Marketing is like exercise. You know you need it. You know you’re supposed to do it. You know it’s good for you. You read all the articles touting the benefits, but it’s just so tough to force yourself do it!
I get it. I do. You know how to run your business. You know how to insure anyone. You can sell any home, anywhere, in any market. You can put together a world-class retirement plan. Bottom line: You got into business because you love your trade, not because you love marketing yourself.
The bad news? You must market yourself to grow your business.
The good news? It’s not nearly as painful as you think.
YOU OWE IT TO YOUR PROSPECTS
I feel passionately that you owe it to the people who need you to be marketing yourself. If you solve a pain, then you must find the people who are struggling with that pain and show them how you alleviate it.
How would it feel to have your dream clients knocking on your door? How would it feel not only to have your dream clients approaching you but approaching you with an already established level of trust, ready to invest in working with you? Can you imagine that?
The marketing game has changed drastically. It’s no longer about blasting your message to as many people who will listen; now, your customers can find all the info they need from a simple Google search. Nowadays, the name of the game is being found as the go-to expert.
When prospects are in need of your service, they grab their phone, tablet or computer and simply search for what they’re looking for. In a millisecond, they are inundated with a multitude of options, information and, if we’re being honest, general overwhelm. Typically, they are able to make a choice as to who they want to hire without a single phone call or meeting.
BE THE EXPERT
You simply must stand out and become a trusted resource to your prospects, and this is accomplished by becoming the go-to expert.
OK, so you’re probably thinking, “Sounds great, Stephanie, but how do I become the go-to expert? Isn’t that what I’m already doing? Isn’t that what everyone else is doing?”
Well, yes and no.
So, of course, everyone is trying to get business, but while everyone else is simply plastering their tag line to anything with ad space, you can play a different and much more lucrative game. You can be answering the exact questions your prospects are asking when they whip out that phone and start Googling around for the solution you provide. You can give your prospects an opportunity to get to know you before you ever meet them. You can earn their trust and eventually their business without a single personal interaction. You can be the expert in your field, and you need only one tool to make that happen.
THE MOST POWERFUL MARKETING TOOL
Before I reveal the single most powerful tool in your expert marketing arsenal, I want to warn you that you’ve likely heard it before and you probably have preconceived notions as to why it will or won’t work for you. You may have even given it a try in the past, but please keep an open mind and allow yourself to reimagine the way you can leverage this tool to become the go-to, trusted expert to your dream clients. I want you to promise to hang with me for just a little bit longer before you turn the page. Promise? OK, good.
So, what’s this amazing marketing tool you simply must utilize? A blog.
I’m not talking about an online journal or something you post to whenever you feel like it. I’m talking about a laser-focused, well-thought-out, value-packed, online resource for your current and future clients.
Your prospects are looking for someone to solve their problems. Someone who they feel comfortable with and who they can trust. They want someone who knows the questions they are asking and is answering them before they can ask. You can be that person. And lucky for you, you’ll probably be one of the only ones because, truth be told, blogging without any sense of purpose or planning can be overwhelming and most end up giving up on it early on. Use this to your advantage.
BLOG VS. VLOG
Your blog can take any form that you feel comfortable with. The most traditional route is a written blog, or you could opt for video blogging (aka vlogging.) There are pros and cons to both mediums, so it is important that you consider which option you and your team feel most comfortable with. Some questions to ask yourself when choosing include:
- Do I feel more comfortable expressing myself through the written word or on video?
- What are other people in my field doing? (Hint: If possible, do the opposite to set yourself apart.)
- Will I be posting, or will someone else need to create the content?
- Are there any industry-specific constraints I must consider?
Vlogging is growing in popularity simply because it is truly as easy as turning on your smartphone, filming a video and uploading it. You can show your personality and provide a level comfort and trust instantly. Plus, when you upload your video to YouTube, you are leveraging the second largest search engine in the world. What’s not to love? Well, it is a form of public speaking, so, of course, there is that fear. If you aren’t keen on speaking on video or if you just tend to feel more comfortable with the written word, a traditional written blog is a better fit for you. Or, if you happen to be utilizing a team member to create the content on your behalf, you will likely want to stick with written blog posts.
There is no right answer. Blogging is about leveraging your expertise and personal strengths to meet your prospects and clients where they are. Be a resource to them, and provide value even before they ever hire you. If you are willing to put in the work, you will position yourself as the no-brainer choice when someone is looking for a solution to the problem you solve.
You can implement a number of strategies and techniques to make your blogging workflow simple while also positioning your blog to be compelling and effective. But, I don’t want you to get overwhelmed with any of that.
For now, I just want you to do this one thing: Decide if you will use either a traditional or video blog to market to your prospects.
In this column each month, I will provide you with one step to help you market yourself and your business. Marketing is ever-changing, but if you are committed to getting your services into the hands of the people who need you, you must be committed to taking ongoing action to get in front of those people.
Next month, meet me back here, and I will teach you how to select and implement the best option for your blog with little to no investment and even less technical knowledge.