What material do you need to write for your business? You might be the only consultant in your business but it needs a lot of words.
The good news is that if you’re strategic about what you create, you can raise your visibility, so you get known for your expertise, without constantly having to generate new material.
What is your Business Resource Library?
When you picture a library you see lots of books. Some big, some small. They are split into sections for ease of use. When you have a question, or something you want to learn about, you go and pick the right resource out of the library.
Your Business Resource Library does this for your clients. It’s all the information you want to share about your services, your area of expertise, and answers to the questions your clients ask you (or might be wondering about).
It’s a bank of material you can share publicly to promote your business.
What do you need in your Business Resource Library?
1. Your website
Think of your website as your online store, even if you don’t directly sell from it. Your website is the centre of your digital operations. It’s where people will land if they are checking you out and you want to make a good first impression.
Your website is a section of your library. It contains:
Your homepage – the doorway to the rest of your website collection. People use this to select the information they want to explore.
Your about page – where you get to show that you are the expert who can help your ideal clients. This page brings together your expertise, experience and personality and lets you tell your story.
Your sales pages – these focus on specific services. You will have one for each service or package you offer.
Your contact page – how people get in contact with you. A vital page to share!
Your blog – a resource bank of useful and engaging articles written with your ideal client in mind. I’m going to tell you more about that next.
2. Your blog
Your blog is probably the most library-like part of your Business Resource Library. It’s full of articles which showcase your experience, expertise and personality. It’s where you get to share your way of thinking and how you do things.
There are no rules for how your blog ‘should’ be but I advise you to have one. Why? Because:
- It’s a great way to share information with prospective clients.
- You can use your articles in lots of ways on social media so you don’t have to spend hours coming up with posts.
- And your blog articles bring search traffic to your website from people who look things up on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ecosia, or Duck Duck Go.
Use your blog to share your ideas, to answer frequently asked questions, and to share more information about your services.
I talk more about this in this video ⤵️
There are two types of articles: evergreen and time sensitive. Evergreen last the test of time. You can share them repeatedly, and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. You also don’t have to worry about whether they are relevant right now because they always are. Time sensitive articles relate to a launch, or are seasonal. You want to focus on writing evergreen articles because they are going to serve you long term.
But Rachel, I’m not a writer! There are plenty of ways to write articles if you don’t like writing.
If you have a Youtube channel and use that to do what I’ve just outlined, then embed your videos on your blog and write about what people will learn from your video. That way you are serving both people who like watching videos, and people who like reading, and you have created text that search engines can read so they know to send people looking for what you talk about to you.
How many times have you checked your inbox today? You’re looking at it regularly, aren’t you? You might even have it on your phone. You know you check emails, so do your clients. Email marketing is a valuable tool for your business because the recipient will see it.
Your email list belongs to you. Unlike social media platforms, no-one can take it away from you or change the rules about who sees what. This means you can stay in touch with people who have said they genuinely want to hear from you. Think about it like penpals. You might only have one or two penpals, or you might have thousands, but you look forward to getting their letters, and they look forward to yours.
You want to write to them regularly. Once a month is not enough to build a relationship. How do you do that in amongst all the other things you need to do? Use your website and your blog (or Youtube videos or podcast) to give you material you can share. And think through what you want people to know about you so they know to turn to you when they need you.
4. Something you can give people in exchange for them coming on your email list
This one can divide opinion. Some people say you must have something to give away, known as a lead magnet, some people say you don’t need one. I would do it because it makes it easier to grow your list and you have something you can start a conversation around. They asked for this resource from you so they want to know about that topic.
The key thing is to think about what your email list offers and why someone would want to sign up.
You could offer a checklist, or a webinar. If you have written a book, you could offer a free chapter. What would your ideal client want to receive? They are in effect ‘paying’ for whatever it is by giving you their email address and entering into an agreement to hear from you regularly. They can of course unsubscribe at any time. However they are handing over something valuable to you so you want to give them value in return.
5. Your LinkedIn profile
If you haven’t got a website yet, your LinkedIn profile is a good place to start. It’s quick and easy to set up and you can be advertising yourself straight away. You need:
A headline – what do you do? What do you want to be known for? What will people be searching for to find someone like you? Use those keywords in your headline.
Your About section – this is like your About page on your website. What do you want people on LinkedIn to have conversations with you about? And if you could only tell them about one or two key services, what would those be? You can have fun with this. Make it sound like you. It doesn’t need to be boring and ‘corporate’.
A banner image – You might not think this is part of your Business Resource Library but pictures are just as important as words. Your banner image is the big rectangular picture that runs across the top of your profile when someone looks at it directly and it’s a great billboard advertising space. Use it to draw attention to what you want people to know about you.
Hopefully you are not offering completely bespoke services to each client but even if you are, you will have sections of your proposals that you can have ‘as standard’. Then you add in the additional material that’s only applicable to the client you are talking to.
For instance, you might want a mini-bio in there and a short description of the standard service that you are tailoring to your prospective client’s needs.
A bit like proposals except that these are fixed. If you are talking to people about your main offer, it’s good to be able to give them a brochure that tells them everything about it in one document. This can be a PDF that you email. It means they have all the information and they can share it with colleagues and decision makers. I’ve recently been given printed brochures for offers where the business wanted to outline different options for a service.
Your brochure gives you space to go into more detail than you would do on your sales page. You can answer questions in it and have mini-case studies and additional testimonials.
You can also ask people to give you their email address so you can send them the brochure which means you know they are genuinely interested in knowing more about a particular service.
8. Photos of yourself
You might not like looking at yourself but please don’t hide away, particularly if you are the sole person in your business.
You can use your photos for all kinds of things from your website to social media posts.
9. Visual frameworks
Have you got a process or a system? How do you take your client from A to B? Do you currently feel like you use a lot of words to explain this? That’s where visual frameworks come in. They’re an at-a-glance way for someone to understand where you are taking them, and to say where they are in your world.
Here’s one of mine:
You can see that if you know what makes you stand out and what your message is but you don’t have an online presence, you’re invisible.
If you know your message and you have an online presence but you don’t know what your magic is, you’re blending in.
And if you know what your magic is and have developed a presence but you don’t know what your message is, you come across as confused.
You need all three to be a visible expert.
If you’d like help to develop your visual frameworks then check out Susanna Reay’s Sparkle Frameworks.
10. A guest bio
Are you doing a presentation for someone else’s audience or writing a guest blog post? Perhaps you’re appearing on a podcast. You need a guest bio you can send to your host for them to share with their audience.
Your Business Resource Library grows with your business
Over time, you may well add other things to your Business Resource Library such as a book, or a keynote talk. There will be presentations you deliver, whether for clients, or in groups. You might have webinars people can watch on demand.
The contents of your library will depend on you and your business but these are the key components I would expect to find.
How’s business going at the moment? It’s a question that can make you wobble. Erm, yeah busy, you reply, while thinking you wish you had more money in your business