Once upon a time there was a lost business owner…
… who disappeared from the digital village to which she belonged.
Things have been quiet on the business front. Quiet in that I’ve tried to keep myself away from social media. Quiet in that I haven’t been spruiking my business or stuffing insufferable motivation quotes down clogged throats. Quiet in that I’ve chosen to focus on my service offering and be the best dog-namn recruitment writer the world has ever seen!
Social media glory is just a distraction from my business. And, I’ve been choosing to invest in my business for the time being. Insta-glory can wait.
Noted; this is the opposite to what I started out doing all those years ago. Two years ago, I was a social media tart. I was on Facebook and Instagram every day advising clueless small business owners how to write awesome, how to content market awesome, and how to build a brand awesome.
Granted, back then I thought my clientele were small and micro business owners. Granted, back then they were. But I started Craft intending to write HR comms for corporates, it’s just I barely got there. I detoured.
In the beginning, 75% of my clients came from word-of-mouth referrals. Twenty per cent came from Google search (I proudly boast of my page 1 rank for ‘kick-ass copywriter Brisbane’. Apparently, lots of people search for that but if you so much as try and snatch it from me I’ll beat you down with my keep cup!)
Ermmm… where were we?
Yes – and around 5% of my clients came via a social media enquiry. (Do you track how many you get?)
I probably have as many social enquiries as I do the other two, it’s just they never convert because they’re usually SBOs who don’t have a marketing budget, or a marketing plan, or a strategy to ensure anything I write for them is going to deliver results and not chew a huge hole in their non-existent marketing kitty. And I don’t write crap and I don’t work cheap.
These aren’t my people.
So, it finally hit me. I’m struggling to grow because I’m trying to market a gold-tier service to copper-tier budgets. On social, that is.
My people aren’t hanging out on Facebook and Instagram lapping up my business writing advice and on a whim deciding they want to work with me.
My people are on LinkedIn or searching for me in Google or talking to their network. They have a budget and they need and value writing expertise.
So, I changed my strategy.
My business pivot
At some point in late July/August while approaching my second business birthday, miserable that I couldn’t afford to throw another birthday bash for my biz angels and clients, I was struck by the epiphany.
My business is not viable in this market. My business will not grow and will not afford me the lifestyle I desire while I keep myself in the small business market (sorry team, said with love).
Because too many don’t understand what content marketing has to offer and actually, most are better off spending their marketing budget on ad campaigns – because what they really need is fast cash and what content marketing delivers, is longer term.
And, if I’m really honest, some subject matter has been challenging for me to connect with and fist pump the air about because it’s not my jam. Captain of everything isn’t my jam.
My heart screamed at me – “Go back to recruitment!”
I <3 Recruitment
God I miss it so much. At first I put my name forward to be a ‘recruiter for hire’ for businesses lacking hiring expertise and time. But once I dipped my toes back in there, I remembered the purpose for Craft.
Employer branded content. Engaging employee comms.
And I just went for it. I re-positioned Craft to again face true North.
And it’s the best decision I’ve made.
Because no one is doing recruitment marketing. Well, no freelancer is and agencies can be painful rip offs, so I’m an awesome alternative!
And that was my ah-ha! moment. That was my area of influence – my #zoneofgenius – my unique selling proposition.
That’s what makes me different to every business content writer on the market.
I have HR and recruitment expertise – and I’m a darn fine writer. Cue: $100 bills falling from the sky and landing in big piles at my feet.
So, what does my social media marketing strategy look like now?
After changing direction, service offerings, and audience, naturally, I shook up my social media strategy and re-prioritised my platforms. I pulled away from the daily publication schedule required by the Zuck’s empire, and now focus my intentions on LinkedIn; it’s much kinder on your time and easier to manage (and more fruitful).
So my priorities look like this:
I also shifted the purpose for each; each has their own key messages and talking points. Each will develop a slightly different version of my Kelly brand, because, I’m not just about the business writing.
Here’s a high level view of each platform’s purpose and my personas:
Persona: Recruitment marketing writer for hire. Known to rant.
Key talking points: Crappy job ads, recruitment marketing tips – authenticity and humour in your brand voice, corporate jargon buster and cliché-killer, small business and balance, onboarding campaigns.
Purpose: To be The go-to recruitment marketing writer for cheeky employer brands.
Persona: Recruitment marketing writer for hire. Small business owner. Known to rant.
Key talking points: Business writing tips and observations, rants, content marketing strategy, brand voice, job ad copy, small business balance.
Purpose: Acts as a public profile for my business services; helps build Kelly as the corporate jargon buster and go-to recruitment writer.
Persona: Recruitment marketing writer for hire. Will be a famous author. Friends with anxiety, gin, chocolate, coffee, and toilet humour. Known to rant.
Key talking points: general writing tips and observations, business and balance, anxiety and mindfulness, my writerly pursuits, brand voice in corporate copy.
Purpose: Builds Brand Kelly – the writer. To be more personal.
#truthbomb. I actually find it easier to come up with content for LinkedIn now because it’s all fun corporate stuff I love ranting about that I never could find a place for on Instagram. Sheesh. I’ve changed.
Feeling lost in your business? My advice to you is this…
#1 Find your zone of genius
Find what sets you apart. Hopefully, it also makes you a rich, happy and excitable puppy, too!
#2 Position yourself where it matters and market yourself how it matters.
Don’t whore yourself out all over Facebook and Instagram because you think it’s the right thing to do. Be strategic. Where is your ideal client likely to be when they’re looking to make a purchasing decision? For corporates – it’s not while looking through food pics on Instagram.
#3 Brand yourself well.
If you’re pivoting and it means a new audience or new service – Invest in branding to match. What I thought I wanted for Craft when I began is not who I’ve become. I didn’t realise my writing was such a delight for many. I didn’t emphasise my colourful language and conversational tone in my brand.
I wanted people to think I was original, service oriented, intelligent, higher quality, and warm. What I actually am is, creative, humorous, intelligent, different, and warm. My new brand is going to be brighter and more playful and much unlike other corporate writer brands on the market (who tend to stick with darker tones and navy blues – sah serious). I can’t wait to launch!
Once you have these three things, have a think about your best marketing channels and where you should be spending most time and effort. Lock down your 3-5 key messages / talking points and speak about them consistently. You’ll soon develop a reputation for your expertise.
I’m starting from scratch again, but I’m gaining momentum which is fun to see.
And there you have it!
My thoughts on pivoting your business to better align with your heart and strengths. I’m excited for all the changes I have coming, new branding, new website, new content strategy. I’m less excited about implementing it all, though! Stay tuned 😉
Let me know in the comments if you’ve recently pivoted and what your challenges were and your advice for others feeling lost.
*Cover image source: Edu Lauton @unsplash.com