I consistently use this strategy to create more business opportunities
Are you stumped for business blog ideas?
One of the best ways I have found to reinforce my brand, demonstrate my credibility as an expert and attract more opportunities is writing this blog. Before you say “But I don’t have the time! And I don’t know what to write about!”, let me show you that it doesn’t have to take more time. Blogging is just another name for activities you might already be doing. In my case, it’s researching and presenting on economics.
“But what do I say?”
Many companies find it difficult to come up with exciting content for their newsletter: they know that their readers have little interest in the minutiae of “what happened at ACME Corp. in the last quarter”, but they’re not sure what else to write about.
Blogging about topics of general interest from the angle of your specific expertise is the answer to that: that’s where you’ll find your best business blog ideas. It showcases your unique talents and enhances your credibility, because you are the author of valuable content.
As the owner of a training company and an economic commentator, I find it much more advantageous to write my own articles, based on my own in-depth research. Then, when I share this information with my contacts and readers, I know I am directing them to quality information because I have checked sources and I’m forming a wider view on a theme. I paint a picture by combining all the elements of my research: articles, statistics, economic concepts, as well as my own insights, experience and context.
And this information leads back to me: it’s on my website. Therefore, naturally, it is my hope that if an event organizer is looking for a speaker with an informed view, who tailors each presentation to each unique audience and always incorporates a practical, actionable element, they think of “The Positive Economist”.
Blog to serve your customers better
I’m often asked to come and talk to sundry audiences and brief them about the state of an industry, economic trends, a geographical outlook etc. I build each presentation “to order” and spend an inordinate amount of time on research and development. Each presentation is a convergence of many elements: I consider what is valuable to the attendees, I constantly keep in mind the objectives of the audience and make sure that my signature values are also an integral part: my principles are to “practice what I preach”, to “focus on what you can do” and to offer “practical and actionable insights”.
As a result I always end up with a lot more information than could fit into my presentation. It would be a very inefficient use of my time if I just threw away all the information that didn’t fit in the presentation.
To avoid this, I make sure to write a blog post or several with the rich material that I didn’t have the space to include. All this research is a treasure trove of perfect business blog ideas, because I know people are interested in this topic: after all, their organisation paid me to come and talk about it. Then I follow up with the group I spoke to and send them a newsletter including the new blog posts. In that way, I can make sure I use valuable research instead of leaving it to languish in a drawer or on a hard drive, and I add value to my audiences by giving them information that is relevant to their industry. This again boosts their return on the time they spent attending my presentation.
Blogging actually saves you time
What’s more, blog posts are a wonderful way to add value when I’m giving a presentation. Whether I speak for a day, an hour or twenty minutes, I will always have more material and more points to make than time allows. In order to be respectful of my audience’s time, and of a potential speaker who might come onstage after me, I find it very convenient to use links to my blog posts as shorthand, to direct my listeners to “further reading” if they’re interested in the topic. It gives them something to mull over and we can then continue the conversation even after I’ve left the stage.
“This is all very well,” you say, “but couldn’t you just direct your contacts to articles that others have written? After all, I’m not a writer, and I don’t have the time to blog. Aren’t you supposed to write on a blog every day?”
To answer each of these concerns in turn: I know that, personally, it would take me more time, a lot more time, and a lot of frustration, too, to wade through a million Google results, each of which isn’t exactly quite what I wanted to say in the best-case scenario, or is a lot of tosh in the worst cases. (And all that frustration at never quite finding what I’m looking for, by the way, is an infinite source of business blog ideas…)
And if you have the time to express your opinion about a topic related to your industry when somebody asks you about it, you can find the time to blog. If you’re stumped for ideas to blog about, simply ask yourself: what do people often ask you when they hear what industry you work in or what you do for a living? What are common misconceptions that you can correct from the vantage point of your experience? What is a recent example of a problem you and your company could have solved easily, if only the person having the problem had known about you? What is a common question you have to answer again and again and again?
And finally: no, you don’t have to blog every day. As long as you do it regularly and as long as you keep at it. Remember, what you do regularly is far more impactful than what you do once in a while.
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