Welcome to Volume 1 of The Advisory Salon!

visually rich and metaphorical image that captures the essence of a professional journey from doubt to clarity.

In this first edition, we’ll delve into the importance of a content marketing strategy.  But before we dive in, let’s begin with a little bit of honesty. 

I don’t know what the heck I’m doing!

Ignoring the fact that I’ve built a solid reputation for delivering results and exceeding expectations over the past 20 years through The Lilian Raji Agency, I have been encountering problem after problem with launching The PR Advisor!

I have been challenging my own expertise, questioning the strategies and tactics I have successfully used over the years for my clients, and managed to delay the launch for five months as I grappled with paralysis by analysis. I became the very definition of the type of client I never liked to work with under The Lilian Raji Agency!

But then I realized something:

How I’ve been feeling, what’s motivated me to challenge my own expertise, is because I’m scared this new endeavor is going to fail.

Once I realized this, I finally understood the perspective of those clients who made me crazy. It wasn’t that they didn’t trust my expertise or my reputation; it’s that they were entering into the unknown. There is no scarier place to be than in a place of uncertainty.  With those clients, I was challenging them to do something very unfamiliar to them. The uncertainty, combined with the fear of failing, made them ignore the fact that my reputation, the reason they hired me, is because I never allow any of my clients to fail.

For all of my success with The Lilian Raji Agency, I could never scale it beyond a certain point because of the tremendous attention to detail I devote to ensure everything goes exactly as I planned. I’ve always taken extraordinary pride in my work, and there was no way I could deliver the same amount of conscientiousness to several clients at once. Add, too, that I was being sought out by companies I would have loved to work with, but who could not afford what I command through The Lilian Raji Agency.

The Lilian Raji Agency is about strategy development, concierge-level execution, and undivided attention to delivering on my promise.  The PR Advisor is also about strategy development – whether through my on-demand courses, my detailed articles on strategic marketing and communications, or through hourly consulting sessions designed to teach you everything I know so you can execute on your own.

The fundamental difference between the two is that I will be able to serve more people through The PR Advisor than I could ever do through The  Lilian Raji Agency.  With my mother’s passing earlier this year, the legacy I want to leave behind has been top of mind lately. I want that legacy to be how many people I can help before I leave this world. With her own legacy, my mother set the bar very, very high for me.

I say all of this to say thank you for reading The Advisory Salon, and being with me at the very beginning of my new journey into uncertainty.  What certainty I can give you is as follows:

  • Every Advisory Salon will begin with musings on being an entrepeneur. Over the past 20 years, I’ve learned so many of us endure the same challenges but no one is willing to speak up.  Rest assured — I will!
  • The newsletters will be long but tremendously useful. It’s a deep read, purposely sent EOD on Mondays, which statistically is the worst time to send a newsletter, but I want you to have something to look forward to after you’ve been putting out fires all day.
  • While this particular introduction focused on me, all the ones thereafter will be about you. It is my sincerest goal that you’ll one day hit reply and say, “Lilian, wow, I really needed to read what you wrote today!”
  • After my musings, you’ll find one strategic marketing question answered in detail, followed by snippets of three other articles I’ve written for the week.  These additional articles break down, respectively, as industry analysis, industry trends and company profiles. You’ll find these always below the weekly question.

At any given time, please do not hesitate to share your comments, thoughts or questions.  I will do my very best to reply to everyone – or even better, write a detailed article about your question.

Now, shall we begin?

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This Week’s Question

Why is Developing a Content Marketing Strategy So Important?

Crafting a Future in Content Marketing: A Strategic Symphony for Today’s Businesses

In the realm of modern commerce, where the digital landscape is ever-evolving, content marketing has emerged as a pivotal force for businesses intent on captivating their audience. The true art of content marketing, however, lies not merely in the creation of content but in the orchestration of a strategy that resonates with a company’s grand vision.

The Symphony of a Content Marketing Strategy

A masterful content marketing strategy is akin to a symphony. It’s an intricate composition that harmonizes content creation, distribution, governance, and the savvy use of technology, all in tune with the company’s overarching business goals. The magic lies in understanding how each note in the content repertoire plays a part in securing a competitive advantage. It’s about crafting a unique value proposition, setting your brand apart, or reimagining familiar tunes in a refreshingly new rhythm.

The Dance of Strategy and Tactics

In the dance of content marketing, it’s crucial to distinguish the lead dancers – strategy, from the supporting cast – tactics. Tactics are the steps and moves executed to bring the strategy to life. The strategy itself is the choreography, the grand plan that aligns these moves into a cohesive performance, ensuring every step contributes to the business’s ultimate goals.

Collaboration: The Heartbeat of Strategy

Creating a successful content marketing strategy is a collaborative ballet. It demands a chorus of voices and coordination across various departments. Leadership, be it the CEO, CMO, or marketing maestro, must conduct this orchestra, setting the rhythm and vision. In smaller ensembles, strategic thinking involves weaving different content threads into a tapestry that tells a unified story.

Refining Your Content Marketing Strategy

To refine your content marketing strategy, start by defining your objectives clearly. Are you aiming to be the thought leader of your industry, to weave high-quality content into your email marketing, or to use content as a primary revenue stream? With these goals in mind, compose an operating model that outlines the roles, teams, workflows, and technologies involved, ensuring every tactic enriches your strategic narrative.

Building an Engaged Audience: Your Loyal Fans

At the heart of content marketing is the goal of building an engaged, addressable audience. This includes everyone from email subscribers to event attendees, reachable organically or through paid media. Focus on transforming a segment of your market into devoted fans, engaging them consistently to foster trust and loyalty. Successful content marketing understands its audience and finds innovative ways to monetize this relationship.

Independence from Third-Party Platforms

An essential note in building an addressable audience is the ability to reach them independently of third-party platforms. While social media is a valuable instrument, it’s crucial to cultivate direct channels of communication, like email lists or proprietary platforms. This strategy reduces the risks associated with external platforms and their ever-changing algorithms.

In essence, a strategic approach to content marketing is about comprehending the broader impact of content-related activities and aligning them with your business’s grand narrative. It’s a collaborative process that requires a clear vision, harmonious coordination across teams and tactics, all aimed at building a loyal, engaged audience that plays a pivotal role in your company’s success story.

Strategic Content Planning

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