Last week I highlighted how important it is to prepare your subject matter before you start writing. There’s no point writing hundreds or thousands of words if it’s not giving your audience what they’re hanging on for. So having spent the last blog focusing on your target audience, now I want to spin the focus 180 degrees. This is where you come in.
You’re addressing topics that will grab their attention and now is the part for you to do the real sharing. Share your knowledge, share you expertise, share your advice. Considering the subject matter, what can you ad to the discussion? Surely you’re aware of the questions that continually crop up when dealing with your customers- why not save yourself some time and answer them, once and for all? Beyond that, there are surely things you’ve come to accept as second nature or no big deal in your line of work over the years- but it could be gold for your readers. There are few things that make me feel more special than when somebody expresses real gratitude for something I thought to share in a post. Knowing that sharing something I’d come to accept as “part of the job” made a big difference for somebody who read it, makes me glad I did.
By providing a clear answer to the questions or problems of your target audience, you become the expert to them. You become the voice of your industry. The great thing is that although your readers might not need your services or your products, if somebody they know needs what you sell or what you do then you’ll be their number 1 recommendation. This is when you’ll begin to see the power of your blog posts, when it manifests into an organic referral tool. The beauty of it is that you haven’t done “the hard sell” but are managing to secure new leads AND establish your professional reputation at the same time. This is how you get the edge over your competitors. No need for gimmicks or discounts- just little nuggets of gold that you share with your readers.
If you sit down and write out a list of top tips, handy hints and awesome advice to share in your future blog posts, you’ll be surprised just how much comes to mind! On a long enough time-frame, you’re essentially writing future cheques to yourself. Next week I’ll show you one tiny thing that can cost you a tonne of sales if you leave it out of your blog posts. It’s so small (and obvious) you won’t believe you missed it. Until then, stay tuned. Go and dedicate time to writing down a list of all the gold, just waiting to be shared with your target audience …
First, the good news:
You know how last week I kept you waiting on the answer to how you can boost your sales tenfold? Well here’s the answer you’ve been hanging on for:
Keep a regular blog.
There it is! Now the bad news:
If you close this window now, rush off and think that brainstorming a post every week will be enough for sales to leap into your business like fish leaping into a boat, you’ll end up disappointed on a Biblical level.
It’s not that simple!
If you want to do it right, you’ve got to follow the steps I’ll take you through and have a procedure in place. Plus, you’ve got to know what to write. Knowing what to write will usually require a fair bit of research. Research into your customers’ buying habits, background checking their tastes, interests, queries and feedback. It’ll probably require sleuthing online and offline, studying your clients, your leads and your competitors. If you have a sales team? You’ll want to chat with them too.
Because before you begin to write anything, you’ve gotta know the answer to a simple question that will save you a tonne of money and time if you bother to be thorough with the answer:
What will grab your target audience?
As a general rule, just 20% of your existing customer base contributes 80% of all the money flowing into your business. You want to especially target these people. Find out all you can about them. What do they want? What are they worried about? What do they love? What are their number 1 pet peeves, dreams and desires? Who else do they follow? What else are they buying?
Get specific with these questions, because once you have the answers, it’ll become a lot clearer what you should cover in all of your blog posts. The more a new post you’ve written hits one of their “hot spots” the more likely it is they’ll drop everything to read up on it. Just take a look at the magazines you see while you’re waiting in line at a supermarket checkout. Look at the headings. Those headings are given their relative size based upon the “hot spots” of their key reader base. Right there is your clue. So women (generally) can’t wait to find out the latest celebrity gossip or the hot new fashion “must haves”, and the blokes will pick up a magazine to learn 7 new ways they can get more sex and how to get ripped in 30 days. You might roll your eyes, but that’s what sells!
So long as you know what the “hot spots” of your most valuable customers are, you’ll be tapping into an ever-lasting well of content to write about. And it’s a well they’ll keep coming back to.
Now go ahead and do your sleuthing! Next week, I’ll be revealing how to ensure your past customers, existing customers and valuable leads can’t get enough of you…
Do those words make you shudder?
Do your normal social graces vanish the moment another one of these types tries to sell you anything?
Why is that?
“Because I can’t stand those pushy people trying to sell you something!”
Show me a business who isn’t trying to sell something and I’ll show you a business that’s on a one-way trip to bankruptcy! From Neways to Netflix, Amway to Apple- any business that cares about their financial health is trying to sell you something. If they can’t sell to you, they’re trying to sell to people you know- your friends, your family, your co-workers, your ex’s, that woman you berated for double-parking you that time out the front of Westfield Bondi Junction (hi Dad!)- the companies you love and trust have the same motives as the company employing that person from Mumbai who you slammed the phone down on at dinner-time last night.
So why the difference?
“Because the companies I love and trust sell stuff I actually want to buy!”
Not necessarily. If you stop to take a look at the products a lot of these loathed, heavy-pitch companies offer, they’re actually quite decent and (in some cases) superior to established brands. Chances are, the products you shut down from these companies you’d be waving your credit card at if offered to you by another company.
The difference? It's how a company gets you to buy into what they’re selling…
Imagine this: you’re lying in bed, early in the morning and arising from your slumber when somebody rushes into your room, unannounced, waving a high-powered torch in your face yelling “Wake up! Wake up!”
What would you tell that person and what would you think of them? Would it take less than 5 words for them to get the message you weren’t interested?
Now imagine that you’re back in bed, gradually waking up, but this time somebody comes into the room and slowly, steadily, turns up a dimmer switch. The light of the room gradually brightens until you’re awake. You look over at the person who’s been turning up the dimmer switch and they greet you with a smile, a cup of tea and some biscuits. How would you perceive that person? If you enjoyed the tea and biscuits, how likely is it that you’d follow up when they offered to make you a full breakfast for a price?
The reason we hate the loud, pushy salespeople on our screens, on the other end of our receivers or at our front door is because they're like that person shining the torch in our faces- they don’t care about what we want or about bothering to stick with us- they just want you to do what they want and they want it now!
Chances are, the professionals and the businesses you love and support were the ones patient enough to learn about you and what you wanted- and to share something of themselves- before they presented you with that first offer you couldn’t refuse. I’m willing to guess that not only have you bought from these people once- but you’ve kept coming back for more since that first purchase!
When you keep a regular blog and allow your existing customers, past customers and potential leads to find out more about who you are, what you know and how what you do or what you sell will be great for them- the more likely it is that you’ll become a household name to them. You won’t just get your foot in the door- they’ll welcome you inside with open arms!
“But how do I multiply my sales by 10?”
We’ll get to that soon enough. What I’m going to teach you isn’t a quick-sell. But once you know the trick, you’ll be forever thankful you stayed until the end. And that’s no bull. Part 2 is coming soon, so stay tuned!
Ben is the founder of Scribe Copywriting.