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A Customer Called with a Question. What Happened Next was Incredible!

    Last Updated on May 22, 2023

    Why not answer people’s questions before they ask them? Turn that phone call into evergreen content!

    You’re probably like me. Wearing more than one hat? Working for someplace you love but with little resources? Yep. It’s a lot of work running the show sometimes. Especially in our “do everything all the time and everywhere” world.

    You want to be active on social media and keep your website up-to-date. You also want to serve customers and be there for students in the classroom. Donor and community events are a lot of fun too. Then there are the day-to-day tasks that keep you on your toes. Not to mention life outside of work, right? How much extra work do you do on weekends in the evening? Well, you love your job. It can be hard. How can you get ahead?

    “I want to be able to give my customers and community the very best, but I don’t have the resources for a social media team, and a copywriter, and a webmaster, and … I need to do this all by myself. But how?”

    Said pretty much everyone :o)

    Sound familiar? Yep. But you can do more than you think, simply by repurposing what you have and thinking out of the box. Think about it like leftovers. Think about it like that old dress that became a tiny set of curtains for the dollhouse. Think of the empty wine bottle that became a water pic while you were on holiday. Breathe in, and think about it.

    Go from a Boring Phone Call to an Amazing eBook in 5 Easy Steps

    You’re at your desk and the phone rings. “Hello!” You are always upbeat, but you feel tired today. “Yes, I have a question about …” And so it begins. Another question another answer. Or is it? There’s something in the back of your mind. No, it’s not the dazzling new barista at the coffee shop though they ARE hard to forget, it’s something else. It’s an inspiration!

    Step 1: Answer the phone call

    “Hello! I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your computer course?”
    “Of course! How can I help?”
    “I heard about your course from a friend. I have some experience but not much. I’m wondering if this is the right course for me?”
    “If you tell me your email address, I will send you the link to our computer course on our website. In the meantime, why don’t you tell me more about why you would like to take the course?”

    Advantages: community relations, learnings, trust

    Step 2: Enter the Q&A on your FAQ page

    Enter the question and answer on the FAQ page of your website. Why there? Your FAQ reflects your audience’s needs. It solves problems.

    That’s the magic bean that it solves a problem. Content on your FAQ page solves your problem of not having a lot of time, and it solves your customer’s problem by answering a question 24/7 — even when you aren’t in the office!

    Q: What is the best computer course for someone with little or no experience?

    A: We offer a variety of computer courses depending on the reason you wish to learn. We offer courses on programming, using Microsoft Office products, as well as graphic programs like Photoshop (links to the courses at the end of the FAQ).

    If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, you can contact us (add an email and phone number).

    Advantages: community relations, learnings, trust, findability/SEO

    Step 3: Write the (short – 200 characters) social media post

    Social Media is SO important. Post the question and answer, with a link to the page on your website where information can be found. Add an image to attract more eyes! Tag people and partners that are relevant resources too!

    Post example:

    A new computer course for Seniors starts next week! Perhaps you know a “Smart Senior”?
    Computer courses are a great way to meet new people, learn a new skill, or better understand your grandchildren! Find out more, today!

    #SmartSeniors #ComputerCourses
    @trainingpartner @teacher @hardwareprovider

    Advantages: community building, learnings, trust, findability/SEO, lead generation

    Step 4: Write the (longer – 600 words) blog post

    I’m not going to write a blog post example here, well – except that I’m actually doing that right here!

    • ✔ Find out what people are talking about on the internet, regarding this question.
    • ✔ Put in a few minutes to research other sources of information.
    • ✔ Link to them in your blog post.
    • ✔ A blog post is a great opportunity to add a video and more images.
    • ✔ Add a downloadable resource, like a brochure or an infographic!
    • ✔ Don’t forget to interlink this post and relevant pages on your website.
    • ✔ Set up tags and categories in your blog so that related topics can be interlinked and visited too!

    For a great blog example where customer’s questions became blog content, please check out:

    Advantages: community building, learnings from comments, trust, findability/SEO, lead generation, content generation

    Step 5: Publish your eBook (when necessary, or twice a year?)

    Now you have a valuable collection of information on your blog, it’s time to put it all in one place! An eBook, free on Kindle for example, or as a product for sale, is a great resource or as swag for your customers and the community. It’s also easy to print out for any event!

    An ebook also gives you great SEO, content marketing, and even retail or giveaway opportunities! Added to your website and social media, publications give you an extra boost and lend authority that even a blog does not deliver.

    See? You have gone from answering someone’s question on the phone to being an authority appearing on Google. Great job!

    For more self-publishing alternatives, please check out this post:

    Advantages: community building, trust, learnings from content creation, customer reviews, findability/SEO, lead generation, content generation, product creation/sales

    “A blog is a website with benefits. Blogs also allow for a very important thing: user engagement. A blog allows conversation, comments, and sharing on social media. They make connections with our audience and with each other. They also help our website be found in that huge collection of content we call the Internet.”

    When it Rains it Pours

    If you had to sit down and write a fifty-page eBook prior to an event or try to increase your SEO score over the next seven days, you would probably cry. Rightly so! That one phone call got you thinking though. You were inspired by that story about the one nail in the horse’s shoe. Now, look at your kingdom. Web content, social media, SEO, content generation, marketable products … what a great job!

    We’ll never have all of the time or resources we need. Content Marketing isn’t complicated. It needn’t be. Water it and it will grow! Think about those plants in your garden. It just takes a little water to make a seed grow into a plant! Baby steps. You’ve got this.

    Each week Bridget Willard and I offer tips for small businesses, nonprofits, and schools. Join us!

    Further Reading

    With many thanks for the photo from