We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Richter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
One of the most important factors for success I’ve found is producing high quality content based on things I’m passionate about!
If you’re a startup or entrepreneur without a lot of funding for paid advertising, how can you get the word out about your business? For both my guitar teaching and software development businesses, I found that developing a robust content strategy is an excellent way to generate traffic to your website for free. To this day, I’ve still never spent a dollar on advertising!
This strategy is what’s known as “inbound marketing”, and it’s one that the most successful online companies use today. Think about all the potential customers who are organically searching on Google for topics and questions related to what you offer. Now imagine that a blog post or video you created has so much value that Google ranks you as a top result for that specific search. If someone clicks on your content and finds that you’re able to provide extremely high value for what they’re interested in, you might just be able to convert them as a customer–all without any paid advertising!
However, be aware the inbound marketing strategy requires a lot of work, persistence, and patience. While this approach might not get you a ton of online traffic instantaneously, over time you can work your way up the search rankings and begin showing up for all kinds of keywords and search topics.
Ultimately, if you want to increase organic traffic to your website and build brand awareness you need to produce amazing content. What’s the easiest way to create “amazing content”? Write about what you know, and what you’re passionate about! If the passion isn’t there, the content can fall flat, and won’t be something people want to engage with. Next time you produce content just think to yourself “would I want to read/watch/listen to this?”.
Always set out to make the absolute best content you possibly can on any given topic. Check out your competitors and the other people ranking high for search topics you’re targeting. How is their content structured? What did they leave out or what can you add to the conversation? Be passionate and always strive for quality, then the customers will follow.
For more info on the inbound marketing strategy, check out the HubSpot blog or the book Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Aside from my role as a founder of Winnona Partners (custom software development team), I’m also a classical guitarist and private instructor. My uncle David Richter was also a classical guitarist, so I grew up listening to his recordings and always aspired to play that level of music. I began playing guitar when I was 13 and have played almost every day since!
Fortunately, I was able to pursue this passion under the guidance of my wonderful instructor Kami Rowan at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. After that, I received my M.A. in Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where I specialized in ethnomusicology–specifically music traditions of ethnic minority groups in southwest China.
One thing I’ve heard that sets me apart from other guitar teachers is my willingness to record and send video follow-ups after my lessons. I always try to cover as much material as possible in my lessons, and it’s understandable that some things are hard to remember. I now have an archive of casual video recordings for warm up exercises and etudes at various speeds for students to review after our lessons!
Classical and flamenco guitar isn’t easy by any means. For most people it takes hours of daily practice to notice significant improvement. But to me there’s nothing more satisfying than mastering a piece of music and being able add your own interpretation to it. There’s always challenges, but music is a lifelong journey full of endless possibilities!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my Shoutout to everyone who has ever believed in me enough to give me a chance. Whether you’re a guitar student, mobile app client, or even a customer at the coffee shop where I used to work, THANK YOU for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work with you.
Photos by Kiyah C Photography: https://kiyahcphotography.shootproof.com/