,

How to Become The Expert Through Content Marketing

I’ll start off by warning you that I’ll be quoting an MMA fighter in this article. I’m not an MMA fan. I don’t typically look to athletes for business inspiration. However, Conor McGregor said something at the end of one of his fights that kind of surprised me. I’m sorry to note that I can’t remember what fight it was, or when it originally aired because it was a rerun and I wasn’t that invested until I heard this quote. And if it had been up to me, we would have been watching Gilmore Girls.

But, that’s beside the point. He said, “We didn’t come to take part, we came to take over.” I laughed a little, then I felt a teeny bit of Irish pride (they were in Dublin, and the crowd was going crazy, and I’m descended from Irish immigrant ancestors)… and then I was stunned. That’s an incredible sentiment, and it’s quite apropos for many situations, but I think it’s especially valid for businesses and entrepreneurs.

"We didn't come to take part. We came to take over." Conor McGregor

How does this apply to business and entrepreneurship?

I’m so glad you asked. I’m coming at this from a copywriter and content strategist’s viewpoint. I know, through my work in the corporate world and as a freelancer, that companies and individuals who produce consistent expert-level content quickly find themselves at the top of their fields. They become The Experts in their industry; they’re the go-to person or business.

So, if you’re a company that sells hard goods and you’re considered The Expert in whatever it is you sell, your customers will think of you first when they want to make a purchase. If you’re an individual who provides services or consulting, you’re the person that will be sought out by folks who are ready and willing to pay you whatever is required to get you and your services.

Bottom-line, being The Expert paves the way for partnerships, increased revenue, and other opportunities that aren’t available to middle-ground employees, businesses, and entrepreneurs.

Being The Expert sounds good. But what if you don’t get to the top?

You’ll get pretty damn close.

You’ll spend so much time building your expert status, learning new things, and working on developing and honing your skills, that you’ll eventually become one of the very best. Do you remember that silly poster in elementary schools that said: “shoot for the moon; even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”? Aiming to be The Expert is essentially just like that poster. You may not be THE Expert, but you’ll be right up there next to them.

It’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t just one expert on any given topic. There are usually a group of experts and each one has a unique viewpoint or delivery system, and, therefore, a unique audience. And they typically shift positions from top expert to “one of the bunch”, like musical chairs. (I always destroyed my peers at musical chairs. That was my peak, though.)

You can absolutely be one of the best, but only if you’re willing to put in the work to do so, and only if that’s actually your goal.  

Being The Expert isn’t for everyone

I don’t believe that every person or business can be The Expert (obviously, that just doesn’t make sense), or that you’re somehow deficient if that’s just not your goal. However, for myself, and people like me who DO want to be known as the go-to person or business for X, McGregor’s quote and attitude is essential to success.

It’s not enough to just float along with the rest of the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. You’ve got to have the experience, knowledge, skills, and drive to become The Expert, but you also have to have a plan.

That’s where content marketing comes into play

Content marketing is a method popularized by Joe Pulizzi, Founder, and CEO of Content Marketing Institute. It’s essentially providing free published content to your target audience to build your reputation as The Expert, or the go-to authority on the topic. Then, after you’ve become The Expert, you monetize and can sell your product or service or solution to your loving and devoted audience.

Now, this content isn’t just thrown out with no plan. You’ve got to choose your expert topics or industry, choose your tilt, tweak your content to fit your audience, and plan for scalability. And you really do have to know what you’re talking about.

Companies that utilize quality content marketing see major successes. Consider these cases, and then think of your own. There are hundreds of examples.

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk – did you know he used daily wine tasting videos for the “everyday person” to build his liquor store into a multi-million dollar franchise before starting a different company?
  2. Red Bull – Red Bull started Red Bull Media House to produce a print and digital magazine, and license video and photography to outside media outlets. Red Bull Media House is now a completely separate entity that makes more revenue than Red Bull does in drink sales.
  3. GOOP – Gwyneth Paltrow started the blog GOOP and it’s now a content marketing empire. In fact, a number of bloggers have seen this kind of success. They typically start a blog as a hobby, become the expert, and then scale the blog to a much larger company, producing higher-quality content, partnering with big stores or celebrities to produce and promote their products.
  4. Philip DeFranco – DeFranco started as a YouTuber and quickly amassed a huge following. He’s recently started his own media company and is producing political/news videos.  
  5. Marie Forleo – again, MarieTV was a youtube channel that combined Marie’s love of dancing, business coaching, and entrepreneurship into one entity. She used her personality and expertise to grow a huge following and is now one of the go-to resources for entrepreneurs.

Another real-life example, but Harry Potter themed, because I can

Let’s draw inspiration from the successes of Queen Rowling, who perfectly demonstrates content marketing. We’ll call it JK Rowling and the Harry Potter Franchise.  JK Rowling wrote a children’s book. It got published. She wrote a few more. The got published. And she made a ton of money. That was her content. That took years to do. But then she monetized and scaled.

She built her devoted following, my generation, who devoured book after book. Our parents bought us each copy when it came out, shelled out money for us to see the movies, and even bought us little Potter trinkets for Christmas. That was successful, and she amassed a fortune. But then she kicked it up a notch.

My generation grew up, and with our growth and maturity and Potter devotion, we also gained disposable income. So what does Rowling et. al. do? They build a theme park. Then produce spin-off franchises. They create a free website (www.pottermore.com) and sell the audio books. Then create quality (expensive) Potter paraphernalia, and we buy the crap out of it.

I won’t tell you how many Potter Pop! Dolls I have because I’m trying to be a professional right now, but let’s just say… a few. My generation will spend thousands of dollars to experience the wizarding world “for real” at Universal, and we’ll drag our kids along and slowly brainwash them to love everything Potter, as well.

And it all started with a children’s book. Actually, it all started with an idea on a train.

Content marketing, summarized

This is the power of content marketing. Rowling, Forleo, Oprah, Martha Stewart…Like them, you build your expert status through content. For businesses and service-providers, this means writing content relevant to your field and your audience and releasing it into the wild for free (or for a limited barrier to entry – like an email signup).

After you’ve built a large, dedicated following through your valuable content, and you become The Expert, you monetize. Now, this isn’t to say you can’t  monetize on a smaller scale before your content marketing game has made you The Expert, but you make the big money when you’ve attained expert-status.

Conclusion

If your goal is to create a business that does well enough to keep you where you’re at, then you probably don’t need to worry about becoming The Expert.

However, if your goal is to build an empire, you absolutely need to become The Expert, and the best way to do that is through content marketing.

So, my question to you is, are you here to take part, or are you here to take over? If you want to take over, read Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi (I’ve dropped an Amazon affiliate link below, so you can pick it up. I’ve read it and I love it and I highly recommend it). 

 If you need help creating a content marketing strategy, or implementing one, reach out to me. It’s what I do.

What did you think of this post? Are you utilizing a content marketing strategy for your business? Let’s chat about it in the comments.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *