I was prompted by this apparently disliked question which got no traction:
My question is a lot more specific, and I think, cuts to the heart of the issue.
How do you create "engagement" with a target audience that is, by definition, distracted, very busy, only focusing on necessities, and probably uninterested in following blogs, Twitter feeds, FB and the like in order to "network"?
Engagement means: being read. Being followed. Having people reading your online material that are interested in what you have to say. And in this instance, engagement by particular key players within organizations who are in a position to buy services.
(So don't attack this as not asking a question. I just did.)
I have a well defined niche - copy writing for software technology providers. And my ideal contact or prospect is a marketing executive or manager within such a company.
Here are the specific problems I see in creating content that interests individual with this profile:
- They do not seem to reveal themselves on any ISV or startup fora which I have followed.
- Every professional service that can be delivered remotely has its own traffic jam of blogs, Twitter feeds, and "gurus". There are a blue million people ahead of me attempting to mine social media for, say, copy writing marketing exposure.
I'm not saying that I cannot also write top quality articles and content. I am wondering if it will pay off given the congestion of the social media sphere.
As a specific example, I've found precious few hits to my web site from my several months of activity on OnStartups. I get a few inquiries here and there but they have never resulted in real business.
I'm not looking for a lot of site traffic. That alone won't help me to reach those whom I need to reach.
I have solved specific problems for my clients but I don't have a clue how to package those stories up as a narrative, a story that will create this magical "engagement", and with potential buyers of services.
I'm ready to throw in the towel and say categorically that inbound marketing really doesn't work to a significant extent for professional services.
So, please provide a road map. Don't reference books and other people's URLs and say-so.
There are plenty of gurus out there who are breathlessly enthusiastic about how "easy" and straightforward this is. The existing advice out there is heavily self referential and mutually referential (IE: each author quotes some other "authority"), non specific to industries or segments (B2B is treated identically with B2C by a lot of authors - a HUGE key problem, IMO), and appears to cover virtually any line of business.
I want someone here to explain how this works for a solo expert professional. Not a product company. Not for a consumer oriented web service.
For someone who needs to sell themselves online.