“Most branding activities are just well-catalogued brag sheets“, according to marketing speaker Bruce Turkel (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at our National Speakers of Indiana chapter a few months ago). And while these “bedpost notches such as credentials, accomplishments, satisfied clients, etc., may please your grandmother, he says, they don’t interest anyone who’s not already thinking about hiring you.
Reading that advice, I couldn’t help being thankful. To a certain extent, we blog content writers are able to put our business owner and professional practitioner clients in a more advantageous position as they meet prospects. After all, readers who arrive at a business blog have already “drunk the Kool-Aid”. They already have an interest in the topic and are ready to receive the information, the services, and the products our clients have to offer.
Having said that, our task is to keep those visitors engaged with valuable, personal, and relevant information. Bedpost notching is important, enumerating the business’ or the practice’s special areas of expertise, years of experience, and success filling customers’ needs. To be sure, we don’t have a very long “window” to accomplish that task, really just a couple of seconds. That’s where Bruce Turkel’s “simple but not easy” recommendation comes in.
Build an “all about them” brand, he says. Speak to your clients’ wants and needs and not your own. Turkel offers two examples of that new paradigm thinking (in the context of how professional speaker should promote themselves):
Don’t: “Roger McFlintock is the leading expert on underwater basket weaving.”
Do: “Underwater basket weaving can change your life.”
Don’t: ”Ellie Dabooter has spent the last 15 years teaching leadership skills”.
Do: “Leadership is the single most important skill you can use to improve your
business. Ellie Dabooter is singularly qualified to lead you there.”
As a corporate blogging trainer, I wholeheartedly agree. Any piece of marketing material can be tweaked to put the emphasis where it belongs – on the buyer or user. In terms of online marketing, the What’s-In-It-For-Them paradigm shift is particularly relevant for blog posts.
Don’t notch the bedpost – yet. Sure, those online visitors found you because they’re already interested in your type of product or service. Your first order of business, though, is confirming the importance of the subject matter in terms of the difference it can make in their lives!