It strikes me that often times, we’re blogging for our colleagues and not our buyers. When I write a post that gets a lot of attention, it’s because it resonated with someone who does a similar job as me. While this is always wonderful and well-appreciated, it’s also dangerous, if you’re using your blog as a business lead generation tool.
In short, it’s important to know which crowd you’re writing for, and how you’re going to reach the right crowd with the right message.
We all Have Two Crowds
Interestingly, I believe our writing always finds our colleagues long before it finds our prospective buyers. Most of you reading these words are offering similar services or some part of the services and products that I offer. You might work for the company, or you might be offering consulting, but you’re probably the person people turn to for help with online marketing and social media advice. The crowd who spends time here in abundance, by the way, are those offering similar services. They’re colleagues, people working on this from different angles.
My buyers? Not as often. They come and go, often sent here to read a specific article, or sent here because Google helped them find me. My buyers, by the way, already know my name most times (according to Google), and are now doing their background checking to decide whether I’m really all that and a bag of chips.
How to Write to Two Crowds
It’s important, then, that I know when I’m writing to my colleagues versus when I’m writing to my buyers. It’s also important that I make sure to schedule enough posts of each kind that I keep both crowds interested. So first off, go back and look at your last ten posts. Are you writing to your prospective buyers or are you writing to your colleagues? My guess is you’ll have done one more than the other. (And by the way, there is no “right” answer to which group you should court. It’s different for different people.)
Second, on posts where you’re writing to your buyers, be very clear not to use jargon and insider language. I just read a blog post where someone was saying “Seth” as if everyone in the world knew who she meant. If you’re writing for your buyer and your buyer isn’t in the online marketing world, then they might need a little more information.
Third, on posts where you’re writing to your colleagues, you might sometimes reference (via links) a post that would explain the backstory to a prospective buyer. That way, you’re serving the colleagues what they want, but you’re also giving useful information to a prospective buyer, who would love to feel clued in and not as if he or she were arriving late to the picnic.
It’s All in the Close
Another way to signal who you’re hoping to reach is in how you close the post. If you notice, at [chrisbrogan.com], I end a lot of my posts with questions. Most every time I do, that post is pointed towards colleagues. Because if I were pointing a post at a buyer, I’d want to recommend a next action. Make sense?
How you close also determines who takes which action. Your colleagues will not often click on your calls to action. Your buyers might.
Which Are You Favoring?
In reviewing my posts, I favor writing to my colleagues. I probably will continue to do so, as I like being helpful to others in the community. But I also have some really complex relationships, such that my colleagues are sometimes my buyers, so that makes a lot of sense for me. What about you?
Are you writing more for your buyers or more for your colleagues? And how does that impact your business? Would love to hear your thoughts.