How to Use a Blog as an Entrepreneurial Tool
Blogs have received a bad rap in recent years. With so many people blogging about seemingly meaningless topics, the blog now has a reputation for being equally meaningless. But ask any SEO expert and you will discover that blogs still offer value to entrepreneurs. Use a blog the right way and it could prove to be one of the most important entrepreneurial tools in your box.
For the purposes of this post, the blog will be discussed as a tool for individual entrepreneurs rather than companies. The discussion is aimed at freelancers, contractors, sole traders, and others who work alone. Company blogs are an entirely different matter and another topic for another post.
Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have a website with a dedicated blog? By the time you finish reading this post, you should better understand the value of a blog in promoting yourself and your business. Needless to say that you really should think about establishing a blog if you have not already done so.
The Purpose of Your Blog
As an individual entrepreneur, the purpose of your blog is very specific to what you do. Where a company blog is more general in trying to reach audiences with information that they might find interesting, the entrepreneur’s blog exists primarily to establish that person as an expert in his or her field. There is nothing quite as effective as blogging for accomplishing this – at least where online reputation is concerned.
Let’s just pretend you are an expert consultant in workplace safety. You have years of experience as well as the appropriate professional credentials to do what you do. Those potential clients you hope to reach need more than just your name and a phone number. They need a reason to trust that you know what you are talking about. Therein is the power of the blog.
By regularly writing on topics appropriate to your business, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert. You have the opportunity to explain to potential clients why they need your services. Your blog becomes a personal introduction into who you are, what you do, and how you can help clients.
Partnering with Others in Your Sector
The most successful entrepreneurs understand that they cannot succeed alone. They understand the importance of developing good working relationships with other entrepreneurs and established businesses within their sector. Such relationships boost the entrepreneur’s reputation and give him/her additional resources to succeed.
As a workplace safety consultant, you could use your blog to refer clients to additional information about workplace health and safety at Seton UK. Seton is a safety equipment and signage company that provides UK businesses with the necessary equipment, supplies, and signs to meet their obligations under the current regulatory regime.
You do not actually sell safety equipment and signage as a consultant. Yet you can partner with Seton to handle that aspect. If any of your consulting clients are in need of certain kinds of equipment or signage, you can use your blog to refer them to Seton.
Increasing Local Exposure
Your average entrepreneur starts on a local scale. In other words, few establish their businesses and find themselves dealing internationally overnight. You start local, then grow regionally, nationally, and globally. The most important thing to understand here is that you have to succeed locally if you ever hope to be an entrepreneur with an international reach.
A blog is a dynamic tool for increasing your local exposure. There are a couple of ways to apply this, beginning with writing on topics that affect your local clients. Maybe local leaders have launched a health and safety campaign to raise awareness among employers. That is a topic worth at least a few blog posts. Just cover the campaign from different angles.
You can also use your blog to talk about case studies involving local businesses you have worked with. Mention the name of the town and the postcode, and that will help improve local search rankings. Increasing your local exposure should lead to more local clients. Eventually, you will have more regional clients, and so on.
Tapping into an Unlimited Resource
When all is said and done, regular blogging is essentially tapping into an unlimited resource. There are billions of people who go online every single year. There is no other resource on earth capable of giving you the reach afforded by the internet. Your task is to harness the power of the internet to promote yourself as an entrepreneur. A blog is one of the most effective ways to do that.
In closing, there are some important things about blogging to remember. First, post regular updates. Blogging at least a couple of times a week maximizes the exposure. Second, focus on interesting topics your clients want to read about. Finally, make sure you are not posting junk. Your posts should be well-conceived, well written, and relevant.