You know how sometimes it’s not until you sit down and really think about something that you realise how lucky you are? I was asked to give a talk a few weeks back to a group of business owners about the joys of blogging. And it really got me thinking about the opportunities that blogging has opened up – both on a commercial and personal level.
I admit that when I started this blog around five years ago it was totally for marketing purposes. I didn’t “get” that it might be a rewarding, fun and creative outlet in it’s own right – I just saw it as something that would help me demonstrate our expertise and win us business. I wasn’t wrong. From the off it’s been an incredibly important part of our marketing mix. But as the years have gone on and I’ve found my blogging voice, it has opened up so many opportunities: to meet interesting people, to develop our skills, to travel and to really connect with my creative side.
And thanks to courses like Blogging Your Way and my crazy trip to New York in March I’ve really deepened my love for blogging. The act of writing and being able to articulate my thoughts is a real creative outlet for me – made all the more rewarding by the comments and interaction we have going on. And I don’t know about you, but I had forgotten that I love to write – blogging has really got me back in touch with that side of me – do you find that?
From a business point of view, the blog has opened doors that we simply didn’t know existed. From humble beginnings as a very locally focused design and print company seven years ago we are now fortunate enough to work with clients across the UK and also internationally – and it’s often the blog that opens those doors. If our work didn’t inspire people, if it didn’t get them excited then we certainly wouldn’t have the reputation or the platform that we do, so I’m not for one moment suggesting that blogging will make up for poor service – it won’t, they have to go hand in hand. But the challenge that most of us that run a service based business face, is how do we communicate what makes us different beyond what we say on our website or what goes in our portfolio?
A blog gives you the chance to communicate on another level. It gives you the chance to show what goes into your work: the care, attention to detail and passion you pour into your projects; the relationship you have with your clients and who you really are as a business. A blog that’s authentic, one that’s written from the heart will become one of your best cold callers – and better than that, it’ll give you the chance to build a relationship with people over time. For me it wins hands down over search engine optimisation or pay per click because whilst it may be more of a slow burn, when people are ready to buy they’re often committed to working with you. It becomes less of a supplier/ customer relationship, more of a team effort with both sides enjoying working together to achieve a shared goal.
So over to you. What has blogging done for your business? Have you tried and never quite got off the ground with it? Or do you have a similar story to us with tales of lots of doors opening and personal satisfaction to boot? I’d love to hear your stories!