As a sales manager, sales person, or sales leader, you certainly know the value of a great lead. I’m not talking about someone handing you a name and number, saying, “You ought to follow up with this!” No, I'm talking about a quality lead that is beyond the “kicking tires” phase and is what we refer to as "sales ready"—someone who knows about your product and service and has already given some thought to how they might want to work with your company. Sounds good, right?
A great way to generate quality leads is to create a blog and start writing about your expertise. Allow prospects to find you or connect to you through your blog, and tell your story to those who are interested. The ones who are most interested will start to see you as an expert—or a thought leader—and will soon become sales ready. Spend time with more sales ready leads, and you will convert more prospects into satisfied customers.
What Should I Write About?
This is the question that I get asked the most. Many people say "I don't have time for this" or "I just don't have anything to say, this is not for me" because they don't know what to write about. While I understand where you are coming from, I want to provide you with a few tips on how you might start writing and publishing your own blog.
- Start by thinking about your reader. Who is the target? In the marketing world, you will hear this referred to as the persona—it’s the person you are trying to reach.
- Next, think about what questions they have regarding your industry. What do they ask their colleagues about? What do they search when they go to Google for answers? What do they discuss when they are at a business conference? What challenges do they have that keep them up at night?
- Make a list of all the possibilities. Then, after you have this list of great topics, look them over and think about the one where you have some real expertise.
- Imagine that you are at a meeting with the person you described as your target reader, and they asked you a question about that topic. Think about how you would respond. Now, write that down. You’re not writing an epic. You’re writing a blog post.
- Your target reader has real questions and real challenges, and you have the expertise to share. Write down your thoughts, and before you know it you have your first blog post!
How Long Should the Blog Post Be?
The blog post should be as long as it needs to be in order to deal with the topic you are focused on. No more, and no less.
You might think about the persona that you are trying to connect with and how they might read what you are writing. I did a little research on this subject, and it appears that many people have had this "words per post" discussion in a blog post conversation already. Here is a quick summary: On the short side, you hear 250 as a minimum. While that might be what is commonly said, the informal study showed that the average amount of words in a blog post is about 526. However, my advice is that you shouldn't count words—plenty of our most-read blog posts are either longer than 1000 words and shorter than 526.
What are you waiting for? Get writing! Share with us what you’re working on. If you think what you are writing about would be a good fit for this blog, shoot us an email. We are always looking for guest bloggers.