RISMEDIA, October 11, 2010—How many new high-paying clients do you get for every hour you spend blogging? What’s that? You have no idea? We need to talk. Building a client-based business isn’t easy. But if you’re spending hours every week on an activity that’s not generating qualified leads, you’re making it harder than it has to be. You’re keeping yourself from making money by wasting the most valuable resource you have: your time.
Wouldn’t you rather spend your time as efficiently as possible, so you can have that “life” you thought you were going to have when you went into business for yourself?
Of course you would. Here’s how.
Strategy #1: Solve one problem per post
High-paying clients tend to be busy. They’re willing to pay more to get things done because (1) they don’t have time to do everything themselves; and/or (2) their time is worth a lot to them.
Which means that they aren’t just browsing around the Internet, looking for interesting blog posts to peruse. If they’ve made it to your blog, they’re probably looking for something specific.
Give them what they’re looking for, and make it easy for them to find.
If you solve one — and only one — problem per post, your readers will be able to do a quick search, find the relevant post, and find the answer they needed in the first place. You want to be the person they turn to when they need something, so when they need something bigger than a blog post, your name is the first to come to mind.
When your prospects think of you, you want words like these to pop into their minds:
• To the point
Most of all, you want your prospects to see how highly you value their time. Treat their time like the precious resource they believe it to be, and you’ll become a precious resource to them.
Strategy #2: Speak your clients’ language
Your ideal clients don’t know as much as you do about your area of expertise. That’s why they need you.
If you’re talking about their needs in technical terms, instead of in the terms your clients actually use, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with the people who need you.
Say your ideal clients are local businesses who want to use the Internet to expand their client base. How do they describe their needs?
• “I need to learn how to install WordPress.”
• “I need to get a web designer, an SEO expert, and a social media consultant.”
• “I need to figure out this whole Internet thing.”
It could be any of these, of course. The trick is to figure out how your ideal clients actually speak, so you can relate to them on their terms.
Strategy #3: Tell your readers what to do next (and make it easy)
Your ideal client shows up at your blog. She reads your post, loves your work, just generally thinks you’re awesome.
Are you telling your reader what to do next, or are you just letting her wander around your blog, looking at all the things she might do:
1. Go to your “Contact” page, fill out the form, and wait for you to call her back.
2. Sign up for your e-mail list.
3. Go to your “Services” page, find the relevant service, and pay for it using a Paypal button you conveniently placed at the bottom.
4. Call the phone number on your “Contact” page.
5. Set up a free consultation.
6. Download a free resource.
7. Check out your “links you love” page.
8. Read other posts on your blog.
9. Leave a comment on your blog.
10. Subscribe to your RSS feed.
11. Sign up for your free webinar.
How much time do you think your prospect will spend trying to figure this out?
Probably about as much time as you spent reading that list (not much).
Instead of letting them stumble around, become your prospects’ guide. At the end of every post, tell your reader exactly what to do next. Make it a simple, low-risk task that requires next to no thought. For example:
Click here and enter your e-mail to learn more about how [your great service] can help you with [their pressing problem].
Then follow up with some useful information about your services and an invitation to talk by phone for a few minutes. Keep it simple.
Strategy #4: Stop writing about yourself (or stop blogging)
Your business blog shouldn’t be about you. It should be about your clients.
That doesn’t mean you can never write about yourself — only that you should write about yourself in a way that’s relevant to your prospects.
Telling a personal story that helps potential clients understand your commitment to quality? Good.
Telling a personal story that helps potential clients understand how big a crush you have on the hot new boy at Starbucks but your roommate thinks he’s really not that cute but your mom wants to know whether or not he’s Armenian or just looks Armenian but how can you ask that without sounding like a total weirdo and by the way you’re thinking of switching to decaf?
Not so good.
Sharing some details of your personal life can help potential clients know, like and trust you. And that can be useful.
But oversharing is not interesting to your clients. (It’s not interesting to your friends either, but that’s a post for another blog.)
The thing that interests your prospective clients is how you can help them, and what you would be like to work with. Give them what they want.
If you can’t give potential clients what they want, stop blogging.
Yes, this is a radical solution to propose on a website called Copyblogger. But the truth is, if you’re spending several hours every week on a blog that doesn’t interest your potential clients, you’re not marketing. You’re either wasting your time, or writing what should be a personal blog.
And one more thing …
If you’re spending a lot of time wracking your brain trying to figure out what to write about, you should probably be blogging less and talking with your prospects more.
Seriously. Just talk to them.
Offer a free consultation, spend some time helping them with their current issue, and then ask a few questions. See what comes up.
Talking (and listening) to people in your target market is the best way to generate ideas for your blog, because it’s the best way to find out your prospects’ problems, concerns, and the language they use to talk about those things.
Wondering how your blog stacks up?
If you’d like your blog to generate more leads for your business (or higher quality leads), leave a comment below with your URL and whatever questions you’d like us to answer.
About the Authors: Traci Feit Love and Rudy Nelson are the co-authors of “The Top 7 Reasons High-Paying Clients Aren’t Choosing You (and What to Do About It),” a 50-page downloadable book you can currently get for free at The 180 Journey