Whether or not sales people should spend their valuable time blogging is a question for debate. In many cases the answer really depends. There are a lot of pros to blogging – very few sales people do it, so it can set you apart, but at the same time, it can also take valuable time away from selling. To help answer the question, consider the following (and just because “Yes” has more points under it, it doesn’t mean it’s the preferred answer!):
- Stand out from the rest – few sales people blog, so it could serve to differentiate you from the competition.
- You are an expert in your area and have lots of valuable information that your prospects could benefit from knowing.
- You are looking to build relationships and let your prospects get to know you. Blogging can provide a window into your character, showcase your personality, and hint at what you’re like to work with.
- You are looking for ways to reach out to your prospects on a regular basis. With every new blog post, you have a reason to contact them.
- You can leverage your blog posts on your other social networks. In addition to tweeting about your new blog post, you can also include it in your LinkedIn status update to further share and stay in front of your network. You can also include direct links to your blog on your other social profiles.
- You want to get found and be famous (okay maybe not famous). Everything is “Googlized” these days, and Google likes blogs.
- You are an amazing (or at least really good) writer and can clearly articulate your thoughts for the reading pleasure of others.
- You have time, you enjoy writing, and it doesn’t impact your already limited selling hours.
- You have a clear understanding of the social media guidelines in your company, and are encouraged to participate in social media channels for business development purposes.
No – when sales people should not blog:
- You’re not sure what to blog about. Most likely you already have a marketing team behind you, so need to re-create their content about your products. That’s what brochures and specs sheets are for.
- Your organization has strict policies around social media and you’re unclear what you can say vs. what needs to come from your company. The last thing you want is to get in trouble for disclosing confidential information or talking about customers publically when it’s not permitted.
- You really don’t have time. Blogging takes commitment. Stale information looks bad. Some people think you need to blog daily, others weekly. As a busy sales person looking to add value and connect with your network, monthly might be okay. In any case, if you can’t commit to some sort of regular communications don’t do it.
- And perhaps most important…you’re not the best writer. Hard to admit. Good writing demonstrates an ability to analyze and think. Bad writing is just bad – and you’ll lose a lot of credibility. Check out this great blog post: Before Salespeople Blog, We Must First Help Them to Write – by Andrew Rudin.
Still interested? Tips to get started:
If you’re still set on blogging, consider visiting successful online blogs to see what they do. Technorati ranks the Top 100 blogs ever day. Also consider creating an “editorial calendar” for your blog posts. You don’t have to write each one in advance, but at least know what you might want to talk about next and schedule the date you plan to publish it. When planning your topics, keep in mind that your blog needs a focus and consistency in voice. Don’t blog about personal stuff one day and business stuff the next.
You’ll also need to select a blogging platform. Most are free and charge for extras like removing the blog platform name for your url, or for removing ads. To start, free is good! WordPress is one of the most common, and the one used here by The Social Sale! But there are many others worthy of review.
Finally, Google “blogging tips,” or something similar, to see what others have to say about achieving blogging success. Here are a few great links to get started:
- 8 Keys to Blogging Success – Social Media Examiner
- How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners – ProBlogger
- 90 Tips to Make Your Blog Rock – jeffbullas.com
Happy blogging, or not!