Educating

The 5 C’s of a Successful Business Blog

Posted on December 22, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Educating, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The 5 C's of a Successful Business BlogAs a small business owner, blogging can play a key role in your marketing strategy.  As mentioned in my prior post, How to Use Blogging to Build the Know, Like and Trust Factor For Your Business, blogging allows you to build those key factors that can allow you to have an advantage in the marketplace.

In order for your blog to be successful, you need to follow the 5 C’s of Blogging:

  1.  Content-  The first and most important part of your blog is your content.  You should decide on the main topic for your blog (i.e. business, gardening, etc.) and then decide up to three sub-categories for your topic (i.e. business- marketing, leadership, productivity; gardening-  fruits, vegetable, flowers; etc.).Once the topic and sub-categories have been decided, then the next thing is deciding whether you are going to come up with original content or content that you curate.  In order to show your expertise in your particular area, having original content is very important.  That is how you showcase what you know and show your knowledge in your area.  However, coming up with original content consistently can be a difficult task, so sometimes it helps to curate other people’s content.  Use what they have posted about your area or expertise and write a response or a differing opinion to the original article, or just reposting what they have written also works too.  As long as the content is relevant and will resonate with your audience then using other people’s content is fine.  The biggest thing when it comes to curating content is giving credit to the original source of content, your goal is not and nor should it ever be to take their content as your own, so always give credit where credit is due.  This is especially important when it comes to copyright infringement, you do not want to plagiarize, so be sure to site where your content is coming from.
  2. Community-  Your blog posts should be targeting a specific community.  Your goal in blogging is not just to add value by informing your readers, but to also create followers which become your community.  Having a community of people who are like-minded and enjoy your content can do wonders for your business.  When you create a community, you create loyal followers who can become loyal customers, so knowing that you are creating a community for your blog is also helpful.
  3. Conversations-  You want your blog posts to create conversations.  The great thing about blogs compared to articles online is the fact that blogs allow people to converse about the particular topic that you have posted.  You want to create conversations around your topic, so it is not a one-way street, but a two-way conversation with the writer of the blog and the audience.  The ability to have a conversation, adds another level of connection with you and your audience, so make sure that your blog posts create a level of conversation around your industry or topic.
  4.  Consistency-  I believe there is a Blog grave yard,  so many people have good intentions to start a blog, but couldn’t or didn’t keep up with blogging consistently, so their blog died!  When you make the decision to start a blog for  your business, you have to be consistent with posting on the blog.  You have to decide what makes sense for your business.  If you are able to blog weekly that’s great, if you can only blog bi-weekly that’s fine too, the least amount of commitment would be blogging once a month.  Of course there are benefits to blogging more frequently especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and people finding your content online, but you want to take on a frequency that will be able to fit into your business.  Blogging on a daily basis is not viable for the average business so you have to figure out what frequency works best for your business.
  5. Convert-  As a small business owner, one of your blogging goals should be to convert your followers to customers.  By sharing your content with your readers people start to view you as knowledgable or an expert in your field.  Once they have that level of trust in your knowledge and your blog talks about solutions, if they are in the market for what your company offers, they will naturally see you as a solution and become a customer, which ultimately is what you want.  Having strong call-to-actions (i.e. click here, sign-up now, learn more, etc.)  on your blog helps with converting people to your website pages, or sales pages for your product or service.

Are you currently blogging for your business?  If so, what other C’s do you think are an important part of blogging?

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Do you need a Business Blog and a Business Website?

Posted on June 23, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Educating, Marketing | Tags: , , , |

Blog v. WebsiteIt may seem like a silly question, but what is the difference between having a blog and having a website?  And when it comes to your business strategy, do you need both?

With the popularity of blogs and social media, some companies are thinking they may not need a website.  Although a business can be successful without one, I feel it is important to have one.  Your website is your home base, the place on the internet where your company/brand lives.  All other places on the internet like blog platforms, or social networks are places that you rent space, so if you are serious about your business you don’t want to just RENT, you want to OWN!

According to dictionary.com, “A website is a connected group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity, usually maintained by one person or organization and devoted to a single topic or several closely related topics.”  Your website really is the place where people will go to learn about your company.  Since people go there to learn about your company, your website should include the following:

  • The story of your business, including the who, what, where, when & how
  • A showcase of your products and/or services
  • Appropriate messaging directed to your target audience
  • A way to capture leads by offering an email opt-in form
  • A way to convert your visitors to purchases with the use of links to sales pages 
  • A way for people to contact you
  • Connections to your social media networks
  • Connection to your blog

So what is a blog and how does it differ from your website?

According to dictionary.com, “A blog is  a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.” Your blog is where you express your opinions and share your insights about your particular topic with your audience.  Your blog should be used for the following:

  • To show your expertise
  • To offer advice, tips, techniques related to your products and services, or your industry
  • To build an audience
  • To subtly promote your products and/or services
  • To build a community
  • To spread the word about your business
  • To capture leads when people subscribe to your blog
  • To convert visitors to purchase your product or service by using links to sales pages

So now that you know the difference between your website and your blog, do you need both?  It depends!  If you want to be known as an expert in your industry and you are committed to consistently blogging (posting articles) on your blog, then blogging should be included in your online marketing strategy, but if you are not sure you will have the time to consistently blog and be committed to maintaining your blog, then you should not start a blog.  Although it has many benefits, blogging is not for everyone!

On the other hand, having a home base for your business/brand is important, so I feel having a website is a MUST for a business while having a blog is OPTIONAL.

So what do you think, does a business need a blog and a website?  Do you have a business blog and a business website?

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5 Techniques to Convert Educating Prospects into Paying Customers

Posted on May 6, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Educating | Tags: , , , , , , |

I have listened in on several webinars and tele-seminars over the last year or so, and I have noticed a trend with the format of each one.  A lot of the webinars and tele-seminars are aimed at educating you on a particular topic or subject, so you willing sign-up to learn more about this topic or subject.  Usually after about 30 minutes or so of good information, the speaker tells you that you can get more of this information by paying for a seminar, CD, book, program, etc.  Depending on the cost of the particular item, the tactic usually works because you are already talking to an active audience who signed up to learn more about this specific subject, so they are obviously interested in the topic.

When I think about the last two items that I purchased from a webinar, I feel there were five main things that enticed me to make a purchase, and as business owners, we should consider these factors when trying to sell a product or service based on an educational webinar or tele-seminar.

  1. VALUABLE INFORMATION–  Did your webinar or tele-seminar provide valuable information?  I define valuable information as information presented in a way that is DIFFERENT or NEW to most people.  When people receive information and they never really thought of that topic in that way before, you are encouraging someone to look at things differently.  This usually brings about an “Ah Ha!” moment, people love “Ah Ha” moments because it allows them to think differently and thinking differently can lead to different results.  If the information presented is information you’ve heard already or presented in a way you have seen before, you would be less likely to buy into the information.  Also, how the information is presented makes a difference.  A professional format with visuals are key!  When people not only hear what you have to say, but see it through the presentation slides or video, it makes a HUGE difference in the effectiveness of the presentation.
  2. PRICED RIGHT–  The product or service offered at the end of the webinar or tele-seminar needs to be priced right.  Now when I say priced right I don’t mean “cheap” or “inexpensive”, because if the participants believe in the value of information presented, they will pay the monetary equivalent as to what they feel it is valued to them.  However, the product or service must be priced in a way that is affordable, but also expensive enough to show its value.  For some reason most people are pricing their product or service ending with a “7” $97, $197, $297.  I am sure there is some information out there that says that pricing ending with a 7 tends to work well, why so many people are pricing their products or services that way.
  3. ADDED INCENTIVES–  I have purchased many items because of the added bonus that was included in the offer, so not only did I feel the information presented was valuable, but the bonus that they offered made it even more enticing to purchase the item, so think about adding a bonus course, a live seminar ticket, additional tips, etc.
  4. TIME SENSITIVE–  Of course the offer of the product or service is usually only available for a LIMITED TIME, so this encourages a sense of urgency for individuals to make the purchase.  It is human nature that if we know something is only available for a limited time we have to seriously consider whether we want to take advantage of the opportunity while we have the time.  People who are serious about getting the information will be sure to make the purchase before the time period runs out.
  5. OFFERED SEVERAL TIMES–  Some people require hearing or seeing an item more than three times before making a decision, so it helps to make the offer more than one time on the webinar or tele-seminar and even following up with a couple of e-mails regarding the offer.  The last purchase that I made from a webinar was after I had signed-up for the webinar twice (I missed the first one and signed up several months later for the 2nd one),  and received about six e-mails about the webinar and two follow-up e-mails about the offer, so technically it took about 8 contacts before I actually placed an order, so don’t neglect the power of following up.

If educating consumers about a subject or topic is a part of your marketing strategy, then be sure to consider the techniques listed above as a part of your formula to successful covert educating prospects into paying customers of your product or service.

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