Tag: blogging

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

Fifteen Ways to Build Trust Using Your Blog

Are you looking for more prospective clientsto build a relationship with prospects and converting prospects into clients, increased trust among current clients, to gain referrals, build your brand or gain awareness for you firm? Then get a blog.

Wow, can a blog really do all of that? Yes it can and so much more. It can help position you as an expert in your industry, help build an audience, gain attention, and grow your business.

Continue reading “DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?”

ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?

ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?

Focus Your Marketing Activities so they Don’t Overwhelm You

I see it all the time when I talk to small business owners. When I ask them about how they are marketing their businesses, their eyes roll and they act as if I blasphemed or something. Marketing seems to be the last things want to talk, think or do when it comes to their business.

Continue reading “ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?”

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PICTURE PERFECT IDEAL BLOG READER

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PICTURE PERFECT IDEAL BLOG READER

Do You Know Who Your Ideal Blog Reader Is?

You have created a blog for your businessbut how much thought have you given to what your ideal blog reader is like? What they want? How they will feel after reading your blog posts? What you want them to do after visiting your blog?

How would you describe your ideal blog reader?

When it comes to attracting your ideal readers to your blog you should be able create a picture in your mind as you describe them. You should be able to tell if they read your blog at work or home. How much time do they spend learning about the topic? What they are looking for when they reach your site and what is their current knowledge level?

Do you know?

When creating a description of your ideal reader here are some questions to answer:

1.) What is your reader’s demographic information?

  • Where do they live?
  • Are they married?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they have children?
  • What is their education level?

2.) What is their job and level of seniority?

  • In what industry to they work.
  • Are they the decision maker?
  • If not, do they influence the decisions maker/s?

 3.) What does a day in their life look like?

  • What brings them joy?
  • Do they spend more time at work or home?
  • Who are the people in their life that matter most?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What TV shows do they watch?
  • What radio stations do they listen?
  • What publications do they read?
  • What type of clothing do they wear?
  • What associations and social networks do they belong?
  • Are they involved in their community?
  • What do they do online?
  • Are they involved in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn?
  • What time of day do they read your blog?
  • Are they religious?
  • Are they conservative or liberal?
  • Do they have special hobbies?
  • Do they travel, where, how often?
  • Do they have pets, if so what kind?

4.) What are their pain points?

  • What do they worry about?
  • How do their problems affect their day-to-day life?
  • What challenges do they face?

5.) What do they value most?

  •  What are their goals?
  •  What are they striving to attain?
  •  What does it mean to be successful?

6.) Where do they go for information?

  • Do they go online when looking for information?
  • Do they talk to co-workers, friends, family or industry experts?
  • Do they read reviews, testimonials or case studies
  • How do they like to consume information, articles, books, audio, or video?
  • Whom do they trust the most?
  • What blogs do they already read?
  • How much knowledge do they currently have about your topic?

7.) What experience are they looking for when reading your blog?

  • What do they hope to gain from your blog?
  • Do they expect to be entertained, informed or educated?
  • Do they know what they are expected to do after reading your blog?
  • What topics are compelling to them?
  • What type of articles thrill them?

8.) What are some common reasons that readers do not return to your blog?

  • Are your blog posts too long or short?
  • Are they having a hard time trusting your authority on the subject?
  • Are there other blogs that are providing better information?
  • Are you not providing the information in the format that they most desire?
  • Does your blog lack uniqueness?
  • Are you speaking their lingo? Are you too casual or technical?

9.) How will I know if I have reached my ideal readers?

  • Look at your blogs analytics. How much time are they spending on your site? How many pages are they reading?
  • How many comments are you receiving on your blog?
  • Are they sharing your content?

How to Find Information about Your Blog Readers:

  • Send out a survey to your email subscribers and offer a free gift to those that respond
  • Read the profiles of people who have liked your Facebook page
  • Read the profiles of the people in your network on LinkedIn
  • Ask them on your blog to tell them about themselves

In order to create profiles of your ideal readers you need to understand as much about your ideal readers as possible. The answers to the types of questions above are not always available, but answering as many of the questions as possible will help you to build a relationship to your ideal reader and understand what they are interested in reading and how to connect with them.

Once you have obtained as much information as possible, add a real photo to represent your ideal reader. You may need to create several reader profiles, but not too many, 2-4 should be a good amount.

When you begin to write your blog post, write with one of your readers in mind. Make sure to reference some of the things that you have learned about them. If you know that this reader loves dogs, include a dog story, reference or picture.

Your Turn:

Do you know who your ideal blog reader is?

Have you created a profile of your ideal blog reader?

Image via Flick by Seng1011

DEAR BLOG AND READERS: I KNOW IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, SORRY TO HAVE LEFT YOU

DEAR BLOG AND READERS: I KNOW IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, SORRY TO HAVE LEFT YOU

I missed my blog, but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write another post. I couldn’t take on another client. I felt dead in the water.

It felt like I was losing my mind. My mind was in a fog, like I was wandering around lost in the wilderness. Bewildered. Stressed.

One of my goals in life is to live as stress free as possible and I was failing.

The stress was getting to me.

I was becoming hard to live with. Hell I didn’t even want to live with me.

I couldn’t sleep, my head hurt, my patience was short. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and  bordering depression.

Oh the long nights of getting no sleep, listening to NPR, dreading the next day.

When the next day arrived, I didn’t want to get out of bed.

What a horrible way to live.

I felt like screaming.

So stressed out I could scream…too much marketing

Why?

Marketing.

Plan and simple, it was marketing. I was giving to much of myself to my clients and couldn’t get marketing off my mind.

I had taken on too much and it was beginning to drive me crazy. The more my clients asked for, the more I did, seemingly unable to say no.

It’s true. I was on the verge of losing my mind.

What was I going to do?

One thing for sure, I had to take a break, before I crashed and burned.

So I said to myself. Self, what do you want to do now.

I have been marketing for the last 15 years as a profession. So, I decided maybe it’s time for me to look for a job doing something else. I began looking around on the Internet for available jobs and I begin applying to jobs that sounded interesting but were not in the marketing field.

What I found out is that corporate America is even more demanding now that it was when I first left. They actually have nerves to want more education more experienced and pay even less money than when I was being paid when I left corporate America many years ago. The demands on employees is ridiculous, companies offer less benefits, less pay while asking employees to work more hours. There were jobs for administrative assistants that wanted a bachelor’s degree. If I have spent all that time and money to get a degree, I do not want to be an administrative assistant; I want to be an administrator. Maybe it’s just employers taking advantage of a tight economy. That’s my guess and it’s a damn shame.

This was out of the question for me.

I decided I needed to rethink my business and the services that I offer to my clients. I needed to keep from getting burned out and spreading myself to thin.

What do I really love?

I love blogging.

I’ve decided that I will focus on working with clients who want to blog and utilize blogging as the foundation for the online marketing.

I must not allow myself to be pulled into areas that I do not enjoy.

I must remain focused on the services that I am offering my clients and not be afraid to say know what they want services that do not offer. While this can be scary, saying no clients it something that I must do to be able to provide excellent services to my clients and not become stressed out by providing services to my clients that I do not enjoy.

I’ve decided to focus on just blogging services and not all blogging services.

I will concentrate on offering only two services to clients who are already blogging.

1. Blog audit: The client will determine what their goal if for their blog and I will provide a blog audit telling them how well they are doing and suggest what changes to make to reach their goals.

2. Blog Audit and Plan: After I have accessed the client’s blog, I will then provide the client with a plan to help them reach their goal.

That’s it!

I will not help you set up a blog or write blog posts for you. I will help you to access your blog, decide on the goal for your blog, determine if your blog is meeting your needs, figure out what changes are needed and offer suggestions  to help you improve your blog.

I will also help you create a plan that will help you reach the goal that you have for your blog. If you want to reach a goal within a specific period, I will help you create a plan to reach that goal. I will also help you to track you progress, that’s it.

I will not be writing blog posts, EBooks, articles, emails, blog set-up or anything else. If the client is in need of these services, I will help them find suitable candidates to provide these services.

While I am capable of providing many of the services that a client needs, I believe that it will best serve me and my clients if I remained focused on one area: blogging.

I have chosen blogging, because I believe in blogging and the benefits that it can bring a business. I also believe that a blog is the hub to successful online and social media marketing program.

According to Hubspot research 57% of businesses who blog, gain new business. I can attest to this, because my business brings in 85-90% of its business from my blog.

So that’s the skinny of it.

My goal is to help my clients become better more efficient bloggers and to utilize their blogs to help them meet their business goals.

My goal is to start at the beginning. I will try to help my readers build a better blog. I will try some new things on my blog and tell you how they go. I will offer from time to time my blog as an experiment and let you know what I am trying and how things work out. I will put to test ideas that others have and let you know how things go and put to test some ideas that you offer.

My approach will be casual, because I am a casual type of person. Through reading my blog, I hope that you will get to know me and I will in turn get to know you.

I hope is that along the way we will all learn a lot and build great business blogs.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Jenn

STOP WRITING BLOG CONTENT AND START PROMOTING YOUR BLOG

STOP WRITING BLOG CONTENT AND START PROMOTING YOUR BLOG

In the past the belief was that you write lots of content to help your blog rank well in search engines. This is becoming harder and harder, especially with the constant changes with Google, the top search engine.

I am going to present a different approach. Instead of spending your time trying to put out content every day or several times a week, scale back your output.

If you are a new blogger, I am suggesting that you only write one good blog post a week. Assuming that you have already taken the steps to determine your topic, niche and audience, now you can concentrate on writing. If you are not a new blogger and currently post more than two blog posts a week, scale back to two posts per week.

Concentrate on writing a blog post that resonates with the audience that you are trying to reach. Information what they will find important and useful, and then write a good in-depth post. I am not talking a short book, but a few thousand words are good.

This is simple, if you are an estate planner targeting the LGBT community, you can write a guide to estate planning for LGBT individuals and couples. You write a beginners guide to estate planning and it covers about 2300 words.

Summarize the guide down to about 500 words of quick tips and advice for your blog post. Turn the full guide into an EBook or PDF Download and include an offer for the guide in your blog post.

After you have written your blog post, spend the next week promoting that blog post and guide. Get your post in front of as many people in your target audience as possible.

Promoting your blog post:

  • Get involved in groups and forums, promote your blog article and guide. Attach a link to all outgoing comments
  • Send a quick tips release to online publications promoting your guide that reaches your target market with a link back to your blog, preferably a landing page if you are going to build an email list.
  • Send a similar tip release to associations and organizations targeting your audience with a link to your post included
  • Write out 20 tips and tweet them out to your network with a link back to your blog post
  • Share your blog post on Facebook, Google, Stumbleupon, Digg, LinkedIn and any other social networking that you are involved
  • Turn your guide into a slideshare presentation
  • Any other way that you can think of to get your post read and guide downloaded

Recap:

Step 1: Write one in-depth article per week of at least 2000 words.

Step 2: Turn your in-depth article into an EBook or PDF for download

Step 3: Write a summary of your in-depth post of approximately 500 words.

Step 4: Promote the hell out of your blog post and in-depth article.

Why am I suggesting that you cut back your writing opposite of what all the blogging gurus and I have told you in the past? It is too damn hard to keep up with the changes that Google constantly makes and hard as hell to rank on the first page of Google these days.

So Stop It. 

SEO is not what is used to be, things have changed.

Social networking and sharing allows you to stop concentrating all your time writing thousands of posts to rank well on Google. It is all about getting what you have written in front of readers, where they hang out most often. It is about becoming involved in their groups and presenting them with information that they need.

Competition is fierce and it comes from all over the globe. Now is the time to focus on the audience you are trying to reach, penetrate and dominate before you expand to additional audiences.

It doesn’t matter how many blog posts your write, how great they are if nobody ever reads them. You can’t afford for Google to find, rank your blog hoping your readers find you. You have to get out there and promote the hell out of your blog posts.

Have Your Say:

What do you think about writing less often? Are you scared it will hurt your traffic? Do you see the benefit of spending more time promoting write and less time writing?

WHAT IF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WERE A BLOGGER

WHAT IF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WERE A BLOGGER

What if Martin Luther King Jr. were a Blogger

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and it got me to thinking, what if MLK were a blogger and social media savvy? The Middle East had the Arab Springs where they able to use social media to mobilize and take on their government. Would MLK be able to do the same?

Martin Luther King Jr. had the ability to mobilize millions to stand up for equality and stand firm in the face of harassment, beating and death. What if he thepower of social media and blogging behind him, how much more powerful could he be or has our society become too apathetic?

I can imagine MLK with millions of Facebook fans and twitter followers. Instead of looking down the barrel of guns or water hoses, he could mobilize his army through his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Sisters and brothers, we believe in the right of every man, woman and child the right to bear arms in our beloved country. We do not believe that ordinary citizens need to own military style assault weapons that shoot 50 rounds of ammunition. Let’s take a stand against military style weapons and tweet “Ban Military Style Weapons,” brothers and sisters let your tweets be heard.

Could you imagine the posts he would write that would bring you to tears yet galvanize you to take action, with a tweet this button next to profound statements.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (tweet this)

“Injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere.” (tweet this)

How about the power of Facebook, could he get is message across with images?

Like this picture if you agreeCivil Rights Movement by KaMario01

If you think this is wrong and need to be stopped, share this picture.

Would he have to write in short blurbs because of our lack of attention span? Could be compete against the likes of honeybooboo or the Atlanta housewives? Would he have to dumb down his prose to fourth grade level do to our poor education systems across America and nonchalant attitudes?

On his birthday, I wonder what he would think of America today. Would he be disappointed in all his hard work and what he died for to see us still fighting for the same rights? Would he be ashamed of the state of our society that cares more about TV stars than the rights that they continue to lose every day? Would he be sadden that our government has become so bad and corrupt that the citizens feel that they have no control and no matter what race they are they feel their votes don’t count. Would be horrified as he watched politicians buy, cheat and steal elections or that the Supreme Court has determined that corporations are people? How would he feel about Wall Street running our country, people losing their jobs and homes? What would he think of the mass shooting across our country? How about 9/11. pharmaceutical companies running our healthcare system, no-knock warrants, drones, cellphones plastered to our heads, terrorists, massive oils spills, global warming, warrant-less wire tapping, TSA, Homeland Security, body scanning machines, the first Black President?

I can imagine him never running out of topics to blog about. Up all night because there is always something new to say, something new to speak out against, fervently typing away at his computer posting on his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Would anyone listen? Better still, would anyone take action?

 

Have Your Say:

Do you think that blogging and social media would have helped Martin Luther King Jr.?

TEN GREAT BENEFITS OF BLOGGING

TEN GREAT BENEFITS OF BLOGGING

Everyone already knows that I am a great fan of blogging and benefits that if offers. While there are probably hundreds if not thousands of benefits to blogging, I am going to share with you ten great benefits of blogging.

Blogging can help you:

1. Grow your business

Consistently adding posts to your blog that offers content that you target audience wants to read will help you reach people around the world that you would never have the opportunity to reach on a day-to-day basis.

Your blog will allow you to show readers how you can and have solved similar problems to the ones that they are facing. Present your personality, skills and experience to your readers.

If your business consists of primarily local clients your blog can help, you reach people in your community that you would not have an opportunity to meet or that you even know exist. You can make sure that your blog has local keywords in place so that when people search for local items your blog will appear.

If I wanted to reach more local people in or around Detroit, I would include Detroit in my title tagline. I would include local happening along with my marketing posts so that when people searched for Detroit my blog would have an opportunity to appear.

2. Get Published

Many bloggers have gained book deals from their blogs. They have had people at publishing companies stumble across their blogs, followed their blogs and offered them book deals. Publishers are still publishing books whether in digital form or paper.

Your blog will allow potential publishers see the wealth of knowledge that you have on a subject and showcase your writing skills. They can also see that you have the capability to build an audience.

3. Get a Job

Blogging is a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge to potential employers. When you apply for a job, send them a link to your blog so that they can see for themselves what you bring to the table.

Many employers are looking for people who are social media savvy across all industries. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, engineer or doctor. Social media has permeated all industries; it also means that you will need less training because you are already social media savvy. Many employers look at potential hires social media profiles and check their social media activity. Be careful, social media can also cost you a job.

4. Become a Speaker or Presenter

You can use your blog to showcase presentations that you have created, speeches you have given or just show your ability to do so. Many companies are doing online presentations, create a powerful presentation with audio, add it to slideshare and your blog. This will give businesses an idea of your presentation skills and style. Then put up a page on your blog letting potential businesses know that you are available to give presentation, workshops or whatever and include some examples for them to view. (hummm….think I will do this myself)

5. Become Known as an Expert

The more you post to your blog on your subject matter the more people will gain an understanding of the depth of knowledge that you have on a subject. This will also help when the media goes looking for experts to interview, when they do a search and your name keeps popping up, they will be more inclined to contact you. They will have the opportunity to read your blog and realize that you are the expert that they are looking for.

Becoming a recognized expert will also help you get better jobs, business and other opportunities, they sky is the limit.

6. Build your network

Blogging will help you expand your network. The more you blog the more people will reach out to you and the more influence you gain. You can build a network of people who will help you when you need help, will want to help you because they admire and want to work with you. People will seek you out for advice and trust your advice. Blogging allows you to reach others and for others to reach you. You can get the opportunity to communicate and maybe even work with people you consider big time. Whom would you love to work with?

7. Gain Influence

Bloggers are big in the world of media. Fashion bloggers have started trends. Businesses will contact bloggers with huge following and very active communities to promote products, sway opinion, highlight a cause and garner support. Your blog can make you the go to person for your industry when the media wants an opinion or insight.

8. Sell products

By building a larger reader and subscriber base, you can create products for sell that you readers will buy because they have already shown that they trust you and believe that you can help them. If they believe that you will help them then they will believe that the product that you are selling will help them also.

9. Help Others

Blogging lets you help readers with their problems. You can offer free information products, educational posts, videos, whatever you can dream of that will help your readers live better lives. Blogging can help you help people get over fears and live their dreams. You can inspire, educate, entertain, motivate and mobilize people with your blog.

10. Show the world who you are.

Your blog can show people all the great quirky things about you. People love to get to know people, marvel at their adventures, understand and sympathize with another person’s pain, laugh when they make a fool of themselves and smile tears when great things happen. You can express yourself fully and get people who have never met you believe they know you. They will become your supporter’s even evangelist and have never actually met you in person, but defend you as if they have.

Believe me there are so many more great things about blogging, this list could go into the hundreds, but I am going to stop at ten.

Have Your Say:

What do you think are some of the great benefits of blogging?

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

I talk about blogging all the time. Why? Because I fully believe that blogging can help a business achieve their business goals, assuming they have concrete goals.

In this post I am going to try to explain why I am a firm believer in blogging by telling you about my business and why I blog.

Why I Blog:

I blog because it is cost-effective, meaning cheap. I only spend about $10 a month to host my blog. Beyond that is all about the time that I commit to my blog. I use a free wordpress site and I make changes to the template. I am no wordpress designer; I know just enough to make a few changes. I know just enough to know what I want to change and then I search for the answer to figure out how to make the change. Please don’t ask me to help you in this respect, I really can’t. I just search and read.

I try to publish three articles a week on my blog, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I have learned not to stress over it, just do what I can. This year my goal is to remain consistent, which is why I decided to use blogging themes for each month. This way I only have to think about one blogging subject per month, yes, it gets dull but it helps me focus and focus is not always my strong suit.

If you are choosing to blog, you have to determine if it is cost-effective to blog. While it is cheap to host it, take time to research and write articles, for some it may be cheaper to outsource this task. If you want readers to get a feel for your personality than I suggest you create the blog posts yourself.

The Nitty Gritty:

I do not market my business much outside of blogging. It is the foundation of my marketing program. Yes, I use email, ECT, but it all begins with my blog. Everything that I plan to do this year begins with my blog or relates to my blog. I receive roughly 80% of my business through my blog, 15% through referrals and 5% from just talking to people. Am I rich, by no means, but the more I put into my blog the more business it brings me, this is why I love blogging.

I average approximately 2-4 contact submissions per week asking about my services, this works out for me. I am able to convert enough inquiries into clients that I keep my work constant and sometimes very busy.

I add approximately 10-15 new subscribers a month to my newsletter. This number is small enough for me to send a personal note to each new subscriber asking about their problems and how I can help them.

Blogging Let’s me be in Control:

I love blogging because I am in control of what happens on my blog. I can work hard to get more business, but I can also keep my business on pace with my blog. I like the amount of business my blog brings me, because it allows me to work from home, make money and have time with my family. I win all the way around.

Blogging allows me to keep my rates down. I love helping people and I probably give away too much freely but I always seem to benefit in the end someway, so I really don’t mind.

Blogging always me to Target the Audience I want to Reach:

Blogging and social networking allows me to reach the audience that I enjoy working. I love working with financial service professionals, professional coaches, service professionals and educational firms. While I marvel at the creativity available to other industries, it is not for me. I would love to be a marketer for music, art, restaurant and other businesses, but it would require an amount of creativity that I honestly don’t possess.

While there are times that I wish that my target audience were more willing to step outside of their box, I can understand their limitations and fears and I work within them to both of our satisfaction. I love the clients that I work with and have a great time working with them.

Does my Blog get a Lot of Traffic?

I average about 1500 page views a month, not tremendous but it is enough to keep me working. I am debating on how much I want to increase my blog traffic and yes, I would love too, but I also realize that it will increase my business. I have to decide if I increase my business am I willing to work more hours or hire help. I do not desire to manage others. I enjoy working for myself. Right now, I outsource when there is a project that doesn’t fit in with my capabilities or I am time limited. I can always just outsource more work. This is an option that blogging allows me to have and that I am thankful for.

The Cons of Blogging:

  • Time consuming
  • Constantly coming up with blogging ideas
  • Requires commitment and takes time to see results
  • A lot to learn if you do it all yourself
  • Sometimes can be disappointing when posts you think are great don’t get a lot of response
  • Sometimes get busy and blogging gets pushed to the side
  • Getting burned out, sometimes I just don’t want to blog

The Pros of Blogging:

  • Flexibility
  • I control my blog, what is presented, the creativity, topics
  • Generates business
  • Allows communication with readers
  • Inexpensive
  • Lets readers get to know me and believe in my work before they contact me
  • Pre-sells my services
  • Bloggers are a great group of people and willing to provide help and advice to other bloggers
  • The media reads blogs and sometimes will find your when doing searches for information

Plans for my Blog this Year:

This year I am planning to grow the readership of my blog and to use my blog to branch out into doing more workshops and training on blogging and social media.

I also plan to use other techniques to reach more readers such as slideshare, EBooks, podcasts, webinars, videos and a few other things that I am considering.

I am looking to create passive income such as workbooks and training programs for readers to purchase.

My Current Dilemma:

I am currently debating on whether or not to post my fees on my blog. Just like any other service provider I am concerned about being too expensive for some, too cheap to others or getting locked into a set price. I am leaning toward presenting my fees because I think it is something that prospects want to know, what the cost may be and what they will get for that cost.

Have Your Say:

What do you like or dislike about blogging?

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

Laura loves insurance. She loves everything about insurance. “I actually enjoy learning about insurance and how it can help customers achieve their goals,” said Laura.

What she doesn’t love is selling.

Laura dreads the thought of cold calling or knocking on doors. “I know I should go to networking meeting, go out and meet people, but it scares me, maybe I should look for another profession,” she said with a sigh.

Using Your Blog as a Selling ToolI felt bad for her as we sat across from one another me sipping on tea her on coffee. What are you going to do, I asked.

I just don’t know. I want to sell insurance, but I don’t want to go out and sell insurance, is there another way? I am going to lose my job if I don’t start making more sales.

I felt horrible as I watched her lay her head down onto her arms folded on the table, looking as if she were trying to hide her tears. I wanted to come up with some fantastic idea, something that would have her bringing is sales, yesterday, but I knew that was unrealistic.

What I did know was that she had to come up with a plan that would work for her.

Okay Laura, I said. I understand that you don’t want to go out and sell, what do you like to do?

I enjoy talking to groups of people about insurance and writing about insurance, she said.

Okay then let’s start there. How about we create a marketing plan that gets you in front of groups to talk and create a blog for you to write about insurance.

She sat up with a smile on her face. Can we do that?

Of course, we can, and so can you.

Laura’s Big Hurdle

Laura went to her boss and told him her plan. He was old school and didn’t think that it would work. It would take too long get speaking gigs, he felt she was to new and he didn’t understand blogging at all. He told her to start making phone calls and make as many face-to-face meeting with people as she could.

You know Laura, most of the agents here are involved with many networking and charitable organizations and that is how they make contacts. It works and that’s probably what you should do also. I don’t think that blogging thing is such a good idea, why don’t you try finding some women’s groups to join and see if you can make contacts and sell some insurance.

Laura called me almost in tears. What should I do? She asked.

Back to her Boss she Goes

After we talked, she decided to try talking to her boss again. She asked him if he could give her six months. If after six months she were not seeing results, she would start cold calling or find another job. Good thing for her, he really liked her and didn’t want to see her leave. He told her that he had given it some thought and read about how the internet was helping people grow their businesses and decreasing their marketing costs.

Have a plan to me in a week and I will look it over, he said. If it looks feasible, I will let you try it for six months.

Laura called me excited but before we could get off the phone, her fears began to set in. Oh no, I don’t know how to create a marketing plan, she said, will you help me?

Laura’s Marketing Plan

Laura sells life and disability insurance. We first had to decide on her target audience. Who did she feel she was most capable of reaching, understood and was able to help?

Laura’s Target Market:

Young professional couples with small children, since she fell into this category herself and could understand their concerns.

Laura’s Blog:

She decided that she would host an inexpensive blog, separate from her company. Her goal was to post two times a week on insurance related information and once a week on community activities. She believed that most of her clients would be local that found her though the internet.

She also decided that the tone of her blog would be casual as if she were talking to friends.

Laura’s second step was to create a list of topics that she would cover.

Laura last step was to create a list of online groups that she could join and become involved in the conversation and answer any questions pertaining to insurance.

Speaking:

We talked and decided that we would focus on talking to churches. Her community and surrounding communities had well over 100 churches and we begin to dig through every listing we could find to come up with a listing of local area churches. When the list was complete, she had 117 churches listed.

She began calling all the churches to see if they would be interested in her presenting to their church members a free seminar on insuring their family’s future and she described what she the seminar would offer.

Presenting to her Boss:

Laura then presented her boss with her plan. She was able to show him how many people she would potentially be able to reach through the online groups and speaking to churches. He was impressed and gave her the go ahead.

Laura was ecstatic.

Laura’s Results:

She wrote her first couple of insurance articles in advance, set up her blog, and began blogging. She wrote about insurance and local activities that she attended or were coming, local restaurants, hair salons and children’s activities. Whatever she could that was local and draw readers to her blog.

She created her presentation, contacted the churches that said they would be interested and began setting up a schedule to give presentations.

Laura ordered new business cards with her blog address printed on the card and gathered her presentation and marketing material. She began giving presentations to the local churches.

The beginning was slow, especially for her blog.

The first month she only averaged five visitors a day, but by the end of six month’s she was averaging over 100 visitors a day, many repeat visitors. She receives at least one request for an appointment from the contact form that she has on her blog.

When she reached month four she decided to begin building an email list and offered a free paper explaining how to make sure that the reader is adequately insuring their family. Within two months, she had over 150 subscribers to her email list.

Her speaking gigs went much better. She talked to three groups in the first month, but by the end of six months, she was averaging six presentations a month and had moved beyond churches. People were calling her to come speak to their employees and groups.

Laura figured that for every 10 people she talked to in a group she was able to get three appointments. If there were 30 people in the group, she would average nine appointments. For every three appointments she average at least one sale, sometimes two.

The Greatest Reward:

Her boss and coworkers were impressed with her results. Her boss asked her to help train them on how to use blogging to help grow their clientele.

Since she didn’t feel capable of doing this, she was kind enough for refer my name to her boss and I currently working with his firm and agents to help them use the internet to grow.

And, we will all live happily ever after.

Have Your Say:

Are you currently using your blog to help you sell?

Do you think that this is something that you can do?14