Do you have a blog? You need to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber in the Midwest, a talent scout in Texas or an off-off Broadway producer. If you’re in business, get a blog. Now, obviously,
I’m being a little facetious. There are probably some fields for which blogging would be counter-intuitive, but we’re not going to explore those here and now. The point is that blogs bring in customers. Period. If you’re that plumber, blog about DIY projects people can do.
Blog about your own projects. Post pictures. Engage your readers. You’ve given the community something of value. Who do you think they remember next time they have a question? They’ve seen your name. They know who to contact.
Getting someone to contact you regarding your services puts them in your sales pipeline. Even better, offer a free report on an area of your expertise (I don’t know enough about plumbing to give you ideas here) in exchange for their email address.
What am I going to do with an email address, I’m a plumber? That email address is a warm lead. It is a direct contact to someone who has already said “yes” to you once. Did you know that people are creatures of habit? Once they make a choice, they tend to stick with that decision whether it’s the kind of pizza they like to order or the place they order it from. When someone makes a decision to get information from you, and you deliver good, quality, satisfying content, the first and second barrier is already broken. You’re now on their “choose them, it’s worth it” list. Yup, just from that simple exchange.
That one email turns into hundreds, and soon you have a measurable list of potential clients. So if you know that your current sales model is successful 3 times out of 100, then you know that whatever you pitch to your list of 300 warm market leads gets you an automatic 9 sales.
Let me repeat. 1 pitch. 1 email. Warm market. People who are predisposed to say “yes” again.
Your blog is how you create value. It’s where you drive your traffic, from which you send people to your sales funnel. What’s a sales funnel? That’s simply a buzz phrase used to describe the process you use to turn potential clients into clients. Most small businesses I know use many funnels, but you should have a pretty clear idea of the basic structure of your funnel. We’ll discuss more about sales funnels in another blog post.
So in our plumbing example: Plumber Guy writes a blog post about his favorite trick for clearing a drain clog. At the end of his post he talks about the value of hiring a professional and includes a link to his sales page where people can contact him via form which requires email. He tweets about his new blog post. He updates his Facebook status with something like “Hey, people been asking me about clogs, so I wrote up my advice. Check it out.” He sends traffic to his new blog post. Someone clicks on that link and fills out that form, giving him their email address. Plumber Guy responds with a thank you and maybe even a coupon or freebie, solidifying the value of Plumbing Guy, LLC. He then stays in occasional contact (there are different theories about how often, to be covered later) offering value and pitching his services.
It all begins with a blog. The blog is the first place that you create value. It’s an indirect sales pitch, and it’s invaluable in creating and reinforcing your brand. Customers want to know what you can do for them. It’s about them. Give them great content, drawing from your expertise or industry. Let your blog speak for your company, organization, cause or interest.