D esigning is not just using colors, shapes and images. No. The most powerful design one can create is with the use of words. Words are powerful! So much so that the Bible says God’s Word cuts to the bone. The wisely chosen words can destroy a soul or inspire a heart. And watch out! When one is inspired, nothing can stop him or her in accomplishing what he or she has set to do. So, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, what would your blog paint?
When it comes to your marketing, while the caliber and design of your website and branding are very important, it’s only for one reason: to get your public to read your content – your words. This is what delivers your message, persuades and changes hearts. The most important part of your entire marketing infrastructure is your message!
I submit to you that most content marketers (a $2 phrase for bloggers) are painting the wrong picture. Then they wonder why they get little to no results. Ask yourself, which picture am I painting? Is it:
Let’s take a look at these and what the repercussions or benefits of each are.
Empathy and sympathy are powerful human traits. It’s amazing what one will do when they see a need or human suffering. However, in business, this is not admired nor rewarded.
Now, few people beg consciously on their blog; but they can subconsciously. You see, if you feel desperate, and quite frankly, like you truly do not believe you will succeed but are giving it the old college try; when you write your blog, this will come across. It’s the old adage of smile when on the phone, because your customer will sense it. Well, your neediness will come across in the words you choose; self-sabotaging yourself because you don’t believe deep down you will succeed.
Well, if that is what you believe and what people are perceiving, why would someone buy from you? After all, if they sense failure, why take a chance your loss will cost them, due to buying what you will not be around to deliver?
If this is you, then you need to outsource your blogging. If that’s not in your budget, find someone in your company who is not tainted with this belief.
The opposite is also true. No one likes someone who is full of himself or herself. I recently ran into a connection like that in one of my social-media networks. This person felt and expressed he or she (keeping it neutral; I don’t need to identify the person) was a public relations Olympiad. He (I use this gender only to keep it simple) lived and breathed PR and NEVER failed!!! No matter what I tried in the discussion, he knew better and was beyond learning anything new from anyone. I just finally said, “Wow! It must be nice to be a PR god! I wish you well.” Now that may work with simple-minded people, but I don’t know any simple-minded people who are successful in business. Good luck trying to sell that one to those who write the checks.
There is a place for sales copy. An e-mail newsletter, flyer, website or landing page come to mind. The three reasons a person uses social media (businesses excluded from this statement, as they have other reasons as well) are to be:
They do not use it to be sold! So when a blog is pushing one’s product or service, it tends to push more than they expected; it pushes people away.
The problem is that the inexperienced blogger thinks, “I am blogging to create business. If gaining business is my goal, I better make sure to push my product and ask for the sale on the blog.”
While blogging IS used to find potential clients, it does so by attracting them; not by selling them. People buy from people and companies they like, so you must win them over. How? I thought you’d never ask.
When I speak to new “would-be” bloggers about my strategy, they are baffled. “What do you mean you give it away?” They cannot comprehend that by sharing useful how-to’s, tips and strategies, I am not sabotaging my business, I am solidifying it.
You see, I understand many people just want to know. They love understanding how things work; but won’t do anything with it. That’s about 80% of the people. However, they know other people and refer.
Then there are those who want to do it themselves. If you can do it yourself, why not? With a little guidance, some people can do an effective job on their own. But those are few. Remember, if what I or you did were easy, then we’re in the wrong business! So many of those will return and ask for help. This is about 80% of the remaining 20%.
Finally, there’s the remaining 20% of the remaining 20% (or about 4%) who know their time is more valuable doing what they do best. Their success comes from knowing what they don’t know, and understand that hiring a professional who can do it better and more effectively is a better investment. That’s my market and should be yours as well.
If I were not providing them with valuable articles that actually helped and informed, they would not know I was the right person for the job. You see, my articles did several things for me:
It painted a persuasive picture that motivates to action and builds relationship. This picture screams of caring and being helpful; hence it provides me an opportunity to compete when the time is right. It’s not pushy, needy nor arrogant.
Therefore, evaluate your blog. If you’re not sure, have others read it who can be brutally honest and ask them how it comes across. If the wrong picture is being painted, then you need a different brush.