There are many reasons why blogging has taken off as a medium for entrepreneurs in recent years. Blogging is one of my favorite forms of credibility marketing because it’s easy and inexpensive to execute compared to a lot of the credibility marketing strategies and tactics out there, such as getting published, getting interviewed, or developing a presentation and subsequently booking speaking gigs. After all, you can write, publish and publicize a blog in less than an hour if you have got good content you’ve created already that you can leverage and re-purpose. For me, about half my content comes from the workbooks, handouts and trainings I have created for my Entrepreneurial Edge Coaching Program and those blogs can be created and edited in no time at all. The other half comes from the corners of my brain where I’ve tucked knowledge, thoughts and ideas for the past 15 years as an entrepreneur and a coach. Those are my favorite blogs to do because it is creative and fun for me, but they take more time. Either way, blogging is still one of the most effective and efficient ways to do credibility marketing.
Before I dive into blogging, let me share why I think credibility marketing is so effective. Credibility marketing, in all it’s forms works well because it helps you establish your expertise so you are seen as a thought leader in your community, and it allows your clients and potential clients to feel the essence of who you are. I bet if you read through the last 10 blogs I’ve written, you would get a sense of the breadth of what I bring as a business coach and what I stand for. [Fingers crossed] I hope that also means you get the essence of who I am and whether you would want to engage with me further in some form, or not. I heard Dan Sullivan say once that people hire people they know, like and trust. And credibility marketing creates a fast, easy gateway to people knowing, liking and trusting you.
So how do you leverage your blog to build your following? There are dozens of strategies to increase your reach with your blog but I am going to focus on what I call the three prong approach. The three prong approach I use consistently adds new subscribers to my list and all my social media outlets every time, as well as get 1-4 people to raise their hand for a Business Breakthrough Session. It’s pretty simple, but I believe that these three actions in combination create an exponential increase in effectiveness vs. doing any one of these actions alone.
Prong #1 – On your main blog page, in addition to the blog articles themselves, you have an opt in for a free gift that adds people to your email list and all your social media buttons. On mine, I have buttons that allow you to subscribe to my Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and RSS feed. I also have a graphic inviting people to have a business breakthrough session with me. For each individual blog post, you have buttons that allow people to share that particular blog. On mine, people can share on Facebook, Linked In, Google Plus, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon,Tumblr and by email. Additionally, you want to keyword and tag your blog so that people searching on that topic can easily find your article. This will attract a lot of traffic to your website if you write on topics that your Divine Ideal Client would want to know more about.
Prong #2 – You create a newsletter article that has the first part of the blog featured and requires the reader to click on the article to read the rest of the article. This pulls people to the blog page and website – whether they are a subscriber or got the newsletter forwarded to them by a friend or colleague. And, remember, on my blog page I have my opt in to my social media, my free gift and offer for a Business Breakthrough Session. In my newsletter itself, I also always have an offer for the Business Breakthrough Session. If you follow me, you know I rarely do “out and out” promotions. Every ezine I send has an article that brings value to my clients. By doing this, I earn the right to send out the occasional promotion and my open rate is consistently 3x higher than others in my industry because I don’t over promote to my list. (Note: how many people do you follow that you open only a small fraction of what they send because 80% of what they send is promotions? Treat your list like you’d like to be treated and they will stay engaged).
Prong #3 – I share some insight and a link to the blog on Social Media and sites like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Tumblr. I always attach a picture on Social Media because posts with pictures always get the highest number of views. I sometimes will boost a post on Facebook for $5 so more people see it. I also share on the pages of groups I am in that allow and welcome promotions.
So there it is – my three prong approach. It is simple to execute and yet profoundly effective. Try it out and let me know how it works for you! As always, I love to hear your comments and thoughts so share away!
Tara Butler Floch