You have to have a certain level of zeal—a certain eagerness to get things done, to take charge of your own life and your own business—in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs jump at any opportunity they receive to take their business to the next level, boosting its visibility and its reach. Content marketing, then, is something that has caught on with entrepreneurs just as much—if not more—than it has among more traditional business professionals: Startups and brand new companies often lead the pack when it comes to utilizing cutting-edge social and inbound marketing techniques to cultivate brand authority and consumer loyalty.

Before jumping into content marketing, however, it is important to pause and reflect—to set the right goals, parameters, and methodologies for your content marketing endeavor. Entrepreneurs may begin this process by thinking through these five questions.

What do you expect to get out of content marketing?

Before launching any content marketing efforts, make sure you have a reasonable goal set. There are many goals that you might set—increased consumer trust, brand exposure, or brand authority—but it’s important to be clear in determining what your expectation is. Also understand that content marketing, though highly effective when done right, does not generate overnight success in most cases; it’s more about long-term relationship.

Where do you start with content marketing?

The answer to this question will hinge on your answer to #1. Basically, entrepreneurs working on tight marketing budgets will need to prioritize which channels and platforms they wish to adopt. You’ll almost surely want a company blog, but beyond that, your decisions about Facebook and Google+ versus Twitter and Pinterest will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. Make sure to study up on each platform and understand their relative pros and cons.

What does your brand stand for?

Even a startup company has a culture, an identity beyond the products you’re selling. Is your company a lifestyle brand? Do you focus on affordability? Sustainability? Technical prowess? Your brand’s identity will shape the content you develop.

Who are you trying to reach?

Who’s your target demographic? What are their values, and the problems they need to have addressed? What would a buyer persona look like for your targeted/ideal clients?

Should you do content marketing yourself, or outsource it?

Finally, think through the practical dimensions of content marketing. Content marketing is typically the kind of important yet repeatable task that is best farmed out to a professional, rather than left on the plate of the business owner—leaving you to focus on the things that only you can do to add value to your company.