If you sell services via your website or blog, there are 7 types of promotional blog posts that work well. Now, let’s be upfront about this… Writing these posts and then publishing them back to back isn’t a good idea, you need to be careful with promotional posts. Your editorial calendar should include blog posts for traffic and blog posts for a deeper personal connection as well as details about your special offers. Your reader shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with your sales message.
This kind of post compares the features and benefits of your product or services to similar solutions available on the market. Be honest and objective when producing such content or you risk chasing away some of your followers. Contrary to popular belief, customers are not sheep and they won’t buy without question or often, consultation. If you don’t tell them the truth in comparisons, they will find it out elsewhere and you will have lost the sale.
For the best results, include a few instances when your product is not the best solution. I’m often asked how this works, well think of your worst possible customer, the one that sucks the life and energy from you. How would she use the product/service? Then send her to the competition. Life is too short to work with people who don’t like or respect you.
Use your blog to showcase some of your business projects. Show the process, share the results and mention some of the issues you faced while you were working on it. This post from Rosanne Berry is a great example as she showcases her shop’s makeover.
These are usually very visual posts containing a lot of photos, and / or a video. These kind of posts can be really aspirational, and if the images are good and the headline catchy, then it will pull in a lot of social shares and increase your visibility.
If you are an online marketer there’s no faster way to build trust and credibility with your audience and using the income report post. When you show your readers a breakdown of the income you are generating, they start to see all the aspects of marketing their business online. Make sure to add a little bit of humor and self-irony to juice up the post, and remember to include your expenses in your report or people will really think you can earn 10k a month pure profit 😉
Take a look at Alexandria’s income report here as a good example.
Product tips posts are a great way to promote services and products to your readers. Consider writing articles that help your customers take full advantage of what you are selling. The product tips post also help affiliate marketers promote their recommended products quickly and easily.
Best-of posts pull together the most liked and commented blog posts you have written over a period of time. They are a good way to drive traffic towards “old but gold” posts that newcomers to your blog could be unaware of. If you also add in a section for your comparison posts and your product tips’ post you’re onto a winner.
This is possibly my favourite way to sell a product or service online. A detailed case study shows your customer as the hero, and how you have supported them on their quest. When you outline the problem, the solution and the journey on the way, you’ll generate new leads and prospects for your business. When a reader can view a case study and picture them self in the same position, you have a powerful lead generator. These can be difficult to create for a small business blogger, so they’re often outsourced to copywriters.
Sometimes product creators don’t share enough of what works well and how customers feel about that product. I’ll admit that my testimonial posts are few and far between, and that’s a shame as they tend to be the piece of content potential clients ask for. Don’t make this mistake. In the blogging challenge we encourage the participants to add a testimonial to a blog post and then publish it.
Here’s two of my recent testimonials:
What I really like about working with Kevin is his deep understanding of not just marketing a business, but how to actually run a business successfully. This knowledge has helped me to make considered decisions about what I need to do in order to prevent myself from wasting a lot of time and money. I especially value Kevin’s honest approach to giving advice, which has always been spot on even if it is not always what I would like to hear. If you are looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear about marketing and business, then go elsewhere. If you want to know exactly what you need to do to be successful then speak to Kevin. His knowledge and experience is vast
Susan Marot – Succeed At Selling
Kevin is highly skilled at helping businesses generate leads and sales through digital marketing. He has been instrumental in helping me form a strategy for my business. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed going through the 30 day blogging challenge which Kevin and Sarah run together which has helped me build traffic to my website
CJ Sohal – Business Owner
There it is, 7 blog posts that help you promote your products and services.
PS if you like this post you might like to join us on the 30-day blogging challenge. It will help you get more from your blog posts 🙂
Most business blogs go through a fairly predictable pattern of growth from white belt blog to black belt blog. To make it to the point where your business blog is making significant income, you’ll go through all of these stages. Each and every stage has its own challenges and rewards and of course, lessons to be learned. Just like on the mat in your dojo
Here are the five stages every profitable business blogger needs to go through to reach success, assuming your definition of success of course, is more sales, leads and reach.
You’re selecting your WordPress themes, have less than ten posts and are still experimenting. You’re still finding your voice and various options when it comes to starting a blog. You’re not quite sure on your branding and you could change themes several times a month. You are a big consumer of knowledge at this stage and perhaps somewhat reluctant to spend on advice – how do you know the good from the bad?
A lot of people underestimate how long this stage can last. Unfortunately, you can be stuck in the zero to low traffic rut for as many as twenty posts, sometimes more.
In order to succeed, you’ve just got to persevere. Persistence Pays Off. Keep on blogging, keep writing and do not give up because you think your only reader is your mum. The language of being online is confusing and sounds like gobbledy-gook and what the heck is a ranking?!
I promise being a white belt blogger won’t last forever even if it feels like it, this stage flies by although it may not seem like it at the time.
At this stage you’ll start to get a trickle of readers coming to your blog from a variety of sources.
People may be finding your site through totally random Google searches that you’re not really optimising for. That can be frustrating – how do you reach your ideal reader? You start looking at SEO and SEO plugins.
At this stage, you start to have an audience, though a very, very small one. Look after them, they can be with you a whole lifetime.
Though you’re not the go-to person in the industry, you’re beginning to get a small following of people who listen to you and trust your advice.
You have a couple of pages that are ranked in the search engines. All that bookmarking paid off! 😉
This isn’t as great as you had hoped it would be. At this stage you’ll probably have at least fifty posts, but it still feels great to see some of your pages getting decent rankings and getting google traffic for the things you really want to be found for. If you post once a week it can take a year to reach this stage.
At this stage you start to see the power of your blog and worry about what happens if Google sandboxes you, you might want to think about subscribing to Activecampaign and setting up a newsletter if you haven’t already. If you’re still using a free theme or design, you now want to pay for a custom design and move onto Thrive Themes. You may already have a custom theme and now is the time you start exploring and unleashing all of it’s potential.
You are more choosy in the content that you consume. You start looking for like-minded individuals and forming friendships. You have to adopt the courage of a martial artist and ask for links from other bloggers and comments. Suddenly comments matter. Many bloggers stay in this stage, it’s comfortable and there’s not a lot of pressure.
At this stage you’re making just enough money from your blog to support yourself. You no longer panic and break out into a sweat when it comes to guest blogging. You are thinking of becoming a full-time blogger and you get 1 or 2 direct advertising deals. You’re getting backlinks without having to beg for them and a higher percentage of your pages are getting ranked for the stuff you want to be found for.
When you review and recommend a product, people take it seriously. People with products come to you and offer you Joint Venture deals. Sales start to come easier because people are starting to trust your reputation. You start thinking more and more about developing your own products. Something beyond that ebook.
The dangers of this stage is you may lack patience and you may feel one day you are the coolest kid in town and the next day you don’t have a friend in the world. Despite outward appearances, this can be a lonely stage for a blogger – who is a friend and who is a foe? In this stage friendships that are formed last a bloggers entire career. Typically you have been blogging 3-5 years.
At this point your blog is one of the top 3-5 in your chosen industry. If someone mentioned your name at a conference, more often than not people would recognise the name and you are asked to keynote at the major industry conferences. Life for this blogger is good, it can take up to 5 years to reach this stage part time and about 18 months full time. Of course everyone thinks you are an overnight success…
Sadly most blogs never reach this stage and that’s okay if you are happy at the other stages. If your blog reaches maturity there are many perks
These are the five stages in the lifecycle of a successful blogger. The key to moving from one stage to the next is to
All business blogs start the same way, just like walking on the mat in the dojo for the first time, it’s new and exciting, the key to success it turning up, building every time you go onto your site and moving forward whilst building and learning.
If you are still at the white belt stage and need some extra support then do take a look at the longest-running and most successful business blogging challenge here
You’ve got the planner, you’ve got the big vision and you’ve got everything (and I mean everything) in alignment, but you did the same last year and it didn’t happen for you. The no 1 reason that your marketing plan fails is that you don’t act upon it.
You can write your marketing plan in infinite detail but without action to back up what you’ve written, your grand vision will not become a reality.
Action is part of planning, it’s the part that inspires your dreams to reality.
Oh no, there are other things you need to know about to make sure your marketing plan succeeds. Because without these this year your dreams won’t happen. In this article, I’m going to share with you the other things that impact your marketing plan’s success.
Running a successful business requires a lot of research and dedication to getting to know your audience intimately. That means not only for today, but in the future as well. Audiences change. Technology changes. Lifestyles change. Whilst some core things remain the same (Will I make enough money? Will I be able to find the right life partner? Will my kids be safe and happy?) everything else changes. I’m in my 40s, I’ve experienced incredible technological advances in my lifetime. My needs from 5 years ago are not the same as they are right now. I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago, I’ve grown. Your audience grows too. This means you need to check their pulse on a regular basis.
Do you know every product that you offer your audience and do you know why you offer them? What benefits do they give your audience? Don’t just know how to list the features of your products. The audience only cares about the benefits and you should be able to explain your products from their perspective. Often products don’t sell as there’s little market fit, or the ability articulate the market fit. Each product you create has a dream client, and it’s not always the same dream client. Often, the dream client is changing and growing, and you’re not taking their needs into account they will find someone who will. This is one of the hardest and most painful lessons of entrepreneurship, and one that I help my clients overcome on a regular basis.
If I hear another entrepreneur tell me that FB ads is the answer to their problem, then I’ll brain them ( a very British term for smacking someone hard on the head). Many business owners just run advertisements without really knowing why, or even who their dream clients are and the demographics of their audience. Set something measurable so you can measure the impact. If you don’t have a specific goal such as increasing your email list by 100 subscribers in one month, it will be hard to know if what you’re doing is working.
If you have a budget of 100 a month, you may not be able to reach 1000 new subscribers in a month, or hire someone to write 20 new articles for your blog. Therefore, work with your budget or around your budget to meet a goal. However, don’t create a goal based on budget; only create the plan based on the budget.
You want to add people to your email list, but why do you want to do that? What is the point of your goal? If you can’t understand the reason behind your goals then it will be impossible for you to fulfill them. This also means that when you know why something needs to happen that you’ll actually stick with this and not flit around like a butterfly, changing your goals to fit what you know, and then wondering why they don’t work. This is another one of the reasons that your marketing plan fails.
Many people are afraid to admit that they do not know how to do something and need more education. If you can find a way to identify gaps in your education, and find tutorials or coaching to teach you, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals.
No one does things alone in their business. They outsource, they hire trainers and coaches, and virtual assistants etc. If you don’t know who is going to help you reach your goals and implement your plan, how can you achieve it? When you write out your marketing plan, also write out who is going to do each part of the plan and when.
Many entrepreneurs actually do all the planning but never implement a darn thing. Fear of success or fear of failure, it doesn’t matter both have the same impact on your marketing plan. If you don’t follow through you will not see the results that you want.
Marketing plans don’t really fail if they are created and then implemented. The reason is that a marketing plan changes with the times, objectives and goals. As long as you are working the plan, you will more than likely find success.
Remember to book in your FREE call with us to talk through your business growth strategy
You can’t catch any fish if there are no fish to catch. Successful fishermen find out where the fish are, and then go to them. Marketing your website is the same as fishing in this respect – you have to go to where your audience / customers are.
Working smarter means doing the same with your marketing and blogging efforts. You go to where your fish are.
Imagine for a moment that you create an awesome opt in that you know your readers will benefit from. If you offer that incentive with an opt-in form on a website that is getting very little to no traffic, even though it will change someone’s life and make an incredible impact, nothing will happen. You don’t have any fish on your line. Your blog posts will not generate enough of the right leads for you to grow your business online if you don’t have the traffic to them.
The first step to generating more leads from your blog posts is to have the right bait…
This isn’t a post about generating more traffic, but a post about improving your most popular posts to generate more leads. To do this…
Before you quit looking at the numbers, take a look and see if you have any evergreen seasonal posts that generate a lot of traffic at certain times of the year. These can easily be overlooked as they may not be receiving high traffic all of the time.
If you don’t have any high performance pieces of content, then it’s time for you to join the 30 day blogging challenge
Now that you have tracked down your high-traffic posts, how do you come up with great content upgrade ideas? This is a rather simple process.
Read your blog post as if you are a brand new reader encountering it for the first time.
Jot down ideas as you are reading, and reflect upon what type of resource or content would be a logical upgrade to what you’ve just read.
Perhaps your most popular blog post talks about the content style for your site. A sensible content upgrade could be a short and simple worksheet that shows your reader how to create their own content style guide.
Keep your content upgrade short and easy to digest, and your readers will see some quick value in the content you provide. Suggested types of content upgrade include:
They all make effective content upgrades, and I recommend that you mix them up and see which your readers prefer. Here on Sark worksheets and checklists are the most popular. You can grab some colouring images from the lovely Shan, add those to your content upgrades and make it something that’s treasured (we often add Shan’s mandalas to our content upgrades). With a little creativity your content upgrades will become something that your audience not only looks out for, but will share with others.
Content Upgrades build your email list and nurture relationships. They also increase your influence and reputation, and improve the lead generation ability of your very best blog posts!
Over to you: How many posts can you add a content upgrade too?
I have interviewed alot of people, when i did my first few interviews it was painful, I was under prepared, i didn’t even think about the tech failing (and it did) and so many other things that were avoidable went wrong Over the years i have refined my technique, i know how to prepare more now and how to make the person being interviewed feel confident and comfortable .
It does take a great deal of work to set up, plan, organize and carry out an interview with anybody let alone an expert in your field that has influence. It would be completely insane to let these 5 things ruin all that hard work, all that preparation and the excitement. Let’s take a look at what I think the top 5 things are that will stop you crying into your pillow.
Before you ask an influential person if you can interview them, you should get to know them and build a relationship with them obvious really but it needs to be said. when i started interviewing i often didn’t know that much about the person, i knew their business but not them too much, it’s critical to get to know them a bit first This involves following them on social media and interacting with them wherever you get the opportunity. However, if you communicate too much with them, you could look like a stalker.
Communicate enough with an influencer to stay on their radar. Watch for clues such as slow response time that might mean you’re bothering them. Make your interactions natural and try to make a real connection.
This is one of my pet peeves,
After all the trouble you’ve gone through to prepare and set up the interview, running late and making your interviewee feel pressured could set the wrong tone and derail the whole thing. This is one appointment you don’t want to be late too. Make sure you can make it at the appointed time and make the time earlier if you have any doubts.
I have always scheduled in a minimum of a 15 minute chat before the interview especially if its on a live webinar of live stream to make sure everyone is where they are meant to be when they are meant to be there. It’s come close to the wore before when I have been sat waiting but generally this practice will serve you well.
You need to maintain a professional appearance and make good use of this precious time you have with your chosen expert. For this reason, you should be totally organised. Have a clear outline with plenty of questions and backup questions for the interview. Don’t repeat yourself during the interview, asking questions the influencer has already answered.
Make sure that you have had a pre-interview session either by skype, phone or email so you can make sure you don’t ask anything that may make them uncomfortable or that just aren’t relevant, it also helps set a tone for your interview technique and the way the interviewee will respond, believe me some interviews are harder to conduct with the ‘one answer brigade’ than others.
As part of your preparations, you may want to give the influencer a list of questions so they know what to expect. You’ll want them to understand the topic of the interview and your goals and expectations. I get asked to do this alot and mostly I will refuse. if you over-prep the influencer about every single detail of the interview, it could result in a “rehearsed” interview that’ sounds totally manufactured. One of the reasons you will get people coming back to listen to your interviews is because of the flow and feel you produce this is much harder to achieve when it’s fully rehearsed.
If the interviewee really insists on knowing the questions try suggesting some themes you will ask them about rather than the actual questions.
It’s your call on how much you want to prep the interviewee, but as a general rule, let them know what they need to know beforehand but not everything.
There is nothing worse than a person interviewing you and then disappearing. You need to follow up with your interviewee. First, you need to let them know the details about the publishing of the interview. You may also want them to review the footage or audio in case they want to edit something out.
You should also keep in touch with interviewees as a matter of being professional. Otherwise, they’ll feel that you just wanted their interview and that was it. Stay in touch and keep interacting with them. In addition to being simply good manners, there may also be other opportunities in the future.
This isn’t al of the tips i could think of when it comes to interviewing vip’s in your industry but they certainly give you a good basis of conducting a reasonable interview and everyone is happy
Let me know your interview tips
To Your Success
One of the greatest things about having your own business, of being an entrepreneur is choosing whom you work with. No more clients chosen by your sales team or your boss. You no longer have to work with any person warm, and breathing with a pulse (although that helps ;)), you get to profile and attract who you want to work with, you get to say no to people who are not a fit and you get to spend each day waking up and wanting to go to work. What’s not to love?
I know, your ideal customer might be like you, but they are not you. They don’t get excited when The Flash comes on the tv,they do love the X Factor though. That might not seem like a difference, but it is. Human beings are made up of hundreds and millions of nuances, and their experiences may differ from yours. Example, when I was in school the teachers spent two years striking. They would stand up and say “We want you to get the best education.” and then we’d have the rest of the week off as they were striking. Now, it’s not that I don’t like teachers, four of my closest friends are excellent teachers, it’s just my experience of teachers is different to yours. If you tell me you’re a teacher, my response will be so what.
Let’s compare that to someone who had a solid education, they didn’t experience broken schooling or the indifference of the teachers to the pupils, but someone who has had a positive experience of teachers. When you say you’re a teacher, they get excited. They share your passion for teaching and will tell you how awesome you are and what a brilliant education system the country has.
When you’re up close and personal with your work as entrepreneurs, it’s easy to think that your ideal customer is just like you; that they share the same beliefs. They probably do, but what they don’t have is the same experiences as you. This means you have to focus on your customer avatars and when you share something you have to think “Would my ideal customer like this”. Not whether you like it or not, but whether it will connect and resonate with your ideal customer.
You are not your ideal customer. Trust me, you’re not. They may be like you, and have things in common but they are not you. When you get advice from a professional marketer, they look at your customer avatar with you, your brand and it’s values and then you get the advice on how to do whatever you need to do. If that advice is to share a certain type of content to attract in your ideal client you should try it to see if it works, and try it for an agreed amount of time generally not 5 minutes. Looking at something and saying it won’t work is what idiots, the overwhelmed and those that think they are they’re own customer do. I know, I’ve been all of those people.
It’s about sharing the right content for your audience, connecting with them, finding what could be better and then giving them that. It’s about constantly testing and finding the sweet spot, and that might mean sharing things that you normally wouldn’t, but connect with your audience. As you get to know the ideal customer, you get to know and understand their nuances. You start to discover the things they care about deeply, so you can tailor your marketing more specifically, and that might mean deviating greatly from the things that you love.
If my audience was moms of children of a certain age, I might make references to Minecraft. Children, who aren’t teens, love Minecraft. Do I love Minecraft? Maybe. Do I watch my children play it? Yes, yes I do. Like these parents, I know who Stampy is and Eyeballistic Squid is, and I know that Stampy likes cake. But what if your ideal customer doesn’t have children of that age? Theirs are younger or older? Mentioning Minecraft might not get the same connection. Should you decline mention or share Minecraft and Stampy just in case? Hell no.
If these parents are my ideal customers then I need to talk about the detail, the things that show that I understand them and what goes on in their life. I might like to play Crash Bandicoot or Outrun on my ancient Playstation, but that’s me. I’m not hiding who I am, I’m connecting.
I know you’re the most important person in your life. I get it. You might talk about whom you serve, but you are the centre of your world. Then one day you wake up and realise you’re not the centre of the universe; there are hundreds of other stars out there with their own gravitational pull. Did you like how I just went from Minecraft to Astronomy? ;), If I was really smart I’d get in a reference about Big Bang Theory and Sheldon Cooper.
So think for a moment about the nuances, the little details that connect you to prospects and ideal customers. These little things are the things that connect us.
To Your Success
PS Like this? leave me a comment let me know what YOU think
All businesses need marketing and often I see companies and individuals just stumbling around with their marketing often due to either time (lots of time so lots of marketing or no time so no marketing) or budget one minute they have spare cash the next they don’t.
The best way to make sure your marketing is successful is to create a marketing plan, now this may sound very formal and scary but what it does is makes sure you have a consistent marketing system no matter how busy or quiet you are so the leads and sales coming into your business should be a bit more stable.
A marketing plan will include the following:
* A short description of your company
* Your mission and goals
* Your core money-making focus
* Where you are today within the market
* Who your competitors are
* Who your target market is
* The marketing mix
* The strategy and tactics you plan to use to reach your audience
* A schedule to implement
* Your overall budget
It’s important to do this because without a plan, you will end up with big highs in business and big lows and ultimately your business will be erratic at best as far as sales and cashflow go.
If you plan to have a marketing mix of a website, a blog and social media along with offline marketing such as radio or newspapers, you need to write it all down and create a special strategy and tactics for each. Your marketing mix offers different ways to reach your audience as it should, but they can’t all live together in the same individual strategy, and your tactics will be different for each channel and sub channel.
For example: Your Facebook marketing strategy, while it falls under social media marketing, will not look the same as your Twitter strategy or your LinkedIn strategy, because they’re as different as a nightclub and a barn.
If you, like most small businesses, have a small marketing budget, it’s important to focus on what works. In this case, social media and online marketing are going to be more effective for your business because it costs a lot of money to get involved with radio advertising.
Facebook ads for example can be fantastic at raising awareness of your business and are not bank breaking because you can set your budget and let them loose.
Don’t skimp on your website. Today, you can make an excellent website without much knowledge using self-hosted WordPress. You can even hire someone to build a good website using WordPress as long as it doesn’t have too many bells and whistles like forums, membership options, and shopping carts.
So be realistic about that, too. If you need those things, spend the money that needs to be spent to ensure the website works. Many businesses fail before they get started due to a poorly created website.A well designed website will let you level it up as you grow and your resourses become more avaliable. A great place to start if you are on a very tight budget is here
There are lots and lots of social media platforms out there now and the amazing thing is that the majority of them are free to register and set up an account Fill out the profiles all the way – include pictures, include information. add in your business website and links to other social channels these all add up to being found for your business and strengthen your online presence.
Remember, this is sort of like a resume for your customers. If you hide who you are, and aren’t “real,” they’re going to ignore you as if you aren’t even there. You want people to learn about your business so be yourself, be likeable, and be trustworthy and accurate in your representation of your business.
If you need help with any of this you can always book a call in with me (discovery calls are always FREE) and lets see where you are with your marketing.
To Your Success