Earlier this month we changed CopyWriters.ie in a subtle, but significant way. Previously we would do 1-off pieces of content for anyone. We helped write 200 page documents all the way down to 400 words. Our clients and writers were diverse and spread around the world. It was a great little business, but rather unpredictable from the revenue standpoint.
Another issue we ran into was that 70% of our contracts were last minute contracts, and needed someone to jump in and write at a moment’s notice. While it was great from a revenue standpoint (we charged a rush fee) it wasn’t always so easy from a scheduling point of view. Our writers can only write so much every day, they already have busy schedules, many of them have other full-time / part-time jobs or do freelance writing.
After talking with our happiest clients to find what they actually liked about our service, and our writers about how they preferred to work, I decided to focus on a better product for both.
In October I was at the Inbound Marketing conference that Hubspot runs every year in Boston. Some of the world’s top content experts were there, and I got to share my predicament with them. Again the idea of a better product, better experience and better clients came up.
The Hubspot Model
Hubspot works particularly well for the size of a company that doesn’t yet have a dedicated marketing person. They take that person who spends 5-10 hours a week on marketing and makes them more efficient and effective. Instead of an additional hire to do marketing, Hubspot helps that existing employees to excel by offering them smart tools to do things better. The value add for the companies is clear, they could hire another person at €3,000+ / month or they could spend €1,000 or less on a better system.
That’s where the idea of our subscription service came to mind.
We see the value in longer term relationships. Our client selects the frequency of their outsourced content, once, twice or three times a week and we find the right writer who can help them on a regular and consistent basis. Content is paid for upfront and our writer gets working preparing your content.
On average we free up 5 hours for every article we deliver. That’s up to 5 hours your staff can concentrate on sales, support or new product development. Our writers will still need support / guidance from you, but we’ll do all the heavy lifting.
Why it works so well
Getting to know a business, helping them find their voice and getting them in their stride for content, all takes time. This has an upfront time cost from both sides at the start of any project. Time spent on understanding a business means less time researching and writing content. We get clients who see the longterm value in a relationship, rather than just filling a stopgap to put out one or two pieces of content.
Consistently adding new content to your website will drive web traffic, and in the long term help build and retain your audience. Being knowledgeable about your field, and being seen as a thought leader in your industry will help you stand out from your competition and will keep you more front-of-mind when it comes to a buying decision. Getting people’s attention is tough and keeping it is even tougher.
Fewer clients but better quality
It’s clear from this model that we will have fewer clients in 2017, compared with 2016, but our average LTV (Lifetime Value) should more than triple. We don’t just want to do one-off pieces of content. These won’t have as much of an impact as consistent fresh content.
We get to know our clients better, while they show a commitment to an ongoing relationship. Our writers get to work on longer term projects, and clients get consistency with a writer for the duration of the project.
Generally the sales cycle for this way is a little longer, we offer the client a call with the writers before they decide to hire us. We show value in understanding what their goals are, and outline a way to achieve these.
All we ask is for clients to prepay for the content for the month. This guarantees that the same writer will work on the project that has so in the past. Contracts are on a month-to-month basis and can be changed, cancelled or paused at any stage.
Our sweet spot
A bit like Hubspot, we see small, but growing companies our target market. Businesses that could do something better with those freed up hours every week. We’ve found that we work best with businesses that have 5-50 employees, but it works for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Your content strategy
If you are beginning to think about how your company could run their inbound content marketing smarter in 2017 then get in touch!