Every small business owner knows that their role is one that wears many hats. Aside from being the head honcho, you might find that you also tend to play the role of Accountant. And Marketer. And Customer Support Expert. And anything else you might have to take care of on any given day.

But have you ever thought of yourself as a teacher?

As the owner of your business, you probably know a lot about what you do – whether you’re a personal trainer, baker, dietician, life coach, etc. And if that’s the case, there’s a lot you can teach others through content, too.

By sharing valuable information that helps others through blog posts, emails or guides, you’re able to position yourself in a way that not only builds your credibility, but also shows that you have your audience’s best interests at heart. And when you do that, you’re also able to gain their trust and turn them into loyal brand advocates.

But how do you take all of that knowledge and present it in a way your customers can easily understand?

Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways in which you can create valuable content for your audience. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Talk to Your Audience

It’s important to consider the words you choose when talking or writing to your audience. And if you remember anything from this article, let it be this: keep your writing simple.

You’re an experienced pro, so you understand what you’re talking about. However, you have to assume that your audience might not have the same level of expertise as you. As a result, you’ll want to write simply and explain as much as possible.

Eliminate Jargon (as much as possible)

Need another way to keep your content simple? Avoid using industry jargon as much as possible. Not all of your customers or prospects will understand your business or industry on an advanced level, so try to break things down in layman’s terms.

But if you want them to learn some industry jargon, be sure to define what each term means either directly in your post, or by linking to another website or blog post that offers a clear explanation.

What’s in It for Me?

Before brainstorming or writing content, always ask yourself what the reader will get out of it. Why should someone read, watch or listen to what you have to say? By making it worthwhile for them (such as solving a problem they have or offering helpful advice), they’ll learn that what you have to say is valuable and will come back for more content.

Content, Lions and Pools, Oh My!

So how can content transform your business into a beaming success?

Let’s take a look at Marcus Sheridan, who grew his pool company, River Pools and Spas, into one of the largest of its kind with the help of content.

Before he was known as “The Sales Lion,” Sheridan was just another entrepreneur with an expertise in pool installations. To further educate his customers and prospects, he decided to share some of that knowledge by answering frequent customer questions in blog posts on his website.

And the more people would search for answers to their questions online, the more they would come across Sheridan’s blog posts, learn something and eventually call him with a new business opportunity (inbound marketing for the win!).

Today, he continues to spread his story to inspire others to embrace content marketing as a way to connect with customers and prospects through educational content. And he’s still one of the owners of River Pools and Spas.

So how can you follow in The Sales Lion’s footsteps and create killer content for your own audience?

Tips for Brainstorming Content Ideas

When asked about the best ways to create content, Sheridan said it’s important to tackle every single question consumers ask as they’re researching a product during the buying process. And that’s a great place to start when brainstorming content for your blog or emails.

Pro Tip: If you handle customer support inquiries or interact with customers on a frequent basis, you can compile a list of content topics based on those interactions and commonly asked questions.

Other ways you can share your expertise with your audience is by writing “how-to” articles, or sharing tricks that will make them better at using your products or services.

You can also check your website analytics to see what pages people visit most, or what search terms they used to find your website. And if all else fails, consider sending a survey to customers asking them what they’re interested in learning about.

Whatever you come up with, you might also want to consider the ways in which you present that valuable information. Everyone consumes content differently, so try creating different types of content to meet their needs.

Aside from writing blog posts, you can also present helpful content in:

  • An email series. Create an educational email series that teaches your subscribers something, such as how to get the most out of your products or services. Include helpful information with links back to your website or other resources that can provide further education.
  • A guide. Long-form content is a great way to dive deeper into a specific topic to educate your audience. Guides can live on your website, or you can send them out as exclusive content to your email subscribers.
  • A video. Video is great for educating your customers because it allows them to see exactly how they’re supposed to do something. Create a video (the shorter, the better) to teach your customers more about your products or services or other relevant topics.
  • An infographic. If you have a lot of data that would be interesting to your audience, considering presenting it in an infographic. If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff or the Photoshop skills in your arsenal, try using Canva, which is a great free tool that makes creating visuals (such as infographics) super simple.

Share Your Knowledge!

Educating customers is one of the quickest ways you can establish credibility and build loyalty. What content ideas are you going to start using today?