Our newest Jane, Jeannette Marshall, is a business optioneer with sales expertise accumulated over 20 years. She's a consistent top-performer and award winner willing to share the professional opinions and ideas she's accumulated from actual success. Today she's sharing her strategy for creating her own blog and using it to increase her own knowledge while burnishing her brand and becoming a proven authority in her field . . .
One element I always look for when I look at the gazillion of sales blogs or websites is testimonials or background on the blogger. Basically, asking the question: "What does this person have that I can learn from?" Granted, there are those like Anthony Robbins who we really don't question that any longer because his claim to fame is selling himself. Likewise, there are very successful real estate tycoons, but none measure up to Donald Trump, who really excels at selling himself. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me that so many master Bloggers don't back up their authority on the subject by quantifying their results. That is where my point to my Blog starts. I am open to examination. Why? Simply because I have proven success yet am constantly stretching my learning and qualifications. If I don't expose my ideas and look for challenges to those ideals, then I have failed myself. I have stopped learning from others.
Next, define goals. After taking and exceling at the Google Analytics Basic "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO) and "Search Engine Marketing" (SEM) right around the time I started the Blog, I realized that I wouldn't be able to be an authority on sales, without understanding all the key elements impacting sales today. The most relevant is Social Media. It is changing traditional sales methodology at lightning speed. To assume that all the same techniques that I applied a year ago, five years ago or more, are applicable today without incorporating Social Media into the equation is naive on my part. Therefore, I realized that the GOAL I needed to set was to learn: "How social media impacts sales by using my own Blog as a conduit to gain that insight".
Thirdly, research competitors or learn from the experts. If you are with an organization or product/service just starting out just like I am with my Blog it can be quite intimidating to tackle those giants already established before you. However, I took the time to look at them, research a bit and learn from those already successful (one of my guiding principles). I've used this tactic so many times. In my case, I interpreted that many blogs promote sales techniques yet underline you should hire them or buy something, usually a book or course. If you look objectively and absorb the most successful traits that you can relate to, you can emulate them in your outlook to turn that Goliath obstacle into an advantage.
Next differentiation. Many giants are so caught up by their size or their own "press" that they fail at self-examination. A starter has the advantage after they microscope their competitors and analyse them they can uncover a nugget from where they might find an area where they differentiate themselves. Differentiation gets easier after you go through the steps of setting objective, goals, followed by research. I applied the links among objective, goals and research to decide to "Share what I know without an ulterior motive (i.e. seek speaking engagements, sell a course or book)". There was my differentiation that I believed would set me apart from many sales bloggers.
Finally, and not the least important - measurement. You cannot tell how you're doing without some sort of measurement stick. In real sales situations, you are measured by increased sales, new customers, improved profitability, expanded sales base, etc. In the world of social media it is how many Twitter followers you have, even better, quality is measured by reTweets. With blogging, it is by followers, yes, but more when you can check stats to see if you have traction by views or click through rates. Don't forget to click not to count your own page views! I like to monitor whether I am providing value - I interpret from comments, feedback or sharing. I post my results so others can watch my progress and because I KNOW there will be progress, I am not afraid to share. Next, after I have established myself for a year, I will measure how I stack up against other sales Bloggers.
Geez, I almost forgot the most important of all. Not only does it take what I learn from the blogging pros by having a catchy title, it also communicates what I also learn from the icons of business -- LOVE WHAT YOU DO!