What you are about to read is the first single step of a journey, a journey of a thousand miles – starting a business. A content business.
Who am I, and so what?
So I’m an Englishman in Poland – not New York.
Never mind my reason for being here for now. What’s important is being an Englishman – in Poland – has caught the eye of a Polish friend of mine. He hears my voice, and just how you would look at a juicy sirloin steak and lick your lips, he does just that when he thinks of us as business partners and I can see those glowing dollar symbols in his eyes.
But why me?
He’s a businessman, an entrepreneur. He wants me to be his partner. Why me? It’s the shape of my tongue – English. We’re going to set up a company together, it’s meant to be global, and therefore needs to be in English. Not only am I English, I am ideally an English teacher, an educator, a man who works with people, for people.
But I’m limited
Unfortunately, as an English teacher, I provide a daily service which is as limited as there are hours in a day. When I sleep, I don’t work; when I eat, I don’t work; when I sit and think, I don’t work. I’m only paid for the hours I do work – and that’s when I’m teaching. Well I want to spice things up. And the only way to do that is to own a business, selling products which are only limited by the world’s population.
Problem is, my wallet’s quite shy and the idea of starting a business is said to be quite risky. I don’t want to lose my life savings. Is there a way?
What about him?
He on the other hand is an expert in the field of IT and is passionate about content marketing. He believes that content marketing is crucial for the success of our business. Now, we happen to have a product in mind, but even if we did have the world’s greatest idea and product, how are we going to sell it? Who is going to know about it? Who is going to want it?
Apparently content marketing is what’s going to help us reach our customers in a cost effective way. Content marketing? How does it differ from traditional marketing? No idea. I need to do some research. As of yet, I don’t even know where to look. Perhaps I’ll do what most people like me do: ask Google.
Ok, here we go…
What is content marketing?
OK, so I’ve done some skimming and scanning, and so many websites seem to claim they know what content marketing is, how it works, how to create content, and how to do it well. Well the truth is, they are all absolutely wrong!
I have no idea.
It’s all Greek to me. Truth is, I’m a newcomer to content marketing. But you know what? I’m going to find out. I’m going to find out and become good at it, better at it, the best at it!
If you’re just like me, then hop onto my boat and let’s sail the vast ocean of content marketing. And once we’ve covered the surface and you’re still with me, then we’ll get a submarine and discover the depths: how to create content, good content, content which will attract readers, educate and inspire.
I’ll get my hands dirty and read through the heaps of articles out there until my eyes bleed. I’ll stay true to my good old friend, Lao Tzu:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
If you can handle the waves, then stick around. I’m off to get a boat.
So while paddling through articles and webinars, I started to think about our business idea. I’m starting to question it. Maybe it’s just a stupid idea. It’s always good to ask other people for their opinions, so that’s what I did and their answers overall were disheartening.
No such thing as a bad idea?
Then, while scratching my back using an ever-so-useful backscratcher, it got me thinking… what if there’s no such thing as a bad idea? I mean, whoever thought of the backscratcher – a stick with a hand at the end – must have also dealt with a few raised eyebrows and rolled eyes.
But I, myself, couldn’t live without it. It may be the case that 99% of the world thinks your idea or product is not their cup of tea. Well that leaves 1% screaming out “that’s just what I’ve been looking for!” And lo and behold your market segment. Our product is nothing like a backscratcher, but we do believe that there is a market segment out there. We just need to find them. We need to identify our customers and find them. But seeking out customers is hard work.
What if they could find us? Seek us out? Is that possible? Isn’t that content marketing?