I’m getting the chance to read lots of other coaching blogs lately. One reason is, my blog is competing in the Best Coaching Blogs contest hosted by Julia Stewart of the School of Coaching Mastery. There are some great blogs being showcased there! If you haven’t already, check it out. There’s a link below this post. (And of course, I’d love your vote and comments, if you are so inclined.)
Plus, I’m working on a new learning system called Client Winning Websites & Blogs. It’s a step-by-step blueprint (with lots of examples) to launch well, get known and attract fans fast. (Coming soon.)
If you’re using a blog to attract clients, or you would like to be, what exactly do you want your blog to accomplish? For a moment, think about this from an outsider’s perspective.
Every new visitor to your site is deciding, within seconds, whether it’s something they value or not. So if you want your audience to grow, you must captivate them as soon as they arrive on your site.
Are you making sure that when your ideal prospects visit your site, they immediately feel seen, heard and understood by you?
Here are the five most important ways to captivate your audience on your blog:
# 1 Resonate Quickly with Your Target Market
There is a set of cues that in seconds tells your web visitors whether they want to stay on the site or bounce off. As a website owner, your job is to optimize those cues so your ideal clients are attracted to engage with what you’re offering. Blogs have the potential to do this best, because fresh relevant content builds connections with your audience.
These 3 critical cues determine whether visitors stay or bounce. They need to be immediately evident without scrolling when someone arrives on your blog (or any website):
I’ve been blogging since 2009. Of all the tools I’ve used to grow my coaching and mentoring business, blogging shines the brightest.
Admittedly, it’s a slow build strategy. So if you’re looking for a one hit wonder, this isn’t it. But you can’t be in “big splash” campaign mode all the time. That has a high cumulative cost in time, energy, and losing folks off your list If they’re not ready yet. It’s exhausting for you as well as your tribe. And big launches suck up lots of hours for your team too.
I’m not saying not to do big launches. They rock! But… everything in balance. You need a “steady-drip” strategy to continually touch the lives of your tribe in a way that is highly effective at building trust.
The same point applies to joint ventures. You can get a big boost to your list from a joint venture, but the connection is deeper and more resilient when people have a reason to follow you over time. A blog provides that touch point with people in ways that ezines cannot.
Before launching my blog, I put out an ezine for 10 years. It created some fans, but didn’t allow for much two-way communication. I often felt like I was talking to a wall.
In just a few months of blogging, I felt a huge shift in my business. My list was expanding with every post, and that translated to my income as well.
But the biggest advantage of blogging comes with more satisfying and long-term relationships. Readers can share comments and tweet out my posts to their friends. That brings me in deeper connection with them, as well as drawing people to my website that I would have never found if I wasn’t blogging.
This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Michele Pariza Wacek…
I am on a MISSION to shine a great big TRUTH spotlight on all the Big Fat Lies you’re most likely telling yourself about Internet Marketing right now.
However, I can only do so much.
I can tell you what the truth is. And you may even believe it. (In your head that is.)
But then, come the darkest part of the night, you’ll wake up in a sweat. And you’ll be thinking: “What if Michele is wrong? What if the reason why I’m having so much trouble succeeding on the Internet really IS all about me?”
During the day it’s easy to be rational. We understand in our heads that some marketing strategies will succeed, some will fail, and the best way to grow a successful business is to analyze why the failures failed and use that information to create more successes.
But in the dead of night, all of those good, objective intentions can fly away, leaving us alone with our doubts, fears, frustrations and anxiety.
So what IS it about these Big Fat Internet Marketing Lies that can wreak such havoc in our mental and emotional health?
I have published an ezine almost since I began as a coach 13 years ago, but I’m finally letting go of it. (If you’ve been getting my ezine, don’t worry. You’ll still get the same weekly content, just in a different format.)
Like other changes I’ve made in my business, this one comes down to a case of taking my own advice. I’ve been telling coaches that a blog is the best web platform for a coaching business. And it is. Right now I’m getting ready to launch Client Winning Websites & Blogs, an online system that teaches how to launch a powerful business blog. So I’ve been thinking about it.
Blogs Invite Interaction
Both blogs and ezines are great ways to connect with your market on a regular basis. But what blogs do better than any publishing medium that came before is to engage readers in the conversation. And that adds HUGE value.
When was the last time you invited the wonderful people on your list to take a bold step with you? If it was more than a few weeks ago, it’s high time to offer them a way to go deeper than just reading your ezine or commenting on your blog.
Putting lots of free valuable stuff out there is an act of good will and a great way to make the first connection or two with your prospects. But remember to also show them the way to your most valuable services.
Think of it this way: if you just wave at your friends now and then, but never invite them to dinner, you’ll never have the pleasure of their company. That’s the way it is with your coaching business too. To serve more people, regularly invite them into the inside of your business – where the in-depth support and most transformational experiences are waiting for them. Your “tribe” will be delighted to accept your invitation!
Believe in What You Do
You didn’t become a coach to sit by yourself and wait for the phone to ring. You have a profound desire to make a difference in the world. You want to make the lives of your clients easier, more delightful, more prosperous! Show that you believe in what you do by making your services known. Sound a call to action!
David Risley, one of my favorite bloggers, has put up a thoughtful post asking whether blogging is “broken” as a business model.
He notes the saturation level of information online, and wonders if it is creating a “community of tire kickers” who will never pay for high-value information products. He asks whether Apple and Google – both of which have just launched systems to charge small micro-payments for information – have seen the future of content marketing. Many of the top Internet marketers seldom post to their blogs any more, and some have quit blogging altogether.
It is true, as David says, that people who pay for content also pay more attention to that content. And it’s true that once an audience is “trained” to expect everything for free, it can be tough to overcome that training and sell them an information product.
But does that mean that blogging has outlived its usefulness for a service-based entrepreneurial business like coaching?
Blogging Builds Relationships and Trust
People have predicted the demise of blogging ever since the advent of blogging. So far that shows no sign of coming true. As for charging micro-payments for information, that may become a viable business model, but it remains to be proven, even for global giants like Apple and Google.
Here’s my bottom line for coaches.