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Why Your Content Isn’t Pulling in Your Dream Clients

blog Apr 17, 2023

Content marketing is a top-of-mind option for anyone starting a business today. You’ve got to show up and be relevant and ‘create value’, as common marketing advice goes today. 

But here’s the problem. After hours, months, perhaps years of churning out content, a lot of coaches, consultants and service-business entrepreneurs are finding that their content machine is hardly creating the output they expected it to. 

Everyone said ‘consistency’ is key, and so, you’ve been at it for a while, consistently. And although a small trickle of clients is coming in – your content is hardly creating waves of impact or revenue for you.

If that sums up where you are right now, it’s time to evaluate what you might be missing. 

Here’s why your content isn’t necessarily pulling in your dream clients:



  • You underestimated what a great content effort really takes



When you’re just getting started (if you started a business in the 2000s), you learned that social media and content are the first ‘free’ marketing engines to fire up. So, you quickly fired them up. 

You either chose to write, do videos, a podcast, or all of the above and started pumping that stellar advice out across your new social media channels. Stuff that you usually get paid for, but hey, you want to ‘create value.’ (Get to that in a minute!) 

But a stellar content effort – great articles, an excellent podcast or an exceptional YouTube channel that actually gets the right clients’ attention takes a LOT more time, money and energy than you expected. 

So now, you’ve got to be making a lot more out of it to make the effort worthwhile, right? That commitment is hard to make and keep – so you compromise on either quality or quantity – both of which can be fatal mistakes if the goal of your content is to get your dream client’s attention. 



  • You set out to ‘create value’



Let me explain why I put this term in single quotation marks.  

‘Value’ is defined as the amount of money that can be received for something. Another definition is the ‘importance or worth of something to someone’. So, when you set out to create value, what exactly is it that you want to create?

Money? For your client, or yourself? Or do you want to increase your importance in your client’s life? 

‘Creating value’ is a falsely noble-sounding, vague objective that has somehow made it to our marketing objectives lists. 

It is crucial to get specific about what you want your content to go out there and do. Vague objectives lead to vague results. Now here’s the other end of that spectrum…



  • You set out to ‘engage’, ‘capture’, ‘convert’, ‘acquire’, ‘target’ 



I’m sure you’ve heard of all of these terms and have probably got them tucked into your content strategy sheets somewhere, too. Do you see the problem, though? 

All of these terms sound like war tactics, political or religious propaganda. Do you really want to set out to engage, capture, convert and acquire? 

Or rather, let me put it this way: Would YOU like to be engaged, captured, converted or acquired? Or do you want to trip on a wire by a tripwire that a marketer set out for you? Yikes. I know I don’t want any of those things! 

I know you’re frustrated now: I’ve ruled out creating value and I’ve ruled out client engagement, acquisition, conversion and targeting. So, what is your content supposed to do? 

Stay with me a minute more and we’ll explore the answer together. 


  1.  You’ve read all the best practices, followed the blueprints and programs for marketing success


This isn’t a bad thing. But the problem begins when you follow best practices, blueprints and plans laid out by someone else, and lose your originality and creativity. You cave into what the industry is responding to right now, and join in on all the latest, sweeping trends.

While the trends do get you the short-term numbers, likes and surface attention – the problem with being a trend-follower is that you’re just like everyone else. You lose your differentiation, and you play it safe.

You’re afraid to stand out too much because being too different might turn off some people. You’re right – it absolutely will. But it will turn off all the people you’re NOT designed to serve.

So learn from the best practices, books and programs – but don’t be governed by them. 


  •  You’re not listening deeply to your dream customer


Did you know that our brain actually saves energy by making assumptions?  

As coaches, consultants and service-business entrepreneurs, most of us work closely with our clients and get to know them pretty well. We get to know their lives and the businesses, their problems and challenges, and we do the natural, biologically sensible thing to do, and we make assumptions about them and others like them.  

We are so grounded in what we believe we know and understand, that we don’t listen deeply for market feedback.

When our posts aren’t well-received, we think it might be the algorithm, or perhaps the graphic didn’t work – but we firmly believe that our messaging and understanding of the problem is spot on. 

We’re not quick to accept that perhaps we do not have a full understanding of our clients’ pains and pleasures. We listen, but we listen for what we want to hear, or we listen to respond, rather than to deeply understand. 

So, the next time your article receives no applause, take a walk in the audience. Ask them what about it they didn’t like, or what they would prefer instead. What would help them really solve a problem in their business or their lives? 

The antidote to assumption is curiosity. Get very curious about the people you want to serve. 



  • You’re stuck between the right marketing decision and creative expression



Should you write a formulaic SEO title, or one that makes your dream customer laugh out loud, even if it has zero keywords? 

Should you choose a brand name or title that expresses your quirks and individuality, or something memorable and easy to spell?

I suppose this depends a little bit upon your objectives. If your objective is to get more people into your e-commerce shop, or discover you when they are looking for ‘coaching certification near me’, then the keywords are, well…key. 

If your objective is to get your audience thinking deeply about something, then it’s not discoverability that is your focus. There are other ways for you to get in front of them than google search or through their social media feed. 

Once again, get sharp on your objectives. I will say this much: Sacrificing all creative expression and following the tactics ruthlessly can and will squeeze the personality out of your content. 


The Answer That Might Help 


I’ve probably laden your already-full plate with more to think about, and I haven’t given you any concrete answers as to what to do to make your content work. 

The truth is that there are so many reasons, standalone and combined, for underperforming content. 

But here’s an answer that I can be sure of: If you want to create content that changes the lives and work of the people it touches, then the algorithms and search engines have got nothing on you. 

If you are making a content effort, then don’t be afraid to list ‘creative expression’, ‘a space for me to share my thoughts and views’ as an objective. 

How else are you going to keep this thing pouring out of you? Don’t mistake this for  ‘authenticity.’ As Seth Godin puts it, ‘Authenticity is overrated.’ 

Create instead with an intention to show up and share something that will help your dream customers smile, grow, make money or resolve a problem. 

I recommend forgetting all the rules, limiters, tricks, tactics and best practices, so that you can show up fully and create from that intention. At least that way, even if your content effort doesn’t work, it’ll have been worth every penny and minute you put into it.


Tired of running in the marketing hamster wheel yourself? I get it, I was there too. My name is Aditi, I help coaches, consultants and service-business entrepreneurs build lean, powerful client-winning machines. I burned out, flipped the switch, and now run a 7-figure consultancy with ease and balance. Schedule a Free Power Review with me and let’s talk about your client-winning machine.


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