This is a story about one of my best content plans. It’s also about one of the luckiest people I know.
Picture a successful online travel agency selling to European backpackers planning a trip to Australia. The owner needed a Content Plan.
I flew into Melbourne back in the days when that was an easy thing to do. We’d scheduled a two day intensive in the Board room of one of those hip shared spaces that looks over Swanston Street.
At first glance you’d think Paul was the guitar player in an Indy band. He’s funny and goes out of his way to say hello to everyone we meet in the corridor. Paul brought along his offsider, Clinton, an old mate from school days who helps run the business.
They threw themselves into learning everything they could about Content SEO. As the day wore on they became more and more excited. The potential was clear to them. It was great fun hearing their ideas bounce around.
The thing I remember most was their astounding customer knowledge. As I peppered them with dozens of questions they laid out for me a depth of information that was both affectionate and detailed.
I’ve run a lot of content meetings and home page workshops and these two men knocked it out of the park when it came to client knowledge.
As we worked on their customer persona they not only confidently told me a name and country of origin for their typical customer, they knew the course their customer had just finished at uni and, who owned the credit card that was paying for their trip.
They could tell me what that person wanted to see and do and what they were most worried about. The more questions I asked, the more detail they could give me.
As part of the content planning I usually develop a set of strategic blog post titles to work on. We got 100 titles effortlessly. It wasn’t just the quality of information that impressed me. These guys were so motivated and interested to get out there and collect the material.
I like to show clients all the tools and techniques I use in my work. We practise as much as we can, during my time with them. By the end, I’d hope to see confidence as well as knowledge. I can’t help grinning when I remember how thrilled they were by all of it.
Over the following year Paul and Clinton published a lot of content from that plan. Then, one day, they got a buy out offer. It’s a big deal to sell a business you’ve build from the ground up.
In the lead up to the contract, signing the new buyer casually mentioned “have you heard about that new virus?” No one could have guessed that within months the backpacker tourism market would all but disappear. The timing of that sale is one of the luckiest things I’ve ever seen.
I consider the work I did with Paul as one of the best Content Plans I’ve written so far. It worked well because it was a true collaboration with someone who really knew and loved his customers.