Are you blogging? Social media, including blogs, is a fundamental change in the way people communicate. Technology is shifting the power away from the editors, the publishers and the general media. It’s now the people who are in control. There are currently more than 200 million blogs published worldwide. Millions of people are reading this content daily, and if you’re not out there talking about things that are relevant to your clients and prospects then you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
So what should you talk about in your blog? Anything that adds value or is of interest to your clients and prospects. Write about topics such as “Five Questions to Ask When Buying Life Insurance” or “10 Steps to Retirement Planning.”
Readers come to your blog seeking information and don’t want to be sold to. If you use your blog to sell to your readers they may be turned off and simply search elsewhere.
Instead, consumers use blogs much like they would a news article, referral or user review. Blogs provide a platform for you to position yourself as an expert.
Both research and practice support the fact that the optimum strategy is to incorporate your website and your blog into one site. Think of your blog as the “hub” of your social media presence. Having your blog as part of your website drives traffic to one central location where you can talk and create conversations about your business, while at the same time giving readers the freedom to explore your site and services. By creating a dynamic between your blog and your website you can create a relationship that functions simultaneously toward the same goals:
- Pushing your business
- Increasing traffic flow
- Generating revenue
- Creating brand ambassadors
Most importantly, if you do not have your blog acting as your homepage, make sure it is front and center to the reader’s eyes when they visit your site. Your blog should be one of the first things a reader visits when investigating your business site. It gives them the best idea of what your business is about and whether it is right for them. This is why direct selling from your blog is so unsuccessful. Readers are perusing your blog to better understand your business, not to look at a direct advertisement for your products or services.
So, take another look at the structure of your business’s website and create an online environment where readers are consumers and consumers are readers. Incorporate your blog into your business structure and use it as a platform to talk, connect and create conversations about your business. In doing so you will transform strangers into consumers of your content and ultimately clients
For more on blogging, see:
- Advisor blogs: How to craft the best titles
- To blog or not to blog: Do’s and don’ts for business blogging
- Advisor blogging success: 5 more lessons
Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.