How to Use your Blog to Develop Valuable Relationships
There is a big focus on blogging’s SEO benefits and how it helps new people discover you. Yet blogging also plays a powerful role in deepening your existing relationships and turning new contacts into allies, clients and friends.
Here are three ways you can use your blog to make stronger connections:
1. Follow up on a conversation
Often when you meet someone new or run into someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, you’ll talk about what you each do in your respective businesses.
Listen closely to the other person’s response when they hear you describe your product or service. They may mention struggling with something you’ve blogged about, or have a question you’ve answered in a blog post. You can also ask them something like, “What do you think is the hardest part of _____?”
Sometimes, the person across from you may not be a potential client at all, but they could be a valuable source of referrals – as long as they clearly understand what you can offer. In that case, you may want to ask, “What do your clients find hardest about _____?”
When you email the person to follow up and move your relationship along, include the link to a blog post you’ve published about whatever you discussed. Doing this will have three distinct benefits:
- Goodwill. Whether you’ve helped solve their own problem or provided a resource they can pass along to build rapport with their own client, you’ve also shown how well you listened, and that you care about helping people.
- Expertise. When you can produce a well-written and focused post about a specific issue, it establishes you as an expert at solving that exact problem.
- Exposure. Once the person clicks the link to read your post, they can also find out more about your business by navigating the rest of your website. This is a very non-threatening way to invite someone into your business world.
2. Answer a question
Has anyone ever asked if they can “pick your brain”? Ouch, sounds painful, doesn’t it?
With a limited number of hours in a day, we’d never get our work done if we agreed to all of these requests.
The next time someone wants to set up a meeting with you, ask them to send their most pressing questions by email. The longer you’ve been blogging, the more likely you’ll have a blog post (or two) that already addresses their problem.
Of course, you may choose to take a limited number of these meetings. Maybe you want to help out someone just starting out in your field, gain insights and introductions in a new market, or learn from someone else’s unique experiences.
Blogging can still play a part in these meetings. You can send posts beforehand that give foundational information, to save time and help keep you on track. And just like in #1, you can also follow up with more specific information based on the conversation.
3. Stay in touch
Set a calendar reminder to touch base with your networking contacts, so you’re not relying on running into them at a meeting or event. Put all your focus on the other person, asking how they are, offering a helpful resource or introduction, or commenting on one of their recent events or accomplishments.
In some cases, the helpful resource may be a blog post you wrote, but that’s not the only way to highlight your blog in these emails. The WiseStamp email signature can automatically insert a link to your latest blog post.
Hopefully, you’re in the practice of promoting your new blog posts on social media. If you’re connected with the person on social media, they may notice these messages (depending on how many people they follow and how often they check for updates).
If you send regular newsletters (and I hope you do!), invite the person to subscribe to your list. That will increase their chances of seeing your new blog content when you send out the links by email.
It’s great to meet a lot of new people, but making a true connection takes time and effort. When you consistently write expert articles and share them on your blog, through social media, and by email, you help your contacts get to know you and see what a valuable resource you truly are.