My business is a digital agency offering a specialised, premium content service - we make X piece of content, only X, and we charge "high-end" prices.
How do I find my ideal customers?
Here are some criteria. They should:
-Work for a company with a healthy online marketing / content marketing budget, that could buy several thousand dollars worth of content from us in a year
-Be authorised to buy content
-Have a product/service that is either entirely online or at least use online content marketing as a primary channel
So I'm thinking about targeting content managers / content strategists at firms doing $1million+ in revenue per year.
Good idea? And how do I find them?
Beyond that, how do I find people who need my service *now* or soon? Many of these prospects might need my one-off service 1-4 times per year... but I want my marketing to contact the people who are actually in need now, or thinking of buying very soon.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
Targeting companies with $1million+ in revenue is not ideal. For a premium content service, you'll probably need to look for companies with at least $4-5 million and a dedicated content marketing manager. Search for content marketing managers in your niche on LinkedIn.
Keep in mind you'll be competing with content factories like Brafton that offer turn-key content production in volume for only a few thousand dollars per month. If you're competing on quality with a high price, you'll need to clearly explain why your service offers better results.
You could try building relations with the big advertising agencies. They have access to huge consumer brands who are all jumping on the content bandwagon. These brands have lots of money to spend.
The agencies can provide a steady pipeline of work. They can help build your portfolio of brands while you're relatively unknown. Once you build a profile, you can start approaching the brands directly.
I would stick to companies with $10m+ in revenue. The cheapest customers are also the most demanding.
Having a good definition of who you serve is the perfect place to start.
Could you define it further..? Do you specialise..?
Really drill down.
How to find those people?
One of the quickest low/no cost ways to find your target audience would be to use LinkedIn.
You have access to a database of C level decision makers & most of the time direct access to them.
Join industry related groups - posting samples of what you do to generate inbound enquiries.
Post calls to action in each example to enquire about your services
Once your a member of relevant groups you can also use the search functions to find those perfect customers and proactively connect with them.
Doing this the right way is a whole course in and of itself. Just know that through linkedIn you can connect and connect any and all of your perfect customers worldwide.
I'm going to diverge from a few of the opinions so far, including your own initial thinking, and suggest this:
Don't go after companies that already have content marketing managers. Those companies are looking to outsource to freelancers, yes, but they're going to be much more commodity-minded than what you'll want, given your angle of "high end".
I would recommend doing exactly the opposite. Go after companies that need your expertise but currently lack the depth of a full marketing department on their existing payroll, let alone a content marketing specialist. Those are the companies who are more likely to appreciate your expertise. I'm telling you, I do this now and it works.
I'd also recommend you narrowing your targeted companies by vertical. There's a big difference between an e-commerce company whose primary products are at the $12-15 range vs. an e-commerce company whose products are $120-125.
Content can be a short-term and long-term play as a marketing tactic (more often it's long-term), but you'll have a tougher go convincing those who will have to justify the spend in terms of a massive number of transactions. Make sense?
Happy to jump on a call with you if you'd like further help. There's more than enough business out there for all of us.
(a) Prepare a list of influencers (online, in your contacts) and pitch them your product seeking directions (not services). Alex shares some really useful posts on how to reach and engage with influencers, at his blog: https://www.groovehq.com/blog
(b) If you have written as guest author at some premium channels, share the URLs in your story. For 'content specific' services, many premium companies are interested to see your voice so far. Most of them are open to good quality guest posts, you can offer to write for them
(c) If influencers are talking about you, and your current online presence starts some engagement, your target audience/people would chase you, rather than you finding them! :)