This is going to be a slightly different type of post than I normally do and I fully expect it may cause some potential ‘spirited feedback’ but my goal is to lay out a roadmap to creating content from a partner or ISV perspective and how to increase your leads and prospect interactions.

This post stems from a presentation I co-presented with Peter Ramer at the recent DynamicsCon Live conference. In the session, Peter and I talked about the process of creating content that drives engagement and the process of technically creating a blog or recording videos. It was a great session with lots of great conversations and tips and tricks that others have used to be successful!

But creating content from a end user perspective is slightly different than creating content if you are a partner or ISV and trying to create engagement and generate prospects for a sales pipeline. What tips and tricks can we use to get more engagement on our content?


The following is my experience in building a personal brand, by creating blog posts, whitepapers, presenting at conferences and webinars and being active in the Dynamics 365 community for the last 8+ years, and eventually becoming a Microsoft MVP from my contributions to the community. Is this the only way to generate high quality leads, absolutely not. But this methodology is a proven path that I have been using successfully for quite a while.

Also I would be remiss to not mention that I did not discover this by myself and was luckily guided in this area by Andy Snook and Trish Boccuti among others all of whom I am extremely grateful for.

Also any views expressed below are my own.

They Ask, You Answer


This is a book I was introduced to as a required reading for all customer facing employees while working at Fastpath back in 2017. In the book, the author describes how he owned a swimming pool installation business in 2008 and as the economy was moving into a recession he was near bankruptcy. He knew he had to make a change to how they were generating leads and decided he was going to take a ‘teacher’s mentality’ and start to publicly answer questions clients were asking. He also started to focus on fears clients had, issues they could potentially run into, and concerns/worries they had over the process. He also started to publicly listing the price of the goods/services he offered (which in a lot of industries is a very controversial topic).

He then talked about by doing this process they started to see growth not just in total leads, but also high-quality leads and how he naturally became the subject matter expert in the swimming pool installation space. By following this methodology, he was able to gain trust from prospects that he had never spoken to before because they had already come to trust him as a ‘source of truth’ based on the content he was generating.

But Alex, Our Organization is Different

When I’ve talked to people about this approach to generating content, I have heard push back that ‘Well Alex that’s great, but that wouldn’t work for us because our organization is different.’

Sorry to burst your bubble but no, you’re not. At least not from a content creation and lead generation perspective. Now are there nuances or different ways to bundle up this messaging, of course. But the overall idea of this can be applied to any organization.

Education First, Sales Later

How many organizations do you see that continually post on LinkedIn and every post is sales related?

How much engagement do you see on those posts? From my experience, its extremely small or limited to others that work in the organization.

Now what if we change this to be education focused posts (95% content, 5% sales)? I bet you will start to see an uptick on engagement initially, and as you continue to push out educational content you will start to see your posts being interacted with (and even reshared/reposted) by your prospects and current clients. That in turn will help drive SEO within Google and LinkedIn.

And remember, content never sleeps! Any content you create will be online and working for you 24/7 indefinitely.

But How Do We Create This Content?

This is, in my opinion, the biggest hurdle in the process because it requires you have someone that:

  • Has deep knowledge of your industry
  • Understands client wants, needs, and issues and how to address them
  • Is willing to create the content (write a blog, create the video, etc)
  • Is visible in the industry ‘community’ both online and in person events

Do these all have to be the same people? No. If you can one person to do this all hold on to them because they are a true unicorn (and are probably either a current Microsoft MVP or a future one). But the idea is to have a path to continually create content on a consistent basis.

What Topics Do We Create Content Around?

One option is to make a list of questions you hear from clients during a current sales cycle and start to make content answering those questions.

I have a personal mantra that I follow called the ‘Rule of 2’, if I get asked a question more than once I create a piece of content around it.

Another option is to look for gaps in whatever space you are in. For example, when I started in the D365FO space I very quickly found that there was a gap in the security and licensing space from a content perspective. So when I started creating content around these topics it was easy to stand out.

These are only a couple examples, but again the idea is always be ‘education first’ in your posts, and then at the end of the post you can say something like ‘If you have more questions or need assistance in this area please contact me’. This leads to very high quality leads and builds trust with clients and prospects alike.

What if our Competitors Use Our Content?

Let me lay out a scenario, you have a potential client who has a question, issue, or concern they want answered. They do what all people do when you want answers, you go to Google and ask a question.

Do you want that person landing on a competitor’s website because they have content on the topic or would you rather them end up on yours to find the answers they want?

I think you would want the latter.

What’s the ROI on Using This Methodology?

This is one of my biggest pet peeves, this type of question stems from the idea that we need to justify every expense and if it cannot directly be tied to a piece of content then that content doesn’t need to exist.

I’m going to say something that should not surprise you, not every client interaction is going to have an ROI especially depending on your industry where sale cycles can take 6, 12, 18 months or longer. You have to be willing to ‘take a leap of faith’ and understand that it may not be the first, second, or even tenth interaction with a client that closes a deal, but if you are consistently the source of answers and truthful to people when they are asking tough questions, the next time they have a problem that you can solve guess who they are going to reach out to?

What is the End Goal?

The end goal of all of this is to build trust with clients and prospects. I have individuals come to me and ask my opinion on any number of solutions and processes because they know that I will tell them the truth on what is the best option for them, regardless of if it is a solution or service that I am associated with. This is by far the biggest takeaway from this blog post, if you don’t have trust then none of the above will work for you.

Is everyone going to be a perfect fit from a client perspective for you? Probably not. So why would you want to try and force an engagement with them which is not going to go well and will leave a bad view of your organization in the community? I would much rather go, we may not be the right fit, but I would recommend looking at options X, Y, or Z. Because now the next time that organization has a problem, guess who they are going to come back to?

Does This Actually Work?

Here are the real stats from just my blog for the last 12 months, I’m sure these numbers are small for some bloggers, but I write technical focused on D365FO security, user licensing, and software development which is an extremely niche topic. So the fact that over 66,000 people land on one of my blog posts throughout the year (and 40 thousand of those coming from organic search – aka Google) is still extremely surprising and humbling for me.

Now this type of engagement is not something that will happen overnight (I’ve been writing in my blog since 2016) but it shows the impact of utilizing the above approach.


I want to finish this blog post by saying I completely understand that I get why organizations stick to putting out content that is sales focused because revenue is how everyone else in the organization gets paid. It makes sense to highlight and focus on that area.

I also understand that a lot of topics above I talk about from a position of personal freedom because I don’t have lead generation or KPIs to hit as part of my job requirements. So again, I completely understand that this may be difficult to do for some as their livelihood is directly impacted by this.

That being said, I hope I’ve shown that if you aren’t seeing the amount of engagement and leads you would like from your content that this another option and the benefits that can come from taking a ‘education first’ philosophy.