On a flight over to the US I sat with my colleagues Connor and David and mainly listened as they put together a plan on how we could get better at selling to individuals and companies on our 'target' list. We all have firms we aim to sell to and traditionally we would have just tried really hard to get in touch - through calls, recommendations, events and emails.  Perseverance often works but we want to be smarter.

What David, Connor and I (at least when I wasn't napping) did was put together a step by step guide on how to use our blog posts to influence a target through content marketing. The target could be a company or an individual

Very simply it is down to writing content specifically for that target and then sharing it with them and their network in mind. The first step is to follow the target on LinkedIn, Twitter, at events and via their website blog. This way you can be sure to write about what they are interested in. Then make sure you reference them, their organisation or their event. Even better reference the content they have created - their blogs, their reports,  surveys or tweets - in your post.  Then share with them and their network.

Last week, we gave it a go with another colleague. We went to an event hosted by the company we were trying to sell to. We wrote a post about the event including references and tweets of our target and also their clients. We made sure we thanked them all on social.  We shared this content on LinkedIn, Twitter and via our newsletter knowing that those we were targeting were already connected to us. 

The good news was that when I went to meet my contact later in the week his opening remark was "you guys are everywhere!" We are not of course everywhere - we just made sure that in his world we were everywhere.  

This is a work in progress for us and does not in any way replace all the other ways we try to influence and get attention on our service (for example we know adverts on the tube are working really well) but it feels like we are making progress.  We are also learning more about our clients.  Sounds obvious but funnily enough if you read the content created by your targets you are better equipped to know what they might need from you.

My follow up is to write another post this week which is relevant to the conversations we had in our meeting. So right now I am on the look out for something I can write about, post it and importantly send it as a personal note to my target with the heading 'I saw this and thought of you' (ISTATOY).  Will let you know how I go.....