Content Marketing Strategy For Startups - Generate Leads In Just 1 Hour A Day

Viktor Hatfaludi
August 7, 2023
15 minutes


So you're a Startup Founder with a killer product. You know the value it brings to the market and have invested a ton of time and energy into launching it. But customers are nowhere to be seen, are they?

Leads are dry, you aren't getting responses to emails you send, and Investors are asking how the pipeline's looking. And who can blame them? You have 1 or 2 years of runway at best to show traction and they're looking out for their investment. Must be difficult to stay positive.

But what if I said you can fix this with just 1 hour a day?

Well, stick around because by the end of this 7-part mini-series you'll know how you too can drive inbound leads and book more customer meetings with just that. 1 hour a day. Every day. And we're going to do that with strategic content.

Hi, I’m Viktor, a full-cycle Account Executive turned Sales Manager with 10 years of B2B Sales experience and on this channel I cover topics from prospecting to closing and everything in between.

We'll start off with a high-level overview of what matters, the types of content you can create, and how to write content people love. Then we'll dive into how to get started, how to manage content projects and how to make it scale. Finally we'll end by breaking down my best performing content to give you inspiration to get going.

Can't wait to show you. Let’s do this!

Focus on what matters

Your goal with content is two-fold: On one hand you want people to accept your connection requests and reply to your messages. On the other hand you'll want to generate traffic that converts to inbound leads. You do this by focusing on the 3 things that matter to any successful business: being known, being trusted, and providing value people don't want to live without.

What do you think Startups typically get wrong? They focus on creating value, but the way they do that is by putting all their energy into product development which is just one of many ways to do it.

The problem is that even if you build the best product out there you're likely to fail if no one knows who you are or your target group has doubts about your ability to deliver on your promises. Creating awareness and trust takes care of that. And it's not difficult. Just look at what companies like Trumpet and Lavender are doing: they're posting daily to say "hey, we exist!", they share insights that are informative and tell their target group "we understand your pain and have a solution" and they even tell you what to do to solve your pain - one of the many ways just happens to be by using their product. And the cherry on top is that most of their employees pitch in which spreads the word even faster.

By sharing content like these Trumpet and Lavender constantly remind their target group about their existence and show they can be trusted because they know the problem area better than you do. All while providing useful tips their audience won't wanna miss out on so they hit "follow". Guess where these people are gonna look for a solution first when their pain starts getting too much to take!

The takeaway is keep investing in your product but keep in mind that you can't succeed if you continue neglecting activities that raise awareness around your company and the problem you solve and build trust with your target group.

Let's look at how you too can adopt a powerful content strategy starting off with the 3 types of content you'll create.

The 3 types of content you’ll write

The 3 types of content are TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU which stands for top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel. These signal where prospects are in the buying journey and it's also commonly referred to as the buyer's stage of awareness.

Now there are 5 levels of awareness that we differentiate: Unaware, Problem aware, Solution aware, Product aware, and Most aware. Where am I going with this? If you want your message to resonate you have to consider how much your intended audience knows about your domain. The general rule is one content, one stage of awareness. Let's break down what to write about in each stage.

TOFU is all bout raising awareness. Your audience are unaware and problem-aware prospects who are so used to doing things the old way they think it's normal or they know what they're doing is a drag but don't know there's a better way of going about it. You want to educate these people about the existence of the problem and that you're here to help.

MOFU is for nurturing. Buyers in this stage typically know that solutions are out there but haven't necessarily heard of you yet so nudging them to take a look makes perfect sense. The best way is to inspire them by sharing stories of how others like them have overcome their challenges and what impact they were able to drive as a result of it.

And lastly BOFU is about converting your product-aware and most-aware prospects. They've seen what you can do. They're convinced you could be a good fit. Time to capture some leads! This can be anything from having them visit your demo booking landing page, signing up to your upcoming webinar, or taking advantage of a promotion.

My rule of thumb is for the content to be 50-70% TOFU, 20-30% MOFU, and 10-20% BOFU.

At this point you might be asking: but Viktor if I want to generate leads shouldn't it be the other way around? Focusing on conversions? I say avoid this trap. Can you think back to the last time you saw someone frequently prompting you to sign up, download something, or take some other kind of action now? I do - and after a while I ended up unfollowing them because they stopped providing me value and all that was left was spam on my feed. I bet you have a similar relationship to paid ads and that you have ad block installed for this reason.

So above all give more than you take or in the words of Gary Vee: "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook".

And now that we know the the types of content we can create let's see how to write content people love so they tag along!

Write content that people love

People love a good story. It's why they stick around. But writing good stories is difficult if you're not practicing every day.

You don't need to know how though and I'm not here to turn you into the worlds best copywriter either - just to give you a basic framework I've been using that anyone can apply instantly to get people's attention.

The 3 things I keep in mind before creating content is to make it Relevant, Relatable, and Engaging. Let's take a closer look at these! Messages that align with what your intended Persona cares about makes it Relevant. More about this in the next chapter. Relatable means that the messaging matches your Buyer's stage of awareness which is what we just talked about. And to make your content Engaging you need to choose the format and length based on what the intended Audience prefers consuming whether that's text, video, audio, or images.

Now that you know what you're going to write about it's time to structure it in a way that people feel compelled to read the next line, then the next, and then the next. The structure I've been using is the PAIPS framework which I stole from Justin Welsh. It stands for Pain, Agitate, Intrigue, Positive future, and Solution.

Take this post as an example aimed at Unaware and Problem Aware Startup Founders who have shown traction in the market and are ready to hire their founding Sales reps.

We lead with pain. Mishires are expensive. Especially for Startups. This defines the audience and hooks them with a warning to make them want to click "see more".

Then we agitate them further by pressing on that pain to make them want to read till the end and find out the solution. "And even if you hire right there's no clear career path so reps can get stuck with the same title for years despite learning a lot. This can suck the motivation out of your employees and you might end up losing top talent."

We then intrigue our audience and paint a positive future. In this case I batched these two into a single sentence. "But what if there's a 2 birds 1 stone solution that helps avoid mishires and motivates your team?"

And when suspense is at it's peak we unveil the solution which will get read even if it's lengthy.

But there's one more point here, isn't there? Because of the way social algorithms work you'll want to include a call to action that boosts engagement on the post so it reaches more people. I recommend a simple question that makes it easy for people to get involved. In some cases a simple "agree?" or "change my mind!" works depending on what the post was about.

Pro tip: if you're writing long-form content regardless of the format you'll want to engage the audience with questions that are likely on their mind as they're following along. This makes it feel like they're having a conversation with you and keeps them around for longer. Here are some I use regularly: "Does that mean...?" "So am I saying that...?" "And you'd think... ,right?". Give it a go next time!

But first let's move onto the next chapter where we'll cover how to get started with content creation. The smart way.

How to get started with content marketing

When I was building my own content strategy I grouped what I needed to do into 5 pillars.


It all starts with Positioning. Define your Ideal Customer Profile and the Personas within them that you're working with. This is the foundation of every piece of content you create. Document who they are, what they care about, what challenges they face in the day to day, where they tend to consume media, and what format they prefer. This last part will also depend on which generation they're a part of but more on that later in this chapter. By the way I have a full video breaking down how to define your personas so instead of spending time on it here I'll just include the link to it in the description below.

Customise the message to the Persona

Next up we have to align our messaging to one persona and more specifically the stage of awareness the intended audience is in. Remember they're either unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, or most aware.

Never run out of ideas

The third pillar defines HOW we create content. Safe to assume that at one point you were suffering from writers block and didn't know what to write about, right? No idea, no content. But don't worry, you're not the only one facing this challenge and Gary Vee had a solution for it that I've also been using. He says: "Document, don't create." Learned something new along your journey? Document and share it! Saw some interesting news? Share it and add related insights you have! Someone posted something cool? Reshare it while giving credit AND add your own take on the matter. Here's one example: I left a valuable comment under Kyle's post a few weeks ago that others found useful so I took that comment, added some more context and turned it into it's own post. And the beauty of it is that it only took me 5 minutes.

Distribute where it matters

Point number 4 is to Distribute where it matters. By this point you've already documented where your Personas are active so pick the format that thrives on those platforms and get going. My audience is primarily on LinkedIn so I personally use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to create audience lists and interact with their content to reach my Personas either directly or indirectly. I have a list for Influencers in my field, Potential partners and collaborators, competitors, prospects, existing customers, and past customers, because what each of them find valuable will be different. I pick a list and start engaging by leaving likes and comments. Each comment I leave under their posts is free ad space for my name, my company, and my profile pic to build familiarity that will lead to awareness and trust. Another way to find the right posts to engage with comes from Jed Mahrle at Mailshake. He uses boolian searches on LinkedIn. For example paste this in the search bar (“outbound” OR “prospecting” OR “cold email” OR “cold call” etc.) then filter for "posted in past 24h".

Reuse good content

Last pillar on the list is to Repurpose content. Did a piece of content do well? Remix it into a different format and share it across the channels where that format thrives (as long as the target personas are also active there). Keep in mind that different people interact with different types of content so reuse good content religiously. What are some formats you can consider? They can be Webinars, Videos, Reels, Blog posts, Social posts, Tweets, Carousels, and Images. I recommend experimenting with short-form content like comments, social posts and reels to verify what's resonating. You can then turn the ones that are performing into long-form content that builds trust in your ability to deliver on your promise. Try YouTube videos, blog posts, whitepapers, and webinars. The cool thing about long-form posts is that you can promote them like movie-stars promote their upcoming movies. What do they do? They hold short interviews and share trailers to raise awareness around the movie. I adapted this to my videos by structuring them in a way where sections can be shared as standalone content without further context needed. So from a 5-minute Youtube video I'll easily be able to extract 2-3 reels each 30-60 seconds long that I can share later in the week on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. I not only don't have to think about what I'm posting about on those days but I also drive traffic to the original content.

That was a lot all at once, wasn't it? But now that you're starting to get a grip on what to write about let's see how you can consistently stay on track by learning how to manage content projects in 3 easy steps.

Managing content projects

The reason we want to keep tabs on content projects is to be top of mind for your target group. You do this by posting regularly which is easier if you never run out of ideas in the first place. So what's the secret?

I use a 3-step flow for managing my content: Capture, Categorise, and Prioritise. I do all of this in Notion, a tool that lets me document and sort everything I need to run my business. I have a database just for tracking my content ideas and as it stands I won't run out of stuff to post about for 2 years even without adding anything new.

Let's say I have a new content idea. I'd navigate to my content calendar and add a new item to capture it so I have a backlog of ideas at any given time. I jot down anything that's top of mind about the topic, which can be as simple as copy and pasting a comment I just left under someone's post. Then I categorise it by who the intended audience is, how aware are they, and what impact I want the content to drive for them so when I'm ready to write I can customise everything about the piece of content around that. Now that this idea is in my backlog the next time I'm planning my content sprint all I have to do is to pick the ones that are trending at that point in time. Added bonus is that Notion lets me invite external collaborators so I can delegate parts of the content creation process such as video editing and graphic design.

Now you can use any tool you want as long as you have a clear way to categorise your content. This will also help you when it's time to repurpose your content in a new format later on.

But so far this is all you. And you can only go so far when working alone. So next up we'll take a look at how to make things scale in just 1 hour a day.

Let’s scale our content efforts!

You made it! In this section we'll apply everything we've learned so far into creating content in just 1 hour a day. There are 4 steps to it. And because we want to maximise our reach we'll start by taking a high-level look at how social media companies work so we can stack the odds in our favour.

Work with the algo, not against it

Let's get one thing straight. No one knows how the algorithm works. But if there's one thing you can trust is that every business has one goal in mind. Making money. Social media companies are no different. For the most part they happen to make money through selling ads. For that they need users to spend as much time on the platform as possible and want businesses to spend money on ads to increase their reach. Why should you care? Well, these sites will promote anything that keeps users on the platform for longer so they can target them with ads. Wanna share an external link? No-no! Are you spamming channels with content by tagging everything and everyone? No thanks! Are you engaging with the community so they check their notifications? Sharing valuable insights users are interested in to make them keep returning every day? Yes and yes!

All of these retain or attract users back to the platform so these sites can sell ads. But where does their ad revenue come from? From companies that want to grow their audience and convert users to buyers. Like us. So how do they get us to start spending? I wanna put it out there that I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories. All I'm saying is when I was posting every day but not engaging with others' posts the number of impressions on my posts suddenly dropped and I started getting targeted by Linkedin to boost my posts through Linkedin Ads. How convenient for them, right! But we're poor so we're not doing that. Instead let's look at how we can work in favour of these platforms by creating content people love. Content that keeps them around. And because we have a million other things to do we'll fit this into just 1 hour a day.

I personally comment under 10-20 posts a day, 5 days a week, post 3-5 times a week, and partner up with creators like me in other areas to jointly grow our audience.

Engage with the community

Step 1 is is to Engage with the community. Like and leave valuable comments under posts of your network which is a mix of customers, prospects, influencers, partners, and competitors as well. Likes remind the author that you exist and comments of any kind are free ad space for your name, company, and photo that builds familiarity. Make the comments valuable and people will follow you so they don't miss out on future content like it. I grew my audience from less than 1,500 to almost 2,200 followers in just 7 months all from inbound. That's 100 people a month who want to keep up with my content. And I'm just getting started.

Reuse comments as posts

Step 2 is to Reuse: every valuable comment you leave has the potential to become it's standalone post. So save it to your content calendar, position it to the audience, add some more context, decide on the formats you want to repurpose it for, and voila! Your new piece of content is ready.

Get your team to join in

But so far you've been doing this alone. And you don't scale. So step 3 is to have your team join in. Now forcing employees to post can backfire. And for this reason we're not adding this to their job description or setting KPIs. Instead we want to incentivise them to play their part by emphasising the impact doing so has on them. Let's take Sales reps for example. Most people don't trust Salespeople and want nothing to do with them. This means they don't respond to their messages nor do they accept their connection requests. But the reps that show prospects that they're better of with them than without them will still get a reply. So show that you can be valuable to them through your content that you regularly share. One leader I know also started internal competitions for content creation and then lead by example.

Work smarter, not harded

The last step is to Enable. This is a lot of work if you're doing everything manually and the biggest energy drain of all is context switching. I overcame this by batching content creation and social selling tasks into time blocks and during that time I shut out everything else. Admittedly I'm still working on this but with content ready to go I can use scheduling tools to create a 1-2 week content buffer so I can focus on client work while my content is working for me. And let's not forget AI. I've used it for brainstorming content ideas, outlining a rough structure for my posts, writing content summaries let's say for writing descriptions for my YouTube videos and even cutting down on time spent on research. But I also know of non-native English speakers who use it to fix grammatical mistakes in their writing. What you don't want to use AI for is creative work. The tech just isn't there yet. It's not 100 percent accurate, sounds robotic and in the time you waste reprompting it you could have just written the post yourself. But if you do decide to use it for creative work anyway you’re better off making the finishing touches yourself.

So Engage, Repurpose, Incentivise, and Enable - and in the process leave 10-20 posts a day 5 days a week, and turn them into posts of their own to distribute on the days ahead. That's it for the 1-hour system. Now let's look at some of my top performing posts and see what we can learn from them.

Let’s review my posts

As of recording this video I have a bit fewer than 2,200 LinkedIn followers and my average post gets 500 impressions give or take. These next examples got more than 10x that and we'll take a look at why they worked. If you recall at the beginning of this series we talked about 3 goals we have with writing content: to Educate, Inspire, and Convert. We'll take a look at one piece of content from each of these.

This first one got over 8,000 impressions which is 16 times what my average post gets. It's an educational post on email deliverability which was a hot topic for about 4 weeks straight. Now instead of reinventing the wheel and talking about a topic I know very little about I decided to "document, not create". I checked my email deliverability with a free tool, I failed, I followed a guide after which I succeeded. And I shared this experience while giving kudos to the creators who made it possible. The target group was unaware and problem-aware sellers who are struggling to get replies to their emails and my goal was to educate them on one of many problems that can get in their way. If you look closely I used before and after screen shots to stand out from the average text-only social post which helped me get some eyes on the post. But that's not all. I tagged the creators whose content helped me when giving kudos and because I knew they were active on the platform I was counting on them to engage with the post so the platform boosts it. And as you can see it worked.

This second one got over 6,000 impressions and was on the last day of mental health awareness month. If you've been following me for a while you know I'm living with depression so it was right up my alley. Given that it was a Saturday I wanted to keep the topic light. The goal was to inspire problem and solution-aware sales reps to take care of their mental health using a simple trick that lets them work smarter, not harder. But barely anyone is active on LinkedIn on the weekend, right? So to stop people from scrolling past it I took a photo of my nice view and desk setup. Desk setups blend right in with work and get millions of views on YouTube so I was hoping it'll do the trick. Then I just needed to tell a compelling enough story that inspires readers to want to read till the end.

This last one got over 4,000 impressions and was the only content I created up until this mini-series with the goal of converting followers in mind. I just launched my B2B Sales consulting business for early-stage startups and wanted to make some noise. I help Startup founders land their first customers, reach revenue goals consistently, and train their sales team. This was the point I wanted to get across to Startup Founders and manage expectations on what they can expect from me. I kept the text brief and filmed a short trailer instead to let it do the talking. But even though videos are more engaging it wouldn't have gotten this many views. Similar posts of mine reach a third of the people this one did. So what changed? I used social selling leading up to the announcement so when the post went live I could rely on people engaging with it. All it took then was to share the link to the post with about 10 key people unveiling to them what I've been telling them about who then went on to like, comment on, and reshare the post. That's arguably why this one took off. Early engagement.

These were 3 posts with 3 different goals. What did they have in common? They all started with a compelling hook, they were relevant, relatable, and engaging, they were easy to skim and read, they included relevant hashtags that get traffic and/or were trending at the time, and I got the community to engage with it one way or another.

If you enjoyed this video and post why not share it with a friend? Also subscribe to our free newsletter so you never miss an update!

Viktor Hatfaludi
August 7, 2023
Share this post

Meet Your Trainer

Viktor has 10+ years of full-cycle experience in tech sales.

His latest contribution was helping Bitrise (YC W17) scale from 3M to 20M+ USD in recurring revenue.

Today he’s a Sales Consultant and Trainer at Revenue Ramp helping B2B Startups go from $0 to $10M ARR.

View Frameworks