The end of any year, we hope, involves clearing out the clutter and mistakes of the previous year, and part of those mistakes for any small business may have involved neglecting (maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away) blogging for your business. As part of the initial consultation with any small business owner (we work with all sizes of business but many of our clients have between 2-25 employees) the question always is posed: “What are you going to write about?” This is partly because the owner or principal feels that there isn’t any “interesting” content to share with the public. But this just isn’t true. Every business has stories to share about the industry, its customers, its practices, and its passions, just to name a few starting points.
People may be aware that your industry exists, but do they know how it works? Can you tell some “inside baseball” stories in an interesting fashion? Ask your colleagues for thoughts on sharing things you take for granted. One of our clients helps plan special events and one thing we didn’t really think about before working with them was how long an initial phone call might take. Share how someone gets started in your business (are there certifications?) or how many players (wide open or pretty niche?) or even how you got started. All of these can be compelling stories to share.
You can always change the names to protect the guilty (or the innocent!) but telling stories about customers is not only cathartic from a business perspective, but it’s also helpful from a reviewing perspective for your staff and colleagues. Walking through a very positive customer interaction not only reinforces good feelings about your brand, but it sets a point of reference to strive for. Walking through a challenging customer situation, if done well, showcases your customer service skills.
So you have a donut shop and all donuts are the same, aren’t they? Or are they? Whatever your donut/widget, what’s your differentiator? Marty Neumeier, in his landmark book Zag, refers to this as being the only _____ that _____. What makes you different? That’s what is going to draw a consumer that is increasingly tech-savvy and reliant on fellow customer reviews.
We know that you aren’t robots and don’t just think about your business 24/7. Well that’s not true – plenty of us often do – but the point is that you should always take some time to share something that isn’t directly related to your business. Proud of your town’s historic roots? Tell us about them! Fascinated by scuba diving? Share your reflections from your latest vacation. Has one of your colleagues recently had a major positive life change? Inquiring minds want to know!
We hope this brief brainstorming exercise has gotten you excited about beginning to blog – because, let’s face it, your competitors are already doing it. So are you going to let it continue to stay on your “to-do” list? Or are you going to make the New Year truly new, by promoting your business in one of the most genuine and relevant ways: by writing about it. If you feel overwhelmed or need help – we are just an email away.