Marcus Sheridan was in trouble.
He had been riding a wave of exciting growth for years, selling fiberglass pools, but that came to a screeching halt when the great recession hit in 2008.
He was staring at a dwindling trickle of sales, and a scary balance sheet, with the one-word question in the back of his mind: "Bankruptcy?"
He had to act fast. He read everything he could about online marketing, sales, and the latest and greatest advertising techniques, until he was utterly and completely overwhelmed.
So he went back to the basics. He got his team in a room, with a whiteboard, and asked "What questions do customers ask us before they purchase a pool?"
They made a list.
They made a long list of every usual or unusual question that customers had asked them before, including questions that were easy to answer but also questions they might usually avoid.
Then they got to work. They answered every single question that came in, publicly, in a near-daily blog post, without any fancy marketing strategies or analytics software or SEO techniques.
It paid off. The company grew from a small, struggling pool sales company to the most trusted authority in the pool industry, online. They grew dramatically, and turned the company around.
Marcus published his own book "They Ask, You Answer" to share the simple strategy behind their success. No gimmicks required.
They’re Asking. Will You Answer?
It's a simple strategy, but it's perfect.
What gold mine is sitting in your email inbox, of questions that your customers have asked you privately, which you could answer publicly in an article, video, or podcast episode?
How can you take all the guesswork out of the buying process, and give your customers the information they are already looking for online?
If you become the most well-trusted authority in your industry by becoming a helpful teacher, sharing clear and concise answers that are normally kept behind closed walls, you will earn people's trust.
Every time you're talking to someone in your target audience, and they ask you a question, make a note.
Every time someone responds to your email about a blog post with a question, make a note.
Every time someone messages you on social media, or comments on one of your posts, make a note.
Now you have a steady stream of simple, no-fluff content themes to cover based on information you know that your audience already wants.