If you keep your ears open for new marketing techniques regularly, you likely have heard many marketing pundits describe using new technology as the best new way to promote your insurance or financial-planning business.
But if you’re turned off by talk of interstitials, podcasts and other leading-edge technologies—or don’t even know what those words mean—there’s good news: One of the easiest and most effective ways of getting more clients is to start a business blog.
What’s a blog?
What makes a blog different from a regular website, though, is its simplicity. To enter your ideas, simply type your text into a low-tech program and tell your blog to publish whenever you’re ready by hitting a single button—voila! You’ve made a “post.” In a matter of minutes, you can update your blog with new information, edit old posts and provide news to your prospects and clients.
And the best part is that, unlike a professionally designed website, a blog is inexpensive, or even free to set up. Although I always recommend that small businesses ensure that their blogs have a similar look and feel to the rest of their business communications, if you’re on a shoestring budget, you can sign up for a free blog from a vendor like Blogger or Wordpress.
Why you need a blog
Already have a business website and wonder why you also need a blog? The answer is simple. A business blog allows you to:
1. Attract leads rather than buy them. Although it’s common practice to purchase leads from brokers, the best leads come to you, rather than the other way around. By writing regularly in your blog and drawing in traffic from all across the internet (or your local area), you ensure that you get great, highly qualified leads who want what you offer. Better clients mean higher profits, less stress and more time to seek out the types of projects and clients you want to handle.
2. Keep your prospects and clients up to date. Because a blog can function as a journal, it’s your forum for sharing your opinions and findings with your prospects right away. What’s more, rather than having to hire a designer to work on the changes, you can update your blog instantly, making it a cost-effective way of keeping your clients and prospects informed about your best new ideas.
3. Build a relationship with your target audience. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Blogs give you a valid venue for speaking honestly and openly with your target audience. In other words, through your blog you can give your clients a glimpse of your personality, allowing them to warm up to you through simple posts in which you share tips, your perspective on your industry and other tidbits of value to them. The more you speak to both the minds and hearts of your prospective clients, the more sales you will make.
4. Strengthen your brand. Your blog is a powerful tool for spreading the word about what you and your business stand for. And by expressing your unique viewpoint, you will give your clients more reasons for staying loyal to you and referring other clients your way.
5. Stop selling and start sharing! Most small-business websites are designed to market your business. But it’s difficult to build rapport with clients if you only try to sell to them. Instead, you can use your blog as an educational tool that gives your prospects helpful information that allows them to make informed decisions about why to choose you, boosting your bottom line in the process. And not only will your target market start to see you as an expert in your field, they also can find more answers to their basic questions, saving you precious time.
By starting your own business blog, you will be able to attract better clients, increase sales and stop having to spend a lot of time selling to achieve your goals. So what are you waiting for?
[Editor’s Note: Advisor Today reminds readers to ensure the information they provide through any medium about insurance and financial products complies with state, federal and NASD/SEC requirements as well as the compliance rules of the insurance and financial services companies they represent. If in doubt about compliance issues, check with your company.]
Jennifer McCay, author of The High-Concept Brand Bible, helps small service businesses discover big-business marketing tactics. For free weekly marketing tips to help you grow your business on a budget, head to www.AvenueEast.com, or visit McCay’s “Avenues to Success” blog at www.AvenueEast.com/blog/blog.html.