Having recurring revenue rolling into your bank account every month is one of the best feelings you can have as an agency owner. When you get a solid set of recurring clients in place, you can cover your bills before you even have to make your first sales call of the month.
The best recurring revenue doesn’t require much attention or demand too much of your time. As a TABber, you’re probably already familiar with the WOM – signing clients up for website maintenance is one of the easiest ways to secure that moolah month after month. Usually, site maintenance doesn’t take up hours of your time either (leaving you free to focus on growing your business, finishing other clients’ work, or god-forbid enjoying some time off).
Keep your recurring clients happy and you have an oh-so-comfortable security blanket of guaranteed money wrapped around you month after month. Goodbye pressure to sell, hello time to focus on your future.
As a digital agency owner or website designer, you have access to a goldmine of opportunity to add recurring revenue to your business.
By adding services like:
- Ongoing monthly website support
- Additional design services
- Email marketing
- Monthly content creation
- Social media management
- SEO services
Offering these monthly services is a win-win for both you and your clients. You work to increase their revenue, adding value to their business, and ultimately increasing the amount of recurring revenue that flows into your company.
Full disclosure, I’m a little biased when it comes to choosing which add-on services to offer. Out of all the regular revenue options, selling a blogging service is the second easiest way to increase your recurring revenue, after monthly site maintenance.
There’s a reason 92% of marketers use blogging as part of their content marketing strategy. Monthly blogging is a treasure trove for recurring revenue, it’s easy to implement, and it has results you can track.
Today, I’m going to run through how a monthly content creation service can help your clients achieve their goals – and bring in more income to your company in the process.
What content services should you offer your clients?
Not every client will want to jump on board for 4 blogs, social media updates, a new landing page, and a couple of guest blogs every month. It’s easier to introduce clients slowly to the idea that content services can help their business grow. After all, companies who blog produce 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
To help ease your clients into the idea of investing in their content marketing every month, you could try the old reliable three tier offer:
1. The basic option
This offer is the basics of a content creation service. They provide you with the content for the blog posts and you simply:
- Add them to the site
- Format the content so it looks nice
- Add relevant images
- Optimize them for the search engines
2. The popular option
A bit of a step up from the basic package. Here you create and manage all the content for your client.
For this offer you:
- Research and choose blog post topics
- Organize when to publish each blog
- Write the content yourself (or hire a writer to do it for you)
- Optimize everything for the search engines
- Choose relevant images
- Write a couple of social media updates to promote the blog
3. The all-in option
This offer is top tier. This is where your client signs up for regular monthly blogging for a full year (hello guaranteed income).
For this option you:
- Create a content calendar
- Research and write blog titles and outlines
- Write the content for the blogs
- Optimize everything for the search engines
- Choose relevant images
- Publish the blogs to their website
- Create and post updates to their social media accounts
- Send out a monthly email blast to their subscribers
- Review analytics and report the performance to the client
Now, we know what you’re thinking, you’ll probably be able to sell a basic package and maybe even the popular package, but there’s no way you’re going to get your clients to invest in a whole year of content.
Upselling your clients on content is easier than you might think, you just need to know how to, and here’s how.
How to upsell recurring content services to your clients
Your clients are busy, the last thing that’s on their mind is writing a blog. Hell, they’ve probably forgotten they even have a blog section on their website.
Sure the idea of attracting new customers by posting high-quality monthly content sounds great, but they don’t have any time to produce content regularly.
If your clients aren’t signing up for recurring content during your initial sales process, reach out to them again once their website has been live for a couple of months. Check-in with them, ask them about the site’s working for them, and if the leads/sales aren’t rolling in, explore the best options for their niche. If suitable for their business and goals, suggest your content creation service.
They’ve already worked with you. They know you’ve given them a fantastic website that looks great and performs well, so why wouldn’t they want to jump on board and invest in some marketing to improve their lead generation?
Let them know that you’ve noticed their blog is a bit empty – ask them if they’re struggling to find the time to keep their site updated. As soon as they let you in on what’s going on, you can share your ideas, strategies, and relevant services with them.
Explain each option and see if they’re interested. Be sure to outline all the benefits for each, and if they go for one, you might be able to encourage them to upgrade to the following package if all goes well.
The 7-step content creation process
When writing content for your clients, you should put together a straightforward process so they can see exactly what they’re investing in and keep everyone on the same page. By having a dedicated process, you can also make sure everyone’s on time with delivering their parts of the project (i.e. your writer submits their draft on time and the client isn’t leaving you hanging for feedback).
Here’s a seven-step process you can follow to ensure that all the content you write for your clients gets published on time (and you get paid).
1. Topic planning
First up, it’s time to plan the topics you’re going to be exploring in the upcoming blogs/emails/social posts for your client.
What ideas do you already have for your client’s niche? Do they have questions they constantly get asked by prospects?
Will these topics help improve rankings in specific areas? Are they relevant and researchable areas of interest?
Brainstorm potential blog post headlines with your client and use keywords and long-tail keywords found through keyword research.
Remember, questions make great headlines because people often type questions into search engines. So try to stick with questions over statements. Plan out a few key points you want to cover for each title.
If you’re not too good at coming up with headlines, then do a quick Google search using keywords or phrases and see what pops up to get your creative juices flowing.
2. Client approval
Review all your keyword research and potential blog post topics and headlines with your client before going further. It’s essential that they’re satisfied with the direction you’re going.
Added bonus: by going through headlines and ideas with your client, you might be able to spark some new ideas or industry pain points that you didn’t think of when brainstorming ideas on your own.
By the end of this step, you should have enough headlines selected to cover the length of the contract your client is going with. So whether that’s 3 months, 6 months or even a year, make sure you have everything organized by this step.
3. Content planning
With all the headlines organised and collected, you’re ready to start building a content calendar for your client.
Put each headline as well as a due date and publication date into a Google doc, Google sheet, or project management tool so you can keep track of it.
When the content calendar is finished, send it to your client and schedule them for a content interview.
4. Content interview
A content interview is where you and your client come together to talk about the blog content.
You go through each of the chosen headlines and ask them questions about each topic. If you’ve got an extensive content calendar, you could do a content interview every month instead of handling a year worth of content in one meeting.
Ask them questions relevant to the blog post to get in-depth insider information. Don't forget to record the interview so you can analyze it later.
Some questions you could ask include:
- Why is the topic or title important to their audience?
- Why should they care about the topic?
- What is your client’s experience with the topic?
- Can they list some issues people have with the topic?
- What are some of the challenges people run into with this topic?
- What is the solution to said challenges?
- How do their audience members avoid these mistakes?
5. Transcription management
After you’ve finished the interview, you can transcribe everything and place it in a new document. This will give you the majority of the content for your blog.
Congratulations, you have an incredibly rough draft of content ready to go!
Now all you have to do is take the transcribed content you’ve gathered, edit it, clean it up and add any relevant information, including statistics and proof points.
You can edit it yourself or hire a copywriter to do it for you.
6. Client review
As soon as you’ve turned the transcript into a beautiful piece of content, you’re almost ready to go.
Send the piece over to your client to review and approve. Make any requested changes before getting ready to publish it for them.
7. Schedule publishing
As soon as the blog post has been approved add it to your client’s website.
Make sure you:
- Format it correctly
- Add images
- Include a relevant featured image
- Schedule it to publish for the correct date
Once you’ve got a few blogs published, a steady feed of social media updates, and regular promotional emails going out, your client will have a solid foundation of content that promotes them as an expert in their area.
There's a lot of value in offering a dedicated content creation service to your clients. Not only will it provide you with recurring revenue, but it’ll also build a great working relationship with your clients. As you work closely together month after month, you’ll be top of mind whenever they need changes made to their website, invest in more online marketing, and get asked by their friends who to go to for a website. It’s a win-win situation!