When coaching clients about how to create great content for their business blogs, I always say, think about providing solutions for people. Blogging in terms of providing solutions is a powerful trust-building tool. It is about exploring your customer’s problems and needs. If you can use a blog post to solve a problem for someone, you’ve got them as a fan for life.
These three post types are also the three best reasons to write a business book or eBook, as well as the three types of talks you can offer when invited to be a speaker about your business. But in a blog post, you have a unique opportunity to get in-depth about how your product or service is the best choice for your niche client, without being over-the-top “salesy”. Focus language on the client, rather than the product, and you’ve got it made.
Let me explain.
First type: to demonstrate a need for your existing product or service.
If you can demonstrate sincere empathy with the problem of the client, pick apart the problem, show how it evolved and what causes it, and why the solution (or lack of one) is costly, the client knows that you understand their needs – you get them. They trust what they recognize. You might only mention your offering at the end, or in a tagline at the bottom. Keep it classy.
Second type: to show someone a new way to use your product.
If your product or type of service is already ubiquitous, show how you can spin yourself in a new direction. Are you a wedding planner? Show how a corporate event might benefit from some upscale new approaches to holiday parties. (I can certainly tell you, they can.) Can you offer a new use for the food product you create? (Kraft foods is a master at this – recipe books, etc.) Why not show off 20 new ways to wear that scarf? Remember, it’s got to be real. Offer sincere value.
Third type: to demonstrate that your business solves a deep, difficult problem, and even if you tell them how to solve it, they’re better off to hire you to fix it anyway.
Are you a marketing consultant? A financial planner? One of a million other providers in an industry that scares us normal folk? Can you demonstrate some common potholes? Show us an incident where a lack of expertise failed, and how you might have solved or prevented it? There’s nothing like a video of a roof collapse to make you want to hire a qualified building inspector. (Been there, done that, thanks.)
Above all, if your blog post provides good enough depth on the topic, it’s going to be clear that your expertise is superior. Your value lies in using that expertise to provide the solution. You are the solver of problems – not the seller of “stuff”. Your blog is an excellent extension of that business philosophy.