Every Company is a Media Company

In this new era, every company is a media company.

Whether you are a solopreneur or a small business, and whether you’ve accepted it or not, you are a media company.

You have to be if you want to be successful.

In the past, you could run a newspaper ad or radio ads or even put up a sign and you’d be able to generate some awareness for your product or service. With some exceptions, those don’t work as well anymore. Consumers are inundated with advertising and it’s harder to get noticed.

Now, people are searching for you. More specifically, they are searching for your solution and when they find you, you need to have created a library of content related to how you can solve their problem.

Once they find your video or blog, and your solution solves their problem, you will have built a level of trust and authority that keeps them coming back to you. And eventually, when they have a problem not solved by your free content, they will pay you.

And once you’ve built that backlog of content, it’s there forever, at no cost to you, getting impressions from Youtube or Instagram or wherever you’ve placed that content.

Media also has a compounding effect. As you create more of it, the better you get at making it. The better you get at making it, the more valuable it is to an audience. The more valuable it is to an audience, the more it gets shared and distributed. Eventually, your content is drawing a steady stream of inbound leads.

This also means you have to set up a simple and clear funnel from your free content to your paid content. Perhaps the most popular method here is having a lead magnet to get customers to sign up for an email list. By giving away something like a PDF with valuable information in exchange for an email address, savvy entrepreneurs can maintain an email list to communicate their offerings, provide discounts and incentives, and generally stay top-of-mind for potential customers.

In almost every industry, I have seen small businesses create content around their work and generate outsized audiences simply by showing what they do.

My unsolicited advice to all entrepreneurs is to reframe your thinking on marketing. If you aren’t already, think of content as a key part of your marketing efforts. Take a portion of your advertising budget and put it into getting a camera, a set of microphones, or learning some basics of editing a video or podcast. It doesn’t need to be perfect (and it won’t be at first) but at least you’re putting your brand out there and starting to show people what you do.

It all about getting out in more touch points. Give people more places where they can find your solution.

Here’s one quick and powerful way to get ideas of what people are looking for in your niche. Go to Youtube and type into the search bar some keywords related to what you do. What pops up in the suggested searches? Make content based on those phrases and questions. Youtube is giving you a peek into the most common searches.

Then, go a step further. Check out the results for those searches. Critique the content. How could you do it better? What makes you different than those already making content in that niche? What do the comments say? Now you’re getting ideas for how to make your content.

How long will this take? Won’t it take years before customers find me? It’ll take longer than you’d like but with consistency you will see results astonishingly fast. I’ve seen multiple times, in almost any niche, you can become a subject matter expert within six months by posting new and relevant content consistently (on Youtube, Twitter, or other social media). Starting is the hardest part. You’ll feel like an imposter. You won’t get many views or impressions. You’ll wonder if you’re wasting your time. But slowly, you will build an audience as your confidence and quality grows.

I had a client buy a $5,000 consulting package with me after watching just a few minutes of a video. In that particular case, it was a video that had been published months earlier and not been seen more than about 60 times. So you never know what will be discovered, when, and who it will speak to. I’ve got dozens of these videos out there, sitting there as surface area for future clients to find me and the solution I can bring to their problems. Over time, these compound. Imagine having thousands of videos like that from the course of years or decades. And, imagine that a handful of those have outsized results i.e. they go viral and are seen by hundreds of thousands or millions of people. One of those could change your business forever. It could be the difference between obscurity and more business than you can handle.

Whether I’ve convinced you to lean into content or not, your competitors are doing it. Every day, more and more businesses are recognizing the value of inbound, permission-less, free content to build trust, to get discovered, and to convert an audience into paying customers. The trend is undeniably that content creators are outperforming non-creators.

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