In The Commonsense Virtual Assistant we wrote about the four fundamental customer needs:
- Get it right
- Get it out there
- Give 'em advice
- Give 'em a voice
A blog fills the last two needs, with proactive advice, and room for feedback, not just from your existing clientele, but from two groups we call prospects (people who are considering doing business with you) and suspects (people who should be doing business with you but don't know it yet.) Never underestimate the power of fortuitous discovery. When someone stumbles upon your blog, they may discover you're exactly what they need—but didn't realize it.
It's astonishing how many small businesses don't blog regularly. (We all realize that as nonfiction authors, we're in the book business, don't we?)
It's a simple way to confirm your expertise and publicize your generosity, to create transparency into your methodology and verify your effectiveness. Posts don't have to be long. Short, most of the time, is better. We'll write more about what to blog about, but one simple method of effective blogging is to write one short post about every question your prospects ask. These are the true "frequently asked questions" and not the fake FAQs most businesses put on their websites, which are, in reality, questions no one asks, but the business wants to answer anyway.
Every time a potential reader, a client, or a prospect asks a question, write it down. Write down your answer. Post it on the blog.
And next time someone asks, point them to the post.
Over time, you'll develop a plethora of meaningful practical blog posts. You'll also spend a little less time answering the same old questions for prospects. This has at least two benefits: unqualified prospects can weed themselves out, and qualified prospects area ready for the next level of engagement.
You know you should be blogging regularly (around here we mean weekly, which means we need to start following our own advice.)