Blogging for Sales Leads: The No. 1 Reason Your Blog Isn't Getting It Done
I used to believe in blogging authentically, transparently, telling good stories and being a thought leader, but these ideas consistently failed to generate leads for me. That's because I was missing the one, essential piece that content marketing and blogging gurus don't even know about: Use a blog to create confidence in the buyer—not me, my brand or my business.
Today's most successful B-to-B sellers are using blogs to do one thing really well: prove they're worth investing in before customers pay a dime. They're giving customers a few results and letting them experience what success feels like.
Blog to Help Prospects Believe in Themselves—Not in You
The blogging gurus love to tell us to build trust with prospects using social media. Yet they never mention the best way to build enough trust to close a sale. (probably because they've never actually closed a sale)
I'm talking about helping a buyer get so confident in themselves—so sure that buying will give them everything they want—they can't help themselves. They buy because they cannot argue against not buying anymore! (and of their own free will, of course)
Enter social media and all the bogus short-cuts we've been told will create trust. Telling stories, being honest, showing customers our "human side." These things might help you foster trust but only if you apply them to help prospects get more confident in themselves.
Give Prospects Results In Advance—No Excuses
What's the connection between convincing a prospect to buy through your blog and giving them overwhelming confidence? How do you execute this idea without wasting time? You create a process that manufactures "mini-successes" for prospects—in advance of their purchase.
This is the practical, tried-and-true strategy at the center of every blog that creates leads.
Start blogging in ways that prove your product or service is worth investing in. Start giving prospects a free taste of success before they purchase.
Help them do something that they really need to do, learn or accomplish. This gives them partial satisfaction (in themselves) and creates hunger for more. Not hunger for your product or service.
Hunger for more satisfaction in themselves.
Give It Away—All of It
If this sounds like a free trial you're right but let's say you're selling a complex product or service. You'll need to go further—convince prospects to buy based on what you've actually done for them lately.
I'm describing a situation where buying what you sell isn't a point of consideration; it's a logical next step for your prospect to take. Purchasing becomes part of the journey your prospect is already on.
By doing meaningful things for people that actually move the needle (solve a problem, teach a skill, etc.) prospects build a sense of achievement. Even if it's a small one potential customers build trust in you based on this sense.
They begin to trust in your ability to deliver the FULL result if they were to actually buy from you.
Make sure your blog articles, video tutorials, white papers, ebooks and such are:
- Taking prospects on a journey toward (or away from) what it is you sell and
- creating confidence along the way by solving problems and/or teaching them new skills.
Lots of Examples...
This strategy is at the heart of thriving companies like HubSpot. I, myself, apply the technique to generate leads for a social media sales training program. Sure, money back guarantees help us close, so do customer testimonials. But nothing works better than giving away my best knowledge and helping prospects begin to experience actual success.
Nothing creates trust like having a material impact on your prospects' lives before they buy. Nothing. Because it proves you're able to create success for them and willing to prove it up front.
Again, all you're really doing is building prospects' confidence in themselves that they cannot argue with.
Look at every one of the social media sales success stories I've documented on this blog, in the magazine or on my other blog. Each of these B-to-B social selling success stories are finding a way to give out samples of results in advance.
Every successful B-to-B social seller I've found ever (and I do this full time!) is helping prospects get confident in themselves as buyers—before they're doing anything else.
Let's be honest. Can you really afford to not blog in ways that give prospects miniature versions of what it is you're so darn good at? Especially when your competitors probably are—or are thinking of it?