Promotional product sales professionals can position themselves as reliable experts – and generate sales – through a blog that provides value.
Little more than a year ago, Nicole McNamee started The Promo Diaries (www.thepromodiaries.com).
Since then, the blog has been an ROI machine for the national sales manager at Boundless Network (asi/143717).
“Generally, every post results in an order,” says McNamee, whose blog is rich with videos, images and conversational writing about products and promotional ideas. Here, McNamee shares some of her best practices for blogging:
Be Genuine: “Let your personality shine through,” says McNamee. “If you’re fake, people will see through it. Post about products and topics you’re passionate about – and that matter to your clients.”
Go Multimedia: Posts with video, images and shorter text are going to attract more views and have greater impact on intended audiences.
Listen To Feedback: When McNamee first started blogging, she paid a firm to help her produce slick videos. Then she did a couple on-the-fly videos from an industry trade show. It turned out her clients preferred the less “produced” videos. As a result, her videos now adhere to the lower-key format, pleasing her audience and saving her money. “Evolve the blog based on the feedback you get,” she says.
Promote Through Social Networks: “I push my posts out through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook,” says McNamee. “LinkedIn works best for me, because that’s where I have the most connections.”
Build Buzz Beyond Social: Include a link to your blog in your email signature and on your business card. When speaking with clients and prospects, refer them to the blog. If possible, direct them to particular posts that highlight a product or initiative you think would help fuel their promotional efforts.
Post Regularly: Between December 2014 and December 2015, McNamee created an average of just over three posts per month. One month she had as many as seven posts. Other months, she created a couple. Regardless, she made sure to post something monthly. “It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time,” says McNamee.
Seek Subscribers: Ensure clients and prospects can easily subscribe to your blog. McNamee’s posts typically contain a line asking people to subscribe. The line includes a hyperlink to her contact page where post viewers can sign up by entering their email address and confirming the address through a return email. It takes seconds.
Consider Getting Tech Help: “I contracted out the building of the blog site,” says McNamee. For about $2,000, she received a professional site that matched her personal brand.
Case Study: Real Results
As a national sales manager, long-distance runner and mother, Nicole McNamee is one busy woman. She doesn’t have time to mess around with things that don’t work. That she continues to blog is a surefire sign that the social medium can produce results for salespeople.
Recently, for example, she created a post about products she loves: Ame & LuLu bags. The post led directly to a hospitality client placing a 150-piece order for Ame & LuLu products. Plus, the post stimulated discussion about other types of boutique bags with another client. An order followed. “The blog has led to real results,” says McNamee.