As I write this post, we are minutes away from the first of three presidential debates for the 2012 election. The similarities between politics and business are striking. Many of the same attributes that help people win elections help when marketing a business as well.
- Be Likable - We live in social times. If you want to convert the casual reader into a customer, then you must be likable. Engage people. Find out their interests, and always offer them substance.
- Answer the Question - When a customer asks you a question about your business or service, answer it in a knowledgable and professional manner. Don’t ramble for five minutes only to figure out that you still missed the gist of the inquiry.
- Establish Trust - In order to establish repeat business, first you must establish trust. That means being professional. It means answering your customers’ questions, and branding and positioning your business in a way that makes sense.
- Establish a Narrative - Like voters, your readers want a good story. They want to know who you are. They’re more likely to do business with you in the future if they feel comfortable. Your blogs and website content can help them get to know you even if they’ve never actually met you in person.
- Stay on Message - Politicians go into debates with a series of talking points in mind. It would help business owners to do the same thing before a networking event, or any time they’re talking up some business. Go ahead and memorize five talking points about your business that you can pull out whenever the appropriate question is asked.
Give Your Blog and Website Readers Substance
Your readers are there for several reasons. If you can help them to understand your industry, and understand how to be a smart consumer, that will put you ahead. This holds true throughout your marketing. It takes a beautiful website design to draw them in. It takes a well-organized website to keep things running efficiently. Last but not least, it takes strong and engaging content.
This can be done by:
- Telling your story on your about page
- Including a picture on your about page
- Blogging consumer tips for your industry
- Blogging consumer news for your industry
- Maintaining an active social media campaign
It takes a lot of work. If it’s something that you can’t handle on your own, it may be time to hire a freelance writer.