How do small & medium sized businesses use blogs to find new customers?
So, you are thinking about starting a blog for your business or have a blog, but aren't generating any leads or customers?
The first mistake most businesses make when blogging is to write about the deal of the day, your products or services, or the savings you can offer your customers. Those are called sales pitches. It's not about you, or your company.
Great business bloggers write about their customers, provide solutions to questions that their customers have, and connect with their subscribers. It's not about you, it's about your customer.
- Write about your customers
- Create authority
- Answer your customers questions
- Give away 90% of your secrets
If you are an authority in your line of work then write about your history in your profession, ways your product or service will improve the life or business of your customer, but make sure it is about the customer or subscriber. It's not about you. Creating authority is a key to gaining trust from your potential customers. To gain this trust you must make a connection through your blog and supply your customer with valuable information. See Trust Agents by Chris Brogan. Chris is one of the foremost authorities in the country on developing trust and connecting with customers.
Once you have created authority with your customers blog about your passions, your customers passions and interests, and connect with your customers via social media. All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know and like. Keep it professional and avoid any topics you wouldn’t discuss at a business meeting in a mixed crowd. Even though you are trying to make a personal connection business blogging is not a diary, so don't get to personal.
Your blog can be a product or new service announcement, but be sure to disclose this up front in your blog post. Mixing press releases, product announcements, research and development progress with personal growth in your business will help give your readers some insight they can not find elsewhere on your site. I would recommend that you follow a simple rule. One promotional blog post out of 10. Maximum!
Business blogging is about pulling customers into your business and not pushing a marketing message out to them. Give your customers 80%-90% of the information they are looking for and monetize the remaining 10%-20%. If your product or service is valuable your customers will be willing to pay for the most valuable 10% you have to offer and you will have gained their trust.
If you are in the pool building or pool cleaning business, blog about "How to prepare your pool for Spring" or "Child safety tips for swimming pool owners". These blog posts answer questions that your customers need answered, will create authority for your business, and most importantly creates a connection because it shows that you care about your customer without selling them anything.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles