February was one of the most stressful yet rewarding months for me.
I've hosted my first workshop, registered Joyce Tsang Content Marketing as a limited company, and learned some things the hard way while I remained dedicated to my goals.
As mentioned in my previous logs, I have set up my whole 2022 with yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals. My head is definitely in the game. So much so that it has been unconsciously affecting each and every one of my daily moves. It has been tiring. But it pushes things along, helps me identify my priorities, and sets the right foundation for what's to come next.
For Q1, my overarching goal is to connect. I want to further understand my target audience's pain points and answer their problems with content. And the three items I have identified to drives me closer to this goal are public relations, events, and collaborations. While some things got delayed due to COVID, each of these gears is in place and running. That is the reason why I decided to host Slashers! Content Market Your Hustle Like A Pro 內容秘技！斜槓疫市求生術, a slasher-specific event in the first place.
So, when people worry for me and ask me why I insist on hosting an event amidst COVID restrictions, I answer them because it's not just an event. It's not about earning money either. It's one of the strategic business moves to get me closer to my goal. Of course, I am also truly passionate about the topic and value the chance to share my knowledge with others.
Instead of viewing an event just as an event, an event to me is a piece of power content. It is capable of churning out heaps of valuable content. That includes a comprehensive pre, during, and post-collection of materials. And when they are correctly distributed, it can help me continuously drive new, organic reach. And indeed, this event has done just that.
Before the event, I did not rank for any slashers-related keywords. Of course, having the event listed on a well recognised platform like Eventbrite helped with SERP a lot (that's also the rationale behind the name of the event, having slasher right in the beginning so it gets picked up easily as a H1). But, it also caused a ripple effect to my website.
In February, my page "For Slashers", achieved a whopping 4m26s average time spent and was one of the main traffic drivers on my website. That pushed the recognition of my main website to rank 3rd when "content marketing for slashers" was searched (even though the word slasher doesn't even appear in my main website). Not only was my event poster showing up through Google image search, but so was my ebook, which has been launched for over a year.
What I'm trying to say is, you don't need to create a lot of content. But if you have a clear strategy behind the content you create, it will attract organic audiences, and algorithms will pick up on that. If all leads and clients understood this, they would no longer be judging marketing's success on vanity metrics such as the number of attendance. Instead, they would see this bigger picture of how far a single piece of content can take them.
So no, I did not earn money from the event, I actually "lost" heaps of money if the event was assessed as a one-off event. But, I garnered all these organic impression (over 25,000 to be exact), which may have been more expensive to acquire if I went straight to ads. By continually milking all the content I created through this event, it's going to drive me more organic reach, pay off itself, and start earning me money. That is why content marketing is powerful.
Now, of course, boiling it down its basic, the event physically connected me with people. People who were genuinely interested in the topic, who came in with their notebooks, and asked personal questions at the end of the workshop. These insights, though may appear small to most businesses, will be what differentiates myself from other content marketers in the industry. What I did not expect after the workshop was for so many people to compliment on my bilingual abilities. For that, I truly thank all of the attendees, my team, and our venue sponsor, theDesk, for making this happen.
Another news not to be missed is my limited company registration. It's a bold and big move for a solopreneur like me, but it is needed. While the amount of content I have online reinforces trust in people who just learned about me, a document like this also helps to build my identity. Though it's going to be a long process of learning how to properly log numbers and do my finances, I'm glad to have Sleek be a part of my journey and assist me on the arrangements of all formal documentations.
Last but not least, I stumbled across this passage one day, and it has helped me come to accept and reflect on previous client feedbacks:
"The marketing landscape has shifted dramatically over the last six months. The ongoing pandemic coupled with a struggling economy has only accelerated those changes. Anytime there is a swift change in consumer behavior, marketers must adapt and pivot.
The challenge is that most of you reading this have not pivoted.
A foundation that makes up your marketing strategy both online and offline should have a simple goal: to ensure your business stands the test of time. Not too long ago, all you needed from a marketing standpoint was a website and Facebook page. If you were a contractor, you may have exhibited at a tradeshow/expo booth once or twice a year, and your calendar would get booked out. For others, referrals and word of mouth drove 100% of their business.
Those days have long passed by. Consumers and businesses alike have a vast number of options for how to spend their money and where they invest their time. This means that marketers have to work harder than ever before to reach the people they need to contact.
Your marketing strategy is the foundation; and in working with thousands of businesses, I have found that most don't have the foundational elements."
- Michael Tasne, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
Each client inspires me with questions, hesitations, and even struggles outside of content marketing. Though my answers and solutions may not be what they opt for in the end, I feel that they should be recorded somewhere for others who may want to know. Hence, I've built and constantly updated my page, "Real Talk!".
To be honest, it's as blunt as I can get. It may appear negative to some, but the concepts there are facts you'll have to come to accept if you're considering working with a content marketer. If it is your brand, treat it like it is. Be invested in it, be prepared for the hard work. The glamorous metrics mentioned in the earlier paragraphs did not come out from thin air. It came from a lot of work that I was held accountable for, though I had other people help me execute and distribute them. I am here as a partner to guide you on your content marketing journey, but the authentic juices have to come from you.
I am still striking the balance as I do get demotivated when I feel like I'm the only one concerned about the client's content performance. But instead of holding a grudge about it, I express it with content. Hopefully, people will truly understand the quality I'm here to present.
There's so much more to come in March, with more content release from the workshop, press coverage, collaborations, and more. So do stick around and continue to take a sneak peek into my journey!