I’ll start by setting the scene for you.
Just a few years ago, the big challenge in marketing was getting your message out. Now the challenge is being heard.
And with so much time, effort, and energy put into publishing blog posts in the first place, you may be wondering if the world really needs yet another blog to read.
The answer? Of course not.
But you’re not selling to the world. You’re selling to a defined market with specific problems that you’re uniquely qualified to solve. If you don’t believe that, stop reading because you should never have a blog.
If you agree with this statement, however, do keep reading.
I’ve already established that there’s an absolute glut of content produced every day. That’s a given.
But let’s be honest: most of it sucks. Most blog posts are written like an afterthought by under-qualified hacks. I’ll just assume that’s not you.
And rest assured: if you’re still reading this post, it’s more than possible that your prospects will read the posts that you write. More importantly, every time you sit down to write, your words will have leverage far beyond a single blog article. I’ll get to that in a second.
If you’re a consultant with something to say, you absolutely should blog. You should do it regularly, and you should do it with multiple goals in mind.
We blog for many reasons – here’s why you should blog about your consulting experience.
So you want to know the #1 reason why consultants should write blog posts? To be helpful.
You might be thinking, “why should I give away my best ideas for free? And why should I teach my competition my secret sauce?”
Your role as a consultant is one of trusted advisor. Providing rational, expert guidance is your thing.
Writing is one way you can do that. Long before anyone pays you a cent, you’ll need to prove that you can be helpful. That you’re a worthy advisor who provides calculated, highly useful advice.
If you can be genuinely helpful through your blog posts, your readers are more likely to turn to you for advice now and in the future. And that’s how consulting services are sold, isn’t it?
Increase Your Traffic
This is probably the #1 reason why consultants think they should write blog posts.
It’s true, getting more visitors to your website could be hugely helpful to your business. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s a loooooong play. Inbound marketing is also a really expensive endeavor, so you’d better be fully committed before you start.
Increasing your traffic by writing blog posts definitely works. But if your goal is simply to increase the number of visitors to your site, why not pay Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook for clicks?
Maybe you’re on to me: it’s not just about increasing the total number of visitors to your site, it’s also about getting higher quality visits. Which means qualified prospects who show a high degree of intent for your services or a problem you solve, which in turn leads them to your website.
Depending on the make up of your firm, chances are you don’t need massive traffic to start to move the needle on your inbound marketing efforts. Small increases could have a lasting impact on your bottom line. For a typical consulting firm, the numbers might go something like this:
- 3,000 visitors per month
- 3% become leads, or 90 per month
- 3% of leads become clients, or about 3 clients per month
Increase any of these numbers – traffic or conversion rates – and you’re pulling the levers of your business. And if your average sale is above $10k, you’ll see huge dividends on your inbound marketing investment within a few months.
Shorten Your Sales Cycle
Consulting sales can be long and complicated. Especially if your business lends itself to long term engagements – say 3+ months of close work with a client. The sales cycle can be brutal for all parties, and can sometimes stretch longer than the engagement itself.
Shortening the sales cycle is another big reason why consultants should write blog posts. Here’s how it works, in a nutshell. Get out a piece of paper and:
- Identify your prospects’ top sales objections
- Identify your top differentiators
- Identify weak (or underdeveloped) parts of your positioning
- Identify the most common questions your prospects and clients ask
Now that you have a long list of bullets, write about ’em. As in, write about every single one of them.
You see, B2B buyers are waiting longer and involving more members of their teams in their purchasing decisions. If you’re involved from Day 1 of this process, your prospects have effectively lengthened your sales process.
By giving them the tools and information they need to arrive at their own conclusions, you’ll have more-purchase-ready prospects anytime someone shows up on your doorstep. Creating rich content – on your blog and elsewhere – allows your prospects to do a lot of the homework for themselves, which effectively shortens the sales cycle.
Our goal at Good Funnel is to transform our sales conversations from “are you qualified?” to “can I afford you?” That’s success.
And here’s another little secret about today’s buyer: you don’t have much control over the sale process anymore. One of the most important things you can do is at least tell your own story through your writing.
Formalize Your Most Useful Ideas
As a consultant, your constantly forced to think on your feet, instill confidence in your clients, and lead with innovative-yet-proven ideas. No big deal, right?
One thing writing forces you to do is logically construct your ideas and arguments into a cohesive, enjoyable piece of reading. That’s a skill you can use in about a thousand ways.
Practicing the skill of clearly formalizing your ideas into writing will actually help you think more clearly, too. As you consult with bigger, badder clients, writing will help you think and sound like a bigger, badder consultant. Ultimately, your entire job comes down to clear and sober thought.
As you clearly formalize more of your ideas, you also build a content library. I won’t get into the ways you can leverage your content here, but think again about your sales cycle. Whenever a sales objection comes up, imagine if you could send someone to a blog post. Imagine if that blog post leads them to other blog posts on your site, and over the next hour your prospect has read 10,000 words written by you.
That’s quality time.
Have a Reason to Talk to Prospects and Clients
If you’ve been in consulting for more than two days, you’ve probably heard the good ol’ consulting refrain:
Don’t bother your clients.
I get it. It’s easy to think that your clients are bothered by you. They’re busy. They have full calendars and a business to run, just like you. But maybe – just maybe – you wouldn’t be bothering them if you had something valuable to share.
The same is true of prospects, new and old. It can be challenging to find a good, legitimate reason to reach out to that 6-month-old, decaying prospect.
You, Consultant, should write blog posts so you always have a reason to talk to prospects and clients that benefits them. Remember the Be Helpful point at the start? Being helpful to them benefits you, too, because you can help more people this way, and more often.
Your blog posts are useful for far more than getting new traffic. Any time you write a new post, you can email everyone on your email list to tell the about it. Every time you hear a new question, you can write about it and send it to your prospects and clients.
To them, it looks like you’re helpful, busy, and things are rollin’. That’s a good reason to stay in touch.
Make the Call Yourself
Now that you know why consultants should write blog posts, ask yourself if blogging is right for you. There are many different channels you can use to market yourself and your business. Blogging is only one.
I recommend making sure you share the following values before you even consider blogging as a marketing and sales channel:
- You’re committed to your clients’ well being
- Being helpful is truly rewarding to you
- You’re committed to developing world class information
- You constantly evaluate and improve your sales process
- You’re willing to invest in a long-term marketing initiative
If you share these values, you’ve passed the first test. Here’s the final checkpoint:
If you’re looking for a quick win, blogging isn’t it.
But if you’re looking to contribute valuable information to your clients and prospects, and build the profile and awareness of your consulting business while you’re at it, then blogging may be for you. Here at Good Funnel, we can help you through the blogging process.