A couple of years ago, my friend Megan woke up in the middle of the night to her dog barking maniacally downstairs. She and her husband ran downstairs to find a raccoon who had followed their dog in through the dog door and was now raiding their pantry, eating all of their pretzels.
Now, you can imagine the feeling of waking up to a wild animal in your house. As you’re thinking about this, put yourself in Megan’s shoes for just a minute. What would you do? Would you go back to bed? Would you go sit on the couch and go to Facebook and wait until a Facebook ad shows up about pest control?
No, probably not. There’s a freaking raccoon in your kitchen!!!
You’d probably do what Megan did, which is pull out your phone, go to Google, and search something like:
or, “can I remove a raccoon from my kitchen?” or, “how do I know if a raccoon is rabid?”
The searches that she would look for at that moment, would be very specific to an urgent situation. Waiting for somebody to find her and tell her the solution is not an option; She has to make a split-second decision about whether or not she can extract the raccoon or if she needs to call animal control immediately.
Now, she also didn’t search, “how much does a typical raccoon weigh?” or, “what is the life cycle of a raccoon?”
It wasn’t just a generic search about raccoon facts – it was a very specific situation of Megan needing to figure out how to control this raccoon control problem.
These same kinds of problems are happening for your clients all the time.
“Ahhhh that’s how this raccoon story is related to SEO…”
They’re probably not having to deal with raccoons in their kitchen, but there are specific problems that are driving your ideal clients to Google.
I’ve got some tips to help you find those urgent problems people are having and create content that answers their questions in those split-second decisions.
find urgent topics your ideal clients are searching for
The quicker you can prove your value to people by using your content, and the more urgent or difficult a problem is that you can solve for them, the faster they’ll move to that next step in your sales cycle, like buying a digital product or joining your email list.
Knowing that people have specific moments that they’re googling can help you figure out what to create.
For example, if you have a web development company and you have specific products to help people learn CSS, then you could create specific tutorials on your website about the things that you know trip people up about CSS and explain to them how they can make those specific coding decisions. Then, once they get to your website and see your depth of knowledge on specific coding problems, they might buy your ebook and walk through your process of how to code websites.
I recently went looking for a new hairstylist because I wanted somebody who could help me with growing out my gray hair, and the stylist that I chose happens to be an expert in gray hair enhancement and helping people to grow out their gray in a way that feels good to them.
The content on her website answered all of my questions so I could just book a consultation with her and get started working with her without needing to waste a lot of time on different phone calls or being convinced by her in person. I had everything I needed to be able to make that appointment right there on her website.
Ditch the big picture & create specific, compelling content
I also work with coaches who struggle with creating urgent, specific content because they’re so accustomed to talking like coaches. They’ve been through a lot of training to become a coach and the things that their clients come to feel a little bit intangible.
So when I see a coach’s website, it will often say things like, “how do you become unstuck?” and, “how do you feel fulfilled?”
And don’t get me wrong- these are both important outcomes –but they’re not necessarily the things that people need right that second.
So instead of focusing on this big picture coaching jargon about “how to unblock your money mindset”, instead, think about:
- “how do I stop spending money all the time?” or
- “how do I feel more confident?” or
- “how do I stop my anxiety to help me sleep better at night?”
Think about the specific moments that your ideal client might feel a little bit lost or confused at, go to Google to look for an answer to their problems.
Think about what triggers your ideal clients
Recognizing what your clients’ potential triggers could be is hugely important when it comes to creating content that’s specific and relevant.
I work with a couple of parenting coaches and what we’ve realized in looking at keywords is that even though these particular parents could use work on themselves, the things that they Google are more related to what’s happening with their kids.
So my parenting coaches want to create content around, “how do I communicate better with my teenagers?” or, “how do I get my kids to eat more foods?” – and once they’ve pulled people in with those kid-centric problems, then they can talk about how you can be a better parent (by opening dialogue with your kids and being a better listener as a parent, or how to create appropriate boundaries for your child so they feel safe and attached to you, for example).
We’ve recognized that the parents are searching for things that are related to their kids, not necessarily things related to their own parenting style.
Use those pain points to create a relationship
As you’re thinking about what content you want to create for the clients that you’re trying to attract, think about what the raccoons in their kitchens are?
Obviously, I don’t mean literally.
What are the things that get under their skin? What are the things that might bother them? What are the things that they go to Google and search for because they’re not sure who to turn to next?
Some of them might be very simple, tangible things – like, “my basement has two inches of water in it, what the heck do I do now?!”
(Yes, that one actually happened to me, unfortunately).
But then there are some of those less tangible things.
So think about what’s bothering them in their lives right now; Maybe they don’t know that they need a career coach – they’re just coming up on a salary negotiation, and they want to talk to somebody through that negotiation. So they’re not looking for long-term coaching, instead, they just need to figure out how to have that specific conversation with their boss.
And by creating a relationship with them in that moment that they’re going to Google, you can then start a long-term relationship with those clients.
For my clients, the “raccoon in the kitchen” is often, “Oh, my God, I’m so tired of social media, how can I market my business without being pulled into the social media vortex?” and I’m able to meet them at that stage of organizing their marketing and using SEO and content as an alternative to social media to pull people in.
They may not yet be ready to start thinking about all the specifics like backlinks and technical SEO; They may just be thinking, “how the heck do I escape from the social media hamster wheel?” – and I’m able to meet them at that pain point and walk them down the journey of potentially working with me or learning from me.
So as you’re thinking about what to create for your audience, and what their specific time-sensitive problems are that they would go to Google for, think about what the raccoons in their kitchen would be.