Remember the time you moved out of your comfort zone and felt the fear?
It’s could be as extreme as booking a skydive, then feeling the reality setting in when your body is hanging out the door of the plane. Or a more typical business event, like going to a networking event alone and feeling uneasy, with the urge to race back to the car. Many of the accountants we talk to have experienced it when recording their first video, but not finding the courage to share it with anyone.
You’re not alone.
We’ve been doing a lot of video content at PF and it does take a bit of getting used to. We’re used to it now, but I got to thinking about how many accountants feel the same pressure when it comes to sharing content. We’ve seen it in our Facebook group for accountants – some are comfortable sharing a video there (safe place, with lots of other accountants), but some aren’t even there yet.
Overcoming the fear is critical to getting your firm’s marketing content out there.
Before you move to the scary part (sharing), back up a few steps and prepare. This will help immensely with releasing some of that fear. It may even go away entirely!
Set yourself a goal
First of all think have a think about what the purpose of your content is?
Your goal could be to get your clients, and prospective clients more switched on about using the features in Xero.
By sharing your knowledge and experience you get the double win of people realising how clued up you are as well as the services you offer – without having to be salesy.
The next step is to think about what format is best to share your content. A series of blog post tips, email tips or as a video series? Which one will work best? To determine this, look at your target audience. How do they educate themselves? What would be most appealing to them?
No matter what format you decide will fit your audience best, keep focusing on the goal to keep the content on track. When you read through your blog draft do you think your expertise comes across to help your audience understand the Xero features? Or have you simply told them a few facts that they could read for themselves on the Xero website?
Make sure you know your stuff both about your target audience and the topic you are focusing on. That will boost your own confidence and help you come across as knowledgeable.
Remember the reason people view content in any format is because it touches on their pain points and relates to them. When it speaks to them directly, and clearly (no jargon) you’ll start to build a connection. “They ask, you answer” is a great approach we’ve shared before because accountants really connect to it.
For example, your audience may be construction companies that don’t know how to set up Xero or how to pull reports. Let your blog speak to them in their language (not yours), and about the topics they are struggling with as a construction company using Xero. Then they’ll continue to look to you for advice, building up a relationship over time.
One of the ways to do this is to use the exact words and phrases your clients use when talking to you. Listen to what they say (or record the call) and write it down verbatim. If they say “I don’t get this quotes thing in Xero – how does it work?” then use that phrase exactly. Don’t rewrite it to something that you feel sounds more professional (“Utilising the quotes feature in Xero”) because that’s not only boring, it won’t connect with the right kind of people.
Now, share your content.
It’s one thing writing a blog and reading it yourself, or even recording a video for the first time. Opening it up to others can be daunting if you’re new to it.
A few steps to try before sharing content with your target audience:
- Test your content with colleagues. Send your blog to a few people who can give you honest feedback and take it onboard. (Most of them will say “it’s great!”)
- Share it with the PF Marketing Community. We have about 300 members on here and they are all very encouraging. They’ll also help you with constructive feedback. Everyone’s in the same boat. And of course the PF team are in there to give guidance in creating or editing your content.
- Test with a trusted client. We do this with new systems and programmes before we launch them to everyone. You’ll get some reassurance and make sure you’re on the right track.
Once you’ve done this, there’s not much more testing you need to do. (The less testing the better, really, because it can become an excuse. Once you’ve tested it a little and feel it’s as ready as it’ll be, go for it. Share it.
As with everything, the more you do it, the better you become. The more writing you do the easier you’ll find drafting your next blog. The more videos you record, the more at ease you’ll feel, the more confident on screen you’ll become.
Remember, you can always edit it more later! Or re-record the video down the road. This is not the final and only piece of content you’ll ever create on this topic.
Don’t let the excuses stop you.
We all make excuses. “I don’t have the time to sit down and record the Xero tips, or write them. I’ll put it off today and do it next month.”
Or “I’m not great on video. This other person does it so well and is so confident. I’d better wait until I get confidence.”. Sound about right?
These excuses won’t help your marketing. You need to give it a try. Granted it won’t be perfect, but with time you’ll get to where you want to be. And the time the content takes you will be cut right down as you naturally get better and quicker. The benefits far outweigh the challenges.
One of the best ways to build confidence (and avoid excuses) is to join our 12-week Accelerator – which is a group training that allows you to set your own content marketing challenge. Will you record a video each week? Write six blog posts? Redo your website? You set the challenge, whatever it is, and we’ll help you achieve it. Amazing opportunity to actually build confidence, with all the support you need. It kicks off in September but you can register right now.