I remember how it all started for me years ago.
After putting off the inevitable for far too long, I forced myself to sit down in front of my computer with the explicit purpose of starting a blog.
But I had no clue how to go about it. In fact, for a long time I felt like I was wasting my time.
However, I knew the value of what a blog offered – over time. Nonetheless, for the first few months every time I sat down to write I would repeat the old sage advice:
“Every job worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.”
Perhaps many of you are feeling the same way about your efforts to maintain an online presence. Many in sales are eager to leverage their online presence into sales leads, but aren’t sure how to accomplish that.
One tried and tested means of drawing in those leads is through a blog. People frequent blogs that help them. Therefore maintaining an informative blog is arguably the most effective way to set yourself up as a problem solver in your industry. Once the online community views you as a problem solver, people will come to you.
Below are 8 tips to transforming your online presence into that of a trusted problem solver.
1) Blog what you know
Your blog should contain content that is relevant to your industry. If you sell life insurance then your blog posts should focus on topics associated with that. Your first inclination is to think that there aren’t enough topics to keep an blog going, but that isn’t the case. Digging into your past experiences and searching around the web will provide a surprising number of relevant subjects to write about.
2) Keep content fresh
If you want to attract followers to your blog and build your online presence, post content as frequently as possible. That means weekly if not more often. But don’t fret. This is where the wheat is separated from the weeds. The effort to maintain fresh content is what will keep most of your competition away.
3) Give your content value
Think of your target audience and then write to their level. Although you know the complex workings and jargon associated with your industry, the people you are trying to reach may not. Provide content that is useful to them. Remember, you are writing to solve problems, not show how smart you are.
4) Keep it interesting
Mix it up. Post content in lists. Include images with your posts. Post video content from time to time. Be silly but keep the content useful. Most blog readers only skim the material anyway. To keep your reader’s attention use plenty of headings and keep paragraphs short. Use catchy titles and draw readers in with an illustration in your opening paragraphs.
5) Invite guest posts
Only a few are able to keep up a constant flow of posts week after week, month after month without the occasional blog from some other problem solver in their field. Occasionally ask one of your colleagues to write an article, or open it up to other experts across the web.
6) Respond to comments
Nothing means more to someone who takes the time to comment like a response from the blog owner. Follow through with this even if all you say is thanks for the comment. Respond promptly to any negative comments you receive, and keep it civil and up building.
What goes around comes around. Following other’s blogs is one way to get followers for your blog. The same goes for commenting on others blog posts. Do this across all of your social media channels. Following people on Twitter and re-tweeting their blog posts is bound to generate attention to your blog.
8) Spread the word
Mention your new blog posts throughout your social media avenues. Sites like WordPress can automate this process for you. Place links to your blog post from FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, or wherever else you have a Web presence. This not only draws people in from a wide swath but also keeps your other media active with updates.
Starting a blog is not the quickest way to generate leads. However, by sticking with it you will over time set yourself up as a problem solver in your industry while attracting a steady flow of new leads.
Some advice here: Don't expect the phone to start raining when you blog, but this will be the difference of "Oh, I read your posts and you've added value to my life OR who are you and what do yu do? , when you meet clients for the first time....