Many creative types get frustrated when they work in a B2B situation, or any other industry that may be much less sexy than consumer technology, fashion, sports, or entertainment. Everyone wants to focus on creating the right content — content that will attract positive attention, better SEO and social media viral goodness. But what if you’re selling network cables? dumpster covers? toilet seats? the sticky stuff that keeps rugs from unraveling? What do you have to work with?
Solve a Problem
Get back to basics — you’re probably in business because your product solves a problem, or makes something else better. Write about the challenges and solutions that will benefit your potential customers — not just the problems and solutions that involve your product, but the other unique challenges your customers face with everything from supply chain management, logistics, global networking, web conferencing solutions, etc. This is what is meant by becoming a resource. Yes, it will take work, but there should be plenty to keep you juiced up creatively, get your foot in the door with prospects and retain your most valuable customers.
Get Relevant, Get Creative
Anytime you’re just focused on your own product or service you will have a relevance problem. This type of navel gazing can often be fascinating for those who devote their day-to-day activities on this product or service, but the rest of the world could often care less. For this, I like to play a game — write down the 10 most prominent pop culture influences that are prominent right now. Then, force yourself to write headlines for each that combine the pop culture reference (no word play) with your product/service/issue. To be relevant in a way that will still drive business value for your organization, you need to get creative. Connect the dots between what the world cares about and what your business cares about — realize they’re rarely the same things. You don’t necessarily have to use these headlines, but you must break through the notion that your business is boring.
Be the Media
Not mass media, of course, but your own little hyper-niche, hyper-focused version of the media. Publish interviews with industry leaders, government regulators and experts that your potential customers look to for guidance. Tip: it’s often a lot easier to ask the CEO of a prospect company for an interview than an appointment for a sales pitch. Just make sure to follow up with thank you notes that include links — arm your sales force with the links to the interview to send their contacts within the organization. Make sure they’re the first to know what you’re doing and how it can help them.
What Does the Audience Say?
I know many of you are doing great work in boring businesses. How do you move your organization to begin thinking of the audience first?
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