How many times have you downloaded a “free gift” on someone’s website and suddenly got bombarded with a ton of salesy emails that immediately had you want to press the “unsubscribe” button? I guarantee this isn’t their goal! As one of my colleagues, Sharon, used to say “Great intention, poor strategy.”
As you may imagine, I “follow” a lot of thought leaders in the business coaching world. This helps me expand my own thinking and learning, and also really helps me distinguish how my approach and philosophy really differs from other business coaches out there. So often, when I read something, I am immediately compelled to move on. It’s salesy, it’s braggadocios, it feels contrived, or even (ugh!) pulls on the strings of scarcity and fear that feels manipulative. It often puzzles me or even pisses me off (being a fellow business coach I expect more from myself and my colleagues!) After all, these emails and blogs are intended to engage their audience, and yet so often I find they do the very opposite.
There are many things that make a blog post and accompanying emails effective but I want to focus on the things that create true engagement. True engagement is when your ideal client say “yes I want to read that” and then as they read it, they get value and it makes them see you as a thought leader that they want to follow and possibly hire. That when they see an email in their inbox from you, that they are excited to read it (even if they save it until they have the time/space to dive in).
Essentially people hire coaches they trust, know and like and feel like they can make a significant difference for them. So essentially, we need to convey all four of those things in our communication strategy, blogs included, if we want to attract decision makers and ideal clients to want to engage with us. This should be our filter for any content we are creating and putting out into the world. If your content is engaging, there will be a resounding yes the following four questions:
- Does this build trust?
- Does this demonstrate value, and the value I can be to my clients?
- Can they feel my essence and what I stand for?
- Do my words make me feel approachable and relatable?
The biggest challenge my clients have with blogging is trying to figure out what to write about. For most of my clients, coming about with a multi month content plan just isn’t going to fly. It feels contrived, it feels “hard” to come up with interesting topics over and over. When I’m in writing mode (I do take occasional sabbaticals from writing myself), I write all my blogs a month in advance, with the help of my right hand woman, Lesa. Here are 7 tips that can help you choose and write engaging content.
- Notice the themes coming up with your clients I take notes each month as themes show up with my clients, as they always do, and it is almost always the basis for the blogs I write.
- Write about your Sweet Spot Talk about things you care about and know well that YOUR ideal client cares about and needs (this should be your sweet spot and things that your work absolutely helps the potential client with). What are the topics you are a Subject Matter Expert in that is core to the work you do?
- Have them feel you There is a way we can get overly academic or formal and this isn’t particularly interesting to read, nor does it give them a true flavor of your essence as a coach. Have opinions, let your personality show through, make an effort to capture and express your voice authentically, Be conversational. This might mean using expressions and sayings that you use in conversation (one client coined mine as “Taraisms”)
- Tell stories Using client stories, can really build credibility and trust. Sometimes telling personal stories can also build that trust, know, like factor. Story universally works for everyone to get clarity on a point you are trying to make.
- Find that “just right” length to have you shine For coaches, this usually means having longer format blogs than what a blog expert may tell you is effective, because people look to coaches for depth.
- Focus on providing value Provide a lot of value where your readers can walk away with a few good nuggets even if they never read a piece from you again. Be generous. Your goal is to help your ideal client and also have them realize that you would be a great person to help them in this particular area
- Have a Call To Action Make it inviting but don’t shove it down their throats. Have you noticed so many blogs give you just enough content so they can bombard you with marketing? Don’t be one of those people. A great blog earns the right for you to have an inviting call to action. That could be “If you struggle with xyz, feel free to reach out for a complimentary breakthrough session. I’d love to hear from you”. “If you want to know more about overcoming xyz, my free whitepaper on xyz may be helpful. Click here to download it”
- Encourage people to reach out, share, comment and make sure you respond to anyone who takes the time to do so. Your goal is engagement and engagement leads to prospects and prospects lead to clients.
How about you – When you read blogs and email articles, what do you find engaging? I’d love to hear!
If you want to have a better engagement strategy with your followers and community, I’d be happy to help. Just reach out if you’d like to chat or schedule a complimentary Business Breakthrough Session.