alike.
In this video and podcast episode, I share how you can create content to help people figure out if working with you will be a match made in heaven…or hell.
Listen to the podcast episode.
Or watch the video
Why business relationships should be happy relationships
If you’re anything like me, you spend a LOT of time at work. You might speak to your clients more than your friends, and your team more than your family. Think about it, if you’re working for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that’s a huge portion of your time.
In fact, it’s been reported that the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work. That’s over a 1/3rd of your life!
So, the relationships we have at work are really important. The people we engage with both inside and outside of our business have a big impact on our day-to-day life. If you’re constantly working with people you just don’t gel with, what effect will this have on your long-term happiness?
This is why I strongly believe that (as much as you can) you should try to cultivate working relationships with people you truly click with. Now, I hear what you’re thinking – “in an ideal world, Amy, that would be great!” But I believe that content has a secret power of helping us achieve this.
Business owners: the power’s in your hands
Before I dive into how content can do this, I want to share a little story with you.
Back in the early days of Content 10x I was working with a client who unreasonably blew a gasket over something that was not our fault. They were being extremely rude to me and another business owner, who was involved in providing a service too. I just so happened to be friends with the other business owner.
There had been an error made by a member of his team, that they needed to fix. But the client wrote quite an email to me and my friend – kicking and screaming and threatening to leave. In working out how to respond, my friend said something that has stayed with me to this day. He said, “we don’t go into business ourselves just to work with awful people who speak to us like that”.
This really struck a chord with me. It’s my business, so I should be able to work with respectful people.
After this experience, I thought about how I could control the situation better in the future. What could business owners be doing to prevent working with people that just aren’t a good fit.
For me, there was one thing that really stood out. Creating authentic content.
Now, there are so many benefits to creating content that I talk about all of the time. But have you considered the impact it has on your client and colleague relationships?
Like me…like me not…like me…like me not…
Let’s go back to the ‘know, like and trust’ principle. When you create content, it gives people the opportunity to know you. It helps them understand who you are, what you do, and more about your business – be that your ethics, mission, or otherwise. This ‘know’ part is mainly factual.
Then you get to the next stage, ‘like’. Here is where people can evaluate if you are a good working match for them. Perhaps they see a spark in your personality that connects with them, or they feel as if they can feed off your passion. It could even be something completely unrelated like a book in your video background that makes them think you’ll have lots in common!
Liking someone is completely subjective. It’s difficult to control and is more of an emotional, personal response that has little to do with the facts.
For example, I recently came across someone that works with agencies to help them grow. She had a podcast – absolutely brilliant choice for her to have a podcast. I decided to check it out, and so she passed the ‘know’ stage, and next I wanted to find out if I liked her.
But after listening to a few podcast episodes, I realized that we wouldn’t be a good match. There was just something about her that I couldn’t get on with and so I chose not to approach her. In this case, I dropped off at the ‘like’ stage. But I truly believe that we both came out winners from this.
Why? Because it would have wasted time and potentially led to a lot of negative energy. Remembering that this was me assessing whether I could imagine her coaching me – so a close relationship. It wasn’t like she was the owner of a SaaS company or a product-based business where it wouldn’t be so important whether I liked her. Being able to work out that we weren’t a good fit before starting even just the sales process saved us both a lot of time.
I wouldn’t have made that decision without her content.
It’s important that I point out it’s also happened the other way for me too. I’ve had experiences of listening to someone’s podcast or watching their videos, and instantly knowing that we’ll click. We may have had a similar sense of humour, similar points of view, or something else that made me warm to them...in these cases we’ve gone past the ‘know’ stage, the ‘like’ stage, and are now in the ‘trust’ stage where we work well together.
Again, without consuming their content I may never have pursued a working relationship – and what a shame that would have been!
Attracting talent into your business
If you’re thinking that this only relates to potential clients…that’s simply not true! Your content also helps to attract talent too. Just as you want to attract the right clients and repel the wrong ones, your content can help potential new hires discover whether they like you too. Or, very importantly, if they can’t imagine working with you.
For small businesses in particular, culture is absolutely everything. One wrong hire into a small team can be like inviting a fox into a chicken coop. You must do everything you can to communicate your culture in your content, so the right decisions can be made.
I’ve recently been interviewing a number of candidates for open positions and when they tell me that they have been listening to my podcast, watching videos, reading blog posts it does two things:
- It shows they are keen, interested and already know a good deal about what we do
- They know me. Often, they say they already feel like they’ve met me before, even though they haven’t. And they’re usually more relaxed during the interview
If it’s clear they haven’t consumed any content, I actually suggest that they should. If they want to work for us, they should make every effort to know if they like us!
I’ve saved on costly recruitment fees in the past year because our content has actually attracted candidates to open positions, without me having to advertise or working with recruiters. The candidates that come to us in this way save us time and are often the best kind of candidates – because they came to use through consuming our content!
How to create content that attracts and repels
Now, there is one very important thing to remember when creating content for the purpose of working with people you like…you have to be authentic.
Yes, your content should be valuable to others, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, but it also has to show your true personality so that people get to know you.
If you’re constantly stepping into a persona that isn’t a reflection of your real self, you could run into some problems down the line…it’s a bit like catfishing people with your content!
People might think there will be a connection and reach out to you to establish a working relationship on this basis. But imagine their disappointment when you’re not actually anything like that! It’s like being fake on a dating app…it’ll only come back to bite you in the end.
This is why it’s so crucial that you present your authentic, genuine self. I believe the best way to do this is to use video content. This way people can get a real sense of who you are.
Mike Ganino is the king of producing video content that shows your authentic self. I spoke to him about the importance of being genuine in our interview. So, to get his tips check out the episode, How to Create Captivating Video Content with Mike Ganino.
That said, I’ve chosen to work with a number of people due to listening to their podcast. Likewise, people have chosen to work with us due to our podcast. Never underestimate the power of podcasting for establishing an intimate connection.
Putting your content to the test
If people enquire about working with you having consumed your content, they’ll already have a good idea about your personality. If they haven’t, take the opportunity to direct them to your content. Even if you’ve got as far as pitching to them, drawing up a proposal or responding to an RFP, you can still give them the task to consume your content to decide if they actually like you!
It’s a bit like a networking introduction. Those who’ve already seen your videos/listened to your podcasts/read your blogs need less convincing to trust you. The process is already well underway.
But for those who maybe have found you through a Google search, this gives them the chance to get to know you a little better before pursuing a working relationship.
I had a fascinating discussion with Martin Huntbach and Lyndsay Cambridge, founders of Jammy Digital and authors of Content Fortress, all about content’s magnetizing power. To find out more about how you can use content for attracting and repelling, check out the conversation here: How Content Can Attract Your Ideal Clients with Martin Huntbach and Lyndsay Cambridge and I highly recommend getting a copy of their book too. It’s excellent and the Content 10x team have used it to build our “fortress”.
To sum up
Proactively encourage leads and candidates alike to watch/listen/read your content. This will help them to get a feel for the culture of your business and whether it’s right for them. If they like what they see, then they could be a great match for your business. If not, then better to work it out sooner rather than later.
You have the power to control whether you have positive working relationships, or stressful relationships. Use it to the best of your ability.
So, if you agree with me what are your next steps? Are you going to make your content a part of your recruitment or pitching process? Or do you not have any content to share yet? If it’s the latter, we have plenty of resources to help you get started on our blog.
And don’t forget about repurposing too! When you create your content, make sure you repurpose so that it reaches as many people as possible. Here’s an article any aspiring content creator should definitely check out, Is There a ‘Best’ Type of Content to Repurpose?But if you’d rather have a comprehensive content repurposing guide at your fingertips then we have a solution for that too. The ‘Content 10x Book: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results’ shares exactly what you need to do after you’ve created content to get yourself out there and known…then it’s over to them to decide if they like you, and want to work with you!