“All things being equal, including the price, people buy from people they know. All things being unequal, including the price, people buy from people they know.”

How do we initiate that relationship from scratch? Content marketing.

It’s a way for potential customers to get to know you, trust you, and come to rely on you (i.e. pay you) to solve their problem.

Content marketing is you offering what you know for free in exchange for the customer’s attention. Once you’ve got that attention, you have a chance to tell them why they should choose your solution versus someone else’s.

That takes time and a lot of contacts with the potential customer.

The great thing about web based content marketing is that whatever you create and distribute will be out there for years attracting customers from all over the world. The more quality content you put out, the more chances for people to find what they are looking for in your content.

It’s not a chum bucket. That’s advertising, where you throw a lot of stuff in the water and catch what you can.

Good content marketing is making the right lure for the right fish, and trolling it patiently in the right waters.

Quality production, quality information and determined (persistent) distribution are all required.

Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know what they’re looking for (hint: a solution to THEIR problem, not your solution) and do you know where they congregate?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you might discover you must pay to dangle your ideas in front of the right people. Targeted advertising with Facebook, AdWords or some other source gives you access to the right people in the right place.

Once you’re in front of them, however, you achieve that, just keep telling your story. Consistently, creatively and keep up the quality. No one bites for spam. And don’t be trying to close all the time like the proverbial 18-year-old at the dance.

My Dad always tells me “selling is the transference of feelings.” You can’t convince someone to buy, they need to come to that conclusion on their own. Or else you’re facing a world of buyer’s remorse and refunds.

Just keep telling your story, give them all the information they need to make up their own mind, and a few of them will choose you. Eventually.

Dad helped people build their own house. A daunting prospect for the inexperienced. He would tell potential customers everything they needed to know and answered every question. He never once tried to close. When they knew enough to qualify themselves, the customers came to Dad and signed themselves up. And they remained great customers and often just got on without much further hand-holding.

That’s content marketing in action. It’s not overnight, but it just keeps building and building. If you stick with it and keep delivering quality, you’ll find the quality customers who want, not just need, what you’re offering.