Profile - How We Reach Clients by Blogging
A Problem-Solving Approach Works Best
A recent survey from Social Media Examiner shows 62% of marketing professionals plan to make blogging their number one social media focus going forward. Why? “Content is the new cold call,” says Bobby Lehew, chief branding officer at Robyn Promotions (asi/309656). “Every distributor, every supplier and every multi-line rep should have a blog.”
Besides helping you connect with prospects, blogging can also boost your SEO, strengthen your industry reputation and improve your relationships with current customers.
Are you ready this year to start a blog or improve the one you already have? Then read on for Lehew’s best blogging tips.
Q: How do you find things to blog about?
A: Topics are all around you – they’re called orders. Every order resolves a problem for the customer. Ask yourself: What objective did that order help accomplish? Why did the client choose that item? How will it serve their purposes? The closer you get to finding out the “why” of an order, the more compelling a blog you can write. Remember that your employees, your new initiatives, your differentiating services and product lines – even the most innocuous happenings within your business – are worth writing about.
Q: How often do you post?
A: We post twice weekly on our Robyn blog, but if you’re a solopreneur, once a week or two or three times a month is better than nothing at all. Blogging is hard primarily because it’s not a task with a deadline. A lot of people abandon blogging because they don’t do it long enough to become efficient at it. One way to become more efficient is to bank topics to write about. Keep an idea journal or use something like Evernote or Pocket to capture articles or ideas.
Q: What makes a good blog?
A: The best elements of a blog are a strong voice and relevant, helpful content. Think of your blog as a living salesperson. What do good salespeople do? They resolve problems, spot opportunities, and consult with their clients on best practices. Your blog is your voice for your brand. Also, for us old-timers, a good blog post is a dressed-up case history. Take the fundamentals of a case history and give it your unique voice.
Q: How do you attract attention to your blog?
A: A blog is a marathon, not a sprint. Maybe in a year or so you’ll find your search engine rankings improving. So many people in the industry are still afraid of revealing too much about their clients, but remember our chief enemy on the Internet is not industry competition, it’s obscurity. You are not the central character – your clients are. Once you make them the hero and highlight the power of promotional marketing in your post, you’ll gain the views you need.
Q: What analytics tools do you use?
A: We use Google Analytics, but here’s the secret: Analytics are less important than how you use your blog proactively. If you publish an excellent blog about a client you helped get noticed at a trade show, that post should be sent to another customer. The secret of successful business blogging is it’s both an inbound and an outbound game; use both and you’ll trigger sales. I also recommend you don’t look at analytics for six months to a year. Unless you’re posting about dancing cats, you’ll be discouraged by the relatively small amount of views.
Q: What do new bloggers need to know?
A: Embrace permanent beta. Your initial efforts will be ugly but after a while, you’ll hit your stride. The Web is a transient place. Unless you are egregiously offensive, no one will remember your feeble beginnings. Also, if you don’t like writing, create video posts. Don’t like video or writing? Do audio posts and convert the text into a blog post. Skew your blog to your strength.
Q: How can current bloggers improve their writing?
A: Be succinct, for obvious reasons. Very few people take time to read long-form articles. My best advice is to be natural, be you and stop shilling.