A guest post over at Problogger.net recently commented, “Treat the blog … as a promotional vehicle for an actual business. This isn’t to say all you do is pimp your products. On the contrary, you provide really great content in order to build the relationship up with your reader. However, you do it with the aim of converting into a sale of your own product.”
With the opening bell of the 30-day blogging challenge convened by Jeanette Cates, Ph.D., it’s important to consider the attitude and approach our blogs are taking. Every blog takes a somewhat different approach, and certainly they are designed as one piece of our businesses.
So, while this is true, that the blog is a promotional tool, it seems to me much more than that. We sell ourselves, our clients/customers, and our content short if making the sale is the sole focus. While we are in business, it’s also important to create an appropriate space for relationships to expand and unfold.
Blogs are perfect places to share value and build community. For me, the part of the quote that does hit the mark is, “…great content to build relationship with your readers.” Marketing, in particular soft sell marketing, is all about making the connections and building the relationships in a respectful way.
Ultimately we are not serving our perfect customers and clients well if we don’t move into meeting their needs by selling our products/services in the spirit of serving them. Maybe that’s why the line, “…you do it with the aim of converting into a sale…” somehow rubs me the wrong way. It doesn’t hit at the nuances of care for your perfect customers that I think is a critical ingredient, especially in my market of visionaries, messengers, authors, writers, conscious creators, soul-preneurs, and healers.
As a solo professional, the “product” at the moment is me–and the services I provide to help visionaries and conscious creators get their messages out to their perfect customers/clients.
But as a writer, the blog is also a place for developing book content and other creative solutions for people– who may “just” be readers of the blog. It’s designed to give my own perfect clients a taste of my philosophy, values, and style. They can get a sense of whether it’s a “fit” to consider working with me in a more in-depth way.
So this blog focuses on publishing content in the service of relationship-building, which is itself the foundation of marketing. It’s also a place for people to learn and gain value even if they don’t buy something right away.
To fully serve people, the next step is to sell something. At the same time, I am committed to the importance of publishing remarkable content as a way to build relationships.