A fortress is a structure that protects whatever is on the inside–an entire village, castles, a high-and-mighty king and all his jewels.
But, in this case, what’s inside the fortress is your business. And instead of stone, the fortress is made up of content.
It may sound a little drastic. Having to ‘protect’ your business with a fortress of content. This isn’t life or death, is it? We’re not at war.
Of course not. But you are the most important asset in your business. And you must protect yourself to guarantee the future health and success of your business.
We’ve found that the easiest, simplest and most effective way to protect yourself and your business is through content.
Our Fancy-Pants Definition of a Content Fortress:
A Content Fortress is about using content to protect your business, time and even your mental health.
It’s a proactive prevention strategy, ensuring you only attract and serve the right customers. Each piece of content that you create, using this strategy, is another stone in your content fortress.
Content Fortress: A Happy Accident Born From Unhappy Circumstances
We’d used content marketing to grow our business. And it worked well…
- We ranked on Google
- We 10x our website traffic
- We had a steady flow of leads and sales
- We raised our prices
Something was wrong.
None of this stopped us from getting stressed. In fact, when we reached this level of success, we were more stressed than we’d ever been. We were constantly busy, sometimes dealing with difficult or demanding clients, and our work/life balance was pretty much 100% work/ 0% life.
So it got us thinking. If we could use content marketing to grow our business, could we develop a way of using content to protect our business from difficult client situations and, more importantly, protect our time?
That’s when we started to build a Content Fortress (although it didn’t have such a cool name at the time).
Identify Your Gaps – Fill Them With Content
Building a Content Fortress is all about identifying the gaps in your business–in your processes, in your communication, in all those problem areas that cause you stress and hassle–and using content to improve them (or eradicate the issues entirely).
On the flip side, as well as preventing problems, it’s also about working with your dream customers. It’s about how to educate your prospects, and get them to a place where they’re your dream customers, who understand who you are and how you work. The kind of customers that get you out of bed in the morning.
An Example of Content Fortress in Action…
If you want to see an example of this in action, we published a blog post why new business owners shouldn’t thousands invest in a new website.
We did this because…
- New business owners needed a lot of our time and support (not just with their website but with setting up a business)
- The projects took a long time as they didn’t have website-copy, a logo or branding.
- They would want to wait until their site was live until they started selling (and had to get their investment back quickly)
- They would need to change their website shortly after it went live, because a lot changed for their businesses within the first twelve months.
It’s fair to say that new business owners weren’t the right fit for us. And, spending thousands on a website wasn’t the right thing for them either.
By creating content, we prevented new business owners from working with us. But we also educated them on the best route to take.
Instead of saying no in an email, feeling awkward, typing and then deleting the email a thousand times. Or coming across as arrogant–like we didn’t want to work with new business owners. We explained our reasoning through content.
It saved us time, money and stress.
Since then no new business owners have asked us to build them a website. But…people have read that blog post, and come back years later when they were in a better position to invest.
People Don’t Care What You Say. They Care What You Publish.
We could just send an email every time a new business owner asked us to design a website. We could just explain our reasons why we don’t do it.
But when you publish something, it commits you to it. It proves to your prospect that this is true. It shows them you take it seriously. And it shows them that this is not just something that applies to them, it’s how you run your business for all your customers.
You can say all sorts of things to your prospects and customers. But, the sad fact is, people, don’t care what you say. They only care what you publish.People Don't Care What You Say. They Care What You Publish. 'What is a Content Fortress and Why Is It Vital For Your Business?' Click To Tweet
Making A Commitment To Yourself
Building your Content Fortress helps you stick to your own rules. Because we’re all tempted to take on the wrong fit or bend our processes a little. Especially when money is waved in front of us. Even if you have that niggling feeling in your stomach, telling you something isn’t right. You say, oh it’s fine. Yes, there are some red-flags with XYZ. But it’ll be okay.
You’re only human. We all get tempted! But content is a great way to keep ourselves in line. We can’t go back once it’s published.
The Eight Pillars of the Content Fortress
There are eight pillars that make up a content fortress. By producing content around these eight pillars, you will…
- Attract your dream clients
- Prevent customer issues
- Communicate better with your customers
- Have happier customers who are more likely to recommend you
The Eight Pillars That Make Up Your Content Fortress
During stressful or uncertain times in our business, we turned to content to help us. We wanted to create a business that supported the life we wanted to lead. And we discovered that there are eight different types of content you can create in order to protect your time, and work with your dream customers.
In our book, Content Fortress, we do a deep dive into each of these pillars, with examples from businesses who do it well. But here’s an overview to help…
There’s a lot of talk about attracting your ideal clients. But not so much about repelling those who are the wrong fit. You have to actively repel the ‘wrong fits’ from buying from you. And you have to do this BEFORE they get in touch. Why? Because you don’t want these people taking up any of your time. You don’t want them disrupting your day. That’s why content is the best way to do this.
In the same way as repelling content, you have to ‘actively’ attract your dream clients. The problem is, our ‘dream’ clients aren’t always paying attention to us. You need to create content that proves to them that your products or services are helpful and relevant–even if they’re unaware of you, your product. Or even if they don’t think you can help.
Sales content is for those lurkers who are ‘on the fence’ about working with you. They know who you are, and they know how you can help. But they’re still a little unsure. This kind of content gives them the push (or shove) that they need. It gives them the confidence that you’re the right company for them. It sells your products and services just like a good salesperson could face-to-face.
Every single customer who gets in touch with you will ask you about the cost of your products or services. But the kind of ‘pricing content’ we’re talking about goes way beyond talking about the cost of your products or services. It’s about creating specific pieces of pricing content that will attract your ideal customers and keep your current customers happy. It’s not ‘here’s what I charge’. It’s ‘this is why I charge what I charge’.
Guiding content is content that helps your prospects become better, more well-informed customers. This means by the time you take them on as a client or customer you spend less time educating them. You get started on the project or deliver the product much quicker, and your customer feels completely at ease.
Process content tells your customer exactly what is happening at every stage of the buying journey. From the moment your customer hands over their precious cash, to the moment you deliver your product (and beyond) they should be informed about your process and what happens next. This is a biggie in terms of keeping your customers happy.
Culture Content is a way of using who you are, your values and your story to attract your dream clients. Knowing and promoting who you are and what you stand for isn’t some cringy marketing exercise (well, it doesn’t have to be). It’s vital when it comes to attracting your dream customers. The kind of customers that get you out of bed in the morning.
We all have opinions about what we do. About our work, our customers and our industry. We form these opinions through experience and knowledge. But often, we don’t share these opinions with our prospective clients, and we definitely don’t do it in our content. But we should, because this is the way you can attract like-minded customers who you’ll love to work with.
Try This Simple Task…
Now all of that can feel a little…scary. It seems like a lot there. But you don’t need to produce content for each pillar straight away. Try this simple task first.
Think of the last time you had an issue in your business – it could be a miscommunication with a customer or taking on the wrong kind of client.
Now, think of how you can prevent this from happening again. Because you’d do things differently, right? Now think of a piece of content you can create to combat this problem from happening again. Just like we did with the blog post, ‘why new businesses shouldn’t spend thousands on a website’.
That’s all you have to do, think about it. Got it?
That’s Content Fortress. It’s learning from all those issues in your business and using content to prevent them happening again.
If you want to delve deeper into what Content Fortress is all about and how it can help your business, pre-order our book. It’s £12+ delivery. And 10% of sales go to the mental health charity, Mind.
Also, those who pre-order will get a place on our Content Fortress live training taking place in October – for free. Click the link below…