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In this interview, we delve into the world of content marketing with Abby Herman, the founder of The Content Experiment. Abby shares her expertise in helping service-based business owners get their message across to the right audience. She emphasizes the importance of crafting compelling content that resonates with the target audience, whether it’s through blog posts, social media content, or email campaigns. Abby highlights the benefits of outsourcing content creation and distribution, allowing business owners to focus on their core strengths and responsibilities. She addresses common fears and misconceptions about outsourcing and provides insights into effective content strategies, audience engagement, and the significance of actively reaching new audiences. Through her valuable guidance, Abby empowers business owners to establish a strong online presence, enhance their brand image, and drive better results through strategic content marketing.
[Q] How do you help service-based business owners?
As the founder of The Content Experiment, my primary focus is assisting service-based business owners in effectively delivering their message to their target audience. I take on their content and marketing for them so they can focus on what they do best: work with their clients and make the sales. We do this through creating content and marketing strategies and helping to create and distribute quality content that spotlights clients’ expertise and resonates with their ideal clients.
[Q] What services do you provide?
I provide comprehensive support in developing content and strategies for service-based business owners and take care of the implementation for them. In addition to developing the strategies, my team and I manage podcasts and YouTube channels, write blogs, develop email sequences and campaigns, and support other marketing strategies.
[Q] How do you establish your clients as authorities in their fields?
Business owners do what they do because they have a passion for it and they’re experts at what they do. But they have to be able to share that knowledge, consistently, to a wider audience if they want to be seen as an authority. We help clients get to that level of consistency in their content and marketing by establishing a strategy and executing on it on behalf of our clients. This establishes credibility and trust, ultimately boosts their reputation and sets them apart from competitors.
[Q] How do you help your clients reach a wider audience?
Simply publishing content on your own channels gets the message out but it doesn’t necessarily help to build a wider audience. So we establish some consistency in publishing pillar content (a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel), then I support clients in showing up in front of other people’s audiences. This looks like podcast guesting, speaking on stages, and being a guest on virtual summits, among other things. Clients need quality opt-ins, emails, and, again, consistent content on their own platforms to ensure that when new audience members find them, there’s an opportunity to engage and grow that relationship. By reaching a wider audience, my clients can increase brand awareness and attract more potential clients to their business.
[Q] What is your overall goal in working with service-based business owners?
My ultimate goal is to empower service-based business owners to establish a robust online presence and connect with their target audience through strategic content marketing. By taking care of their content needs, I enable them to focus on their core strengths and responsibilities, resulting in a thriving and successful business.
[Q] What type of content do you assist clients in creating?
Our services include podcast development and management, blogging, email creation (both nurturing emails and email sequences), social media posts, opt-in consultation and development, and more. And we do all of it, from ideation to creation to implementation and posting.
Of course, some content requires more client investment. Let’s take podcasts as an example. Many clients prefer to concentrate on conversations and interviewing guests without dealing with tasks like writing show notes, guest communication, publishing, and social media promotion. We handle all those aspects, allowing our clients to focus fully on the conversations themselves.
We work similarly with clients who have YouTube channels. While we don’t directly handle editing, we do collaborate closely with their editors or bring in our own to streamline the process. Our clients want to invest their time in front-end marketing and avoid the behind-the-scenes work. That’s where we step in to take care of content creation and management.
Typically, clients handle their own podcast interview setups and maintain a wish list of guests they want to feature. However, we take over guest communication once the interview is over and the episode is nearing its release. We ensure that both the client and the guest are informed about the episode’s release and encourage the guest to promote it to their own audience. This collaboration maximizes exposure and reach for our clients’ podcast episodes.
In essence, our goal is to relieve our clients of the burden of content creation and management, allowing them to focus on why they went into business in the first place: to leverage their own expertise and help their clients.
[Q] What are the key benefits and advantages of working with your team?
There are several significant advantages to partnering with us. One key benefit is the consistency we bring to our client’s businesses. We support them in creating a strategy for their content and marketing, create that content for them, and then make sure it sees the light of day. Too often, business owners sit on their content because they don’t have the time or desire to do the back-end work it takes to publish and promote it. This doesn’t help anyone. So we make sure there’s some consistency behind their messaging and that no one’s time or work stays hidden.
Another benefit to working with us or another marketing agency is that it takes the guesswork out of the equation for the client. Our clients don’t have to guess about how they’re going to market their business because we partner with them and do it for them. Our team excels at crafting high-quality content that aligns with specific marketing goals. By collaborating with content specialists, businesses receive well-crafted, polished content that effectively conveys their message, establishes credibility, and engages their target audience. This expertise elevates the quality and impact of their content, ultimately driving better results.
Working with us is also a cost-effective approach for small service-based businesses. Instead of hiring and maintaining an in-house marketing team, which can be expensive and require ongoing training, outsourcing content creation and marketing allows businesses to access a pool of talent on an as-needed basis. They can avoid costs associated with salaries, benefits, training, and equipment required for an internal team. This enables businesses to focus on their core competencies while efficiently leveraging external resources for content marketing.
By partnering with us, businesses can enjoy the benefits of consistency, professional expertise, and cost efficiency. They can free up their time, knowing their content needs are in capable hands, while they concentrate on serving their clients and growing their business.
[Q] What are the common fears that prevent business owners from seeking help with content marketing?
I hear a lot of fears from business owners and prospective clients. One prevalent fear is that they don’t want to let go of control over their marketing efforts because they worry about maintaining consistency and ensuring that the right message is conveyed to their audience. Another significant challenge is the fear of not achieving the desired results. Business owners may not know what they’re trying to achieve, aside from more sales, so they don’t know how to measure the results of their marketing. Working with a partner on marketing allows a business owner to be able to have a guide in the process as well as someone looking at the results to course correct, if needed.
Interestingly, the content itself is not always the primary driver of results. While content nurtures the audience once they find the business, the real challenge lies in attracting new audiences and actively engaging with them. Often, business owners hire someone to handle their content, thinking that content is what will solve all their marketing and sales problems. The reality is that business owners also need to do some of the work. Actively promoting oneself, interacting on social media, appearing as a podcast guest, participating in guest blogging, and speaking at virtual and in-person events are crucial for expanding the reach and attracting new audiences.
Owning a podcast, blog, or YouTube channel is a really valuable step to establish credibility and thought leadership, but these days it’s unlikely that anyone will be discovered organically through this content no matter how good the SEO is. Business owners must put themselves in front of other people’s audiences by guesting on podcasts, speaking on stages, and collaborating with other businesses that target similar audiences. These opportunities help to establish expertise and expand reach to new audiences who may value the insights shared by the business owner.
Resistance to structure is another common obstacle. Some business owners resist having a structured content or marketing plan in place because they want to be “more organic” or “post when insipred.” However, I believe that structure creates opportunities for business owners to be spontaneous when it suits them. And, let’s face it, when life happens or business gets busy, it’s usually the marketing tasks that fall by the wayside. By having really consistent systems and structure around your content, and even hiring it out, you leave space to create additional content in the moment when you feel inspired. It’s a win-win. The structure provides a foundation while allowing flexibility for business owners to be themselves and engage authentically.
Lastly, it’s important to acknowledge that marketing takes time and is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires consistent effort and multiple touchpoints to deliver the message effectively. Relying on just one method or tactic is not sufficient for success. Simply publishing a podcast and doing nothing else is not going to move the needle. Business owners must factor in a variety of ways to reach and connect with their audience. This requires patience, persistence, and a comprehensive and strategic content marketing plan, but that’s what will yield the best results in the long run.
[Q] What fears or misconceptions do business leaders have about outsourcing content marketing and its impact on their business?
Business leaders often have fears and misconceptions about outsourcing their content marketing. One common fear is the concern that someone else won’t accurately capture their voice or brand. As business owners, we strive for perfection and may have specific expectations for how our content should be published. However, it’s important to embrace different perspectives and leverage the expertise of others to guide our content marketing strategy. That doesn’t mean you should let go of your voice entirely and let someone else just run with it, but it does mean that some flexibility is required. Think about it: When you tell a story to a friend, you’ll tell it in a slightly different way to a different friend weeks later. There are nuances in language and mood that impact how we tell stories. And that’s okay. That’s what it looks like to have someone else create content for you. When you work with a marketing team, quality feedback and open communication is important so you can find a voice that aligns with your brand and feel confident in being hands-off with our content and marketing.
Another fear or misconception, particularly among early-stage business owners, is the pressure to be present and visible in “all the places.” There’s a belief that we have to be active on every social media platform and publish pillar content in multiple places. However, this is not necessarily true, especially when starting out. First, identify where our target audience is most engaged and focus efforts there. Then slowing grow your presence to other channels after you have an established system in place. Overcommitting to multiple platforms can lead to burnout and hinder the ability to serve clients effectively. Finding a balance and prioritizing the platforms that yield the best results is key.
Letting go of the misconception that outsourcing content marketing means relinquishing control entirely is also important. By partnering with a trusted content marketing provider, we can collaborate and provide guidance to ensure that our unique voice and brand essence are maintained. Clear communication, regular check-ins, and constructive feedback are essential in working together to achieve marketing goals.
Understanding that outsourcing content marketing is not about losing control but rather leveraging expertise and support to enhance marketing efforts can help overcome fears and misconceptions. It allows more focus on core business responsibilities while benefiting from the expertise and efficiency of external professionals.
[Q] How can people learn more about your services and expertise?
To learn more about my services and expertise, visit my website at thecontentexperiment.com. There, you’ll find a wealth of valuable resources, insights, and information about content marketing. Additionally, I host a podcast called “The Content Experiment,” where I explore different strategies and techniques to experiment with your content. The podcast offers actionable support in a wide range of content, marketing, and business development topics. It’s all about finding what works for you and your industry in the current moment through small tweaks and changes. Feel free to explore the website and tune in to the podcast for further learning and inspiration in the realm of content marketing.
Jeremy Baker is an Author and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine, covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.