Blogging changes the game. If you have a business, these five reasons should be enough to convince you that you should be blogging. If not, though, why not? Or, if you already blog, how can you improve?
Why you’re famous
As a business owner, you’ve put a lot of time and money into learning and caring about your offer or solution, and you’ve set up a framework or process for putting it into action. Blogging is where everything meets.
Your claim to fame is your knowledge of your field, your years of experience, your skills, and your desire to help others. All of this adds up to your own mountain of worth.
How do you get all of that across?
A meet and greet pitch is, at best, a key to the treasure chest that is you. Whether or not someone wants to open it depends on how interesting you were.
So how do you get people to know what you do?
You’ll have an online page. At the very least, let’s hope it’s not written in the third person and only talks about the benefits and features of your offer.
You know the type: “Our company is called blah blah, we do blah blah really well, and you will benefit from blah blah.” This will have the same effect as a door slamming as your guest leaves with a click of the mouse.
Then there’s the sales brochure, which, if it does its job well, is a preview of all the exciting things to come.
What else? No doubt a book. If you self-publish, how well your book does will depend on how much time and money you put into it. It should, however, be a way to get people to see what your great offer is.
Blogs are also a thing.
Why blogging works
Blogging lets you break down and present your claim to fame in bite-sized pieces that, as a bonus, stick around for a long time.
You can’t do this well if you don’t know what you’re trying to position—yourself, your offer, your business, or a niche in your industry—and why.
But if you set up your blogging platform so that it matches the parts, processes, or architecture of what you’re selling and put it in the right place, your posts will become building blocks as long as they offer valuable insights or solutions. Each one will make your offer stronger and show that you are a leader in the field.
BONUS: You learn a lot about what you’re offering and who you’re offering it to. If you want to blog well, you have to know exactly who you’re talking to and why. If it’s random or doesn’t have a point, you’re wasting your time.
Think of your mountain of value as a filing cabinet. Imagine putting everything you know and have done into the drawers of the cabinet and then putting a manila folder for each topic in each drawer. This is how your blog should be set up.
“People like to do business with people” is a phrase that everyone says these days. What? Not machines? People like to do business with people they know and trust. What? Not people who sell snake oil?
If you could just say, “I’m a person, you can trust me, so let’s do business,” getting new clients would be a breeze. Or, “We went to the same school, so let’s work together.”
Giving someone a business card or a sales brochure won’t make them trust you either, even if you look at them with a deep, honest look.
From experience, you’ll know that’s just one step up from a cold call and a long way from “let’s do business.”
But what if you’re seen as a leader in the field because you’ve been blogging about the subject for a long time? Even for people who don’t know much about you or your business, showing that you are a well-known blogger changes the tone. You must know a lot about what you do if you can blog a lot about it.
Even better, if during the conversation you can point to a post you wrote that would solve the problem of your networking partner, that will move you up the relationship ladder a few steps. Like getting a royal flush in a game of poker.
The most important thing to remember is that you blog to help other people, not to help yourself. Because of this, you can legitimately offer your post as a solution. If you’re only interested in making money, your claim will be seen as nothing more than a sales pitch, and you’ll be thrown out with the other snake oil salesmen.
BONUS: There are five parts to building trust: competence, being open to everyone, being honest, and being real. If you want to blog well, you have to do most of these things all the time. It holds you responsible for meeting the standards you’ve set for your brand.
A writer from the Caribbean named Sharon Hurley Hall says, “As a professional blogger, my own blog shows potential clients what I can do.” And showing examples of my published work has brought in new clients more than once. It’s a very important part of how I build my business.
Blaze Lazonroy, a business consultant and coach from California, says, “I think blogging makes you more successful, more likeable, and more trustworthy.” In addition to helping you build a platform for your business. (…Plus it’s fun!)’
Getting your voice out there and making your brand stick
Your brand is all about understanding, loving, and claiming a consistent voice, if we agree that your brand is the intersection of why you do what you do and for whom.
At first, it might take courage and faith to use that voice online. You have to stop worrying that some people might not like you or what you have to say.
If they don’t, they won’t be the best people for you to help. When you talk to someone in person, you don’t change the tone of your voice or the main points you want to make. You shouldn’t do that when you blog either.
You are a person, not a company, representing whatever you are putting forward for yourself or on behalf of others, and your readers are people responding to that. So, the third-party trick never worked and never will.
People want to know how you can help them, just like when they walk into a store and want to know how to solve their problem. We all know what happens when customer service is bad.
Your online voice is the same as making a promise. You keep it straight, true, and clear. It falls apart when there are too many options, ideas, theories, changes in direction, arrogance, or ambivalence.
REFLECTION: Whether your blog is quirky, caring, technical, colorful, playful, serious, sad, funny, or a mix of these, your voice shouldn’t shake. It shouldn’t change from a dark navy blue one day to a bright hot pink the next, at least not without a reason. If you’re going through a transition, you’ll need to be open and honest about it.
Carolyn Tate of Carolyn Tate & Co in Melbourne says, “Blogging lets me share my non-conformist, courageous beliefs and connect in an honest way with people who share the same ones.”
Tim Reid is known as “The Ideas Guy” because he helps businesses realize the full potential of marketing. He says, “Blogging makes it simple for me to write down and share what I know.” By doing this, I teach and entertain my prospects, which helps them make better decisions about how to market their business. So, they feel connected to my business on an emotional level, and my brand gets a little stronger.’
Alina Leang, a graphic designer and the founder of Soul Bucket, wrote that blogging helped her “find” her voice. It’s a great way for the meaning maker in all of us to get clear. George Siosi Samuels of Siosism agrees: “Blogging gave me a way to share my experiences and give something of value that others could use.”
A side effect of successful blogging that you might not expect is chicken and egg stuff, but without it, you wouldn’t be successful blogging. Good blogging helps you tune in and sharpen your senses.
It’s the case of the red car. When you buy a red car, they seem to be everywhere. You have an idea, and within a microsecond, it’s on the lips of every other person. It’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and Alan Bellows wrote a powerful piece about it in 2006 for his blog Damn Interesting.
“Good blogging exaggerates the phenomenon, which, if you pay attention to it in the right way, niches your research.”
“This is useful because you want to get to the good stuff quickly on the Internet.” We don’t have time for rabbit holes, clicking links, and dead ends that waste an hour. Even if the Internet wants to take up a lot of your time, you only have one life.
“As I wrote in this post, “Antenna, Tuning In to Your Inner TV,” tuning in also serves as a filter for your business. If you have too many ideas, opportunities, and things to do to make them happen, your antennae are in fast-swivel mode and you can’t tune into any frequency.
“This feeling is the same as the buzzing, noisy screen of the early days of watching TV.” Once you’re stuck in this white noise, you can’t make good decisions. It makes me anxious not only because I don’t know what to do next, but also because I know I have a lot to do next.
BONUS: Tuning in helps you cut through the noise and find the people you can best help and work with. You can test how to serve people better in real time with real people. In the world of social networking, we have a lot of connections that don’t mean anything.
Nicole Fende is known as the “Numbers Whisperer,” and she agrees that “blogging gives you a chance to test what your market really likes and wants.” This is how my finance business, Mascots & Villains, became so successful.
It’s your name on it
Are we all in agreement that we have a lot of knowledge, research, and wisdom to share?
For each of us, this is a unique recipe made up of our experiences, the people in our lives, our personal and professional journeys, the curve balls and triumphs that have thrown us unexpected storms and emotions to test our resilience, grit, and determination.
I think that your knowledge, your kindness, and your blog change people’s lives.
So, you should ask yourself if it’s right to take this knowledge with you when you stop working, get older, or die. Is it fair that you don’t let other people learn from your great knowledge? What you know and can teach others can change people’s lives now and in the future, both at work and in your personal life.
Your legacy will be your blog
A marketing support specialist named Michelle Church writes, “I think blogging is about connection.” Not only connecting with clients, potential clients, or colleagues who might need what we have to offer, but also connecting with our true selves and giving us a chance to share our inner truth. Fiona Lucas agrees with this when she says, “Blogging gives your business a voice.” It leads to invitations and connections and lets you put your own spin on a subject and share what you know. This makes your brand and message stronger.
Going back to the questions I asked at the start, do you blog? If not, why? And if you are, how could you improve your blog? No matter what, I’m here to help if you need it.