Let’s face it, running your own business is more than a full-time job. Raising kids is more than a full-time job. Maintaining your relationship with your spouse is a full-time job. During this busy season, spend some time caring for and feeding your relationships too.
You have to realize that you are probably selling the second or third most expensive item (major remodeling) that the Jones’ are ever going to buy. That means you have to be able to take away any objections you can. A great way to do that is by selling with emotion, not selling the additional square feet. Everyone can sell added storage, a bigger kitchen, or new appliances, and that’s why you will do better selling on emotions.
What’s selling on emotion mean?
You take all those things I just mentioned and you paint a picture. You talk about spending the holidays in their new kitchen, more family time spent in their new family room or media room, and you talk about better mornings and easier evenings in their new master bedroom. Learn how to tell a story predicated on emotion and you won’t have to sell square footage, you will simply be the dream maker!
One of my recent newsletter topics talked about vision. How developing and running your business based on a vision was key to your success. How once you get buried in the minutia that is your day to day running of your business, you could find yourself losing your vision.
The topic hit home…
I had a client contact me later in the day to ask to help her develop her company’s vision. And that’s where the story ends.
I can’t help you develop your vision. Your vision is your own. It’s why you got into business in the first place. It’s what made you tell your last employer to go fuck themselves, that you could do it better and you weren’t going to take it anymore.
Your vision is your North Star
People try to hire me all the time to help them create their tagline or motto. I tell them to keep their money, that isn’t my job. It’s no one’s job other than the very person willing to pay someone else to create it for them.
I can’t GIVE you or CREATE for you YOUR vision. You have to own that shit. Otherwise, it won’t mean anything to you. Your vision and your motto and your tagline are what you are going to use to motivate your ass to get out of bed on some shitty Saturday morning when you don’t want to.
Your vision is going to be what keeps you focused when you are thinking about expanding, buying or building another business or service.
Your vision is going to be what helps you find your way home when you’ve stopped listening to it for too long and you need to refocus the business and get your shit together…or you won’t.
And that is when you will go out of business
Most businesses succeed or fail by either executing on or forgetting their primary vision. Sure, plenty run out of money or close when they can’t adjust to the shifting tide of a fickle consumer market, but if you dig deep enough, it is because they forgot or ignored what should have been the cornerstone of their business. Their vision.
Contractors who blog for themselves are always on the lookout for their next blog topic, so I thought it would be a good idea to put together a series of posts that would help with that process.
It’s called the Construction Blog Ideas Series, and this is the first post!
This isn’t going to be a long-winded post (or series for that matter) where I extol the virtues of blogging before I get into the meat of each post, either you believe in blogging or you don’t, and if you’ve read this far, I imagine the art of blogging for business makes sense to you, so here goes.
Take a picture, tell a story
That’s it. Simple. Mic drop. Post done. Just kidding. Here are the details.
Tomorrow, when you are on the job site, take a picture of whatever it is you are doing. Don’t make it a completed picture where you are showing off your work (that’s a different post), no, this picture you want to take mid-job.
The reason I want you to take a picture part-way through the job is because you are going to use that image as the basis for your post. Take the picture, then spend the next 350-600 words explaining the following:
Who: Who is this type of job good for.
What: What is it that you are doing.
Where: Where in the building (or outside) you are doing it.
When: Is this project seasonal? Is there a time element? Is there a better or worse time of year, day or season to do it?
Why: Why are you doing this? Obviously, because someone hired you to do it, but what happened to cause this project to be started in the first place?
How: How do you do this project. Explain in detail. That’s how you build expert status with your readers.
Now, you don’t have to use this framework, if you are good at writing or you have your own writing style, do your thing. This is for those of you who have trouble formulating a blog post. So get to taking those pictures! If you want to blog but can’t figure out how to get it all done, let us help with our Journeyman plan. It does two things in one; gives you two blog posts a month you can use to build your blog AND social media management. Read more here.
You may be thinking, “How can I possibly manage my business and take care of my blog in less than an hour a day?” Well, I didn’t say write and manage; I said manage. There’s a big difference. The first step is to choose the direction you want to take your blog from month to month. This direction should coincide with your marketing strategy.
Here’s the initial setup process for creating a blog that you can manage in about an hour a day
1. Create a Blogging Calendar
You have to have a publishing schedule that you can stick to, otherwise, you’ll lose track of the blog’s purpose. WordPress, our preferred blogging platform, allows you to schedule published posts in advance. This makes it much easier to manage your blog from month to month. You should ideally publish as many posts as possible every month.
No, seriously. A business that publishes 16 monthly blog posts sees 3.5 times more qualified traffic than someone who publishes 2 to 4 monthly posts. This simple fact alone is why you need to create a blogging calendar. You can’t wait for when I have time to roll around where your business website and blog are concerned.
2.Make a List of Topics
Actual topic creation should be done by someone who understands search engine optimization (SEO). Your writer should demonstrate the ability to create compelling titles based on the list of topics you provide. Your list of topics should consist of ideas that help promote your product or service. For example:
Let’s say you’re a small business owner and your company sells dog shampoo that is specially formulated to help dogs with dry, itchy skin. You could address food allergies, seasonal allergies, allergies to other animals or materials, cold weather, and a host of other issues that cause dry, itchy skin in dogs. Your list of topics should include everything that can help owners of itchy dogs.
3.Hire an Experienced Writer
Yes, you can write. But do you enjoy it? Do you enjoy the idea of writing at least 16 blog posts every month? Probably not. Most people don’t. Coincidentally, most people don’t participate in things they don’t enjoy. Your blog is doomed to failure before it begins if you don’t enjoy writing.
Okay, that was probably a little overly-dramatic, but I hope you get the idea. Professional blog writers enjoy writing. The team here at DarrenSlaughter.com is comprised of four experienced writers with more than 35 years of combined experience.
4.Measure Content Performance
Monitor and measure the performance of all of your published blog posts. This is much easier than it looks at first glance. WordPress allows you to install analytics programs that measure the number of visitors you receive each month. What really makes it nice is that you can see which blog posts bring the most traffic at a glance. The content that brings the most traffic is content that you want to continue to write and publish.
5.Monitor Comments and Social Media
Share every blog post on social media. Every one of them. If you publish a blog post every single day, you should share a blog post every single day. Unshared content doesn’t get seen. People will undoubtedly comment on your blog (if allowed) and social media. Reply to them even if it’s to like their comment or answer the same question for the 300th time.
Blog Management in Less than an Hour Every Day
Okay, now that the initial setup is taken care of, we can get into the actual purpose of this blog post – blog management. Managing your blog is as simple as publishing and monitoring things. Your daily blog management schedule may be:
- Read and publish a blog post that was recently delivered by your writer.
- Look at analytics reports for previously-published blog posts.
- Answer a few comments on your blog and social media.
Voila! Done. You probably took 15 to 30 minutes depending on how many comments you needed to address.
Enjoy Your Free Time
Business blog management doesn’t have to take nearly the amount of time that others may lead you to believe. Remember, do what you enjoy and delegate the rest. The more tasks you hire out to others, the more time you have to focus on the things you enjoy.
Hire a writer and a social media manager if you don’t enjoy either. Check out our Contractor’s Toolbox, our plans take care of both for you. Enjoy the free time you create for yourself and get back to things you LIKE to do!