About the Author: Daniela Cavalletti is the active founder of international communications agency Cavalletti Communications (affectionately known as CavaCom). Daniela and her team are passionate about helping corporates, SME business owners and authors find their unique voice, boldly stand out, and become respected communications leaders.
We know that blogging is one of the best ways to connect with prospective and existing clients, but how do you actually write a blog post? The good news is that by asking ourselves a series of short questions we can go from a blank screen to a bustling online community in no time at all.
This might sound like an obvious first question, but it often gets overlooked just how crucial it is to have a clear idea of your reader before you start writing
1. Whom am I writing for?
Your primary readers will be your clients and your potential clients, and you likely already know who these people are. You’ve written about them in your business plans and interact with them in your businesses every day.
The most important point about knowing whom you’re writing for is that you need to write about what interests them. Tell them about benefits to them, not features you can offer. It’s about them, not about you (sorry).
2. What should I write about?
So, what would your clients and potential clients like to read? Jot down the end of these sentences and you’ll quickly have a list of topics you can write about:
The last five questions clients asked me were:
The five most memorable / topical stories in a recent industry publication were about:
Five reasons my clients will need my help before the next annual event (Christmas, Easter, long-weekend, end of financial year) are:
My last five customers wanted help with xxx – and I was able to help them by doing this:
My best clients always comment on how much better we do xxxx than previous suppliers, how much they appreciate that we do xxxx as a standard rather than an extra, that our culture is all about xxxx.
It doesn’t matter whether you list five or fifty things, or whether you ask exactly these or similar questions. The point is to get you thinking about the topics that your clients are interested in. You’ll quickly have a solid list of story ideas to draw inspiration from.
3. How much should I write?
A good length for a blog post is around 300 – 500 words, which is about two-thirds to a full typed page. If you have more information you’d like to share, you can always include links to your website (or others’) or social media profiles that contain that information. You also want to consider writing a series of longer articles or white papers, if you think a topic can be expanded.
4. How often should I write?
One of the most important aspects of blogging is regularity. You will need to blog at least once a week to build an audience. You could choose a particular day each week on which to post. Block out writing time in your calendar to keep yourself on schedule and the blog posts flowing (and who says you can’t write more than one blog item in one sitting, and schedule it to post later?). Not only will this help blogging become part of your routine, but it will encourage readers to return regularly as they will be expecting to hear from you.
5. Three final things to think about …
Don’t forget your call to action. You have your reader’s attention, they liked what you had to share – what would you like them to do next? You could include links to your website (“Liked what you read? Download our ebook on xxx at xxx”), ask them to email you for a voucher, etc.
It’s always good to end with a question to encourage your readers to respond straight away. Ask open questions to facilitate discussion because discussion helps build relationships.
As with any writing you do, check it thoroughly for spelling mistakes and grammar gremlins, to be sure you pick up any typos or missed words. Ask someone else to read over it, too. A fresh pair of eyes often picks up those things we easily miss because we already know what we want to say in our written piece.
So I’ve posted, what next?
As with all social media, blogs are about interactivity. Make sure you respond to everyone who leaves a comment – whether it is positive or not. All interaction is an opportunity for us to show people who we and our businesses are: what we stand for, believe in, how we treat our clients, suppliers and staff. And handling those difficult comments quickly in a caring, authentic and positive way can only earn you brownie points; so don’t be afraid of them.
Finally, once you’ve posted your engaging story, get your blog out there so people can read it. Put a link on your LinkedIn profile, share it in your LinkedIn groups, add it to your Facebook page, and also add the URL to your email signature.
In short: make it easy for people to be your readers, to become your fans – and then hopefully your contented clients.
How has blogging worked for your profile-building?
Do you have any blogging basics you’d like to share?