Daniel Finley, advising financial planners on managing their practice, poses the question: "What’s your purpose?"
According to Finley, one thing that holds many advisers back from increasing their business strength is their business belief systems, which he defines as "what you believe about yourself, your abilities, the market, your firm, or anything else that affects your business." The important thing about belief systems, he stresses, is that they affect business activities.
Finley’s words ring very true to me. As a professional ghost blogger, I become part of a business’ marketing team. Too often, I find, business owners are so anxious to embark on blogging, they don’t devote adequate thought to how the blogging will fit into their overall marketing system.
Blogs are tools, and like other tools, may be used for different purposes. A company can use blogging to build goodwill, attract new business, improve customer relations, enhance the brand, recruit employees, or weather a crisis. According to blog experts Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos, one kind of blog you should never launch is the "Let’s-launch-a-blog" blog, just because everybody else is doing it!
Fellow blogger Luke Houghton agrees with that idea. In his blog post "Say Exactly What You Want When You Ask For Something", Houghton mentions the "stinging disappointment of loss" you feel when you’ve paid for something that turns out to be different from what you expected. Houghton emphasizes that "the question comes first, then the answer."
When working with business owners to arrive at the right tone and the right emphasis for their business blogs, I begin by challenging the owner of the business or professional practice with the following question: "If you had only eight to ten words to describe why you’re passionate about what you sell, what you know, and what you do, what would those words be?"
In short, when it comes to blogging for business, Luke Houghton’s "spot on" about the question needing to precede the answer. For eager-beaver business blogger newbies, a reminder: in the dictionary, the word "belief" comes before "blog", and (significantly, I think), "planning" comes before "posting"!