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Transparent thoughts and ideas from Administrative Consultant (aka: Virtual Assistant, Crystal Casavant of Relax Consulting.

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Email: Crystal@RelaxConsulting.com

Monday, February 4, 2013

What Small Business Needs to Know About Blogging

You own a small business and you've heard about social media, blogging, having a website, and it's all making sense as a plan to promote your business by engaging customers and potential customers. Except...this blogging thing sounds a lot like homework or a book report...and you've either set up your blog and haven't been posting, or you haven't even been inspired to create the blog. Today's post may not change your mind, but it may give you a bit of direction when you're ready to post on a regular basis. Hopefully if we break it down, it won't seem as overwhelming:

1.) Personalize Your Posts
Your business blog is a great place to post reviews about your business, but it is also a great place to post your feedback for others. Have you read a book you've enjoyed? Had a great customer service experience? Met someone who inspired you? Another business that has mentored you? Been to a fabulous presentation about ____________? All of these would make great content for your blog. If you run a tractor repair business and the dairy expo is coming in a few weeks, you might want to write a blog about the hardworking students who put together a display about the history of tractors. Make it personal, make it fun, and don't be too terribly worried about typos. You're writing a blog, not a book ... and mistakes mean you're human. Being human makes you more approachable (some might disagree about this, but if you spend tons of time choosing the perfect word, the perfect topic, having it spell checked, etc... it's no surprise you aren't posting often - it's becoming too much work - don't take the fun out of your blog)!

2.) You Know Best
Don't write about something you don't know about. Just because something is trendy doesn't mean you should write about it. I haven't worn high heels in years, so if I were to write about the latest trendy high heels, my post would suck...you'd see right through me and know that I don't know my arse from a hole in the ground. If you know about something, write about it. Your posts don't always have to be about your business - the key is they should provide value. If it's close to the holidays and the hot topic of conversation is cookies and bars or the best punch recipe, go ahead and post it to your blog. If it flops, your audience has let you know this isn't something that appeals to them...but you just may find that you get more hits on the human interest posts as opposed to the sales related posts.

3). Write About Challenges
If you had an experience with a customer or project that was challenging, write about it...in a tactful way of course...but you no doubt took that problematic exchange to improve something about your business. Tell people about it. Examples in the restaurant industry have been used for years to build customer loyalty. The customer had a bad experience, the manager offered a suitable solution, the customer is more loyal than they were before the negative experience. Voila'!

4.) Don't Sell Through Your Blog
I don't like to be 'sold' anything. I like to be an engaged consumer. If you attack me the moment I walk into your boutique, I won't buy anything and I won't be back. If you notice me looking at something and you engage me in a conversation, I'm likely to buy the object. No one likes the hard sell. Talk to me about things that interest me and I'll end up buying from you when I need whatever it is that you offer. There's a great pastry business out of state called Georgetown Cupcakes. I haven't purchased anything there, but I love their funny facebook posts. I follow them because they engage me - and someday, I am going to have a reason to order a dozen cupcakes and I'll give them my business...if every one of their posts had been about "buy our cupcakes" or "our cupcakes are the best - get 5% off and order today", I would stop following them and would never order those dozen cupcakes there (by the way:  http://www.georgetowncupcake.com/ if you're interested)

That's it - 4 reminders/tips/steps - call it what you like. Hopefully they'll give you some direction and make your goal of posting ___ times each week a little more attainable. My goal is 3 times each week - sometimes I have lots to say, sometimes not much at all ... either way, just get out there and engage your customers and potential customers so when the time is right they turn to you with their business.


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