"Do we really need a blog?" is a question we hear from our clients all the time. And there is a facial expression that accompanies that question: head tilted slightly forward, maybe an eyebrow raised and a gaze that says: You don't understand — I am spread so thin already. If am even going to consider adding something else to my plate, I need to know that it's going to pay off. I am so tired. And so busy. And so tired. Sound familiar?
The answer to that question: IT DEPENDS...
A blog can stand in as a living portfolio, showing potential customers the kind of work that you do, the before/afters, or what type of work you have done for other clients. This can get potential customers imagining what it might be like to hire you, which is a great thing. A blog is also powerful place share your expertise, give the gift of your knowledge, and begin to establish your brand as helpful, insightful, and adding value. Which, depending on your business's core values, this can either be the perfect fit for accomplishing your marketing goals, or not a good use of your time.
So with those things in mind: If your business or your brand is a) selling your expertise or your knowledge, or b) selling a serviceyou will perform for people, then yes, you should strongly consider a blog. If your business is built on creating tangible products or selling something other than expertise/ideas/services, then you can probably rely on other social platforms to share your products and connect with your (potential) customers.
Some examples of businesses that sell their expertise:
- Style Consultants
- Interior Designers
- Business Coaches
- Marketing and social media consultants (hey, that's us!)
- Wedding Planners
- Any sort of specialists (such as; legal, beauty, outdoor pursuit activities)
Here are some examples of businesses who can get away without a blog (this doesn't mean that they won't benefit from one, but they can also rely on other communication channels):
- Fashion or Apparel Designers
- Jewelry or Accessories Designers
- Restaurants or Food Trucks
- Artists or Illustrators
- Makers/Creators/Etsy Shop Owners
Evergreen Content: Making the Time Investment Worthwhile
As I mentioned, at the root of the blog question is another question: Is this really worth my time? Because new clients don't always directly indicate they came from a particular blog post, it can be difficult to know if the ROI is there. But that's where the magic of evergreen content comes into play. Evergreen content are those relevant pieces of information that are helpful to your customers today, and will also be in six months, or in a year. These are your FAQs, or the core bundles of information that you find yourself sharing with most clients.
Spending a few hours crafting a killer post might feel like a lot, but consider that an evergreen blog post can have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. (Tweet this!). We tell our clients that they can think of those evergreen posts as little evangelists, going out into world, sharing all the goodness of your business and helping potential customers while you are busy working on other parts of the business. Thinking of each post as a little helpful evangelist instead of a 2-hour time investment can help change your perspective.
Lastly, when our clients ask us if they should blog, they already know the answer. They just need to hear the benefits being said out loud. So if you are in that camp, I'll quickly run down a few of the things that can come from blogging great content, consistently:
- It is your biggest (and cheapest) branding tool: Shows your personality, your voice, and your design aesthetic.
- Everyone's favorite, SEO: creating articles with keywords and phrases connected to your business is only going to help you get found by customers and clients, and become known for your expertise.
- It allows customers to get to "know" you: People buy from people they know and trust. Your blog is a great way for customers to meet you, to read about you, find out what you have done for other customers, and what's going on your business right now.
- It's great customer service: you can answer questions on your blog that you're hearing from one client, and share that article with current and future clients.
- It's actually FUN: when we get emails from people who stumbled upon our blog and love what we're doing and sharing, it's incredibly inspiring and motivating. We've met like-minded brands and done cross promotions with businesses that have found us through our blog.
Have you had any major wins come in from a blogging? Has it helped build your reputation? Share with us in the comments below!
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