Does your business have a blog? Whether you’re an independent professional, a small business owner or the CEO of a larger company, a blog can be a powerful tool for increasing your sales. Here’s why:
1. You control the message
With traditional publicity and PR efforts, you have no control over what ends up in print. And advertising, by its nature, limits the size and scope of your messages. A blog, however, enables you to be as expansive as you like, while making sure what you write is what gets published.
2. It enables you to display your expertise
People prefer working with experts. We don’t want to work with just any attorney, accountant, organizer, lawn care service, personal trainer, boat dealership, cleaning service, etc. We want to work with one that’s really good. A blog gives you an outlet to demonstrate your expertise to your potential clients.
3. You can be timely
A blog gives you the ability to announce promotions, comment on events and even celebrate holidays of all types. (See A Great Day for Sales for more ideas.) You can also provide up-to-the-minute updates on what you or your company is doing.
4. It improves your SEO
Blogs have become a cornerstone of search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Search engines like useful content. (As opposed to pure self-promotion.) And they like content that’s updated frequently. Those two factors mean a blog can boost your search engine rankings.
5. You could go viral
If you write a piece that’s particularly helpful, interesting, funny or controversial, your readers may forward it to friends and colleagues. And thanks to social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, your post could potentially be forwarded to thousands—or even millions—of people. (See the forwarding options below.)
6. It’s free
How many sales and marketing tools are 100% free? Everything you need to set up a blog you either already have or can get at no cost. Blogging is ideal for any business on a budget.
7. You can engage customers
Unlike most promotional tactics, a blog can create a dialogue with your prospects and customers. Your blog can become a gateway for people to ask questions, share testimonials, voice requests and provide feedback.
8. It helps you build trust with prospects
The number one buying factor is confidence. By giving prospects valuable information, as well as insights into you and your company, blogging can instill that confidence, building the trust needed for them to buy from you.
9. It’s versatile
A blog needn’t just be paragraph upon paragraph of words. You can incorporate photos, audio clips and video as well. Which means you could post pictures of yourself, your people or your products; audio interviews, songs or comedy bits; or video tours of your facility, how-to videos or videos of your product or service in action.
10. You’re forced to think
The simple act of thinking is one of the most valuable activities any of us can engage in. Unfortunately, the hectic pace of business can leave little time for it in our daily schedules. Blogging, however, forces you to think on a regular basis: about your business, about yourself and about your customers. Thinking leads to innovation. And innovation leads to more sales.
So if you’re not blogging yet, give it some serious consideration. It does require some thought and some consistent effort, but the rewards for your business can be enormous.