Your Resume Isn’t Enough

You need content (not only a resume) if you want to distinguish yourself

The only way to stay competitive is to stay authentic. A resume can help, but it doesn’t pain a full picture.


If you don’t know the answer, that’s okay. Will you learn the answer? If you don’t have the qualifications, that’s okay. How can you gain them? If you don’t have the network, that’s okay. How can you start conversations with the people you want to connect with? These are all important questions to consider.


In a candidate pool of over 10,000 people, there truly is only one way to stand out. You have to be able to demonstrate an ability to learn quickly and a strong work ethic. A resume can highlight these two core qualities but, content can do it better.


You don’t need a big audience. You don’t need a multi-media plan that covers podcast production, a vlog, and 1,000-word weekly blog posts. You do however need to take advantage of the social networks and easy-to-make website creators available today.


A resume is like a thumbnail, it will only showcase a small part of who you are. Content is like the thousands of pixels in an image, it will showcase a deeper level of your expertise, curiosity, interests, and most importantly—your uniqueness.


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Do You Understand The Customer’s Problem?

Don’t listen to what they say, follow the money instead

If you want a customer to become price insensitive towards your product or service, you have to build trust. The fastest and most direct way to create this necessary trust is to understand your customer’s problem. Yet, one of the challenges in actually obtaining this understanding is to be able to determine what these problems are even when the customer isn’t fully aware of them. A customer’s perception of a problem and the reality of what that problem actually is are two different things.


A customer may believe that one of their current problems is being able to get groceries during the COVID-19 crisis, as an example. However, if we were to look at where they actually spend their money, we can paint a different picture. If a hypothetical group of surveyed customers says that their main expense and main concern is on groceries but, they spend more money on takeout—we have to prioritize their spending habits. How people spend their money and why they save their money is a better indicator of the problems and concerns that are truly important to them.


If you are able to determine what your customer’s spending habits are, showcase how these spending habits reflect their real problems, and then market stories related to that problem without overtly promoting the specific solution that you provide—you create a winning formula to generate trust. Combine your customer’s spending habits with what they are sharing online and you can start optimizing your branding and marketing strategies.


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Categorizing Your Content By Level Of Customer Awareness

You must categorize your content if you want it to resonate with your customers

If you’re a moving services company, you would send Instagram story ads to someone who just recently finished moving. Your ads would be better served when targeting people who recently got a new job—they are more likely to relocate. You also wouldn’t sell supplements to someone who isn’t health conscious. It would better to promote your product inside Facebook groups that discuss the latest trends in fitness.


To be a great content marketer you have to be able to think about the level of awareness your customer has. If you create a video, are you speaking to someone who knows about your brand or someone who doesn’t even know about the problem that you are promising to solve? A customer could be:

  • totally unaware of the problem;
  • aware of the problem but, they think it’s not relatable;
  • they may know that the problem pertains to them but, they don’t have a solution;
  • they know about your solution but, are hesitant and need social proof;
  • they are aware of your brand and are ready to buy (sometimes they just don’t have the money at the moment).


Does your customer know that they have a problem?

When thinking about your sales funnel, try to map your content onto it. Where do your current creative assets lie? If you’re creating too much promotional content, without creating any posts that are promoting the problem—you are missing the point.


Everyone is promoting their brand, their logo, their solution. An easy way to promote yourself, without selling too much, is by promoting the problem instead. If you educate and entertain people about a relatable problem in their lives, they are more receptive to following you. This doesn’t mean that they are ready to buy from you, there is a process for everything.


When is the right time to sell?

Once you have their attention instead of selling to them, focus on building a relationship. It is important that when we consider targeting a user on any platform, we think about when is the right time to ask them to buy. Our confidence level in knowing the right time can be indicated by them following us, by them subscribing to a newsletter, and by them engaging with our content.


All of these touchpoints will get us closer to the sale, but we shouldn’t rush the process. Often times, the customer doesn’t buy from us because we asked them to. The level of emotion that is involved in the buying process (i.e. buying a pair of socks versus buying a car) will determine how long that process will take.


Refrain from simply pumping money into your ad spend and targeting as many people as possible. Showcase your ability to be empathetic to your customer’s needs instead and showcase your knowledge on the problem. If you do this, you will stay top of mind when the customer is ready to buy.


There will be a challenge in attributing which specific piece of content lead to the sale. However, this challenge tends to be less of a priority if you don’t know which piece of content is right for which type of customer. This is why categorizing your content should be at the beginning of your content marketing strategy.


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This Is A Post

Creatives can only succeed if they are consistent

Even if it is to serve yourself, to improve your thinking, take the time to share your voice. Your voice matters. Someone will eventually hear what you have to say and whether or not they agree with you—the creator’s mission is to have their work be read, heard, digested.


The ideal case is that through each post that you share, you gain one new follower. However, you can invest five years of your life to a craft only to have 30 committed fans. Depending on how fulfilling the work is (and if you’re planning to live off of your work) will determine whether or not you should continue pursuing success.


And success is a vague term. Depending on what your work is, what it entails, 30 fans (committed customers) can feed you for a year if you can get them to value your work at $1,000 a product (imagine a book or course costing that much).


Just remember that you can pursue a craft for years without anyone caring about it. You can commit to something and not make a cent. Yet, if you are happy in the struggle then you are still winning.


People are reading less and less. That doesn’t stop me from writing. I’m certain that the 30 people who read this blog (or at least click on a link to have the page load) gain something of value from my words. Those are the people I write for. In the event that they stop reading, then I suppose I’m writing for myself.


Things could be worse.


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The Next Time You Post Something: Listen Before Creating Your Content

How are you leveraging your customer’s complaints?

Words have power. If you can provide a simple message that’s understandable and excites me enough to act, you’ve won. However, we are posting content without listening to what our users have to say.


Our users are complaining on Reddit and Twitter, they are complaining about our competitors and about us. If we want to stop these complaints we have to listen to them. That way we can take their concerns and make better products and services, and create better messaging to promote them. It’s the best way to start creating our content.


Give me the visual in the simplest and shortest message possible so I can thank you for your content and move on with my day. I’m already bombarded with ads and I don’t have the time to be suffocated by your mission, vision, and purpose. Does your brand help me? If the answer is yes, that’s one problem solved.


The next problem is telling me that you can help me, without wasting my time. The best way to do this can be revealed by listening to what I’ve complained about and what words I used to complain about it.


“Less is more,” is a cliche for a reason.


Image Credit: Unsplash

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