The skills of a salesperson have evolved over the past few years.
With the advent of digital and social media there are new skills that are desirable, some might say essential.
I set out in sales in 2004 and there was zero requirement for me to think about writing.
That was the case up until around a year ago, when I had a natural urge to blog. I felt I had experiences to share and a story to tell (we all do). In turn, the benefits can be numerous, not to mention one of the main reasons to do so, and that’s to attract customers.
Like in real life, sometimes there is a natural apprehension to put yourself out there. For me, this is blog number 10 and since my blogging career was launched last year and nothing negative has happened. In fact, I would go as far to say is that it helped me get a new job (Non intentionally) and bolster my personal brand
Here is the route I took with some tools to help you out too!
Read other blog posts / use a topic idea guide
To begin with, make sure you read some other blogs.
Get an idea for the flow, topics and style you might want to write about. Ensure that you are delivering content that you know a bit about, but at the same time, ensure that content is relevant to your audience.
Don’t go writing about your passion for cars when you are trying to sell accountancy software (for example).
A caveat to that, however, might be that you can tie the two things together and show some creativity.
One thing I’ve noticed about blogging is that it acts as a breakaway from your daily tasks and allows you to think about things differently. Use it to release your creative juices and provide quality insights.
Takeaway: Use Feedly to store blog topics of your choice and read them from there.
Brainstorm with yourself
So now you understand what you want to write about (loosely), you then want to make sure that you commit to writing everything you know about your subject matter.
I generally open a Google Doc and jot down as much as I can.
Here are some things I wrote down for this piece:
- Detail how I started
- Copy in a 3rd party infographic to help with titles
- Mention how mentoring helped
- Be valuable
- Think of tools that can help
- Proof reading
- Further learning
- Choosing your platforms
- Referencing others
- Running Polls
Start with something easy
Unless you are a super confident writer with a grasp of your subject matter, then you will probably want to ease yourself in gently.
I did this in two ways.
At the time of my first blog post, I was doing some (reverse) mentoring with my colleague (to be), Ollie Whitfield. I would share my initial drafts with Ollie and get his feedback.
This helped massively as I had someone who was already versed in blogging letting me know that I was on the correct tracks
The second thing I did, was to write about an event I’d been to. This way you have something to work from and can write it in the style of a review and also offer value at the same time.
With a little bit of tongue firmly planted in cheek, I called it; My First Time.
Upon posting, there is some anticipation and concern that someone picks you up on something like grammar or a dodgy fact. To date nothing yet, but do make sure you double check it with the help of something else too.
From there, I went on to do a weekly round up of all things digital in the e-commerce world (my target area at the time).
Key Takeaway: Use the Grammarly extension to make sure you are on point with everything.
There are various ways to go around picking your topic.
There are websites that can help you, even tools that can analyse the most suitable topic that will help with engagement.
This infographic can also give you food for thought!
Platforms & Publishing
To begin with, I opted for LinkedIn, then re-published on BeBee and Medium.
I now have the privilege of posting on the Creation Agency blog, which opens me up to a far wider audience. My most successful post so far is this one asking; ‘Does Social Selling need a rebrand’?, Which is just shy of 16,000 views.
On another post, I wrote about Sales Being Fun. In that, I’d reached out to Nigel Edelshain, to add his comments. I’d made connections with Nigel on LinkedIn after finding out he was the man who coined Sales 2.0. Upon publishing the piece, I noticed that elements of my blog had appeared on the LinkedIn sales blog, which was pretty cool to see.
A final note on this. If you are feeling apprehensive about posting, perhaps try a channel like Medium.
Medium is a very serious blogging platform too, but you might find it less of a step to post them.
One of the main blogging platforms is WordPress. You should always check this out to see if it is a good fit.
- Be valuable
- Make it about your audience
- Include other 3rd party content (video / quotes etc)
- Proof read it
- Get someone else to read it for you
- Think about a call to action but try not to be ‘salesy’
- Read books on blogging
- Be consistent
- Tell your story
- Give away your knowledge
- Be true to yourself / speak in your own voice
- Be patient
- Write catchy headlines
- Have fun and enjoy the process