Ilise Benun's Content Marketing Strategies for Creatives: The Businessology Show

| 7-min read Stay updated

Ilise Benun recently guested on Jason Blumer's The Businessology Show podcast to discuss marketing strategies for creatives. Do you know what that meant for me? 38 minutes of "me-time," where I rested with my headset on and eyes closed and listened to Ilise talk about her passion. 

I'll always listen to her advice, especially when she discusses self-marketing. I never fail to get something from it; this time was no different. The host and Ilise discussed a few key themes that I want to discuss today.

  • What the three pillars of networking are
  • How content marketing establishes authority
  • How proper strategic networking builds relationships
  • How targeted outreach personalizes your connection with your prospective clients
  • Why LinkedIn is a great place for personalized outreach strategies
  • Why consistency in marketing and outreach is a must
  • Why it's important to demonstrate your personality in your marketing

What are the three pillars of networking?

three pillars of networking

According to Ilise, there are three pillars of networking. You will see your business grow when you consistently use all three. The three pillars are:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Strategic Networking
  3. Targeted Outreach

You can learn more about these pillars in her Simplest Marketing Plan. For now, let's go over the basics.

What is content marketing?

The Simplest Marketing Plan says content marketing involves creating and sharing useful content that matters to a specific audience. The goal is to use that content to show you are an expert, build trust, and get customers to purchase your products.

You can become an expert in your field by sharing useful information with the people you want to reach.

  • Create content that matches what those people want and need to know.
  • Share that information in different formats - for example, blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and social media posts.

The goal is to catch the attention of potential customers, connect with them, build relationships over time, and eventually lead them to buy or do what you want them to do.

How does content marketing establish authority?

Content marketing helps build trust by consistently giving your audience useful information and advice. Regularly sharing helpful articles and tips that speak to what your audience cares about shows you understand and can help with those issues.

High-quality content marketing involves connecting with potential clients and presenting personalized and thoughtful solutions that showcase your expertise by providing value and solving problems. Speaking at conferences, publishing, and guesting on podcasts, and sharing your ideas via writing can establish authority and credibility in the industry and showcase your expertise. These seeds should be carefully planted. They build trust and help you engage with your target audience. 

Why is this important? By positioning yourself as an expert and leader, you can build trust, which is essential before anyone will agree to work with you.

What is strategic networking?

what is strategic networkingAs with content marketing, strategic networking is all about the plan. You need to first identify your target audience. When it comes to networking, that might be a prospective client, but it could also be a referral partner.

Once you identify your target audience and attend events where they are likely to be found, you need to strategically use your networking time. Don't go to just any event. Find events that will match you with people looking for professionals like you. Those are “your people.”

Focus on building trust and relationships through these interactions. You never know when a contact you meet at an event may either need your services or refer you to someone who does. But you have to stay in touch -- and you do that with your content marketing (see above).

Focus on generosity and what you offer that brings value to others - even if it isn't your direct services. Be ready to connect the people you meet to others who are better suited to help them.  Remember, what goes around comes around. Move forward with the gratitude and generosity you want others to show you. 

Looking for places to find networking opportunities? Platforms like and help you find the right local (and sometimes not-so-local) groups that host networking events. Is that not feasible for you at this time? 

Like Ilise is fond of saying, you can network anywhere, even in the grocery line. It's not a question of where but how you use your time and opportunities to be in the world.

What is targeted outreach?

what is targeted outreach

Targeted outreach is a personalized outreach strategy that allows you to choose your people through careful research and then use that information to connect in a super customized way. Instead of sending an email that says, "Dear Marketing Manager," you'd be sending an email addressed to "Dear [insert prospect name here]," along with a brief note about something that genuinely connects you -- a detail you discovered when doing your research on that person's LinkedIn profile, for example. 

Targeted outreach is about building relationships with your client prospects. It lets them know you see them as more than someone you're selling to, and it enables you to understand how to serve them better.

As Ilise mentions, this is a good way to "[introduce] yourself to the people that you've handpicked and that you really want to work with and [let] them know why you chose them and how you think you could help them."

Why is LinkedIn such a great place for targeted outreach?

Why is consistency in marketing and outreach so important?LinkedIn is perfect because it is an all-in-one platform for researching, connecting, messaging, and following up with client prospects. LinkedIn also offers paid services, such as Sales Navigator, that provide better information and let you track your prospects' posts so you can engage by commenting on them, keeping you on their radar.

Why is consistency in marketing and outreach so important?

Your continuous engagement and presence help build brand recognition and trust with prospective clients. In Ilise's Simplest Marketing Plan, consistency is key to every aspect of marketing, be it content, networking, or targeted outreach. Consistent marketing leads to a full pipeline of prospects, allowing you to choose who you want to work with, whether you decide to grow or stay small and just keep raising your prices.  

Ilise recommends spending “30 minutes daily on LinkedIn to find connections, understand their challenges, and offer solutions that resonate with them personally. The goal is to move beyond generic communications to build stronger and more effective business relationships."

Let's focus on the "Simplest Marketing Plan" -- and spell it out. 

Why is it important to demonstrate your personality in your marketing?

Why is it important to demonstrate your personality in your marketing?Injecting your unique personality and creativity into marketing efforts will help you stand out from the rest of the pack. People engage with others they relate to, and your personality is a large part of that equation. 

A good way to show what it would be like to work with you is by being highly responsive and committed to fulfilling promises. This conveys your work ethic and speaks volumes about your professionalism.

Build your reputation through responsiveness.

Being responsive to clients is extremely important. It conveys that you value their time and are committed to assisting them. A quick response demonstrates your dedication to providing the best service possible, which helps build trust and a positive reputation for your business. 

Promptly answering clients' queries and concerns is vital in building a strong relationship with them. It shows that you are proactive and attentive, giving them confidence in your ability to deliver quality service. When you respond quickly, it fosters a sense of trust and dependability, which can significantly benefit your business's reputation.

Being quick to respond indicates to clients that you are interested and engaged, reinforcing their belief that you will deliver great service.

Don’t forget to sign up for QuickTips, for more terrific tips like these.

Check out the podcast interview below!

Related Marketing Ideas

  Back to blog