The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson Learned

Want to know the real secret to a successful blog? 

It’s probably not what you’ve been told — posting super frequently, getting just the right blog template, having the perfect header image or font for your brand…

Don’t miss this guest post by Jeff Molander.  It’s one of the smartest posts I’ve shared so far this year on my blog (and hey, I DO like my own writing… but that tells ya how key I think this concept is!).

The Most Powerful Blogging Lesson Learned (that nobody is talking about)

Guest Post by Jeff Molander

confidenceIn the last few years of blogging for business what have we learned? When all the articles and YouTube videos have been published what did we learn—that we took action on and improved our businesses with?

Answer: Readers don’t need us. They need confidence in themselves. They need to believe they can find a better way to create material or spiritual wealth for themselves. If you or I give them an experience that creates that confidence? We earn their trust and business, faster.

The fastest route to trust: Confidence

Want to earn trust? Move your readers’ needles. Give them an honest sense of “can-do” based on something you do for them, not something you tell them. Confidence is the key to unlocking your business blogging success.

When my readers achieve results based on something I did for them I’ve all but sold my product. The rest is downhill. Here’s the best part: Helping readers do something vitally important to them is a wonderful excuse for you to earn their name and email address.

Engagement is not the goal (response is)

Nothing influences and motivates a prospect more (toward purchase) than moving their needle. Nothing. Think about it in your life. Have you ever been given a “taste of success” (a free trial) or a stronger sense of confidence in yourself as a buyer?

If you’ve attended a first time home buyer’s workshop sponsored by a mortgage broker you know what I mean. Giving someone confidence proves what you charge for is worth it, beyond a doubt. The only way to do that in your business is to take action on a bold idea.

Attracting and engaging customers is not a sufficient goal. It is a starting point.

Engagement is an opportunity to get customers to act. Your investment in attracting and engaging someone who lands on your blog is wasted if you don’t earn a response from them.

Michelle recently asked that you do one scary thing per day. Make acting on this idea your scary thing.

Right now, make sure your blog invites prospects to respond to you in ways that bring a “taste of success” into their lives. Make sure you have a call-to-action, inviting customers to take a journey toward what it is they need or crave.

Take action now

Let go of familiar, comfortable habits. I did it and customers started asking me for the sale. Because I am moving their needles with my blog. You can too.

Start causing a little bit of success in potential customers’ lives with your blog. Do it well enough and you’ll see them craving more of those results. That’s because they’ll trust the person giving them that taste of early success, that confidence—you.

Here’s how:

Step #1:  Share your best, NEW insights liberally (or don’t share anything at all)

Step #2:  Prove you’re worth investing by giving ‘results in advance’

Step #3:  Affirm buyers’ right to choose (give them freedom, disarm them)

Get started by asking yourself:

  • What pressing problem do I solve?
  • What pain do I remove?
  • What pleasure can I help create?
  • What freedom does my service permit?
  • What important connection does my product allow?

Begin the journey

Engaging someone who lands on your blog is your big chance to do something for them. Something that moves their needle, creates confidence in them and (as a result) trust in you.

The great Napoleon Hill said it best. Here on planet Earth, we are paid not merely for what we know but more particularly for what we do for others. Learning is in the doing, not the knowing.

Engaging is a chance to enter into a journey with a prospect. A trip toward whatever it is they need, desire, hope for or need to avoid. Make engagement the start of a series of “fair exchanges” that guides prospective buyers toward, or away from, what you’re selling. Good luck!

JeffMolanderJeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell, adjunct faculty at Loyola University business school, author of, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You and a social sales training speaker.

You can reach Jeff at www.makesocialmediasell.com/blogor jeff@jeffmolander.com.

The Key to Building Trust With Your Readers

Computer keyboard with trust button, business conceptWhat can you do to build trust with your blog readers and move them from landing on your blog and reading a few posts to becoming super fans who rave about your blog and clients who work with and love you?

Continuing in a series of answering your blog traffic questions, Kathy from LeanBodyWorks asked me how to build trust with readers, and here’s one thing I’ve found that works like firecrackers to get readers to love, trust, and share you:

Your Turn!

What’s one action step you could challenge your readers to take that would get them results?

Have you been sharing client success stories, profiles, and testimonials on your blog?

What’s Really Stopping You?

It’s Monday! That means a question and challenge video for you.

If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kfOrh4oRuA

So, your turn! Do you struggle with the “I know I should, BUT…” What’s one thing you know you need to do to move forward that you haven’t taken action on yet? Are you going to take action on it this week?

Do What You Can

Don’t have an hour today to spend on an important project, marketing, social networking, blogging, or whatever is on your list to move your business forward?

Then spend 30 minutes.  Or 15 minutes.

Whatever time you’ve got, do what you can.

I was on Google+ earlier today, avoiding my daily workout because I knew I didn’t have the 45 minutes that’s my goal time.  I ran into a post from Heather Frey (follow her if you want motivation to get healthy) about how getting fit isn’t all or nothing.  It’s all the good choices added up, with as few bad choices as possible.  So I squeezed in 20 minutes.  And I feel better than if I’d skipped my workout completely.  That got me thinking about how this applies to business, too.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Because 15 minutes is better than nothing.  Little steps forward add up.

And when you can, take the big leaps and work through the big blocks of focused time.

My challenge to you today: pick a project or task and spend at least 15 minutes taking action to move it forward.

What can you get done today?

Photo credit: ppdigital from morguefile.com

How to Combat Swirly Brain Zombies

Business zombies don’t just want to eat your brains.  We could stop that with our tin foil hats.  (Right?  Doesn’t my hat protect me from that?)

No, they want to turn your brain into a swirling mass of confusion that keeps you from making decisions and moving forward.  Business zombies are very good at this.

How can you stop them?

1. Set Clear Goals.

If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?

Where is your business going?  Do you have clear goals about what you want your business and your life to look like?

Take some quiet time for yourself and really consider what your big goals are and what life would look like for you then.  Be specific.

2. Plan Specific Action Steps.

Once you know your goals you can break it down into specific steps that you need to take to reach them.  If you’re great at planning, you can do this yourself.  Or you can call in backup and ask your coach, mentor, or mastermind group to help you break down the steps.  You might also look for a checklist/ebook/blog post that covers how to do something that can help you plan your steps to your goal.

I use mind maps to organize my thinking.  It’s a bunch crazy looking bubbles like this that are used to put lots of information into a logical order:

I create mind maps with the free program Freemind.  You can download it free at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/freemind/ (And if you’d rather learn it fast than tinker around figuring out what does what, check out Bob the Teacher’s Discover FreeMind training–that’s what I personally used to learn it quick.)

It’s a great way to just get everything out of your brain and onto “paper” in a way that lets you move it around and organize it.  From there it’s easier to take smart action.

3. Follow Your Plan to Reach Your Goals.

Sounds simple, right?  The hard part often isn’t the goal setting or the strategy planning.  It’s implementing that plan in a consistent way to reach the goals.

Here are some ways to keep yourself on track:

  • Work with an accountability partner
  • Tell your coach you NEED accountability and ask them to help you
  • Let your mastermind group know you need support to stay on track
  • Put your action steps on your calendar where you’ll see them and remember to get them done
  • When you set dates to achieve specific parts of your plan, also set rewards for yourself

What methods work for you?  Have you found strategies that work great, or don’t work at all, in making progress towards your goals?