Business Blogging and Professional Competence – (special guest post by Robby Slaughter)

Today’s guest blogger is Robby Slaughter, author of one of my very favorite business books "Failure – the Secret to Success".  Slaughter runs a productivity consulting  firm in Indianapolis and specializes in helping businesses and individuals become more efficient, more effective and more satisfied.

I’m happy to admit that I am not a mechanic. With enough patience and help, I probably could resolve a few routine problems with my vehicle but if I want quality work done in a reasonable amount of time, I am prepared to open my wallet and engage the services of a professional.

Nevertheless, I am not a complete automotive neophyte. Last month, my driver’s side window somehow became disengaged and then permanently disappeared into the inside of the door. Naturally, I understood that a mechanic would need to take apart the interior panel to assess the problem and then repair or replace some parts inside. This level of knowledge is neither highly technical nor particularly obscure—in fact, anyone who owns a car ought to be able to deduce these broad steps.

When I picked up my vehicle, I was pleased to be able to once again raise the window pane with the flip of a switch. But later that day, I discovered a couple of curious pieces of metal in my back seat. I also found out that the automatic trunk release button—which is built into the same door panel—no longer functioned! I went straight back to the dealership and demanded they address these problems at their own expense.

I am not a mechanic. I have no way of evaluating the work that was done to fix my window. Nevertheless, everyone knows that a repair job should not end with leftover, unused parts tossed onto the floorboards. Furthermore, shouldn’t a professional test all of the functions on the door they just reassembled?

Similarly, most potential customers do not understand the complex technical work that your business provides. I hire a mechanic to work on my car for the same reasons your clients come to you: we all value competence and expertise. Yet when there are extra parts clanking about in the backseat or new, obvious problems introduced as a result of a repair, we all wonder if the supposed professional has any idea what they are doing. The same judgment arises when we spot minor grammatical or spelling mistakes on your business website. If you can’t even manage something relatively easy, why should customers believe you are capable of doing anything difficult?

If you want to grow your business, you must treat your online content as a first-class citizen. Engage professional writers, copyeditors and designers. Treat your business blog with same care as you do your actual customers, so that potential clients see your commitment to detail and quality. Don’t allow trivial mistakes to become a reason for visitors to leave. You may not be able to show the world the amazing work you do in an instant, but don’t provide an excuse to be dismissed as incompetent. Quality matters!

Say It For You comment:  Corporate blogging for business demands discipline and time.  With so many business owners lacking the time for business blog writing, a freelance SEO copywriter can become an integral part of the company’s marketing strategy and tactics development. Slaughter has pointed out something important here: "Potential clients must see your commitment to detail and quality."

My high school English teacher had a poster on her classroom wall that expressed a similar idea: "Autograph your work with excellence."

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