The 80/20 rule in practise
We've all heard of the 80/20 'magic ratio', and it works in the marketing world too! In content marketing we aim to lead any piece of content (blog post, email newsletters, or long social post) with at least the first 80% of that content being value - teaching a lesson or imparting some wisdom in the form of a story.
Then, in the remaining 20% of the content, that's when you ask for something like an email sign up or a sale. It doesn't always have to be about money right off the bat - you might like to use your 20% to invite people to a free coaching taster session, for example.
Many of the clients I help are life coaches, healers, therapists, or in some other kind of helping role. As a result of this, they don't feel comfortable with more direct sales and marketing approaches. Content marketing then is ideal as it's all about leading with value - we always give before we ask for that sale.
Getting the 80/20 ratio right in your content
I'm often asked how to get the balance right in content, such as blog posts or email newsletters. Whether you call it Pareto's rule, or Gary Vaynerchuk's "Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook" - the good old 80/20 rule has always worked for me. Let's break it down...
What to do with your 80%
The first 80% of your copy should be non-salesy, pure value. This is where you teach your tribe something, impart some wisdom, and generally demonstrate your awesomeness.
As I am a content marketing trainer, I tend to teach a mini lesson in my 80%; it's just the most natural thing for me to do. In fact, it's what I'm doing right here. Typically a few sentences that introduce the topic, teach a tip or trick, and give an example are a great fit.
If you are a life coach, for example, you might like to teach a small 'life hack' skill, or maybe tell a story that has a moral or some wisdom to it. Stories are hugely popular with all audiences - we can't get enough story content, so don't be shy with it!
What to do with your 20%
The last bit, (20% max.) is your 'call to action', or in other words, your sales copy. But don't let that term put you off. Try to think of it as an invitation, and you can even use that word if it feels right.
How about an example...
"If this story resonated with you, then I'd love to invite you to try a free session for yourself."
Now, you can't tell me that's scary or salesy - right? Your call to action can be friendly, casual and simple. The key isn't to be fancy or pushy - the key is to show your casual, friendly, gentle call to action to the RIGHT people. And how do you get the right people reading your content? Well, let me point you back to that 80% of value you are sharing.
Ask yourself what your ideal clients' typical problems and pain points are - and then speak to those in a helpful way.
I hope this post was helpful to you. If you'd like to hear me talking about the 80/20 rule from a tent (long story) then check out my YouTube video below, and subscribe for more marketing nuggets... Oh wait, was that a call to action right there? (See how simple it can be?!)