Most principals of professional services firms know that having a website is essential. But of the firms that do have a website, a much smaller percentage maintain a blog. This is particularly true of small firms and firms located in smaller centres like Grande Prairie.
The reasons for this vary from firm to firm. Some understand what a blog is, but can’t invest the resources required to maintain one. For others, the value of having one is lost on them. Isn’t it a place to post stories about your cats?
Quite the opposite, in fact. Of all industries, professional services may arguably stand to benefit the most from blogging, and this article gives you five solid reasons why. Keep reading to find out what they are.
How can a blog help your professional services firm?
1. Getting Your Website to Show Up in Search
Search engines want to see lots of great content on your website—content that others will want to read, link to, and share. Content that contains the keywords you’re optimizing for. And a blog is one of the best tools to allow you to do just this. Create a regular stream of helpful and keyword-focused articles for your blog. Search engines will start noticing after a while.
Power Tip: A good goal is to strive to publish at least 2,000 words per month to your website to get some traction with SEO. This could be four weekly blog articles at 500 words (about an 8.5×11 page), or two 1,000 word articles bi-weekly, or one big fat article monthly. Of course, you can publish more frequently if you have the time and resources, but this should be a goal to strive for in your first year.
2. Education of Customers
Educating customers is one of the biggest challenges that professional services firms face. It can be difficult to find an effective and reliable way to communicate what your company does to the public. Regular blog posts can answer questions that prospective customers may have, and elaborate on the finer details of your how you products and services work. Take for instance, a post on the benefits of blogging.
Power Tip: Use your blog as a tool during the sales process. Our sales team regularly refers clients to our blog articles for more background on a subject they have questions about.
3. Thought Leadership
Every principal wants their firm to be the “go-to” solution for client problems. But to get there, they need to convince customers that they’re the leaders in their field.
Thought leadership is one of the best ways to achieve this, and many firms already do it in some form or another: speaking at seminars, submitting articles to industry publications, and being a resource for journalists when big stories break out.
Blogging can be a powerful addition to your thought leadership toolbox, and in some cases, your best tool. A blog allows you to share your cutting-edge thinking and ideas with clients to give them a taste of what to expect from your firm. Another huge advantage of a blog is how easy it is to publish your ideas. You’re in total control and can publish whenever and whatever you want.
Power Tip: Don’t be afraid to share some of your secret sauce. If your firm has something special, customers need to know about it.
4. Customer Relationships
A blog is an effective way of making your website a living, dynamic entity. If a client visits your website and sees constantly updated content through the medium of a blog, then it shows that the company is active and thinking.
Further, if you use your blog posts to encourage questions/and or actions, then a blog provides an outlet to directly communicate with customers to your business, allowing you to start relationships with prospects before you even meet them.
Power Tip: Write directly to your customers and in your own voice. Treat it like a conversation and let prospects get to know you. It’s tempting to use a third-person POV in your articles, but don’t. In a blog it ends up sounding distant, sterile, and promotional.
5. Creating a Library of Reusable Content
The longer you blog, the more content you’ll have. A blog will eventually turn into a library of your business philosophies, strategies, promotions (and possibly even valuable customer input).
This library can be dug into whenever you have need of information for any other area of your business. Whether that be to write proposals, develop sales materials, or even train employees. It saves you time and provides ongoing value.
Power Tip: Squeeze very last drop out of your content. A blog article can easily be turned into content for a brochure, newspaper editorial, proposal or whitepaper. Several blogs edited together could turn into an e-Book which you can use to market your firm.
Like the great pyramids of Egypt, a great blog takes time to build, but can have a lasting and profound impact on your business. If you’re wondering about the finer details of starting and maintaining a blog, don’t be afraid to say hello on LinkedIn or drop me a line by email.