Why You Should be Blogging

By Beacon Staff

Business owners: You should be blogging.

Nevermind the 21st Century business owners who are all over that thing called Web 2.0 and iTunes and podcasting etc. I suspect you’re already there (you should be).

I’m talking about people who own bookstores, plumbing firms, therapy clinics and shoe stores. Likewise, bankers, insurance agents, Realtors, chainsaw artists and janitorial service owners.

Why? Because you know stuff that your clients need to know.

Non-technical, computer phobic types will say that they don’t have time to learn the technology. I’m assuming you have mastered pen and paper. Use them. Let your administrative assistant or your favorite high school kid take what you wrote, type it up and post it.

Got writer’s cramp? Me too.

There are digital recorders at your favorite electronics store that you can hold in your hand and talk into while walking the dog, or driving down the road (they have little microphones that clip to your shirt). There are inexpensive services that will let you call and record a message. They will then transcribe what you said and email the transcript to you. Then your administrative assistant or favorite high school kid can edit it and post it on your company’s web site.

Yeah, I know that up until now, you thought I was just giving you one more thing to do – and there are 100 other people doing that already. So let me give you an example of how this makes money for your business, how it attracts new clients, how it keeps existing clients.

Here’s a little background: A friend of mine is a non-profit consultant. You probably know someone who does this. Perhaps they write grants or help others write grants, or they advise non-profit boards or similar.

This woman plays in a slightly different circle. She advises and teaches national non-profit organizations. She also advises high-end donors worried that their gifts are going to be poured down a hole. Why? Because people like leaving a legacy and they don’t want the legacy to be FEMA-like.

When she wrote a book, Paul Newman wrote the forward. When a non-profit issue is national news, Fox News calls her and puts her on as their expert commentator. Why she takes my calls, I’m still
not sure.

Recently, I spoke with her about a foundation that had donated to another non-profit group under questionable circumstances, and later came back and asked for the money back. The non-profit recipient assumed this was all on the up and up and were discussing what to do. I called my friend because I smelled something and wasn’t sure why.

She tells me that this is a scam that is becoming more common. Foundations are formed, they donate a small amount of money to a distant group, then come back and say they made a mistake and ask for a “refund”. And that’s just the start of the scam, it gets worse.

So what does this have to do with you, blogging and making money?

Simple. I suggested to her that this is the kind of story that she needs to include in her blog and her newsletter. Tell what happened, tell what to watch out for. Generate trust with stories about the situations you experience and become the expert. Don’t you want the expert brain surgeon to operate on you?

If you’re a jeweler, you can blog about how to choose an engagement ring. I mean, what do all those buzzwords mean? Why do I care about the 5 Cs? How much should I spend? What’s that 2 month’s salary thing about? Should I surprise my fiancée or should I bring her to the store to choose the ring? How do we pick out wedding bands? What’s a blood diamond?

Yes, you can explain all of this in the store, and you should. Did you know that recent research shows 79% of consumers do online research before making a local purchase? Want to welcome better-educated people into your store who are pre-sold on your business because you’ve demonstrated your expertise?

Start blogging.

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business, operations or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him at mriffey@flatheadbeacon.com.

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