With Writing … Easy and It’s Free
STOP! You are thinking, “I can’t write.” I’ve never written anything.” “I have no one on staff who can write.” All that may be true, but how about sharing valuable information? You do that every day with customers, prospects, referral resources and colleagues.
So in this article, writing does not mean crafting the “Great American Novel” or writing a blockbuster business book. It does mean sharing information in ways that accelerate your marketing exposure for free … information that is already at your fingertips, or easily researched.
Hope you now feel more comfortable about writing and willing to invest 5 minutes to learn how to create a powerful marketing multiplier effect by sharing information perceived as valuable by your target audiences … customers (present & past), key prospects and referral resources.
Gimme a Reason to Write
How about several!?!
Let’s start with the fact that most people tend to believe, or at least accept, what they see in print. Of course, the writer must remain true to honesty and ethics or risk losing all credibility … a valuable character commodity that, once lost, is at best difficult and at worst impossible to reclaim.
Do it yourself writing is free. You decide the topic, the content, text and distribution vehicles, all at no out-of-pocket cost. Speaking of distribution, in this digital age there is no lacking of possible outlets. More on this later.
Finally, writing and distributing your material will position you as a thought leader and industry expert … someone whose opinions, research and insight are to be trusted.
Who Will You Write For?
Here it is important to be a bit self-serving as it relates to your business. Clearly your target audiences should include customers (past & present), key prospects, referral sources, decision-influencers and vendors serving entities in your target audiences.
But don’t stop there! The more the merrier on your distribution list. Even recipients that don’t fit the above profiles may well know folks that do and be surprise referral resources.
What Will You Write?
Relevant content that will engage your readers, build your credibility and drive leads that convert to sales. You may end up developing a number of avenues of content depending on your target audiences. Whatever the topic, it should demonstrate perceived value to your readers and further position you as a valuable resource for guidance and advice.
Notably, everything you write does not have to be uniquely yours. Curation is the word for researching material and presenting it in a meaningful way to your audiences … always with appropriate credit given to your information resources. For example, you may find articles of interest as it relates to customer service. You may choose to write a brief introduction, summary and commentary that ties the info to your readers’ needs, coupled with links to the sources that created the supportive documents.
Also, your writings don’t need to be long. Length is to be determined based on the topic and the intended distribution channel. For example, if you belong to a LinkedIn group, you may be posting an article of 1,000 or more words … or a quote of relatively few words that will resonate with your group members.
Of Articles and Blogs
For purposes of this article, we’ll keep the definitions and distinguishing differences to an absolute minimum. Articles and blogs can be considered synonymous with one difference. Articles tend to be more formal in tone, while blogs are more informal and conversational.
OK. Here comes the multiplier effect. Write your article or blog and then consider how you can turbo-charge your marketing exposure for free and further bolster your image as a thought leader. Here are your opportunities for publicity. Post your written piece in some or all of the following publishing channels.
- Your website … under a tab for blogs or a directory of articles.
- Your blog … as a stand-alone, recurring distribution.
- Your online groups … for example, LinkedIn and Facebook provide numerous options to participate in groups with members who will receive your information sharing as relevant.
- Convert to a webinar … record and offer it on your website and general email distribution lists.
- Record as an instructional video … sign up for a YouTube account and publicize availability to your target audiences.
- Submit to trade publications … well-written, newsworthy information will often be accepted and published.
- Present as a speech topic to trade/community groups … service clubs and professional associations are on the lookout for speakers on topical subjects.
- Collate into an e-book … organize your articles and blogs in a sequence that may be distributed, or sold, as an e-book – distributed electronically at no cost to you.
- Repurpose under different labels … with few if any edits, publish/distribute as a White Paper, Point of View (POV) piece or instructional guide.
Other Stuff To Write
Keep in mind that the information you will share does not have to be uniquely developed by you (see curation comment above) nor does it have to be a long piece … maybe as brief as a quote. That said, consider these opportunities for sharing valuable information with your target audiences.
- Letters to editor … interestingly, many readers do not distinguish between a published article and a letter to the editor. The key is to get in print.
- Case Studies … we all love stories. It’s a great way to spotlight a customer and simultaneously tell an instructional tale.
- Seek and publish testimonials and reviews … recommendations on LinkedIn, Likes on Facebook and virtually any other flattering comments via any channel.
- Comment on other people’s blogs … again, LinkedIn, Facebook and other professional groups you belong to are all excellent vehicles.
- Press Releases … something noteworthy about your business, don’t hesitate to let it be known. Submit to publications that serve your industry and that of your target audiences.
- Holiday, birthday and thank you cards … ideally hand-written, with email as a backup alternative. Idea: Include a special offer/discount/coupon as part of your celebratory message.
- Join forums … and participate in discussions.
- Update your website … frequently with your articles, blogs and virtually any relevant information perceived as valuable to your target audiences.
At the front-end of this article, we agreed writing does not mean crafting the “Great American Novel” or writing a blockbuster business book. It does mean sharing information in ways that accelerate your marketing exposure for free … information that is already at your fingertips, or easily researched.
Marketing writing does not have to be word-heavy … as simple as a quote or extensive as an article works fine. The key is relevance and value as perceived by your target audiences.
One last thought. You don’t need to channel Hemingway or James Patterson to be an effective provider of significant information. You do it every day now with customers, prospects, referral resources and colleagues. Why not invest a few minutes 2 or 3 times a week to share more broadly and reap the marketing harvest of leads that convert to sales?
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