Tree of Life

My back hurts! That's because I decided to have five yards of mulch delivered. It blocked my driveway, and I needed to distribute it around my yard.

It took two days to load up my wagon cart 30 times and spread it around our yard. I have paid people and done it myself in the past. Since this was the first time at our new house, I chose the self-service route.

Mulch is made by shredding trees. Finer shredding improves the soil over time. As organic mulches decompose, they can add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, enhancing its quality.

Mulch is not only decorative but also functional. It helps plants by regulating soil temperature, retaining water, and preventing weeds and erosion—all from recycled trees.

Trees are nature's gift, providing shade and turning CO² into oxygen. They also improve the soil around them, which feeds them. A tree is an ecosystem that starts from a seed and provides essential elements to help seeds grow.

Branching Out

I think of creating content as an ecosystem, just like a tree. It starts with an idea or a seed of thought. It grows and builds roots in your business marketing. Then, it provides nutrients to help feed itself and your business.

Starting a tree from a seed means waiting years for it to become functional. Smaller trees can be bought from a store like Lowes or a nursery, and you can easily dig and plant yourself. Giant trees cost more and may take a crew and machinery to plant.

As I learned last year, professionally installed trees are not guaranteed to be better in the long run than smaller, do-it-yourself ones.

However, as trees grow, they must be pruned, fed, watered, and sometimes mulched with remnants from other trees.

The Tree of Knowledge

Running a business is hard. The bigger the business, the more complex it is. You have to manage issues like people, finance, supply and demand, sales, marketing, and what I consider the most challenging part… finding customers and keeping them happy.

The good news is the longer you run your business, the more you learn. A lesson learned is a good thing. Lessons that repeat become a trend. Lessons can also ignite a spark of innovation.

The most valuable lessons we can learn are from and about our customers. This is especially true when we can use those lessons to find new customers who can use our lessons to improve their businesses.

I consider this the foundation of content creation from the Tree of Knowledge. If you can capture those lessons and organize them into insightful and educational content, you can use your lessons to grow your business.

Some companies treat this as propriety internal communication (closed-loop content), while others share these lessons to show thought leadership.

Your knowledge and the lessons your clients teach you are the most valuable when they are given away.

The Giving Tree

Like a tree turns CO² into oxygen, you can turn lessons into relationships. This means converting those lessons into strategic marketing ideas that facilitate sales.

Often, these ideas and lessons can be seen, heard, and learned from and by your salespeople. This is why it's a good idea to bring marketing and sales into the conversation to flush out how problems that lead to lessons can turn into content that can breathe new life into sales.

Once you understand how sales helped a client overcome a challenge, this can be a great story to tell. Marketing can find ways to share this with current, past, and prospective customers to feed your tree of sales.

This requires two things. Your sales team has to be connected to and actively engage with your current and past clients. Your marketing team must help facilitate that by keeping your sales team informed of and in touch with those clients.

Then, by sharing those lessons, you present your sales team and company as empathetic and engaged thought leaders.

That is why ideas and lessons kept in the dark wither and fade away, while ideas that are shown in the light prosper and grow your business.

The Tree Bearing Fruit

As you share these ideas, lessons, and more in the form of content, you are allowed to measure them. You can calculate interest based on engagement. You can measure success in the form of sales.

Fruit from the knowledge tree can be allowed to fall to the ground and feed, or it can be picked before it's ripe and transformed into a resource. Let me explain.

When you create and distribute content, you put it into the world. It must be picked up and acted upon. More often than not, people will pass it by, but it can resonate with the right person at the right time to create sales.

Some of that can be picked, processed, and turned into multiple forms of content. For example, you can turn an idea into a webinar. That webinar can then be broken into a short series of videos. Those videos can be turned into blog posts. Those blog posts can be assembled into an eBook. Those eBook chapters can be turned into emails.

All of those pieces can become part of your knowledge and lesson arsenal, which can reach larger and more diverse audiences.

The key is getting people to see it, no matter the form. Using your sales team as a catalyst and delivery source, you can be assured that people who already know, like, and trust your business will become actively engaged with your lessons, your thought leadership, and your business.

The natural substance comes from your sales team conversing with your perfect customers.

Closing Thought

Creating content is a process, not an event. It requires conversations and then organizing and reiterating ideas that resonate with people who want (or need) to hear your words. It's safe to say that if we leave it to chance, everyone we want to hear our messages may or may not ever see them.

This is why relationship marketing is so essential to business.

Relationship marketing is about building, maintaining, and nurturing relationships by actively reaching out and asking, “How are you doing?” wishing them a happy birthday, and celebrating their engagement with more engagement.

Think of your content as the mulch of knowledge that regulates relational temperature, watering conversations, and prevents weeds of competitive invasions (weeds) and erosion of trust.

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Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about business-to-business sales and marketing today! Do you have a sales or marketing communications strategy that works for you? What tips or techniques can you share that work for you and your business?

To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.

 

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