In my opinion, most business owners look at their own marketing through the wrong end of the lens.
They evaluate the success of their marketing efforts solely through vital metrics like website traffic, email opt-ins, click through rates, conversion rates, customer acquisition cost, lifetime value of a customer, retention rates, and so forth.
All of these metrics are important for evaluating the health of your sales pipeline and your business development strategy for converting leads into sales. But there can be more as it relates to your marketing’s ability to generate revenue.
How can the content by itself generate revenue?
Because there will be other brands who may also want to get in front of that audience and are willing to pay for that access.
Thanks to the democratization of media channel thanks to social media, email, podcasting, YouTube, and the myriad of other channels, today’s top business owners are now seeing themselves as media companies.
Recently, one of our Predictive ROI clients just sold a $12,000 sponsorship of his podcast to one of his vendors who also wanted to get in front of his audience – and – our client sold a $5,200 sponsorship to a vendor for an eBook.
So what makes content worthy of monetization? In our opinion, there are two main ingredients to this recipe:
- That the content you are producing is valuable and helpful to your current audience — and – it is valuable enough that it attracts to new people into your community so your audience grows.
- And you are not a one-trick pony. That you are producing quality content, sharing it across multiple channels, and you have created “media properties” because having the properties is what makes your more “sponsorable.”
Becoming sponsorable is something I learned from our incredible guest, Linda Hollander in Episode 383 of Onward Nation. I encourage you to check out Episode 383 to learn more about her recipe for helping business owners attract annual sponsorships of $10,000 to $100,000 – she shares the recipe in full transparency.
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into each ingredient.
Step 1: Create Valuable Content That Attracts New People Into Your Community
Answer these questions:
- Does your content provide helpful, practical, and tactical advice that when someone finishes listening, reading, or watching that they can go implement something?
- Are they smarter as a result of what you shared?
- Can they provide more value to their customers because of the time they invested in your content?
- Are they somehow able to move their business onward to that next level?
If yes, then awesome.
What this world doesn’t need is more yacking into a microphone or having a video camera follow you around an airport, drama, and drawing attention to yourself, none of that self-aggrandizing content adds value to your audience.
Get a plan together.
Maybe it’s a top-rated podcast, a video series on YouTube, write a book, or write long-form articles for LinkedIn or in the media, maybe you have a passion to speak on stage, or host webinars, or a combination of these channels – whatever your passion is, create helpful, valuable content around that topic, and over time, you will build an audience.
When you create a piece of content, the number of people who see it doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not you make the next sale — and it’s much more likely that you are able to do that when you can point a prospect to a piece of content that shows off how knowledgeable and credible you are.
And all of that credibility and expertise helps you build an audience, which leads up to the second ingredient in the recipe for creating content that is worthy of monetization.
Step 2: Distribution to Multiple Channels
It isn’t enough to have great content. And it isn’t enough to consistently produce great content.
Today’s top business owners are consistently creating great content, sharing it across multiple platforms, then slicing and dicing the content into multiple media properties to increase their “sponsorability.”
For example, let’s say you host your podcast. Some additional opportunities to consider would be to take the transcripts from three of your very best interviews with influential thought leaders and use the content to create an eBook with an introductory letter from you on the inside cover.
Now you have an additional asset that your audience will find helpful – and – you have an additional asset a sponsor may want to be part of for a fee. As mentioned earlier in this blog post, one of our Predictive ROI clients sold a $5,200 sponsorship to a vendor for an eBook.
Our team took 10 of his interviews, created an eBook that distilled the 10 best lessons from the interviews into an actionable plan, and our client sold the sponsorship of the eBook to a vendor for $5,200.
If you teach workshops and you attract attendees from around the country. At your next workshop, record the entire event on video, the actual teaching sessions, the behind the scenes side conversations, the Q&A, the social functions if there is a dinner or reception.
Record all of it.
You then cut up the video and it becomes what you need to launch a video series on YouTube – and then you sell sponsorship of your YouTube channel to one of your vendors.
And you transcribe the audio files from the entire workshop so the content can be transformed into webinar series that is sponsorable, or a book or podcast that is sponsorable.
Say you are a software consultant and represent a number of different software vendors. What if you were to host your own podcast and your guest list was comprised of the top prospects for the software companies you represent? You then use your podcast as what I like to call, The Trojan Horse of Sales, because your podcast becomes your “All Access Pass” to your top prospects.
They want to be a guest on your show, and you go to one of your vendors and sell them the opportunity to underwrite or fund the entire program.
They get the leads, you get the opportunity to create great content and build your audience, and your guests get exposure and the ability to share their thought leadership.
A very solid win-win-win.
Sometimes going narrow is what gives us the ability to create a nation of true fans faster and with less expense.
Yes, it may take you months to make this transition from marketing to lead gen and a cost center to marketing as both, generating new customers and producing content that is “monetizable” – or it may take several years for you to reach this level of traction.
But the key to remember is that it is possible – that you can begin looking at marketing through the correct end of the lens. So set the fear, the apprehension, the concerns aside.
Yes, it’s scary – I get that. But when you start, and when you make mistakes, and when you make adjustments, you will also create momentum.
This is a long-term play – but it can’t be – if you don’t ever start.
Please drop me a line at Stephen@predictiveroi.com and let me know what you thought of this blog post – thumbs up or thumbs down.
I always want to know what you think so we can continue to get better and better and be of greater value to you and your team.