It’s easy to get caught in the weeds, focusing on craft or creativity or best practices. It’s easy to forget that, at the end of the day, it’s all business development.
What Is Business Development?
Business development is the process of driving business growth. It includes any task and process that creates growth opportunities and revenue.
Years ago, I was a business development writer for a financial services company. At the time, I saw myself as a copywriter because most of what I did involved writing.
I managed the company’s re-enrollment campaigns, including brochures, letters, and mailers. I wrote content for the blog and newsletters. I created sales collateral, from case studies to one-pagers to reports. I wrote white papers.
For a new product, I oversaw the announcements, lead generation campaigns, content, and sales collateral. In fact, I drove so many leads, they asked me to pause the campaign until they had time to follow up with the leads I’d created for them.
I also created direct response marketing campaigns with sales letters, mailers, and scripts for customer success and sales.
Looking back, I realize all of this — and everything I’ve done since — is in fact, business development:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Sales enablement
- Lead generation
- Customer success
- Customer engagement
And if it’s not developing business, why are we doing it?
Adopt a Business Development Mindset
If you’re in marketing or sales, your sole responsibility is to drive business opportunities. Understanding that, it’s important to evaluate every task you perform.
Do you manage the business blog or social media channels? Make sure everything you publish has a business goal. Yes, you want to engage prospects and customers, but are you engaging people who are likely to buy. Are you producing content that supports business growth?
What about list building? It’s easy to play the numbers game. But to get results from email, you don’t need every breathing human on your email marketing list. You need a list of buyers, not readers or tire kickers.
You get the idea.
Understanding that everything you do is business development, you’ll be more strategic about the content you create and the tasks you take on.
It’s not a big mental shift, but it’s necessary. Especially now.
A business’s ability to weather recessions, technological advances, and market shifts depends on its ability to set priorities.
What matters most is revenue. That means, regardless of your title or job description, your focus is business opportunities: more leads, more conversations with qualified prospects, more sales meetings, more revenue.
Drive Growth or Decline
For the last decade, I’ve talked about the danger of content for content’s sake. It’s fair to say that any job can be done for its own sake.
And it’s easy to slip into.
We have our daily tasks. We create systems. And as long as we do the work, we’re meeting our obligations.
Do the task. Get paid. Go home.
But if a business isn’t growing, it’s stagnating. If your daily tasks don’t drive growth, they contribute to decline.
Like I said, business development is your number one priority. You need to generate demand, drive awareness, attract leads, and turn those leads into opportunities and sales.
It doesn’t matter what your job is, this is still your priority. Because this is how you get paid.
Our team at Jcurve has been talking about this in-depth for the last few weeks. And the more we dive in, the more we realize the need to directly impact business development if we’re going to achieve our mission of Jcurving our clients’ growth.
We do content right — creating content that’s capable of attracting your best prospects and generating leads.
We do strategic social media — getting your message in front of your best prospects, so your social channels become growth platforms.
But social media and blog content take a shotgun approach. You blast your message and hope it hits the target.
Our mission is to help you drive growth. For that, you need a laser, not a shotgun.
And for us, it’s as simple as returning to our roots.
We’re in the business of business development. That includes content. But it also includes marketing funnels, campaigns, and strategies that help you acquire and retain customers.
There’s no better way to support your business.
If you’re ready to grow, we’re here for you.