New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for people, you know? What bout your New Year’s small business resolution for 2017? Sure, you have goals and objectives, strategies and tactics to run your business, but why not also throw in a little “let’s do this better this year” challenge into the mix?

For my particular small business resolution, I’m resolving to blog at least three times per week on with a primary focus on helping small businesses. It’s been a while since I’ve kept up a consistent pace with blogging, so getting back to what got me here is an important step.

What can you set as your small business resolution for 2017? I recommend resolving to produce one new piece of content per month (or more frequently if you can muster it) that your target audience will find valuable.

My theme in helping small businesses for the next year is going to be turning your relationship businesses into lead generation businesses. I’m going to endeavor to help you understand how to build content and lead generation mechanisms to grow a steady flow of prospective customer to market to, rather than having to rely on referrals and recommendations, which is what most small businesses do.

Small Business Resolution for 2017The key element in a lead-gen business is that insatiable piece of content your prospective customers would volunteer their email address to get. I want you to create one piece of content each month that qualifies as such.

Maybe it’s a simple Word document you turn into a PDF that shows a step-by-step way for your audience to do something themselves they’d normally have to pay a professional for. (Think how to change your oil, or how to fix a leaky faucet.) Sure, it’s counter intuitive to give them knowledge to do something they’d normally pay you for, but the trust transfer will make you the company they call when they are too lazy or inconvenienced to do the task themselves.

Maybe it’s a video where you interview someone from your industry about some topic your prospective customers are interested in. If you’re a home contractor, maybe you nab a landscape expert to talk about the right kind of shrubs for different climates.

Maybe it’s a white paper that presents a collection of data your customers would find useful. For an insurance agent, maybe it’s a list of the most reliable new car purchases, or a guide to lowering your home insurance rates explaining how security systems, smoke detectors and the like can reduce that monthly bill.

Whatever your business, you have knowledge or access to knowledge that your target audience will find interesting or entertaining enough to say, “I want that enough to give you my email address.” So the most important small business resolution you can make for 2017 is challenging yourself to create that content.

Do it. One per month. Find a way to get it on your website behind a form that requests a name and email address before the audience can access it. Voila! You have lead-gen.

We’ll dive into more details here in the coming weeks, but get started on your content ideas and tell me in the comments what you’ll create in January to get started on keeping that small business resolution in tact.

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