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Content Marketing: Your 3-Step Recipe for Lead Generation

There’s no way around it. Everywhere you look there are either marketers trying to sell you lead generation strategies or entrepreneurs trying to create them. So why all the fuss? Isn’t there a clear path that leads to more customers and clients? After five years of growing my company, Versique, from the ground to a thriving $17 million leader in executive search & consulting, I believe there is.

So, let me ask you, what is the one thing that every successful lead generation strategy has in common?

A robust content marketing strategy.

That’s because 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with you. You literally can’t have one without the other; no matter how good your ads are, how high your marketing budget, or how many cold calls you’re making each month – if you’re not distributing the right content in a valuable, relevant, and consistent way, you simply won’t drive the potential customer or client to action.

So, whether you want to call it lead generation or content marketing, we’re talking about the same thing.

Let’s dive in and look at the three requirements of a strategic content marketing strategy and how to successfully execute them in your business.

Related Post: 5 Simple Ways to Repurpose Your Best Marketing Content ➢

1. Creating and Distributing Valuable Content

The digital space is getting noisier and more crowded each day. With the average consumer seeing over 4,000 ads between the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed – it’s increasingly important to add value with each piece of content you produce.

Yet with all our responsibilities, to-do lists, and business pressures it can be tough to strategically plan to create valuable content, let alone to distribute it effectively. Use the following list as a guide to remind you of ways you can execute on this without taking too much time planning strategy. In our final point, we’ll cover the optimal frequency of each.

  • Blogs
  • Social Media Posts
  • Infographics
  • Vlogs
  • Podcasts
  • Website Landing Pages
  • Press Releases
  • Email Campaigns

2. Creating and Distributing Relevant Content

Creating relevant content goes beyond value to adding more in-depth and specialized information in a systematic way. Here’s the best way to understand the difference:

  • Valuable content is worth the reader’s time.
  • Relevant content helps the reader accomplish or learn something they need to know.

These pieces of content take more time and strategic thought to produce but are more targeted and useful for your market. Use the following list as a guide to remind you of ways you can execute writing relevant content without taking too much time planning strategy. In our next point, we’ll cover the optimal frequency of each.

  • eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Webinars
  • Case Studies
  • Newsletters
  • TV & Radio Spots

3. Consistently Producing Content

Consistency is the key to success in both life and business. Without taking a consistent approach to content marketing your lead generation will be feast or famine – great during the months you’re producing and terrible during the months you’re not.

Use the following list to help you plan out your strategy:

What to Post Daily –

Social Media Posts: Social media posts are a great way to humanize your personal or business brand, stay in touch with your customers, and stay relevant to your target market. Depending on the platform, your posting schedule could include one to several posts each day.

What to Post Weekly –

Blogs: A weekly blog is helpful to not only get both valuable and relevant content to your target market, but also for SEO and ranking purposes as well.

Vlogs: Videos are exploding reach on every digital platform out there today. By publishing a weekly Vlog or professionally done video, you increase reach, engagement and further humanize your brand while setting yourself apart as a thought leader in your niche.

Podcasts: Podcasts are another trending avenue to show yourself as a thought leader and expand your reach within your target market.

Email Campaigns: Depending on the campaign, you may have daily, weekly, and monthly emails going out to your list.

What to Post Monthly –

Infographics: Producing a helpful infographic each month and distributing it to your networks is a powerful way to stay relevant and current.

Website Landing Pages: By creating a new lead magnet and subsequently a new landing page each month you’re able to exponentially increase your email list while simultaneously reminding your target market that you are innovative and current within your niche.

Case Studies: Publishing new case studies and customer testimonials should be considered a staple in your marketing strategy. Potential customers want to see that what you’re doing works and from others, why they should work with you.

Newsletters: Although print newsletters lack relevancy, a stunning and dynamic digital newsletter is a great way to stay in contact with your target each month.

TV & Radio Spots: It really can’t be helped. We are programmed to look up to people featured on Radio and TV as experts and specialists in their field. Maintaining a regular media appearance still provides brand value.

What to Post Quarterly –

Press Releases: Press releases around current or trending events within your company or niche is a great way to gain credibility as well as add valuable content to your marketing strategy.

eBooks: The popularity of eBooks continues to rise. By releasing a new eBook each quarter you can stay ahead of your competition and current with your market.

White Papers: Academic publishing can help you be a leader within your field, and there’s no better way to do that than a quarterly white paper.

Webinars: Unfortunately, webinars are too often used as strictly a sales tool – with the only purpose to get people to buy NOW. However, that is not the best use of this type of content. Adding as much value as possible for 30+ minutes will allow your listeners to lower their guard and be more receptive to hearing a pitch either at the end or with follow up email campaigns.

In the end, the result of a strategic content marketing campaign done well, is a pipeline full of profitable customer action, aka Lead Generation.
If you need help growing your recruiting firm and want to know how I grew mine to $17 million in revenue and 120 employees in five years, we should talk.
To learn more about how content marketing and when to use gated content to grow your business, check out our recent webinar recording.

Content Marketing Webinar

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How Recruiting Firms Can Write Meaningful Thought Leadership Blogs

Most recruiting firms know it’s essential to create thought leadership content. It builds credibility, and it’s excellent for getting found online (hello SEO)! Have you been blogging for a while and it doesn’t seem to be working? Or maybe you don’t currently blog, but when you start, you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way?

Well, you’re in luck! We have an easy way to make sure you’re bogging effectively. Five steps. Read on.

Related Post: Why Recruiting Firms Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency that Specializes in the Recruiting Industry ➢

Step 1: Define Your Target Audience

Simply stated, decide who you want to talk to. Better yet, who do you want to attract and engage? Do you want to attract more candidates? Or (most often) clients?

Let’s say you want to attract more clients.

Step 2: Narrow Down to a Specific “Buyer Persona”

Who do you want to get in front of? Is it HR Leaders in the healthcare industry who hire roles X, Y, Z? What size of company do they typically work for? What headaches do they have to deal with at work? What trends are they interested in staying on top of related to their job? What makes them tick?

Let’s say your buyer persona is HR Manager Mary. She is 42 years old and has been in her role for nearly 20 years. She works for a smaller organization that is rapidly growing, but she is the only person in HR, and she has to manage all of the hiring herself. Her most significant pain point is that, while she is capable of hiring talent for her company, she just doesn’t have time. She wishes she could keep up on trends in her space (e.g., healthcare) and wants to provide the best talent to her growing organization. And she’s a family person who values time management so she can spend time with her husband and children in the evenings after work without having to be glued to her laptop.

Step 3: Find Keywords Relevant to Your Buyer Persona’s Pain Points and Industry

This may be the most challenging step – but you’re just a few minutes away from getting started. Create a list of topics and phrases that matter most to your buyer persona – try to integrate their specific industry (the industry you specialize in, ideally). For example, you may use keywords such as “healthcare industry hiring trends” or “healthcare recruiters Minneapolis” or “recruiting time management.”

It’s helpful to work with a digital marketing agency who specializes in SEO for recruiting firms to define keywords of focus that you know your potential client will be interested in, and also confirm that there is search volume for those keywords (e.g., do people search for a specific keyword phrase 200 times/month or 20,000 times/month).

Step 4: Create a Blog Content Calendar

This sounds complicated, but it’s as simple as deciding what topics you’re going to write about, and when. When life gets busy between managing searches, working with your team, and trying to keep everything running smoothly, writing a thought leadership blog is usually the last thing on your mind. By having a content calendar with deadlines and pre-determined titles, keywords, and a buyer persona, you can sit down and write. (Yes, we can help with that.)

I know it’s easier said than done, but with benefits ranging from building credibility and presence online to driving Google search results, writing thought leadership blogs is one of the critical business focuses that will help you win searches and attract new potential clients.

Step 5: Share, Share, Share

Once you write a blog on a topic that matters to your potential client, get the word out there! Post the blog to your company’s LinkedIn page. Share it from your LinkedIn Publisher. Tell your recruiters and leaders to share it in a LinkedIn post. The more reach, the better!

If you work with a team of recruiters, and your company specializes in a specific industry niche, your co-workers also have a relevant network on LinkedIn who would like to see your thought leadership content! It builds your brand, your company’s brand, and your fellow recruiters’ brands. Win, win, win!

Related Post: How to Inject Some Much-Needed Fun into Your B2B Blog ➢

Now that you’ve got the recipe for writing relevant thought leadership blogs get started! It will take you:

  • 10 seconds to define your target audience, because you know it (clients vs. candidates)
  • 3 minutes to write down a specific buyer persona (remember HR Manager Mary)
  • 3 minutes to brainstorm keywords relevant to their pain points and how you can help
  • 3 minutes to assign due dates for yourself (do the 10th of every month to start)
  • (Once you write your blog) 5-10 minutes to share it to your LinkedIn Publisher, share to your company page, and email your recruiting team to share as a LinkedIn post

It’s not something you can do with your eyes closed, but it IS something you can get ready for if you spend less than 10 minutes preparing. Not everyone can master the art of blogging. Not everyone blogs for the right audience. And not everyone blogs with meaningful, keyword-focused content. Then again, not every recruiting firm is excellent at what they do. Not every recruiting firm picks a niche and dives in, making sure they only hire the best and provide the best service. But if you are among the best in your space, then the next step is to build your brand online and become known as a thought leader in your industry. If you’ve made it here, you’re committed to improving your company – and that makes you different. Now, go spend 10 minutes preparing!

Need help getting blogging? Let’s talk!

Webinar On-Demand: Why Recruiting Firms Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency that Specializes in the Recruiting Industry ➢

At Parqa Marketing, we specialize in creating and executing content marketing strategies for recruiters. Learn more about our approach to content marketing and contact us today if you’d like to discover how we can transform your recruiting firm’s digital marketing efforts.  

two coworkers reviewing strategy

Why Recruiting Firms Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency that Specializes in the Recruiting Industry

If you had to decide between hiring a digital marketing agency that knows the recruiting industry, or a digital marketing agency that does not specialize but happens to be local, who would you choose?

Let me ask you this: does your recruiting firm specialize? By market? By niche? Probably. If you’ve led a recruiting firm for much time at all, you know that your chances for winning a search are much improved if you specialize in your client’s specific need. Why?

You know the types of candidates they need. Also, you know the trends in their market or industry niche. You are a thought leader in their space — an expert. You have more insight into what their company needs and can deliver better candidates than someone who is a generic recruiter (I’m betting).

I once had someone tell me years ago that “a recruiter is a recruiter is a recruiter” – implying that a recruiter who has developed a good skill set can recruit for any position. While this may be true technically, it’s not the most important consideration when it comes to being selected by the company searching for talent. In that company’s mind, if they’re hiring a CFO and they have the option to choose between a generalist recruiter or a finance & accounting executive search recruiter in their market with 20 years of experience, whom do you think they’re going to select? Right. The expert.

Webinar On-demand: Watch this webinar to learn how you can implement content marketing into your strategy ➢

Why Is It Important to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency Who Knows the Recruiting Industry?

I’ve talked to hundreds of recruiting firm leaders across the country, and I’m losing track of how many tell me they hired a digital marketing agency in the past that didn’t know the difference between candidates vs. clients. The marketing agency they hired drove website traffic and even leads, but there was a disconnect between why a recruiting agency might want to attract clients, not candidates (or vice versa if you are in a candidate-driven market like IT Consulting). They thought it was all the same. Traffic. And we both know that could not be further from the truth. Those are very different audiences.

At Parqa, we were created within a $17M executive search and consulting firm. Our whole team has experience managing marketing campaigns for recruiting companies. I’ve personally had the opportunity to manage marketing in-house at recruiting firms for the past 7 of my 10 years, specializing in marketing/branding/PR/communications. Our CEO Tony Sorensen is a 20-year recruiting industry leader who has successfully grown two recruiting companies from the ground up, $20M and $17M (and growing). From creating respected recruiting firms from ground zero to rebranding already existing recruiting firms and starting over, we’ve seen it all. Also, we’re a little nerdy about it.

Why? Well, we’ve struggled through the challenges of setting up a PPC campaign on Google, only to have candidate leads fill out our contact forms rather than client leads. That was years ago. We’ve now determined best practices to ensure the highest level of accuracy with attracting qualified leads. As a little history, Tony was dabbling with SEO and PPC back in 2007, which is ancient for digital marketing, and even more unheard of for a recruiting firm.

Related Post: 5 Content Marketing Mistakes – That Give Competitors the Edge ➢

Industry-Specific Best Practices Matter

The recruiting industry as a whole is not at the forefront of marketing innovation, but most recruiting firms realize that it’s a changing world, and if you’re not building your credibility online, you’re missing opportunities. Moreover, if you happen to be the top 5% of the market that’s doing more than merely the marketing basics, you’re a diamond in the rough—and I’d love the opportunity to see your online presence and meet whoever is owning that because that’s no small feat!

Whether you’re right at the beginning of growing your brand through content marketing, or you’re in conversations about marketing automation, having a team in your back pocket that knows the recruiting industry as well as you do, will propel you into the next phase of your company. In fact, it will streamline the process and keep you on the cutting edge of the recruiting industry.

How does that help you? Credibility. Without it, you may not get a callback. Without it, you may not be found at all. With it, you open up the door of possibilities of attracting more relevant clients (or candidates based on your business goals). Now that is worth your time to explore!

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Content Marketing Webinar

webinar staffing

Growing Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn for Recruiters

About the Webinar

Parqa’s Founder, Tony Sorensen shares exactly how he and Versique Search & Consulting went from 0 to 20,000+ followers on LinkedIn, and how you can too. This is a can’t-miss webinar for staffing firm owners and recruiters, both new and experienced!

In the webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • How employer branding impacts your ability to attract top talent
  • A simple trick to make your bio jump off the page
  • How to position your firm and build your brand’s story


Tony Sorensen


Tony Sorensen is the founding visionary of Parqa. As a 20-year veteran and thought leader in the staffing/consulting and executive search industries Tony is an industry expert on a national level.

Tony is energized by the opportunity to pour his knowledge and expertise back into the industry, to help other staffing & recruiting firms find success through proven marketing strategies and tactics by traveling the country speaking at national conferences (i.e. NAPS National Conference, ASA (American Staffing Association), The Pinnacle Society, NYSA (New York Staffing Association), TechServe Alliance, etc. & regularly contributing to well-known industry publications (i.e. EMInfo, the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and several others.

modern office with wood desk and plastic chairs

How To Build Your Brand Through Digital Marketing

The word branding gets thrown around a lot in the business world, but what does it actually mean in the age of digital marketing? The goal of branding is to help your company establish its position in the marketplace for the long-term. It’s the way you give meaning to your products and services by creating a uniqueness in your clients (and potential clients’) minds. Branding is strategic—whereas marketing is tactical. Marketing contributes to your brand but the truth is, your brand is bigger than any one particular marketing or sales effort.

The question is no longer:
“Should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?”

Impactful branding relies on continuity, consistency, and investment. Lack of investment and inconsistency in brand development will allow your competitors to steal market share from you. If you want to grow your company, it’s imperative that you make long-term branding a part of your focus. And it’s equally imperative in today’s world that you use digital marketing to do so. Here are four ways you can build your brand with digital marketing.


4 Ways To Build Your Brand With Digital Marketing

1. Content:

Potential clients and candidates first go online to qualify your firm’s credibility before they do anything else. So what kind of a brand story does your content tell? Everything you write and produce tells a story about who you are as a company, whether it’s the copy on your landing page or a blog that you wrote.

      • Do you sound credible?
      • Are you giving advice that is valued in the industry you serve?
      • Are you telling people things they may not already know, which ultimately adds value to their lives?
      • Do you have case studies to validate your process?

These are all essential questions to ask yourself that will contribute to your authenticity and credibility in creating industry-leading content for your brand.

2. Social Media:

Social media is a platform and ever-evolving landscape that uses content to build your brand, reputation, and credibility in the marketplace. So do you have a solid social media strategy to share your brand with potential clients and candidates? Posting insightful blogs, salary guides and best practices to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will keep you top-of-mind for clients and candidates seeking talent or new positions. If you build an informative, reputable, and credible brand on social media you are much more likely to be the first call when an opportunity presents itself.

3. Website:

Your website is the foundation of your brand. Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Your website is the face of your company these days, so what kind of shape is it in? The quality of your website will often be the deciding factor in whether or not a potential client will commit to the next step with you. While content and social media will lead people to your website, you can still write the best blog in the world and lose out on a potential client who gets turned off by a website that’s outdated or hard to navigate.

“Having a website that is outdated and underwhelming is like walking into a potential client meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt.”
– Jared Hummel | VP, Finance


SEO and PPC are the back-end of building your brand. They’re the aspects of building your brand that aren’t always tangible to the novice eye and are usually handled by experts. This can sometimes create confusion for small business owners and scare them away from fully jumping into the digital marketing space. If you don’t understand something, it’s easy to not want to do it! But SEO and PPC are what help search engines like Google not only find you but allow you to rank at the top of the search results page. This is crucial in building your brand as a credible expert in whatever topic a potential client searches. Imagine yourself searching for an attorney on Google to represent you in a business case that could have great financial implications. When you type in best business attorneys, the first ones that come up in the search results garner instant credibility. The message is “we specialize in this, we’re the experts” and they’ll likely be the first ones you call or click on. It’s no different for recruiting; if you don’t show up in the search results until the second page, you probably aren’t getting the call.

Related Post: SEO vs. PPC: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


Related Post: How Long Does It Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢


How Branding Through Digital Marketing Will Pay Off

As the Vice President of Finance for Parqa and their sister Company, Versique Search & Consulting, it is easy to assume that my mentality is all about immediate ROI on any money spent on marketing—measuring all our financial metrics down to the penny to make sure we know what we’re getting. While it’s true that it is always important to know your numbers, when it comes to branding your company there are many non-immediate financial implications to creating a great brand and the metrics used to identify if your brand is growing don’t always pay off in an immediate financial ROI. There is a familiar phrase “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound.” In an ever-changing digital marketing landscape are you being seen and heard?

As a passionate entrepreneur myself, I have spent the last 8 years helping small business owners realize their dream of growing their revenue, gross margin and net income. I understand that the role of a financial leader or business owner in a company is more then just looking at the next month’s income statement. It is imperative to be looking a year or two down the road and prepare for growth in order to achieve growth. The pay-off may not happen overnight, but if you don’t start making digital marketing a part of your branding efforts, you won’t see a pay-off at all. Two quotes that I try to live by are:


“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” and “Insanity: to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”


While cold calling and individual reputation will always be a part of our business, if you aren’t investing in digital marketing and branding today I can guarantee you that your future growth will face a significant uphill battle as more and more people look to the internet to build trust and verify reputation.

Our CEO, Tony Sorensen just attended a staffing conference in Dallas where the common theme was not “should we be doing digital marketing?” but rather, “how much should we be spending in order to achieve year over year growth?” It’s time to leverage digital marketing to grow your brand, gain credibility, and yes, eventually see that return on investment.



two men shaking hands

Tips To Perfecting Your Client Onboarding Process


You’ve received the signed contract from a new client. Now what?

This is the most exciting time. You’ve worked incredibly hard to obtain a lead, nurtured them with the expertise your company offers, and now you’ve finally closed them. Your team has probably celebrated a bit, given a pat on the back to the sales team, and relished in knowing your company is growing. But this is just the beginning. Take a moment to celebrate, yes, but then know that what you do next is crucial in determining the health and stability of your client relationship.

Process Is Everything

Whether or not you have a process in place for what happens immediately after a new client signs can dictate the nature of your entire relationship. Sure, the exact cadence of a new client relationship takes some time to develop, but you need to have some process in place to start establishing consistent communication or you can quickly lose their trust. New clients still need to be “won over;” just because they’ve signed doesn’t mean they know what you can produce yet. Leaving them hanging by using vague language or not communicating quickly enough can make them feel uneasy.


What should a new client process entail? Here are 3 key factors: 

  1. Start with a meeting to transfer all knowledge the sales team has of the client over to the team responsible for the deliverables.
  2. After they have all necessary information, set up a call to introduce the team to the client. At least one member of the sales team should be present to make the client feel at ease—not like they were just immediately shuffled off from the person they’ve gotten to know.
  3. After the meeting, the team should be fully equipped to start implementing initiatives for the client.

But that doesn’t mean the process is complete yet. Your client came to you expecting they’re hiring an expert. To prove you’re the expert, constant communication throughout the rest of your relationship will be key. Talking to your client every week—preferably on the phone, even if only for a few minutes—will assure them that they made the right choice by selecting you. Keep in mind that the cadence developed with the client should come from you, not the client. It can be tempting to go along with “whatever the client finds easiest” or “whatever the client wants.” But the truth is, they’ve come to you with a problem, and you’ve been hired to provide a solution. A specific process and constant communication is key to providing that solution.

As time goes on, on-boarding tasks are completed, and a relationship has been established, you’ll find that things begin to flow more naturally. But you can’t afford to get complacent; none of this can happen without a proactive process once you’ve signed that new client.

Develop your on-boarding process and encourage the sales team to start closing clients!


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