Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question comes from James, a student in our Content Marketing Mastery course.
It’s something that we get asked quite often.
The answer that Len gave in the course’s Slack channel is pasted below:
“That’s actually exactly how we stumbled on it.
When we did customer research, our assumption was that people would go on and on about their different customer service struggles.
But the reality was, founders just didn’t care that much back then, and we’d get a lot of responses that bled more into broader business challenges (hiring, growth, fundraising, etc…).
So we thought, hey, we’re going through these same exact challenges too! What if we write about our own experiences, and how we’re tackling those challenges, so that our audience can (1) see that they’re not alone and things aren’t as hopeless as they might think at times, and (2) see that we’re a lot like them.
So to answer the question, the narrative came first. it would be impossible to make an apples-to-apples metrics comparison between the two blogs, because by the time the support blog launched, we were able to use the success of the 100k blog as a springboard to get readers quickly. The support blog grew much, much faster than the 100k blog, but that’s because of that launchpad that we had, and also because we had come a lot further in figuring out ‘the system’ (the one the course teaches), so we were able to find success with it much quicker.
But let’s talk through your own blog branding, I’d love to help here. you don’t have to have the same routine as your target audience to pull off authenticity and narrative.
For example, what’s more authentic than humility?
One narrative angle could be about you being totally upfront about NOT being in your target audience, but wanting to learn everything you possible can about them (certainly a ‘journey’, too… you’re learning everything you can so that you can help them).
You present the challenges that you uncovered as challenges that you, yourself, don’t necessarily know the answer to. But in every post, you do lots of research to uncover the answer, finding sources online, experts/influencers to interview and comment on solutions, etc…
One of the values of narrative is that your relationship with your readers takes on multiple forms (i.e. it goes deeper than them being a reader/student).
They’re not just your students, but in our case, they’re also our cheerleaders. In the example above, they’re your cheerleaders, and perhaps sometimes they’re your teachers, too. That depth of relationship can create a lot of loyalty (though the example I gave isn’t necessarily the only way to accomplish it).”