Better Posts = More Mileage for Your Professional Service Firm’s Inbound Marketing Program
Here’s the plain truth: content marketing is becoming a critical part of any accounting, consulting or A/E/C firm’s marketing program, and blogging is a critical part of content marketing. But this post isn’t about why you should blog, or how to write a blog (see our offer for a white paper on this topic… Partner’s Guide to Blogging Made Easy... it’s about how to write a great blog!)
For those of you who have jumped on the blog bandwagon and are producing blogs on a consistent basis, congratulations – there’s a good chance that you’re ahead of your competitors. This post is actually for you. It’s about how to make your blog the best it can possibly be.
Six Hot Tips for Better Blogging
(1) Choose a hot, juicy, cool topic to blog about
Hmmmmm…. Hot? Juicy? Cool? Professional services? Doesn’t quite seem to fit together does it?
The fact is that that your clients and prospects are always on the lookout for information that will solve a pain, or explain an issue, or answer a burning question they might have. Your blog needs to be written around what they’re interested in, not what you think they’re interested in, and that’s what makes a blog hot and juicy and cool.
I had a boss who once told me that all of human nature comes down to need/greed/fear/sex; and that the job of marketing is to use these in an emotional way to move a prospect to action. He also said that you can’t go wrong with puppies or babies in ads. I’m pretty sure that sex, babies and puppies won’t work in your firm’s blog, but I’m equally as sure that blog posts that hit prospect needs, greed or fears are going to be the ones that get the most traffic.
(2) Stop being DULL - Make Your Tittles Clever and Catchy
Just because you’re a CPA, lawyer or consultant, you don’t have write dull in your blog posts, and especially blog post titles. Clever blog titles attract a whole lot more viewers …that’s why I trashed the 1st title I came up for this post, “How To Write a Better Blog”. (Zzzzzzzz)
So, for your first draft, write a dull title, and then change it before you publish it into something that will cut through the clutter of all of the content presented to a prospect, and get them to move from being merely an eyeball to a reader. Sure this is hard, especially if you’re not “a creative type”. If you can’t make the move from dull to clever, get help from a copywriter because that will be a great investment.
(3) Quit Talking About You
One of the biggest mistakes firms make with their blogs is that they use it as a platform to talk about themselves. Nothing is going to turn readers off faster that seeing a blog that’s nothing more than an advertisement about the firm.
Stop promoting your events, talking about awards you’ve won, who got promoted, who you hired, yada, yada … a blog is not the forum for those types of communications, Use your blog for commentary and thought leadership, and as a showcase for the critical thinking that makes you different from your competitors.
(4) Got SEO?
If you want more mojo from your blog, then hook it up to your key word strategy, and make it part of your “get found first” tactics. Each blog you post is an opportunity to build your relevance and authority around a key word, or a long tail key word phrase. Blogging platforms like HubSpot will let you know what type of job you’ve done with keywords in your blog.
(5) Can I Get Personal With You for a Second?
There’s a relationship between blog mojo and personal branding mojo since each post should be authored by a thought leader, and linked to that leader’s bio and social media accounts like LinkedIn. And, each leader’s bio page should have a link to their blog posts.
Marketers should always be on the hunt for ways to differentiate the firm, and to build on what makes the firm remarkable. In professional services, this doesn’t relate so much to the types of industries or services offered as it does to the personal brand of the firm’s professionals.
(6) Turn That Eyeball Into a Lead
Here’s the hottest tip for building your blog’s mojo –include an offer within each post. The offer should be something other than “contact or call us” ( zzzzzzzz). What about an offer for a slide show or an article? How about something like a regulatory compliance checklist or some kind of guide? Of course, you’ll want to link this offer to a landing page where the prospect will need to provide contact information before the download, and voila – you’ve used your blog post to generate a lead.
Heck, you can even do a promotion for a white paper or an upcoming webinar! Hey, wait a second, that’s what I did with this blog!
If your firm has decided – and quite wisely I might add – to make a commitment to blogging, then you’re going to want to squeeze every single little last bit of value and opportunity from your effort. Remember, however, that getting ROI from your blog is a marathon, not a sprint, so show some faith in the decision you’ve made.
After all, your personal mojo wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your blog’s!