Last week we talked about how you can drive a successful business through your blog and without being a salesperson. Today we will go over some of the steps that you can take to position yourself as an expert and your blog as a valuable resource.
Remember, while the goal is to increase the presence and reach of your blog in order to grow your business, it is not all about you. It is about getting positioned properly to showcase your customers and how their problems were addressed successfully.
Creating Value as an Authority
- Use your blog as a platform to communicate value. What benefit do your readers get from coming to or subscribing to your blog? Is that benefit immediately obvious? Is there a suggested path that readers can take to find the information that they are looking for? Also write about your customers and vendors, featuring them as the hero of the story. They will spread that story around for you.
- Use offline resources as well as online. Newspapers, while losing circulation (and, increasingly, any objectivity or relevance) still have some readers, and may be your only method of introduction to the less-than-savvy consumers that are not frequent blog-readers.
- Offer your services as a speaker. Your local Chamber of Commerce is an ideal resource for networking and exposing yourself to the business community. The Chamber is always looking for speakers and presenters at a variety of events. Your presentation should focus on an aspect of the business market that showcases your knowledge and expertise, but not your business specifically. For example, if you are a motivational speaker or job coach, you could give a presentation on employee morale and how its ups-and-downs affect productivity and the bottom line.
- Become active in your trade association. There is an association for nearly every industry and professional service. Get involved. Go to the meetings, volunteer to lead a group or head up a project. Get to know the movers and the shakers, and learn from them. Soon your knowledge and credibility will be at a point where you can offer to teach courses or give a presentation at a regional or national conference.
- Cultivate a different presence. I am not advocating crazy or risque attire, rather something that sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Everyone has a business card, you can hand out CD-ROMs, or flash drives, or something else particular to your industry. Computer-related items are particularly useful for adding value to your marketing, as they can include links to your blog, your portfolio, and other examples of your online presence.
I happen to know that the SOBCon crowd is particularly innovative – and I invite you to share your own positioning tactics. What would you add to this list?