People don’t read business blogs for sales pitches. They read them to be educated.
A blog is one of the best opportunities to share your subject matter expertise and indirectly promote your business. But, if there’s no, “What’s in it for me?” from the reader’s perspective, you’ve missed the mark of how a B2B blog should work. If your posts read like commercials, guess what? People will tune out. This is a common mistake that even some of the smartest people make. But, it’s not wasted energy; it’s simply misplaced. Save the direct selling and promoting for another time.
It’s about Them. But, there’s Still Room for You.
The best bloggers remove their ego from their writing and make it about their audiences. If you find that your posts use “we” a lot, find ways to re-spin your message and change the “we”s into “you”s. Remind yourself to focus on the “why”s and stop getting trapped in the “what”s.
Try writing posts that provide answers to common questions and address pain points. Share what you know that others will find helpful. By doing so, your prospects are more likely to come into the sales process trusting what you have to say because you’ve already helped them.
Empathy is a powerful skill for content creators. Understanding the concerns and objectives of your audience enables you to write content that helps them achieve their goals or overcome their fears. Remember, in most cases, you are not your target audience. If you blog with empathy, you’ll have a hard time creating content that falls flat.
But, let’s also not forget what makes you unique. One of the greatest things you can do when marketing online is to showcase your personality. Most of the time it is the personal character of the business or staff that convinces a prospect to buy from them. If you can capture the spirit of your business’ personality in your blog, you go a long way toward distinguishing yourself from your competitors and building your brand.
Best Practices and Commitment to Your Blog
The best business bloggers are always willing to improve their skills and learn new best practices. There are many out there who don’t like to do revisions, don’t understand formatting and subtitles, and don’t take the time to ensure that their writing actually offers something of value to the reader. By demonstrating the humility that you cannot possibly know everything, both you and your audience will be better for it.
Great writers pull from their own experiences and apply them to real-world scenarios and current events. Your audience is probably well-read, so you should be, too. Stay connected with the outside world and get into the habit of reading what others have to say. Not only does it inspire more posts, it provides a context in which you can respond in your own way.
Don’t just dabble in blogging, either. Nothing looks worse than going to a company’s blog to discover that the most recent post is six months old. That shows a lack of commitment to your blog and, thereby, your audience. Yes, we’re all busy and don’t always have the time to create new content. So, empower a group of contributors who offer different perspectives, create a schedule and stick to it! And, don’t EVER launch a new blog without at least a few posts in-hand as a backlog.
A multitude of blogging advice and best practices can easily be found online. (In full disclosure, I can’t say that I always follow them myself.) While your specific market might require a nuanced approach, you’ll find that many of the fundamentals remain the same.
The good news is that, the more you blog, the easier it gets.
Networking is not just about making connections and creating awareness of your business. It’s also about forming an alliance of credible professionals to help you fill organizational gaps and be able to confidently refer others.
While I was enjoying a great pastime, I was also learning about the power of human potential. I discovered how greatness can be achieved through sheer will or by overcoming the challenges of unforeseen circumstances.
Get to know your customers on a more personal level and understand what’s behind their buying decisions. Make them feel special and important. Engage them while listening between the lines about their needs and concerns. You’re not just providing a product or service; you’re providing a unique and positive experience that will distinguish you from your competitors and lead to more referrals.
If your business is like ours, you don’t have a bottomless marketing budget to build awareness of a name that lacks clarity. We have to be more calculated and deliberate.
Your circle of influence should not be confined to your immediate sales prospects. That’s not what marketing in the 21st Century is about.
Nobody is an expert at everything. Nobody. At one time or another, we all find ourselves forced into situations outside of our sweet spot. That’s why it’s important to rely on the expertise of others to help you make educated decisions and get the job done right.
Jeff Brown proved that success is found when you engage your audience, make them part of the experience and deliver on your promise. Whether your business is in a highly competitive or under-served market, the lessons he learned are the same.
Remember, nobody can be right all the time. And, that applies to every one of us. After all, if we were always right, we’d never need anyone’s help, would we? When we accept that fact, we take a huge step toward bettering ourselves and our businesses.
Francis Bacon once wrote, “A Prudent Question is One-half of Wisdom.” Knowledge comes from inquisitiveness and the willingness to accept your own lack of it. We don’t pretend to know everything. So, excuse us while we throw a few inquiries your way.