My guest this week is Natalie Hailey and she’s inspiring future female entrepreneurs from her base in Cumbria.
We talk about understanding how content marketing can help your business, putting together content for your ideal customer, and how she became Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University.
Welcome to episode 161 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.
What you’ll hear about in this episode
- How to come up with content ideas for your business
- The problems businesses have understanding content marketing
- Why knowing your target customer is crucial
- Why consistency is key to long term success
- Why Natalie’s passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs
- Becoming Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University
Who is Natalie Hailey?
Natalie worked as an estate agent for 10 years. She fell into it by accident following her A-levels. After she had children, Natalie decided she wanted to work flexibly. Once finished taking an Open University degree in English Literature, she began courses in proofreading and copy editing.
She found she was regularly asked to proofread website content, often for publishers. This led to being asked to write the content. She realised that small businesses had a need to be supported in content creation. She now delivers in-house training and workshops on the topic. And she creates the content.
Summary of our chat
Natalie has put together content for a range of local businesses, from cosmetics to fuel companies. It might be hard to have ideas if your business isn’t exciting. But Natalie says when you’re addressing people’s problems and questions, you can produce lots of content. Any industry can benefit from helping people find answers.
Many businesses are uncertain about content marketing and don’t really know why or how blogs, videos or podcasts can help them. They go through the motions but don’t believe it will help. Or they’re looking for a quick fix but aren’t fully committed to putting the effort in over a period of time.
Consistency is key and lack of consistency is one of the main reasons people give up or are sporadic with their content creation. They don’t believe in what they’re doing and that it will make a difference to the business. If you don’t have faith in what you’re doing, it’s much harder to carry on.
You need to know who your audience is and why you’re marketing to them. Not being clear on that makes content creation harder. It’s a barrier to sitting down and writing blogs or recording videos. Things slot into place when you know your ideal client, and it’s much easier to create what they want.
Natalie set up a group to meet a need for female entrepreneurs in Cumbria, where she lives, to create a supportive environment. Women aren’t reaching their potential, so it’s become a mission and a passion of Natalie’s to help them achieve success in business and marketing, while still doing all the other things they have to do.
Natalie contributed to a research project into what motivates entrepreneurs and told a university professor about her women’s group. Lancaster University identified a need to support female overseas students. This led to Natalie becoming the Entrepreneur in Residence at the university. Now, through workshops and one to one sessions, she boosts students’ confidence and inspires them to achieve more.
One thing Natalie wants people to take away from her interview
It’s important to be yourself in business. As an employee, Natalie felt that those around her were playing a game, and she felt uncomfortable, unable to be herself and that she was pretending to be someone else.
Now, running Hot Content, she’s herself and communicates with people in the same way, whether in a meeting room or in a social environment. Customers want to communicate with businesses in a personal way, and see the person behind the scenes, so they connect with them.
A marketing campaign or product Natalie loves
Natalie is impressed by the membership model for businesses and is a of three. She feels being part of an online community, and going on a journey with like-minded people, has enabled her to achieve what she has today.
It’s something she’d like to do with her women’s group, and offer training as part of a membership community of her own. There’s a need for giving people a central location to access the information they need to run a business, so it’s easy to consume and digest.
Books Natalie recommends
Marcus Sheridan’s They Ask You Answer is great for anyone who struggles with knowing what to write about and how to do it. It’s straightforward, simple and easy to digest, but nobody else has said it. The book has changed everything for lots of businesses, and gives a lot of inspiration.
Mark Schaefer’s latest book, Known, brings together the idea of personal branding with whether anyone can become ‘known’. He takes a scientific, academic approach and analyses his findings. He interviewed people who are known to find out how they did it.
Links and contact details
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