You know by now that marketing your business is a must. If you don’t tell people you exist, they won’t know and they won’t come to you. It’s that simple. Yet marketing continues to be one of the business practices that too many solopreneurs and small business owners dread — or even avoid. They do good work, but are at a loss for how to get the word out about it. When it comes to us writers, this can certainly hamper the ability to make a living writing.

Well, creating and distributing content is one smart way to get the word out about what you do. In fact, it has to be a key part of your marketing mix if you want to succeed in this information economy. Whether you are in the business of writing for a living or anything else, good content is important. This is true whether you sell a product or a service. You need to create educational, inspirational, or entertaining content related to whatever it is you sell. This is why:

1. It brands you. If you develop content that is focused and on target — meaning, it’s related to what you sell — then your content can brand your business by leaving a favorable impression with those who come into contact with that content. You get known as the person or business that produces great content — books, blog posts, videos, films, etc.

2. It qualifies leads. If you develop content related to whatever it is you sell, then it stands to reason that those who avail of your content (download it, read it, etc.), are at least interested in what you sell. So the inquiries you get as a result of your content are more likely to be from people who want to do business with you.

3. It educates your customers. Good content developed for your business can educate users about your offerings, systems, processes, and the benefit of doing business with you over your competitor. Let’s see an example: You are a nutritionist. So you decide to write an ebook about the benefits of healthy eating.  In doing this, you get to educate clients and potential clients about eating in a way that can enhance their lives, but you also get the opportunity to share this information from your perspective, based on your philosophy and approach to healthy eating. You get to do this in a way that shows that you know what you are talking about, which brings us to …

4. It positions you. Content that you develop can help position you as a go-to resource, expert, or custom solution provider. That is because the readers or users of your content are more likely to see you as knowledgeable about the subject at hand. You are in a much better position to get their business than a similar competitor who has not created any content.

5. It introduces people to you. Good content has a way of going viral or going from the original user to others with similar interest. In fact, good content may be some potential customers’ first brush with you and your company. So that book, video, or blog post may have originally been seen by a current customer or client, but that person may have liked it so much that she passed it on to ten of her friends.

6. It inspires. Good content can inspire action or good feelings. Consider what you want people to do as a result of your content. Should they join your mailing list? Sign up for a service? Go out and do a good deed? See you in a more positive light?

You no longer have to wonder how to get the word out about your business. Creating great content is a key way to do it. When you create useful, informative, and entertaining content, you can allow that content to be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. In fact, one great piece of content can generate business for years to come!

As a writer, you are in a wonderful position to create compelling content. You already have the ability to write. Now, consider what content you need to create that best helps you get in front of the people you need to get in front of so they hire you. Great content will help you make a living writing.

What content have you created and how has it helped your business?