It’s Indescribable! It’s indestructible! Nothing can stop it! It’s the BLOG MONSTER!!!
Often when we talk to our clients about the importance of blogging to demonstrate their expertise, they get a look in their eyes like they’ve just seen some amorphous monster emerge for the murky depths, hell-bent on creating widespread destruction to their professional lives. Case studies are a staple of professional services marketing and are great for showcasing a firm’s experience. However, often prospective clients are more interested in your expertise that is applicable to their market and their challenges. Here is where demonstrating what you know is crucial and one of the most effective and efficient ways of doing so is through a dedicated blog. When we make this point to some of our clients, we get at least one of the following trepedatious responses:
- I don’t know what I would write about, I may have a few topics I can think of, but I would tap-out pretty quickly.
- I don’t know when we would have time to blog.
- Even if I had time and enough things to say, I’m not a good writer.
Once the first objection is overcome, the others fall pretty easily. It is true that launching a blog is just the tip of the iceberg and that it would look worse to have a blog that hasn’t had new content for quite awhile than not to have a blog at all.
Finding Inspiration for Your Blog Posts
However, consistently creating new content for prospects to consume is an essential driver of quality inbound marketing and effective SEO. But this isn’t as hard as it seems and once you get into the groove, you’re bigger challenge will be which post to do when rather not having content to post at all.
I have found the best inspiration for content subject matter and for getting a habit of content creation is consuming content – probably something you already do to one degree or another. In addition to keeping up with the trade journals in your field and attending conferences and seminars, find other bloggers and e-newsletters that are in your space. When you consume this content, start thinking about how it ties in with your philosophy, opinions, approaches, etc. More specifically, the following angles are all good blog fodder:
- Do you agree with it? Maybe you think it’s spot-on, or there are a couple other points you think need to be addressed, or he/she is completely out-of-their-mind. Any of these angles makes for a useful blog post.
- Is the situation, trend or issue being discussed pose threats or opportunities to your industry? Having an eye out on the horizon and identifying things to be addressed or leveraged is invaluable and positions you as a potential strong strategic partner.
- Can you build upon it? Can you tie this content together with some other content you’ve consumed and package them together with a bit of additional insight? Pulling things together in such a manner adds value and demonstrates deep understanding.
- Is it worthy of just straight reporting? For example, you may have attended a session at a conference or participated in a webinar where a related post is a simple straight sharing of an executive summary.
It’s OK to reference somebody else’s work in a blog post and give them credit. Not all the content that is shared has to be 100% original. The fact that you’re on top of this stuff, consume it, understand it and have access to it, enhances the perceptions of your expertise when you share it. And that’s the end game for which we all strive.
Hey, It’s Not “The Great Gatsby.”
Once you get into the groove of thinking about how the content you are consuming impacts your prospective clients’ businesses and formulating your own POV on these issues, the writing will come easy. You’ll be able to knock out a blog post in an hour. And what about that final objection of not being F. Scott Fitzgerald? A blog post should only be 450 – 500 words. A little bit of expertise will easily carry you through and bring your audience with you. Remember, it’s not as much about the style as it is about the content. It’s not a white paper or even an article, so just write in a style in which you are comfortable. And if you’re still nervous, have a colleague give it a quick read before you post it.
Then you’ll be your firm’s content hero that sent the blog monster back to the murky depths from which it emerged!