Why every consultant can benefit from a business blog

Are you a freelance, consultant or small business looking to connect with more potential clients?

If so, have you thought of starting a blog?

The question comes to mind because this week I was with a freelance friend who is part of a loose network of consultants involved in writing, editing, translating and teaching.

They’ve paid for a professionally designed website.  But my friends told me they aren’t getting any business through it.

I’ve suggested they start a blog as a way of raising their visibility and attracting prospective customers. Here are some advantages a blog could give them.

    1.  A blog makes you stand out in your industry. Only 13% of entrepreneurs have a blog (Social Media Examiner/Technorati). If you have one you’ll be ahead of your competitors.
    2.  A blog makes you visible to a lot more prospective clients. Did you know 51% of people read blogs (Social Media Examiner/Technorati)? Maybe you have a Facebook page. But could you extend your reach if you had a strong presence on your own platform as well?
    3. Having a blog is like having continual speaking engagements. I’m not suggesting you stop speaking at events or conferences. But you could “speak” via your blog as well. Blog posts never die.
    4. Blogging helps you shift  from old-fashioned “outbound” marketing to modern “inbound” marketing. Outbound means advertising or promotion. These cost money, and there is not always a return on your investment. Inbound means writing blog posts and other content which can educate and help potential clients to solve their business problems. You can share this on social networks. Inbound marketing typically costs 61% less than outbound and has significantly better results (according to Hubspot, which provides inbound marketing solutions).
    5. You imagine blogging is a burden. It isn’t once you get going. Setting up a blog takes time and effort but  then – with planning – it becomes a routine. There is a process to help you decide who to target and what content to provide for them. You can also use an editorial calendar to keep yourself on track. I’ll come back to that in another post.
    6. A blog gives you the foundation for more ways to promote or enhance your business. Your blog posts can be turned into presentations, simple videos, ebooks or even a webinar, and shared via social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. You can decide which of these are right for your business, and then use them to spread the word and attract potential customers.
    7. Your new blog can also be a reason to focus or refocus your business. You’ll create a blueprint for the blog, which will prompt you to think about who your potential clients are and what they need. That helps you to look afresh at your whole operation.

Has that given you an idea of whether a blog could be useful to you or your business? What else would you like to know to help you decide? Leave your comments or questions below and I’ll  get back to you.

 

About Liz Wilson

Liz Wilson is Content Manager at Orange in Switzerland. This is her personal blog where she likes talking about content, copywriting and social media.