There are numerous books about content marketing. Some good, some not so much. I’ve read a few, and I endorse fewer, but this is one that I do recommend.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by not being able to get your message across to your potential clients – or you constantly find yourself working with the wrong type of clients – you need to read this book. It will help you to be seen as more of an expert in your field.
The book is easy to read, easy to navigate, and has a clarity of purpose that few equal. It addresses the need for business content in 8 ‘pillars’ – the foundations on which your ‘fortress’ is built – which will keep you safe from the wrong clients and only allow entry to the right ones.
The first two pillars: The push-me-pull-you of content
The first pillar is content designed to repel those for whom your product or service is not appropriate. Well-written, informative content will save businesses a lot of time, otherwise wasted, conversing with people who should be talking to other suppliers. The second pillar is its converse, content which attracts the people with whom you do want to work. Before I had finished these two sections, my notebook was groaning under the weight of ideas for content to support my mentoring and mastery business. Content that would clarify, and focus, the conversations I will have in 2023. Those content ideas alone made reading this book worthwhile.
Yet, there are six more pillars lining up to add more value.
The next two pillars: Sales and pricing
The next two pillars deal with areas that businesses are often reluctant to write about – sales and pricing. That’s usually because of two concerns: they fear the consequences of addressing pricing issues, and don’t want to be seen as sleazy salespeople. The book provides new insights that prompted a flurry of content ideas for me. By being honest about what you provide and clarifying the value of it by sharing insights and knowledge, you will stand out in your market. When your business provides this content well, customers want to work with you because they can see the expertise (or even mastery) you demonstrate. There are plenty of good examples to help guide your own approach in these two areas.
Pillars 5 and 6: Guiding and process content
Everyone benefits from good guidance when they are doing something new. Guiding content allows us to demonstrate what we know, and how that affects our clients. When I published my book, Intentional Mastery, I worked with a publisher. They produce content that is designed to de-mystify their market by clarifying the whole process of writing, publishing, distributing and marketing a book. They share information to educate and inform prospects who are thinking of working with them. Process content helps you to inform customers of the details of exactly what to expect as they work with your company. You know the areas of your business that you have to keep explaining to new clients. Providing guiding and process content means that you don’t have to keep repeating yourself.
To finish: Culture and opinion
I enjoyed the stories in Content Fortress that highlighted the culture of the authors’ business. I felt that I understood them, as people, and how I would enjoy a conversation with them. That’s the aim of the culture and opinion content. The book makes a good point though – it has to be genuine. If you describe a culture that people cannot see, then you describe a business they won’t want to work with. That takes us neatly to opinion content. Your opinions also make you who you are. It’s okay to be controversial, but not for the sake of controversy. Take a stand and stand by it.
The benefit of reading Content Fortress
It’s the very end of 2022 when I am penning this review. It’s a time of year when I plan my content for the next few months. One of those times when it can be difficult to identify the gaps and shortcomings in the content I already have. Not this year. Not after reading this book. By the end of the book, I have content planned in each of the eight pillars. Twenty-six titles with more brewing. I had better get writing!
While the content demonstrates expertise, a few minor frustrations leave the book short of mastery. The copy I received was a self-published, print-on-demand book from Amazon. It deserves to be better. There are some typographical errors, even on the cover, and grammatical elements that jar. The paper and the curling cover aren’t the same quality as the content. These are minor issues, but they do detract from an otherwise powerful work.
That said, this is a book that has great value and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is responsible for the content that their business creates, in order to communicate with their customers and prospects.