Finding inspiration for writing articles
“I’m not very good at keeping in touch with my clients and prospects”. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve heard that confession. So if you can relate to that, don’t worry, you are not alone.
One way of keeping in touch is by writing articles that provide your contacts with valuable, helpful and interesting information on a regular basis. By doing this you are keeping yourself on their radar, but more importantly you are demonstrating to them that you are knowledgeable and happy to share your expertise to help them.
Because you’ve bothered to keep in touch and help them over the months, when the time is right it is you they will be picking up the phone and asking to do business.
Once you’ve committed to writing articles which you post on your website, you need to be consistent. Having a plan for the topic of the month is a great idea but after a few months inspiration might dry up. “What on earth am I going to write about next?” This is another comment I often hear.
Here are 6 ideas to help you seek inspiration:
- What questions have you been asked recently? Perhaps you’ve been at a networking event and someone has picked your brains. Here’s an idea for your next article; the question that was asked and the answer you gave.
- Problems, problems, problems! Write a list of all the problems you resolve for your clients. You now have a long list of topics you can write about!
- What’s in the news? Have you heard a quote on the radio, read a fact in the newspaper or watched a programme on TV that you have an opinion about? Use this as the introduction to your article and weave in your perspective.
- What have you been up to lately? If you’ve recently completed a piece of work for a client you could turn this into a mini case study. Explain the situation your client was in and the issues they faced then describe how you helped them and the outcome. Ask your client for a testimonial to back up your case study.
- KISS – Keep it short and simple. We are all bombarded by information so apart from making sure that your article is valuable to the reader don’t make it too long. If the topic can be broken down into three areas use one topic per article. Now you have three articles!
- What are others writing about? Keep an eye on what your competitors and your own industry experts are saying. Obviously avoid plagiarism. Put your own slant and style on the topics they are talking about. This can be done by writing the article within the context of how you help resolve your clients’ issues, using your own examples.
Now you need to encourage people to read your article.
Having spent time researching and writing your article you want to let everyone know it’s there. How are you going to do that?
Email marketing – gain permission to keep in touch with your contacts so that you can add them to your email marketing system. Then send them an email with a ‘teaser’ paragraph to inspire them to click on the link and read the rest of the article on your website.
Twitter – let your twitter followers know. Create several tweets wording them slightly differently with a link to your website and the article. Use Hootsuite to schedule these tweets at different times of the day over the coming week.
Facebook – Introduce the theme of the article on your facebook page with a link to read the rest on your website. Invite comments by asking questions.
LinkedIn – Update your status with the new article. Let members of groups that you belong to know about it.
Pinterest – If you have products that are best showcased with photographs use sites such as Pinterest.
Networking – If the networking meeting that you go to has an area where you can leave promotional material, print a few copies of the article and leave them there. People will love picking up your useful information to read later at their leisure.
Membership websites – if you belong to an association that has a website where you are able to post articles, re-write your article slightly so that it’s not exactly the same as on your website (search engines frown on duplicate content) and post it there.
I’m presenting ‘The Marketing Power of Three’ at 4Networking and Fabulous Women meetings over the coming months. This is all about keeping in touch with those you meet whilst networking by using email marketing and articles on your website. This combination can be very effective indeed.
If you’d like to implement this strategy for yourself to gain leads, appointments and sales, give me a call on 07565 382803 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org