I’m going to share with you the same formula I use with my blog consulting clients. It has helped them start new blogs and online businesses and helped them find direction when they felt lost or ineffective in their blog marketing. The basis of this formula is the reality of how people find a web page on the internet and the realities of the online marketplace. What do I mean by that? Let me explain.
There are only 2 ways people get to your website
There are only two ways people will find your web page: search or referral. They will go to Google, type some words into that little box, see a list of results and click on one (probably the first one). Knowing what those words are is very important if you hope for people to find your content via search. The second way people find a web page of yours is by referral: in other words, somehow they ran across a link to your page and clicked on it. That link could have been referred to them any number of ways:
- Social media sharing
- In an email they subscribed to or had forwarded to them
- The link was on another web page
The reason why we engage in content marketing in the first place is based on these being the only two ways anyone will ever find your web page: people will want to educate themselves about a topic and search on it or they click on a link which crosses their path that looks promising.
The way people now make purchasing decisions is to do research on the web first, then find a provider for what they seek. You can see how this fits right in with content marketing. You know the old saying, an educated customer is the best customer, right? Well, here’s my corollary to that saying: and YOU want to be the one to educate them, because then they’re more likely to buy from the trusted information source.
When you understand this, you realize you must create the content of your content marketing in a very deliberate way. Because if it doesn’t get found via search or nobody wants to share it, you’re wasting your time. And if it doesn’t provide them the education they seek, it can’t help them (or result in sales for you) because it won’t get found or shared in the first place.
The 3P Formula
So I’ve created the 3P formula to help you figure out your product or service and how to market it with your blog, email and social media so that you actually get leads and sales. This is the same formula I use with my blog consulting clients. The difference between them and you is that of course I’m working with them personally on very specific details regarding their online businesses, but you can only get the general information here and you have to try and figure out how to apply it yourself. I tell you this as a min-lesson on business blogging: you actually can’t give away too much information, because it can never be specific to every person, it can only ever be general on your blog. There’s a huge difference between knowing the formula and having me help you apply it to your exact situation. Anyways, let’s get to the formula.
Here it is:
The 3 Ps: People, Problem & Product
The formula is simple, but often not easy at all to apply. The reason it’s hard to apply is that people tend to have a hard time seeing certain truths about themselves or their business or the market. But let’s break down the formula into its 3 parts.
The First P: People
The first P is people for a very important reason: you can’t talk to someone very well if you don’t know who they are, and you sure as hell can’t sell anything to them. So many people have this dream of making money online but they don’t even have a good idea of who it is they want as their ideal customer. They often believe that targeting a larger, more general group of people is the key to success, but this is wrong.
It’s wrong because of how people actually get to web pages and how they use the internet to make buying decisions. In the old days before the web, you could open a general store, sell a bit of everything, and do fine.
But because nowadays people are only going to click on links or open emails if they’re relevant. In the firehose of information we are hit with every day, only the stuff that’s important to us stands out. Pause for just a moment and think about what makes you open one email but not another and you’ll start to see what I mean. So, the stronger sense you have of the identity of the people you seek to help with your online business, the better. You’ll be able to get inside their heads and see their problems from their perspective, using their own words (and, more importantly, beliefs) when you create blog content and sales copy.
The Second P: Problem
But knowing who you’re attracting is only one side of the coin. The other side is the “problem” they have which you can help with. The first and second P’s go hand-in-hand when you phrase it like this: person x who has problem Y. For example: single mothers with deceased or divorced husbands in the U.S. military who must now deal with military bureaucracy and paperwork on their own.
You might think that “slice” is overly thin, but I assure you it is not. A distraught single woman in such a situation may be typing very specific searches into that Google box. A headline that speaks directly to the source of her pain and offers hope will attract her attention like nothing else.
Here’s another example: have you ever had something break (or break down) and leave you in a pinch? Did you try and find answers on the internet? At that moment you’re much more agreeable to a purchase if it solves the acute problem you’re experiencing. What you’re interested in is a group of people who constantly run into problems you’ve identified and can solve so you can provide a stream of content marketing which generates leads and sales.
Understanding the exact nature of the problem in combination with the demographic details of your market is the big recipe for success in content marketing, because this is what you will creating content about.
The Third P: Product
With first two P’s, you have a blog. When you add the third P, “product,” you have a business. Product is what the “people” buy to solve their “problem.” Without knowing the first two P’s, you have practically NO hope of creating and selling something anyone would want. Or even be able to find online.
I’m using the word “product” here in a very loose sense to mean anything you could sell, such as physical items or digital content or services. It just makes talking about this stuff so much easier to use the word product in such an overarching sense. It also encourages blurring the lines between traditional categories, which is good because hybrid or bundled products stand out and can have a high perceived value.
The delivery vehicle of your product (what form it takes) depends on your people and problem. Perhaps a freelance service is the best solution. Perhaps an online training program is needed. Perhaps a webinar is the best thing. Any of these may be appropriate to the same person at different times in their progress through the situation you’re an expert in.
In general, products break down into two major categories: turnkey services and training. If I design a WordPress site on Headway for you, that’s a turnkey service (especially if I throw in monthly maintenance). But if I coach you about how to write blog posts that reach your People, that’s training. Sure, we could probably break things down more finely and use words like “consulting” or whatever. But basically you are either doing something for someone, or you’re showing them how to do it for themselves.
If you offer only turnkey services or only training, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table. Just as any good investor will diversify their portfolio to maximize returns and minimize risk, so should you do the same with your revenue streams. If you over-rely on just one form of revenue and the market hiccups, what is your recourse?
This formula will be the basis of my next ebook, and it will be free
This blog post is only a taste of what’s to come. I’m currently working on a new ebook that covers the 3 P’s and much more. It will essentially be a guidebook that “puts it all together” for you and helps you figure out the right concepts for your business which are basis for getting customers and sales. It’s been my experience that almost any online business experiencing problems can trace those problems back to these fundamental 3 P’s. I’ve been using this formula with my clients for years and now I’m publicly sharing it with you. Not only that, but I’m going to give it away for free.
This post is also the last one you’re going to see for a short while (here’s why)
I’ve been a bit quiet lately. The reason for that is twofold: I’ve been working with a lot of blog consulting clients and I’ve been re-imagining what I want Remarkablogger to be. To be better than ever and to give you as much help as possible (real help that makes the needles move, so to speak), I’m going to redesign and relaunch this site. In a few days I’m going to put the site in “maintenance mode” and when I lift the curtain, there will be a new Remarkablogger with new content and new products.
Blog consulting spots are available
I have a couple openings in my schedule for new clients. If you’re interested, contact me so we can discuss your situation and possibly work together.