Founded in 2012, Pierce Content Marketing is an agency that helps corporate brands engage with small business owners by creating content strategies content tailored to entrepreneurs in need. Through working with recognized corporations – including Scotiabank, FedEx, CBC, Profit Magazine and Sage Canada – content is distributed more widely.
“I love giving advice to entrepreneurs” says Roger Pierce, the agency’s founder. “It’s all about giving people information, connecting them with your website and your company, giving something in advance and hopefully gaining customers’ trust to your business”.
Content can be presented in various forms such as articles, blogs, guides, newsletters, infographics, interactive planning tools, webinars, videos, and podcasts.
The content marketing and sales
“Content is the new marketing, “ Roger affirms. Instead of relying on traditional media such as television or print advertising, people are navigating online to find startup help. Articles are easily found that hold relevant information and links to other articles, Advice, tips or a budget service plan is sent to people’s email inboxes through newsletters they subscribed to, driving more potential clients to the company’s blog or website. This is part of the selling process through content marketing.
“Everyone wins in this context. Entrepreneurs get some free advice; corporations establish trust with their customers [because of their free service or offer]. The economy wins while more people are driven and committed to establish their businesses successfully,” Roger says.
Find your niche market
To fully realize the power of content marketing, the first thing for you to do is to find your business niche and develop contents on that basis. “You have to define whom you are selling to and what you are selling, and prove that there is a market”. Roger continues to explain, “A niche market is a narrowly-defined group of customers sharing the same buying characteristics”.
The best way to find your niche market is by doing market research. Get an overall picture of the industry, prospective customers and competitors. Follow this up with holding customer surveys, and/or focus groups to nail your niche down.
Knowing your niche market helps you to concentrate your investments on activities that generate actual business growth and spend less with limiting startup resources.
Once your niche is recognized, marketing through social media can be a good, low-cost option to get the word out about your business. People no longer accept simple “Buy from xx” advertisements; instead, share an article with your business tips and interact with your prospective customers online. Social medias channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, help you get the message out and reach a wider audience.
In addition to being a content marketing expert, Roger understands clearly how the hurl of financing brings people’s dreams down. In his perspective, the top sources of financing are personal savings, friends/families, banks, credit unions, investors, and government grants. If you get a bit of money from each of these sources, you might just get the sum you need.
Before asking financial support, Roger recommends you calculate your budget. Add up all your expenses for the next 6 months including living expenses for your family, expected office expenses, your capital equipment, plus 10% for safety.
“People usually go straight to the banks with neither a proper idea of their startup budget nor credible track records,” Roger says, “They feel frustrated when the banks deny their loans and then give up on their dreams”. As an entrepreneur, you must learn how financing works and have the perseverance to bring sufficient resources on board to keep the business going.
Mentoring holds you accountable in what you do
To Roger, a mentor is someone who you can naturally talk to. “I used to have a mentor whom I did not want to talk about business with. During our weekly call, he would simply check with me the three things that I said to finish that week, ask why I failed to complete part of it, and what to do to fix it in the following week. A mentor is the person who holds you accountable, keeps you on track and motivates you to solve the problems ahead”.
For people who are proactively seeking for mentors, Roger recommends to navigate www.tenthousandcoffees.com, a website that connects successful executives of today to leaders of tomorrow. “Reach out, and you will be surprised how many people are out there to help you!”
Roger suggests to young or first-time entrepreneurs, “Keep your day job unless your startup is ready to go. That helps you accumulate actual work experiences and stay in contact with the industry network that can potentially be your future customers”.
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