When we advise clients to write a blog or newsletter, they usually have no problem understanding the reasons for this.
They fully realize the benefits of communicating regularly.
- A steady supply of blog posts, press releases, newsletters and social media updates makes your company look attentive to customers, detail-oriented, transparent and up-to-date on current events.
- It can take awhile for a new potential client to have the opportunity to buy, and you need reasons to stay connected so they remember you and have your contact information nearby when the opportunity finally materializes.It takes repeated contacts over a period of time to build a relationship with new prospective clients.
- It’s also important to keep your name and brand in front of old customers, so they remember you when they have an opportunity to buy again or make a referral.
While they often understand the REASONS for writing regularly, they have trouble finding topic ideas.
What we sometimes refer to as “writer’s block” can manifest itself in phrases like – “I don’t have that much to write about.” or “There’s not that much to say about our particular business.”
Wrong on both counts.
One of the unique services we perform is to collaborate with our clients on an editorial calendar -coming up with new topics, month after month and week after week that coincide with what’s happening in the aviation publications, the news, and the industry, so that they never have to wonder “what to write about.”
Or to have the ABCI write about for them.
(We do ghostwriting. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!)
Most people don’t realize what they actually know, and how useful that is to people who are outside of their profession.
One of the first things we do is discuss the most frequently asked questions their customers have, or problems they have. What are the reasons prospective clients contact you in the first place? What are the particular symptoms of the problems you help them solve?
If you can give good, basic advice and put it in a place where it’s likely to be found by people who happen to be looking for that particular bit of information, (via Search Engine Optimization, of course!) you accomplish two things – you make contact with people who are likely prospects for your product or service; and you establishing yourself as an authority on the subject.
An objection that frequently comes up at this point is this:
“If I tell them how to solve a problem, they won’t need to hire me!”
Once again, there are two answers for that. First, they won’t hire you anyway if they don’t know you exist or don’t have any reason to believe that you know your subject; and second, people (and companies) usually have more complex problems than can be solved with a 500-word article.
Most of them will want more customized, specific help. And if people can solve problems on their own after reading a short article, it’s possible that you’re not adding enough value to justify your product or service.
Here are ten ways to find great, helpful topics for your clientele:
- Write an article based on a question customers or prospective customers frequently ask about your product or service. (We’ve already mentioned this one, but it counts as one of the ten, right?) 🙂
- Mention a recent trade show appearance or speaking engagement, and something you learned or something that happened there.
- Write about related businesses (partners, vendors and so on) and talk about your relationship with them – what works well, how it adds value for YOUR customers.
- Find a news article in a trade publication that your customers read (like Aviation Week, Plane & Pilot or Airport Business) that relates to your area of expertise. (Association publications like NBAA, AOPA and EAA are great for this purpose as well!) Explain how you would have prevented or solved a problem before it became “news.”
- Use a metaphor. Find an article, current event, or example NOT related to your area of expertise and use it to explain your product or service. I like the way that Mark Leeper explains our new client process as “the Mayo Clinic of aviation marketing” because we run a series of tests, do our research, discuss our diagnosis, and THEN create a treatment plan. He uses this metaphor to explain the difference between ABCI and other marketing companies that simply write a prescription for marketing materials or a website and quote a price without really understanding the “patient,” the problem or the objective.
- Write an interview or feature story about a client. Talk about your relationship with them and how your company makes their company better for THEIR clients. (Some clients will love free publicity, some will be reticent. You probably have a good feel for this from working with them, but most people will be flattered to be asked to be interviewed.)
- Write a demo or create a video tutorial about a key feature of your product or service.
- Write a feature about a charity you work with. Explain what good work they do and why you chose them.
- Write about an upcoming event – highlight why you’re attending and invite potential customers to see you there for an evaluation or discussion about their situation.
- Use humor. If you see a great cartoon that relates to your business, ask for permission from the copyright holder to use it in your newsletter. (Sometimes they’ll want a small fee.) Or commission a cartoon, tell a joke or a funny story, or refer to a funny video on YouTube. Always attribute appropriately. Funny stories or videos stand the best chance of “going viral” or being passed from person to person.
If you have ever found yourself in need of article ideas, print THIS article out and post it on your bulletin board.
And of course, you can always call us if you need more customized assistance!.