August 9th, 2008 Theresa Shafer
One of the strategies we cover in our Getting More Customers workshops is blogging.
Below is a 90-plan developed by a workshop attendee last year, anonymized and presented with permission. Actual implementation took more than 90 days but he has been blogging for a little less than a year and has 60 blog posts that have been gathering readers. He also uses the blog to answer questions that keep coming up, treating it like a FAQ in progress.
Any good action plan builds on your existing strengths and successes. If you are comfortable with writing, a blog is a good way to gently remind your prospects that you are out there and are available to help them when they have a problem.
Here is the blank worksheet he filled out, answers in italic
One Page Customer Development Plan
Chose the techniques you are going to implement and have a plan! Figure out how you are going to measure it and track the outcome.
- Who are the NEW customers you want to attract?
want to target customers in financial space
- How will you develop NEW business?
use blog as a way to reach and influence prospects
- How will you grow EXISTING business?
2 weeks: Identify blogs where I can guest blog or comment on
- Select blog software and domain name
- Check out at TypePad, WordPress, Blogger
- Does my hosting service have one?
- Comment on other blogs – 3 times/week (Can I keep this up?)
- Develop a plan for one/week blogging topics
- Start writing one blog per week
- Start my blog
- Write one blog a week on my blog
- once a week comment on someone else blog (linking to my)
We checked in with him briefly at each of the milestone dates (basic follow-up is included in the workshop fee) and recently spoke with him now that he has been blogging for about 10 months to get his assessment of the results achieved.
I got busy so it took about 5 or 6 months to do. It takes a lot more planning, reading and thought than I anticipated that it would and readership is smaller than I would like (at least compared to our newsletter). I need to get better at commenting on other blogs. When I am busy this is the first thing to fall off, yet it is critical to building my readers. I have seen it boost my website traffic but I have not seen it generate sales leads directly yet. It was been useful to answer inquiries we get by writing a blog post, and doing this has made them easier to re-use. It’s also been helpful when we wanted to respond quickly to an event (e.g. an acquisition) that our customers and prospects are looking for a quick take on. But it’s a different writing style from a forum post or a newsletter article that requires practice to master.