The Staying Power Blog

We write about our own experience scaling a professional services firm. Learn from our successes and failures. 

How Professional Firms Owners Can Create Great Content in 2020

Posted by Brandon Hall on Jun 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM

 

Good content is hard to find in the professional services world. If you have the option to spend two hours writing a blog post or billing a client, most service professionals will choose to bill the client. 

In addition, service professionals usually rely on referrals from other vendors, professionals, and clients to scale their practices. 

Choosing not to spend time producing content and scaling via referrals is incredibly short-sighted. Sadly, most firm owners will never understand the power of content marketing because they won’t invest their time and energy into producing great content. The opportunity cost is massive. 

If you want to accelerate your growth, you need to develop great content consistently. Once you start seeing results, you’ll never go to networking events again with the intention of landing new business. 

The difference between mediocre and great content

Put plainly, mediocre content sits on page 2+ of Google whereas great content sits on page 1. The difference can be thousands of viewers a month which can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. 

Mediocre content is typically a rush job or outsourced to a 3rd party. Your voice doesn’t come through, examples are lacking, and there’s no storytelling. Readers can’t resonate with mediocre content. 

Though I said that mediocre content sits on page 2+ of Google, that’s not the case for the professional services world. In our world, mediocre content sits on page 1 of Google and it is sometimes the number one result. 

As an example, type into a Google search “outsourced accounting” and at the time of this writing, this Moss Adams page was the number one result. When you click that page, you may be surprised to see it’s a simple sales page. It offers little value to the end reader. The content is mediocre at best. 

What this means to you is that there is massive opportunity to create great content and dominate Google search results. 

Great content is well structured, full of examples, and uses storytelling to communicate key points to the audience. Great content allows you to show off your expertise, in your voice, and allow the audience to connect with you on a deeper level. Great content may explain complex and technical subjects but breaks it all down in a way a non-technical audience can understand it. 

Better yet, great content will allow you to build trust with readers and it will automate the relationship building component required to make a sale. Before a prospective client fills out a webform at The Real Estate CPA, they spend 2+ hours reading through our content and listening to our podcast episodes. By the time we’re on a consultation, they already know who I am, how I think, and what I sound and look like and they are ready to work with us. 

Great content will also boost your Google search rankings. Additionally, influences in your niche will pick up on the content you produce and they’ll want you to write a guest blog or come onto their podcast because they too want to produce great content.  

How to consistently develop great content

The biggest barrier to creating content is the limiting belief that “you don’t have time.” And yes, it is a limiting belief. 

How you spend your time demonstrates what you find valuable. For me, producing content is the highest and best use of my time. Without our content marketing, we would not have scaled to $2.5MM in revenue in five years of existence. So I view the opportunity cost of not creating content as massive. 

The first thing we need to understand is that we are trying to consistently publish great content. For now, don’t worry about FaceBook ads, funnel building, email marketing, call-to-action guides, etc. Just keep it simple and start with writing blog articles and adding on either a podcast or YouTube channel when you’re ready. 

Consistency is incredibly important as it helps your Google SEO rankings as well as brand recognition. In all of my tests in launching new content channels (blog, podcast, youtube channel), it takes about 6 months of consistently publishing content to create a small following and gain traction. 6 months!

How do you maintain consistency, especially when facing discouraging results? Remove as many barriers to creating content as possible.

Start by spending an hour brainstorming all of the potential topics you can write about. What are you an expert in? What questions do you commonly field from clients? What are their main problems? Come up with 50 or so titles and it will be much easier to pick up and start writing when the time comes. 

Next, create a content producing block on your calendar and stick to it. When this time block arrives, simply pick a title that you previously brainstormed and start writing. 

Producing great content requires you to get into a creative mental state. For me, that means physically removing myself from my desk and office and either going to a coffee shop or sitting on my porch. Sometimes I’ll even add a bit of bourbon to really get the creative juices flowing. 

Removing yourself from your regular place of work is key. It will allow you to avoid work distractions and focus on the task at hand. 

Aim to write at least two blog articles a week. If you’re starting a podcast or YouTube channel, aim for one episode per week. Make sure to share the content on your social media platforms once it’s live. 

At our firm, we create a month’s worth of content in one or two sittings. We’ve found that blocking entire days ensures you’ll focus on creating content rather than the little fires that are always calling for your attention. This strategy also allows you to focus on your work for the rest of the month and not have marketing stressing you out. 

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