How I sell content marketing services

7 replies
I've sold content writing services for the past year and I'd like to share what has worked for me so far. I believe you could jig this method to work for selling SEO too.

My first step was to pre-qualify a list of potential clients based on the number of backlinks their website had. This step was critical, as I only wanted to spend time talking with people who already believe in online marketing and see results from it.

I uploaded my database into this bulk backlink checker tool. It cost me around $20 to check over 100,000 records, so really good value for money.

The next step was to create a sales presentation and a sales funnel for gaining new clients.

Here's how I broke down the value of publishing articles.

I first researched 34 articles and noted their search volume and Google Ads CPC. I also estimated the number of impressions each article would get at position 5 on Google as well as the number of clicks. Now the prospect can see that it would cost them $856 (or however much it is) per month to get this traffic to their website via PPC. I find this makes organic traffic less abstract for people to understand and also builds the value of the offering.

The next step is break down these metrics into revenue. I've attached a spreadsheet below that I use in my presentation.

A 2% conversion ratio is very conservative and the number of clicks and impressions are rounded down at averages. The original sheet had a customer lifetime value calculation but I feel that simply calculating the yearly revenue and how many years they plan on staying in business for (a minimum of 5), flows better.

These traffic numbers are accurate when targeting long-tail keywords. Picking the right long-tail keywords means they can convert at a higher percentage into leads than a head term (life insurance vs where to buy life insurance). The fact that the CPC for these long-tail terms can be five times more expensive is proof of this.

The idea is to make the cost savings and lifetime revenue of the articles as big as possible, so when I introduce the price ($1.5 per word), it seems low.

Once I finished the spreadsheet I then worked on defusing the 'we already have an SEO company' type objection at the very start of the presentation as well as on the initial prospecting call.

The presentation is recorded as a screen share video. I cold call them and send them a link to my page with the video embedded if they're interested. At the end the prospect can download the sheet, and this triggers an event in my CRM to call them back. They can also click another button to read additional copy that also triggers an event. I never call someone to ask if they had watched the video.

Once we're on the phone for the second time it's mostly listening and asking questions about what has worked and what hasn't, as well as what could be potential terms their prospects will search for when they're looking to buy.

So pre-qualifying clients by the number and quality of links they have, the spreadsheet that breaks down how much lifetime revenue a single article generates, and long-tail terms with commercial intent are the three ingredients to getting high-paying content marketing clients, at least for me.
#content #marketing #sell #services
  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    You have nailed it. Prequalifying potential clients is the first thing you must do to reduce spending your hard earned cash on campaigns that will not bear fruits.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    This is a great resource and guide, Matthew. Thanks very much for sharing. Realize it wasn't the main focal point of your post, but I found your comment on LTV interesting. IMO your idea that there are better metrics to use than LTV applies to other IM industries as well. In eCommerce, for example, have found it more fruitful to just do a breakeven analysis vs using historicals to predict the future.

    Anyhow, thanks again for your transparency here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
    There were a couple of points that I missed in the OP that I'll address here. When I first created a list, I had two Python scripts developed to help me pre-qualify the list further. Before I ran the scripts I removed some industries that would not be a good fit or would be problematic finding writers for (medical, legal, some finance niches). I only wanted to talk to prospects that invest in SEO and have a blog or CMS up and running, those were my two pre-qualifying attributes.

    The first script checked that the URL is live and also checks for redirections. The second script checked if certain directories existed that might contain their blog such as /blog/ /articles/ /blogposts/ etc.

    Once I get the prospect on the phone, I used Claude's advice to pre-empt the 'we already have someone looking after it' objection first. The goal on the initial call is to screen for interest and send them the video to watch if they're qualified.

    Because it's a simple product and there are no long-term contracts it's easy for people to say yes to. The goal is to sell 4 articles per month to each client at around $750 per article.

    I can add more later if people are interested.

    you cant hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sebulba
    Wow! Awesome and well thought out sales process.


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  • Thanks for your precious information gives in this post. Very accurate information gives in this post.
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  • Profile picture of the author hadyn
    Thanks for sharing it here, I find it really helpful and interesting for what I am doing these days
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  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Nailed it!
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