Over the last two years I’ve read over 1,000 articles, listened to dozens of podcasts, and watched endless videos produced by business brokers, business valuation experts, accountants, attorneys, consultants and others in the “sell a business” space. And the truth is that much of what’s out there really, really, really. . . (inhale) . . . really, really, stinks.
I am an expert on stinky content; in part, because I’ve created so much of it. But as I’ve done so, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two. And given how much more content I will consume in the future, I’m sincerely hoping what’s out there gets better (my own stuff included). With that goal in mind, and at the risk of coming across as a jackass, I have a few suggestions for those who want to produce better content in the “sell a business” space.
#1. Tell More Stories
Please start telling your stories.
You think the value you provide is in what you know, but sharing knowledge is not enough. Other professionals have the same training you have. They know the same things you know – and many of them are sharing the same information, in the same way, to the same audience. It’s not unique, it’s almost impossible to consume, and it’s usually boring. Your article about “the value of using a broker to sell your business” might be true, but it is one of 1,000 a reader will see, and it offers nothing special.
Belching your knowledge out is just dull, and in today’s market dull is dead on arrival.
Your stories, on the other hand, are spectacular. Some of the most entertaining tales I’ve ever heard were “sell a business” stories. Business sellers are nuts; buyer’s are completely irrational, and don’t even get me started on the crap that other “professionals” in the industry try to pull. You know these things. You’ve experienced them. You have stories. Tell your stories. Video. Articles. Quick update posts. Tell stories.
Don’t tell me the five benefits of seller financing. Tell me the (anonymous) story of the business owner whose sale price increased 30% by offering seller financing. Then offer five insights from your experience with that seller. Teach me, sure, but first make me care about what you’re trying to teach me.
You produce content with the hope that the consumer will see value in what you know. You try to educate. But remember you must engage me before you can educate me. In today’s environment you have mere seconds to convince someone to consume your content.
Use your best ammunition — tell your stories!
#2. Fight the Urge
I can’t tell you how much content I’ve considered sharing on www.exitoasis.com that ends up being rejected 30% of the way through. 10% through, great introduction. 20% through, good information. 30% through, here comes the hard sell. And the selling goes on, and on, and on, and on. . .
Say this out loud:
My potential client is not an idiot.
They know why you provide content. Do you really imagine them saying . . .
Gee, I would like to talk to this broker about selling my business, but they never explicitly said, 12 times, that I should call them.
Engage us with a good story, share your experience, provide value and end with a brief bio about who you are and how to contact you. Fight the urge. Let the value you provide do the selling.
#3. Be Yourself
Anything else I write under this point detracts from the point itself. I’ve wrestled with this as much as anyone, but it keeps coming back to this: be you. You need to trust the value of your own journey.
Write with your own voice. Tell your own stories. Be yourself and find the audience that’s attracted to you. You can’t fake it. You can’t be David, or Barbara, or Clinton, or Ted. They are unique. Some people love them, some people hate them. Doesn’t really matter, because you can’t be them. Be yourself.
What’s That Smell?
Creating content gets easier once you get into a routine, but creating good content is hard (at least it is for me). Keep working at it. Focus on telling your stories, with your own voice, and let the value you provide do the selling.
I hope the points I’ve shared above make the content creation process a little easier, and that it makes the content we all consume a little better.
And man, I really hope people don’t think this article stinks.