Real Simple Magazine‘s Amanda Armstrong observed that "getting someone to really listen is no small feat." Last week, in my Say It For You blog post, I demonstrated how two of the author’s five suggestions for winning people over might apply to corporate blog writing: Puncture your ego." and Don’t be needy." Today, by way of offering more business blogging assistance, I want to apply Armstrong’s remaining three tips.
3. "Tell someone (nicely) what she has to lose. Although most folks say they want to hear what they can gain by taking your advice, they’re actually more influenced by what they have to lose by not heeding it," says Armstrong.
In offering business blogging assistance, I reassure owners that addressing problems and misinformation in their blog posts shines light on their special expertise and on their particular slant on the work they do. At the same time, readers don’t like to be "made wrong" by having their assertions challenged directly. So," telling them nicely" about the opportunities they might miss is very good advice in using blogs to introduce prospects to your unique corporate identity.
4. "Throw a curveball in conversation. Going on a tangent – as long as it’s one you know the other person will be interested in – really works."
As a freelance SEO copywriter, one insight I’ve gained is that engaging readers’ interest by including in your blog posts facts that are only loosely related to your industry is a fine marketing strategy, if those facts are intrinsically interesting, and if they add "fun" to your blog. In other words, not every sentence you use in writing for business has to be actionable – it can be a "curveball"!.
5. "Reiterate the other person’s argument. Even if he’s reluctant to concede the point, he’ll appreciate the fact that you listened to him in the first place."
I think this tip applies to blogging for business in two ways:
- Handling negative comments posted to your business blog – summarize the "complaint" or "contradiction" before responding to it, either as a direct return comment or in a later blog post.
- In business blogging training sessions, I advise business owners to avoid "putting down" the competition. Instead, I teach, accentuate the positive: Some dry cleaners……… At ABC, we believe…….is best."
Getting people to really listen may be no small feat, as Amanda Armstrong points out. Getting found online though an SEO marketing blog’s no small feat, either, as I have learned over and over in providing blog writing services to dozens of companies. Just as it is for the public speakers Armstrong is addressing, for business blog writers, the challenge is finding ways to win over people. In writing for business, that means getting online searchers to people to read the content – and then take action!