Hope you’re not afraid of heights – or social challenges. How to sell without selling on your blog.
Blogs are beautiful. You own yours. You control it. You call the shots. You’re the big cheese, the head honcho. Pick your metaphor. Unlike the big social media sites, your business blog’s only rules are those limitations imposed by your web software solution and the ones you make. This personal venue of yours provides a great opportunity to build goodwill and customer loyalty.
Your blog can also get people in the mood to buy from you. Your branding provides visual clues throughout, and there are links to your sales website and contact information on every page. Should you do more? Blatant sales pitches may send your visitors to the exit — quickly, but you can encourage them to think of you when it’s time to buy.
Keeping Your Balance
Your customers visit your blog for many reasons. Community. Information. Help solving problems. Free stuff. Videos of your springer spaniel trying to drink from the lawn sprinkler.
Information drives blog traffic; sales pitches drive it away. So the key to using your blog as a sales tool is to maintain a delicate balance between providing useful information and hawking your wares.
Use your blog to provide practical, usable, and yes, educational and entertaining content, subtly directing visitors to your full-blown company website for conversion and eventual sales.
Be a Clown
How? Here are some ideas that work:
- Make ‘em laugh. Do post those outtakes of your dog. Show your audience your humanity and your lighter side. Encourage them to do the same. In today’s social world, the name of the game is relationship-building. It doesn’t all have to be so dreadfully serious.
- Spread the news. Are you in real estate? Blog about hot industry news, editorialize some and work toward establishing yourself as an expert. News about your company and its products is fair game, as long as you’re humble about it and your audience might somehow benefit.
- Acknowledge the seasons. Is it February and you’re an accountant? Talk about tax law changes and offer preparation tips. Spring or fall? Heating and air conditioning businesses can help readers prepare their HVAC systems. You might direct them to specific pages on your website that offer additional information (and links to sales pages).
- Ask for input. Encourage your visitors to contribute suggestions, tips or reviews. Solicit funny or heart-warming stories by sharing your own. Ask them about their pain points, the problems that they’re looking to solve. Do this in a general, I-just-want-to-help kind of way.
Keep Moving – and Don’t Look Down
People like people who help them with no regard for own reward. Sometimes they buy things from those people for that reason. Though your ultimate goal may be increased revenue, your blog can help you build a little community, one that’s focused on the problems and solutions, the successes and failures in your industry. Have fun with it and let me know what you post next in the comments below.