If you have a small business, blogging can mean the difference between wild success and hearing crickets. When you send a blog post and share it on social media, your website traffic will spike. If you can figure out your blog’s secret sauce to growing a following, this traffic will begin to bring in a steady stream of new visitors who want to do business with you and tell their friends about you.
Here’s what doesn’t work to grow a following: Going through the motions every once in a while by sending out some piece of impersonal information that your reader could get from a grocery store flyer. If you were that reader, would you take notice and tell others about it? No, I thought not. Even if it came from your friend, you would want to secretly unsubscribe.
So don’t count on building up a loyal list of readers by having your admin write up a weekly tip or send out an email featuring a bad graphic with a discount code for your products. It’s the golden rule: Give your market something you would want to get and know they would too.
Hopefully, you have been able to create real life friendships with people in your life and business, who have come to love and rely on you. If not, that is another conversation and a post for another day. But let’s assume you have people in your life that care about you. You need to use the same set of behaviors and effort to build your blog that you use to build and nurture your real life relationships. Whatever it is about you that people like and works for you to attract and keep friends, that’s your secret sauce.
How do you develop your secret sauce of building strong relationships with your market base so they will become customers? Here are some fundamentals.
- Forget thinking about blogging as a marketing task you have to do. That kind of attitude will not help you to engage with your potential audience. You have to care about them.
- Visualize and personalize. Think about a real person or two who you have helped or who has bought your products or services. What were the real questions or issues that they brought to you? How did you help them? Your secret sauce is in these stories.
- Remember that most likely there are plenty of people in your niche, with the same questions or issues that others have inquired about, who would like to know the answers to these questions as well. Answer these questions with stories on your blog post so they will get the answers too. But more than that, through your sharing information on your blog, in this way, they will also get a feel for what it’s like to work with you and develop trust in you.
- Write about problems you see people having and your solutions to dealing with them, in the same way, you would talk to your clients in person. People choose to do business with you because they like you and your way of making life easier or better. Give it to them and let show through to your readers. If it helps, think of your blog post as a letter to a friend.
Who am I?
There is a good possibility that you might not even know what people like about you or your business— or realize that you even have a secret sauce.
Or, you may know that people like your business but might not realize how much of the reason is that they trust and like you as well as the service/product you provide. Your secret sauce is already important to your customers.
Maybe you take for granted the things you do for people and have no idea how much they love and count on you for what you bring to their lives. Your secret sauce already is a staple for them and you may not even know why.
Here’s how you season your secret sauce. Determine why people like you. Are you funny and entertaining? Do people trust and depend on you for advice? Are they fascinated by your escapades? Do they resonate with the path you have walked to get where you are today? Whatever these things are in your life, whatever makes you great at what you do and connect to people, bring all that to your blog posts. It takes starting the process and getting feedback and tweaking and getting better over time. I know, because that is what it was like for me.
Now, not later
I really want you to succeed. I can build a great website for you, but to build your business, it is up to you to find and deliver your secret sauce on a regular basis.
The secret sauce doesn’t come with your website. It is not usual to ‘build it and they will come.’ You must nurture your visitors to form connections, and tending authentically to that relationship will create a relationship based on a desire to work with you and stay connected.
Finally, don’t wait to find your secret sauce. Use these pointers today to write a story from your world. Post it, and keep going.
Only by continuing to feed your online relationships will you truly find your secret sauce, and as that happens, your customer base will keep coming back for more.
Can I count on you to start serving this up?