You want to write an article, give a speech, post a podcast, distribute a video or disseminate some other form of conceptual brilliance. Why? Because when your intellectual barbeque sauce is lip-smacking good, it generates consulting clients.
Also, you have a great idea: a concept, model, approach or insight that will be hugely valuable for your consulting clients. You’ll be seen as a thought leader, your place in the pantheon of your industry’s notables will be assured and your consulting team jersey will be raised to the rafters amidst great fanfare.*
Unfortunately, most content doesn’t generate consulting clients. That’s why most consulting firms give up on producing content, or issue IP only sporadically. Positive results are rare and the work required can be enormous.
So, how do you create content that will attract clients? What’s the secret step in the process? The proverbial Kahlúa in the chili? (Maybe there aren’t any proverbs about Kahlúa, but a hint of coffee liqueur makes chili taste awesome.)
You remember the #1 rule of Right-Side Up consulting: Consulting isn’t about you, it’s about THEM – your prospects and clients.
There’s a corollary to that rule specially designed for consulting firm content:
Great content isn’t about your idea. It’s about your audience.
That is always true. Your article and whitepaper are about your reader. Your webinar is about your attendee. Your speech is about your listener. Your video is about your viewer. None of your content is about you. None of it is about your idea.
Practically, what does that mean? It means three skipping stones bridge the raging river of disinterest between your spectacular idea and content that will attract clients:
First: What Does Your Audience Want?
If you’re writing an article, what does your reader want? Other than cookies. Does he want practical tips? Inspiration? An emotional lift? A reason to smile? Does he want to be stretched cognitively or does he want an easy read? An in-depth exploration or a quick hit of information?
Most business readers want practical, implementable tips, and they want them fast. They also want you to hand them mental ice cream in small, manageable scoops, not unwieldy buckets.
Before you write the first word of your article, write down what your audience wants.
Second: What’s Your Deliverable to Satisfy the Wants?
Translate your idea into a concrete deliverable; the payoff. If your listeners want one line they can remember, pen a catchy phrase. If they want a clear process, assemble a checklist. If they want an example, construct a template.
Starting at the beginning is a rookie mistake. Since you’re no rookie, kick off your content creation bonanza by assembling the party favors your audience will be grabbing on their way out the door.
Third: How Do You Connect Your Idea to the Deliverable?
The final step in creating effective consulting IP is crafting content that connects your brilliant idea to the deliverable. Whether it’s personal anecdotes or pictures, statistics or stories, let the deliverable guide your work.
When you wander off the path, your audience loses interest and you lose a potential consulting client.
In other words, avoid diversions in your articles, webinars, speeches and other content. Don’t include sub-points, exercises, illustrations or other miscellany unless they directly support the deliverable you designed.
That’s it. Creating content that attracts consulting clients is actually fairly easy, as long as you remember neither you nor your idea are as important as your prospects.
Do you have another tip for creating content that attracts consulting clients?
Text and images are © 2024 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.