The Danger Of Not Blogging

If you think blogging’s a marketing tool for the future, you need to catch up: because blogging is fast becoming an integral part of any successful business’s marketing strategy.  And the danger of not blogging is leaving money on the table and directing all your ideal customers to take their custom elsewhere. A couple of days a week I work out of Loudons Cafe in Edinburgh.  I’m lucky because it’s a brilliant cafe with lovely owners and friendly staff.  And handily it’s also situated opposite my husband’s office.  So on the days I work in Loudons, Paul and I drop Kimber off at Doggie Daycare (which is just as cute and bonkers as you imagine it is) and drive into town.  This morning I was telling Paul about a talk I gave yesterday on the importance of blogging.  I was recounting one of the questions I was asked, which was ‘what are the dangers of not blogging?’, when he cut in with a rather succinct, and if I may say so, forceful response!  Which was along the lines of ‘the danger is that someone who’s her ideal customer will come on her site and not be able to tell that she’s their ideal accountant.  So they’ll go somewhere else.’.  This from the man who didn’t consider blogging to be ‘proper work’ not two years ago.  Now given that my husband specialises in helping struggling businesses to become viable, thriving businesses: the fact that he now considers blogging to be an integral part of any business’s marketing strategy tells me that blogging is no longer a marketing tool for the future.  It’s...

Is This The Best Time To Be In Business?

If you look back with envy at the entrepreneurs of the 1950s and 1960s and wish you had the opportunities they had, then take a look around at where you are.  The landscape may look different, but this is also such a time. Here are the things that I know: the rules of business engagement have changed; the smallest businesses are the ones who’re best at taking advantage of these changes; engaging with people online is the quickest and easiest way to grow your business; engaging online gives people a good sense of you without you having to meet them face to face; you can be as awesome online as you are in real life. The rules of business engagement have changed.  People no longer want to be broadcast to.  They’re suspicious of people who come into their lives unannounced, and they want to get to know people before they part with their hard-earned cash.  They value convenience.  And the way they want to do business and consume information has changed.  More times than not, they choose to do business with companies who get that, and make it easy for them. Some businesses still haven’t woken up to these facts, and are spending ever more amounts of time, effort, and money doing the things that’ve worked until now, except that now they’re doing them louder, more frequently and with increasing fervour.  Others have heard the news, but don’t believe it’s a game-changer, so are paying lip-service with a LinkedIn Company Page, a Twitter account that rarely gets used, and a blog feed that gets updated on an ad-hoc basis with the company news bulletin. The businesses that are winning, and...

Five Barriers To Creating A Business Blogging Habit

If you want your blog to work for your business, blogging needs to become a habit.  Here’s how to break down the barriers that are fuelling your resistance to forming a business blogging habit. Barrier One: Your Blog Has No Clear Business Benefit When you’re looking to establish any habit, you need to understand what the benefit will be.  You need a reason to change or establish a behaviour.  Because otherwise it won’t make any sense to you and it’ll be the easiest thing to drop. Blogging for the sake of blogging results in poor, irregular content, and does little to benefit your business.  Blogging with purpose and with clear expected benefits, is key.  Both my free e-book, Seven Secrets To Building A Blogging Habit That Works For Your Business, and the Blog Club Members’ Guide, have exercises to help you give your blog a clear, business purpose. Barrier Two: You Don’t Know How To Do It or How To Get Better At It Blogging sounds like it should be easy, right?  But when you actually sit down to write, you can end up staring at a blank screen for what seems like an eternity.  For most people, whose expertise is what they run a business in, coming up with few hundred informative and entertaining words on a subject, doesn’t come naturally.  It takes knowledge, skills, and experience.  But especially experience.  To get good you need to know what to write about, learn how to write about it, and moreover, practice clicking ‘Publish’.  Everyone has the fear of clicking ‘Publish’.  And the only way to get over it, is to do...

How Stories Engage Your Customers

When I was learning to be a coach – yes I’m a fully qualified executive coach, with a certificate and everything – we were told that we must only pose questions, allowing our clients to come to their own conclusions about the best solution to any issues they were facing.  This is probably one of the reasons I don’t practice as a coach: I’m rubbish at not offering up unsolicited advice.  In fact, unsolicited advice is one of my strengths.  But apparently unwelcome in a coaching relationship, and biting your tongue for a long time hurts. But I digress; the fact is, you can take this whole question point one step further.  It turns out that we actually learn best when we pose our own questions to ourselves.  So imagine my delight when I realised that this is exactly what stories prompt us to do!  When you tell a story, and leave it at the story, rather than try to make it into a lesson, people are left to draw their own conclusions about what it means for them.  They naturally ask themselves how it affects them, what it means to them, and how it relates to them and their circumstances.  How cool’s that?!  The more stories you tell your customers, the more they’ll be figuring out how what you do relates to them.  And so your blog, and the stories you choose to tell in become ever more important if you want to be the supplier that your potential customers choose. The point I make about not making your story into a lesson is an important one.  It’s very tempting...

Why Every ‘Offline’ Business Needs A Blog

I’ve been speaking a lot lately with face to face, bricks and mortar businesses, who don’t see the benefits of being online.  And I get it.  When your clients come to you through face to face networking, word of mouth, or off the street, what’s the point of updating your website or investing time in social media?  If your business is done ‘in real life’ rather than online, why bother.  Well, as you’ll not be surprised to hear if you’re a regular reader of this blog, the reasons are threefold.   One: Your customers are there Your business may not be online, but I’ll bet your customers are.  These days the majority of the population spend time online.  The biggest rise of subscribers to Facebook, based on age demographics is in the over 60s: age is no longer a barrier to being online.  And with the rise in smartphones, you don’t even need a computer!  So if your customers are online and you’re not, you’re missing out.   Two: You’re missing an amazing opportunity to show what you can do Yes, I know, my headlines need some work!  Anyway, did you know that you can post whatever you want on your blog?  It doesn’t have to be post after post of written articles.  Some people would even say that variety is the spice of life, and your blog should be a mix of different types of posts.  One of those people would be me, in a do-what-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of a way – ‘I’m a writer’ is my excuse.  My point is this: you can post whatever you like.  Handy tips,...