Too many small business owners feel like they are a dime a dozen. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship, many people see folks in fields like insurance, accounting, real estate, mechanics, landscaping, pest control, and even some areas of medicine and law as being all the same. The only difference is price and location, and if you have competitors at a similar price point in the same neighborhood, you have to do something to stand out so potential clients take notice. May I recommend using a blog to set yourself apart.
Of course, first you need a website. Some entrepreneurs, including those in the fields I mentioned, feel they don’t need a website. You do! It shows that you are a legitimate business professional, and it can help bring in new clients. Seriously, get on that; then…
You need a blog. A blog is a great way to show current and potential customers that you are different from your competitors. Of course, it also builds trust and rapport, establishes you as a brand, makes you more easily found online, and more—that’s not what this post is about though. Using a blog to set yourself apart can be done through one or more of the following strategies:
Share your knowledge.
That’s pretty much what we do here. We offer up free bits of our expertise to allow our existing and potential clients and even the competition to be more informed. It lets clients see that we know our stuff, and it gives people value before spending a cent with us. And it also creates a relationship.
Let visitors to your blog see who you are as a person. If all the other insurance folks are guys and gals in stuffy suits with stiff headshots, show how fun and freewheeling you are. Write-ups about your experience at local fundraisers, photos of your dog, and sharing your favorite recipes will make potential clients like you and feel like they know you before you actually meet.
Your business is part of the community, so use your blog as a platform for linking that community. Post information on upcoming events, share your thoughts on local news, and consider swapping posts with other entrepreneurs in your area. Don’t just be a business in a neighborhood, but be a part of the neighborhood.
Use your blog to give folks the dirt on your business—things they want to know and things your competitors hide. By doing things like breaking down your pricing structure and revealing tricks of the trade, you can build a lot of trust, especially if you are in real estate or law.
Be on brand—but stay away from business.
Talk about topics that pertain to your business, but aren’t actually directly about what you do. These posts don’t sell anything, but they are geared toward presumed interests of your ideal clients. If you are a personal injury attorney, content about rehabilitative stretching, motorcycle safety, and avoiding slips and falls during winter may be good topics. A landscaper may want to share content on the best times to plant what vegetables and DIY patio furniture projects. A mechanic may just want to write about cool cars every chance he or she gets.
Of course these are just a few strategies for using a blog to set yourself apart. If you have other strategies, share them in the comments.
And if you want help setting yourself apart from the pack, contact us today!