November 5, 2014 / in Blogging, General Information / by Jason Terry
Hi friends! It’s Jason this week talking about how important blogging is for your business and reputation.
I use the word “blogging” a lot in this post. It’s a common term to describe the process of telling stories. I know we’d agree that growing your business and reputation is driven by relationships and keeping those relationships engaged. Creating relationships and maintaining relationships happens all day long. Coffees, lunches, chamber events, social outings, sales calls, and interviews are just a few of the ways that we connect with people as we do business.
When we connect, we end up telling each other stories. We laugh. We cry. We joke. We’re shocked. We’re amazed. These emotional responses to stories are what build relationships and keep those relationships alive.
If I had to choose the most important thing that has helped me succeed in business, it would be that I really care about my relationships with people. About making a positive difference in their lives. And staying engaged with them through storytelling.
1) Blogging Will Get You More Referrals
Make a list of all the new clients you’ve earned in 2014. Next to each name write down how you got that client. For many businesses, new business is found through a referral from a peer or existing client. Someone told them they should talk to you. And they did. And you impressed them somehow. They believed that you would do what you said you would do for the price that you quoted.
I hope you agree that a big part of that belief comes from the trust they have in their friend that referred them to you. Their friend wouldn’t have referred you in the first place if they didn’t trust you or have personal experience with you successfully delivering for them previously.
If a major portion of your new business is from referrals, it makes complete sense that you should do all you can to stay top of mind with your referral partners. Coffees, lunches, golf tournaments and networking events are great ways to stay top of mind, but they do take time. And the focus in these types of situations is usually on one person or just a few people.
With blogging, social media and email newsletters, you can tell your story on your website and get that story in front of people throughout the week. It super charges your efforts to stay top of mind with people that will refer you business. There is no question that it works… we have been helping companies do this successfully for years.
2) Blogging Will Strengthen Relationships With Your Current Clients
How often do you talk to your current clients? Monthly when invoices go out? Coffee at policy renewal time? Lunch during the holidays to say thank you? Whether you are a small business with dozens of clients or a larger business with hundreds of clients, it is a challenge to stay in touch with them. You still need to fit in the coffees and lunches, but you could dramatically increase the number of times you “touch” a client throughout the year by blogging.
By telling your stories every week, you will end up letting your customers know all about you and your company. They get to virtually meet your new team members when you write a profile blog post about them. They get to see that you completed a great project for someone that they know. (They might even realize that there is a product or service you have that they want when you tell that story!) They get to learn something new or relevant when you talk about a topic in your industry.
The result is that you can stay in touch with your clients by blogging and getting the word out through social media and email. It will reinforce their relationship with you and remind them why they chose to do business with you in the first place.
3) Blogging Can Impress Potential Customers And Help Close The Deal
I’m not sure if you have competition for your products or services, but most companies do. Let’s say you’re an insurance company, a bank or an IT support company. You have competition. And the real truth may be that you and your competition are all selling the same thing. You broker the same insurance policies. You have checking and savings accounts with competitive rates. You provide great IT support and keep networks up and running.
When you are selling basically the same product or service, the buying decision is definitely influenced by relationship. They want to work with someone they trust. Someone that is going to be there for them. Someone that they like.
If they have three proposals in front of them offering basically the same services for the same price, who are they going to choose? If they do their homework, they will check out your LinkedIn profiles. One person has no picture and 40 connections. The next person has a great picture but the summary sounds like a resume and doesn’t feel “human”. Your profile has a great picture, you have a couple hundred connections, and your summary tells a personal story of your professional journey. The natural reaction is that they will trust you more than the other people. They will have started to lean towards you because you seem like you have it together, work with a bunch of people and took the time to show that off professionally.
Next, they will check out your website. The first person’s website looks like it was created in 1997 and the copyright at the bottom of the site proves it. The next person has a beautiful website, but it is basically their sales brochure on the web. Your website is beautiful as well, but you have the most recent blog posts on your home page. They tell real stories about your clients, your people and what you care about. They get a feel for you and your company because of these stories. This reinforces their feelings that you are a good company that can deliver, and that can definitely help close the deal.
There are so many other ways blogging can help your business grow. It can improve internal communication and ultimately make your team even more proud to work at your company. It can help you hire better people that check out your website during the hiring process. It can prove that you and your team are subject matter experts in your field. It can show people that you are a company made up of good people that will be able to help them.
There is no question that blogging is here to stay. If you aren’t doing it, I hope this gets you thinking about why you should be doing it. If you need help, give us a call. That’s what we do for companies all over Kansas City.