If you’re currently an entrepreneur or if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to start your own business, I’m going to offer you a small piece of advice:
I strongly suggest you start a blog before you start a business.
I can already tell what you’re thinking, “Why on earth would I start a blog when I should be focused on starting and growing my business?” To address that sentiment I will say this: The single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your business is to start blogging.
Now I realize that’s a bold statement but I wouldn’t make such a statement unless I knew I could back it up – which I plan to do right now.
I’m going to make another bold statement: The single most important aspect for any small business to focus on is sales. As Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, put it, ” No Sales, no company.” It doesn’t matter if you have the next “million-dollar-idea,” without a sales & marketing plan, no one will know who you are or what you’re selling.
So, where does blogging fit into all of this?
Well, the world of sales & marketing has changed due to the fact that consumer behavior has changed. In the days of our parents and grandparents, marketers and salespeople were able to buy, beg, and bug consumers with intrusive advertisements and promotional methods. Door-to-door salespeople, telemarketers, along with billboards, radio commercials, and TV ads were the norm.
Today, things are very different and that’s because your prospective customers are more in control of the type of information they choose to receive than ever before. In fact its more possible to shut out advertisers than ever before. We have spam folders to filter our inboxes, we have “do not call” lists to stop telemarketers from calling us, and we can skip television ads by prerecording TV shows and “fast-forwarding” through the commercials.
To successfully market your business in 2013 and beyond, you need to stop selling like it’s the 1950s.
Consumers are spending more time online and, as a result, you need to take your marketing and sales efforts online. You need to start marketing your business in a way that involves earning peoples interest instead of “buying it.”
Today, marketing is an interactive two-way street between the consumer and the company. The good news is that consumers are already online, searching and talking about the products and services that you’re planning to sell. It’s now up to you to not only join the conversation but to influence what is being said about your business or even your industry.
If you’re serious about earning the interest of your prospective customers, you’re going to have to put some time in effort into educating consumers about your business and you’re going to need to do so in an enjoyable and entertaining manner.
So, what’s the best to educate and entertain prospective customers in hopes of earning their interest?
Through blogging, of course!
Think of a blog as a platform through which you will be able to speak about your who you are, what you do, and how you can help your customers.
To succeed with blogging, you’re going to want to spend some serious time generating some epic content. Thing of your blog as a brochure or pamphlet on steroids. Remember brochures? Those three-paneled printouts that told you about a companies products and services? Your blog is like a brochure but insteads of talking all about yourself and your company (let’s face it, no one likes a person who talks all about themselves) make sure you give insight into your industry. Talk about the future with the expertise you posses. Go ahead and be bold. Make predictions about where things are headed and where you fit into the picture. Most of all, entertain and inspire your readers – I promise they’ll love you for it.
Another thing is that you can start blogging well before you’ve even launched your business. Blogging is one of the best ways to build hype around a new product or company launch. You can give hints about what you’re launch will look like while keep an element of mystery. While you’re building hype you can encourage readers to join your mailing list so you can send them information about your new launch. This way, come launch day, you’ve got a list of interested people wanting more information about your business.
You’ll also want to spend time doing some guest blogging. Go ahead and write some awesome content and ask a trade journal in your industry to post it or find another relevant blog in your space to share it. Becoming a guest blogger will help you build traffic and attract new customers.
If you’re still not convinced that blogging is one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do, let’s talk about the costs associated with blogging. Blogging is without a doubt one of the most cost effective forms of marketing around. The main cost is the time it takes you to create awesome content but that’s still cheap when compared to older, less effective forms of mainstream media buying.
Try to think of your blogging efforts as an investment. Spend time, write awesome content, inspire your readers, build a following and you’ll notice a high return-on-investment in the form of more traffic, new customers, and more revenue.
If you’re an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, you’d be wise to invest some time into blogging. It’s one of those things you won’t find yourself regretting.
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