You don’t have to blog. There. I said it. Nope, you can go your whole life in business and even be successful and never blog a day in your life. But the big guys who swear by that, still have someone else do it.
Why? Because it gives us an opportunity to stand out from those who won’t take the time. We’re the experts, right? Then we ought to say something ‘expertly’ once and a while to an online audience who really wants to connect with someone who isn’t just like everyone else.
Your blog gives you a chance to showcase your opinions and thought leadership in areas that consumers probably talk about amongst themselves, but companies rarely recognize as important enough to address. Therefore, it helps them to feel ‘heard’.
A blog is a dialog, and although we rarely get to see that on the comments sections (comments are pretty rare these days) doing it regularly has significant payoffs.
In my last company, Zero To Sixty Marketing LLC, one of my responsibilities was to work with clients to develop their editorial calendars, blog, social and email strategies. We offered this service to every client who contracted a website build from us. Hands down, whether or not the blog got any comments at all, the clients who followed our advice and strategies ALWAYS stayed busy during the slowest months of the year for their industry and they ALWAYS grew, year after year. Many stats show that businesses that blog make more money.
One of the most common complaints I hear from people about blogging is that none of their competitors do it, so it must not be a good idea for their industry as a whole. When I overcome that objection with the clear reasons it can set them apart from the rest, they’re willing to ‘give it a try’. After 6 months, they feel guilty if they miss a week!
The ‘dialog’ a blog represents has more to do with the evidence that you hear your audience and care. When you share it on social media and email, your reach increases and your reputation enhances.
Here are some of the concerns I hear from different industries and my responses:
Realtors / Title industry / Software – “No one reads them.”
My response, “Take the technical speak and break it down. Make it human, use fewer multi-syllabic words and shorter sentences. Make your blog shareable on social by connecting the end-consumer with a fundamental reason your perspective matters to their peers. Connect to legislation that impacts their pocketbooks in language that is shareable.”
Plumbing / HVAC – “None of my competitors is doing that, why should I?”
My response, “Because when a consumer is looking for your services, and they see a list of several businesses, how do they know where they will really get the best service and treatment? They will go to your website to try to determine these things, and they will continue to search until they decide upon one to call first. Your blog can be a determining factor, showcasing your attitude, experience and expertise. Not only that, but when you sell based on value and not price, people will pay the extra dollar to hire the company they trust. In addition, you have virtually pre-sold your services to a customer much farther along the sales funnel than the customer who merely calls from a directory listing.”
Home Health Care Assistance – “Why would my customer read a blog?”
My response, “Because often, people physically confined or caring for someone who has physical limitations may entertain themselves online. When someone is tired and looking for a solution, they are much more likely to be researching their options. When we purchase for someone we care for, price is NOT the first consideration. Your blog puts an informed, friendly, and approachable face toward your audience, and lets them know you care about them and are current with the issues. Also, for a hospital or outpatient facility coordinator, a professional website with a blog gives them something ‘a cut above’ to offer their patients to consider if home health care is in their future.”
It really doesn’t matter what you do, a blog can help you change the playing field in your favor. I’m going to share 5 Ways to Make Blogging SUPER Fun and Super Easy at this year’s DFW Social Media Rocks 2014 National Conference. If you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t wait much longer – prices increase soon.
Check out my Blog Channel to learn more about blogging. (And don’t forget to share!)