Ilise Benun is a marketing coach who I discovered - somehow - several years ago. I had been a passive fan for a while before I finally reached out to her to tap her expertise. I appreciated her approach to marketing and wanted to learn more. Since then, I have become not only an active fan, but also a client. So without further ado, please meet Ilise!
What do you do for a living, and how long have you been doing it?
For almost 35 years, I have been helping creative professionals get better clients with bigger budgets. That means I teach marketing and money and how to run a business to people who simply haven't been taught how to do it - yet!
When did you start publishing content, and why? What compelled you to do so?
Actually, it was very early on and well before it was called "content marketing" in the 1990s. I published an actual printed newsletter called The Art of Self Promotion, and sent it-- bulk mail! -- to a list of local artists and other creatives.
When the internet came along, it, of course, became a digital newsletter called Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor.
Why did I do this? It was obvious to me that creatives needed to learn and that l could gently educate the market while simultaneously positioning myself as an expert who can help, just in case they need it and don't want to do it alone. And it's worked beautifully ever since!
What kind of content do you publish and how has it evolved?
It all started with the newsletter. The thought was, "If I can write a newsletter, I can certainly write a book." So in 2001, the first book was published, Self Promotion Online, which did wonders for my authority and thought leadership. I also started speaking at events for creatives (first really badly and then I eventually got better). Speaking is, by far, the best content marketing tool around. But it does take courage.
In 2008, as a companion to the 3rd book, The Designers Guide to Marketing and Pricing, my co-author suggested we start a podcast. That podcast has since evolved into The Marketing Mentor Podcast, in which I interview creatives who are practicing what I preach and explain in detail exactly how they get the bigger clients with better budgets.
Along the way, I also do a lot of writing on my own blog, as well as paid articles for other companies and associations. So in essence, I get paid to market myself - the epitome of content marketing.
How often do you publish your content?
What benefits have you experienced as a result?
Good Lord, where do I start?
My content positions me as an authority, keeps me constantly visible and drives traffic to my web site, where people can sign up for my Quick Tips and marinate in my content until they're ready to reach out and get help.
The whole content ecosystem is set up so that only the best prospects sign up for my free mentoring session, which is the gateway to my coaching practice. And when they do, they're primed and ready to get to work.
Any pearls of advice you'd like to share?
Don't try to do all the things or to be everywhere. Do one thing at a time. Start small and choose something you'll actually do. Don't worry about starting with the wrong thing. Trust your intuition. You'll figure out soon enough what's working (and what's not). And don't worry about confidence (or a lack thereof). Focus instead on the courage it takes to put yourself out there.
And, if you want to be featured in a future Content Case Study, be sure to let me know.