The office door was littered with Post-It notes. A colourful reminder of how far the business had come in a relatively short time. It was a simple way of managing my week, a week which would see me working on projects for five different clients. Yes it was a logisitcal challenge, yes I had tight deadlines to meet and yes at times it was a bit overwhelming. But what a buzz. What a feeling.
It was the week where it all came together. Each project was different but all were equally enjoyable. It’s only now, a few weeks later, that I understand why that week was so crticial for me and for my family.
Before starting the business, and while employed, I talked about success being measured by my ability to answer ‘yes’ to two key questions. They were –
And the truth was, I couldn’t answer yes to either of them. It’s not to say that I didn’t work hard, I absolutely did, but I never felt that I really added the value that I could, because of the parameters of my role. And although I may have been valued by some, I was never made to feel that way.
Fast forward and now I can absolutely answer yes to both questions. How do I know I’m adding value? My clients tell me. How do I know I’m valued? My clients tell me. But more than that, I feel it. I feel what I do matters. I feel what I do is making a difference, and that it is quite a liberating experience.
As I reflect on the last couple of months, something else strikes me. I’m making the vast majority of my living through the act of writing. I’ve written marketing plans, social media campaigns, press releases, an awards submission, blog posts, web copy, scripts for videos and social media posts. It might not be a novel or a script for a movie that will be remembered long after I’m gone, but it’s content that has mattered to my clients and content that helped their business, and just as importantly, it’s content that I’ve really enjoyed writing.
I believe that content, like blog posts, case studies, social media posts and animated videos can make a massive difference to any business. They allow businesses, and the people that run them, to tell the stories that make them unique. Stories that make connections and that have the power to change the relationship between buyer and seller. They also have the power to surprise and entertain.
One client told me today that they had a conversation with one of their customers recently. They shared their origin story. Where they started, the struggles, the hard times, to the very successful business they are today. The customer responded by saying “I never knew that?”. That story will be one of the first pieces of content they write on the new blog section of their site. They have countless more tales to tell. Tales that they take for granted, but each one is an opportunity for them to make a connection.
I see so many business owners investing time, effort and cold hard cash in driving people to their website. Sometimes when visitors arive at the site, the content is good, sometimes it’s awesome but mostly, it’s not. It’s bland, it’s weak and it certainly doesn’t make a connection. I should know. My own site looks fine, but the content is poor, because I’ve been so busy working on client projects and on trying to grow my own business that my website and in fact all my content has played 2nd fiddle to almist everything else. That ends now. Now is the time to create meaningful content. Content that small business owners can use. Content that makes people stop and think. And content that is valued, and adds value.
I’m creating topic lists and ideas that I’ll turn into blog posts and videos, but if anyone has any challenges they’re facing in their own business, related to sales, marketing or business development, I’ll happily tackle that as well.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported Square Tree Marketing so far. That includes my family and friends. And a special thanks to the following companies who have trusted Square Tree Marketing to help tackle their marketing challenges.
PS – I’ve updated our Animated Video Marketing page with some examples of the work we’ve created in the merry month of May.