In the first decade of my career, I worked in several corporate sales and marketing roles. It was a great experience, enjoying the many perks and learning about business, just not small business.

(Photo: alexsl / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: alexsl / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Leaving that world and its many support systems to launch a landscaping company was scary. I had thousands of questions, including how to get noticed in communities where my primary competitor was doing exceptionally well.

Like so many other new contractors, my early work was side projects for friends and neighbors. So, spending what little money I had to promote them didn’t seem to make much sense.

I settled on an approach that played to my strengths. I’m a relationship guy who lets the work speak for itself. The problem was not having much to promote, but confident that I could handle larger projects if I landed them.

Instead of focusing on my services, my marketing strategy was to use content to engage buyers in a conversation so they could get to know me and my company. Then I could more easily sell the landscaping services that were just right for them.

It worked surprisingly well, and twenty years later, I sold that business.


This is content marketing’s time

The success of my company was due to learning how to remove buying obstacles. In the beginning, it was getting people to trust our young company. Years later it was proving that notwithstanding our visible success we cared for all our customers.

We used content to give people confidence. We assembled relatable stories and case studies to answer common questions. They revealed what people wanted to know, and most importantly, we showed how everything worked and why.

In my current role as a marketing consultant, I’m approached by lawn and landscape company owners that want to grow their business. They have achieved a level of success but are having challenges moving to the next level.

We talk about leads and how they are getting them, what happens after that, and so on. In addition to referrals, Google Ads and social media are usually the main lead sources.

These tactics work, but something is missing. In a word, it’s content.

Regardless of the source, leads must be converted into revenue. That’s usually not going to happen without a relationship, and that’s something content does exceptionally well.

Business growth levels off when its audience stagnates. There are two ways to fix this problem.

  1. Activate the audience
  2. Grow the audience

Every business exists to make people’s lives better. Great product and service offerings are how most companies do this. Content that helps them get more from those services is another. When you do both, you will keep your audience activated and grow it.

Content lives on websites and other platforms for a long time, consistently showing up to do its job. This practice of content marketing was used in many ways long before my landscaping company discovered it, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Joe Pulizzi put a name to it.

Joe is a friend and the author of the bestselling book, Content Inc. During the pandemic, his publisher asked him to update it to meet the needs of small businesses in any economy.

This 2nd Edition of Content Inc. is more than a refresh. It lays out a plan for content entrepreneurs of all levels of experience, and it’s organized to help businesses quickly solve their current marketing problems in down-to-earth, relatable language.

For example, here’s an excerpt from chapter eleven. “For a Content Inc. program to work, it must show up and, when it does, be interesting.”

We all struggle with our content from time to time, but if you show up for your audience and make it interesting, you’ll work it out. Get your copy of Content Inc. to get the framework and resources for making that happen.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Blog, Expert Insights
Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the owner of True Nature Marketing, a Naples, Fla.-based company helping entrepreneurs grow. Reach him at Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms.

1 Comment on "Communication Coach: How to use content to grow your business"

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  1. Kelowna says:

    Thank you I hope these tips help. My business is struggling. Cheers.