Blogging has to be one of my favorite activities. For me, it just doesn’t feel like work. I’m simply transcribing conversations I’ve already had with financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals about using social media and posting it online for anyone to read.
To me, that’s the beauty of blogging. You’re sharing your thoughts, expertise and opinions online, where clients/consumers are going to make decisions about products and services they’re planning to buy based on this information.
That’s why I rank blogging as my No. 2 social media platform for financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals. Simply put, your opportunity versus your time/cost spent on blogging is much higher than other platforms on my list, including:
Blogging – opportunity vs. time/cost
- Reach More Customers and on Their Terms: More and more customers are going online to search for products, services and solutions before talking to a company or person. Moreover, consumers are making decisions – or are far along the decision-making continuum, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) arena – well before they talk to you, so it’s important to help them understand your value and expertise online!
- Position Yourself as a Thought Leader/Expert: There’s no better way, in my opinion, to showcase your expertise than by publishing your own thoughts and opinions for the world to see. And a blog is easier and less expensive than you might think. This small business is making the most of their blog.
- Drive Traffic to Your Website: Beyond giving current clients a reason to visit your website again and again, new blog posts should drive traffic to your website. Plus, new content, combined with an increase in website traffic, should enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which means you’ll show up in searches more often.
- Generate Unique Content to Push Out on Your Social Networks: If you’re using social media, it’s a good rule of thumb to share content. So why not share your own content and drive traffic back to your own blog/website?
Is a blog right for your business?
While blogging provides a lot of benefits, it may not be right for everyone. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering a blog.
How you might use a blog
WARNING: Before blogging, always know your company’s policies and any legal/compliance guidance regarding the use of social media.
- Thought Leadership/Education: Research, write and post at least one article a month based on your thoughts and/or opinions about a particular topic, trend, industry event, product, service or solution. Post articles to your website if possible (how to add a blog to your website). If that’s not feasible, consider publishing your article on LinkedIn. Your article should be educational in nature—not a sales pitch. Consider drafting articles based on challenges your customers have, questions your customers ask regularly or new trends you’re seeing in the industry. Don’t worry about coming up with a catchy headline. Instead, think about the terms that someone might type in Google, and make that your headline. Be sure to include subheads and bulleted lists to allow readers to skim your content easily. (Time: 90+ minutes to research/write an article find and schedule articles. Additional time is needed if you need to have it reviewed and approved before publishing it.)
- Engage with Your Audiences: Check your blog regularly for comments or questions, and respond appropriately. Most blog platforms have notification settings that send you emails when new comments are posted. (Time: 10+ minutes to review/respond to comments, post on other walls, etc.)
- Read Other Blogs, and Post Comments: Check your page regularly and ensure your notifications are correctly set up to alert you about key activity on your page. Acknowledge both positive and negative feedback, apologize if necessary (yes, publicly), thank your customers, etc. Bottom line, be human. Your customers will appreciate it. (Time: 20+ minutes)
- Search for relevant topics/hashtags: Use key words and/or hashtags (e.g., landscaping and #landscaping) to see who’s talking about your products or services and then, if possible, join the conversation by adding value. Avoid pushing your products. Your goal is to add value to the conversation and gain credibility first. Once you establish “credibility,” you might share a link to your website or blog.(Time: 10+ minutes)
- Marketing/Promotion: Don’t wait for people to find your content. Post it to your social networks. I push out my blog posts on Twitter and LinkedIn regularly. (Time: 10+ minutes)
I hope this information helps you understand the opportunities versus time/cost associated with blogging and why it ranks as my No. 2 social media site for financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals. Next month, I’ll break down my No. 1 social media activity … LinkedIn!
Are you blogging? If so, what are you blogging about, and what benefit do you get? How do you leverage your blog on your website and other social platforms? I’d love to hear from you, so please share any comments, questions or feedback below. Or contact me on Twitter/LinkedIn.
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For more information, check me out on Twitter, where I regularly share social media tips, advice, trends and more, including how to build your business with social.
Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.
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