A common complaint I hear from the self-employed professionals I work with is that they’ve tried blogging as a marketing approach, but it hasn’t paid off. No one is reading their blog, they tell me. Or they’ve got some readership, but their readers never seem to become paying clients. Is it time to give up blogging, they ask? Maybe they should focus on social media instead.
Yikes! Don’t make that choice. Social media marketing doesn’t work without good, original content to share.
Writing and publishing articles or blog posts as an expert in your professional specialty can help you become more credible as well as more visible. A well-written piece on a subject of interest to your target market will get clients’ attention, demonstrate your expertise, and increase your name recognition. When your writing is published by someone other than yourself, the boost to your credibility can be substantial.
But if you’ve only ever published your writing on your own blog or website, the process of getting published elsewhere may seem intimidating. Here’s a step-by-step guide to publishing your writing with the aim of attracting more clients.
People need to believe in you in order to do business with you. They must believe that you know what you’re doing, that your services are on the up-and-up, that working with you will benefit them, and that investing in you is worth their time and money. Just how do you do that, though — build your believability?
One of my favorite ways to do this is through writing.
Writing is a vulnerable act; it requires you to put yourself out there and share your expertise in public. Even if your articles “only” appear in the church bulletin, you’re still going to unmask yourself, which is actually a good thing for your business.
“I’d like to attract clients by writing articles or a blog, but I’m not sure what to write about.”
“I tried blogging for a while, but it didn’t bring me any business.”
“When I write, people seem to like it, but I have only a handful of readers.”
These are some of the comments I hear from self-employed professionals who think that writing about their area of expertise might be a path to attracting clients… but feel like they don’t have a map. I understand their frustration. It’s easy to make crucial mistakes when using writing as a marketing strategy. But you CAN do this successfully. Here are six guidelines to make writing pay off.
If you’re a self-employed professional who wants to get the attention of prospective clients by writing blog posts, magazine and journal articles, case studies, or an ebook, you already know this problem. Writing material like this takes up time and brain capacity. There’s nothing worse than sweating over a piece for hours and then having only a handful of people read it.
With a bit of care and attention, you can turn that situation around, and start attracting the readers you want. Here are six steps to get your desired audience reading what you write.
To get clients as a self-employed professional, you must build the know-like-and-trust factor that makes people want to buy from you. You can increase their knowing with any sort of contact, exposure, or follow-up. When their exposure to you is positive, they start to like you. But building their trust — that can be harder.
In the 20+ years I’ve been self-employed, I’ve found three strategies that reliably increase trust: speaking, writing, and referral-building. All three of these strategies work to increase your professional credibility, which is a strong trust builder. Let’s look at the writing strategy in more depth.