Guest Article from Dan Janal on Bonding through Blogs and Newsletters

A terrific article from Dan Janal, owner of PR Leads

How to bond with your clients with blogs and newsletters

Consultants and coaches spend countless hours thinking of new ideas to write for their newsletters and blogs. They all want to create a new idea and hop on a new trend. After all, we all want to be thought of as smart and helpful.

But did you know that the best way to bond with your readers is to show them that you are human?

It’s true.

I’ve been writing on the web for nearly 15 years and the times I get a flood of emails is when I reveal something personal about myself, not when I write a great article or explain a new tactic.

Relax, I’m not talking about baring your soul, opening your emotional closet or revealing your deepest fantasies. I’m talking about when you do no rmal things.

From my own experience and those of others, I’ve found the greatest feedback when writing about:
–       my cats
–       my vacations
–       my gardening
–       my attempts at playing the guitar
–       my training for a 5K race

I also get a lot of comments if a link doesn’t work or if there’s an extra space between words or if there’s a typo. I’m sure that’s because people want to help.

If you put more personality into your writing, people will want to know more about you and will bond with you.

I know one guy who writes about his skydiving. Another person gives the play by play details of his upcoming wedding planning. Another person prints jokes about dogs. Another person writes abou t his horrible experiences at restaurants.

Let’s face it. Most of the information we write about can be written by anyone. There are only so many ways to say “to lose weight, eat less and exercise more.” Or the equivalents for getting a job, overcoming procrastination, asking for a raise, leading your employees or making money on the Internet. The thing that’s going to help you stand out is your personality.

When you show personality, you bond with your readers and you’ll have a better chance to build trust so you can make a sale.

Dan Janal is a very successful entrepreneur, professional speaker and marketing coach who helps clients build their businesses by improving their strategy for using publicity, marketing, Internet marketing, e-commerce and sales. For more information, go to http://www.prleadsplus.com

This article has been re-printed with permission.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Blogging for Gravity

I was a guest speaker for the North Mason Chamber of Commerce this morning. The topic was how to create, write, and leverage the marketing gravity for a blog.

One of the great things about blogs are that they can build credibility globally. One lady in the audience is an interior designer that also specializes in “staging” homes for sale. I asked the question, “What does she gain by having a global blog?”  Here are a few answers:

  1. She can use it as credibility in the marketplace to gain publishing opportunities – books, e-books, articles, columns, syndication, etc.
  2. She can become a speaker for national conferences for realtors, architects, construction, interior designers, etc.
  3. She can gain opportunities to be used as a source for interviews in national publications.

That’s just 3 things. What about you? What marketing gravity can you gain from your expertise? It can all start with a provocative, value-laden blog.

© 2010. Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

How to Find Stories to Blog About

One of my mentor clients asked me today, “Where do you find things to blog about?” A good question that I thought many of you may also be asking.  Here it is. Get ready to cut and paste this interminable answer in your brain. Ready?

Life.

I guarantee that things happen to you every single day that you can write about, blog about, or use for a story in a speech. You just have to be in the moment and be able to use your life as a metaphor.

Here’s an example from today for me. I was working around the house and I love to listen to Pandora while I work. I had it on the Greased Lightning station and listening to an oldie song called, “What a Wonderful World it Would Be.” One of the lines said something like, “I don’t know what a slide rule does…” I chuckled. Neither does about 2/3 of the world anymore. However 40 years ago, everyone not only did, but used them all the time. So how do you use this as a blog post?

My mentee is in the technology world. The changes in technology are happening at warp speed. Just like the slide rule, many things we take for granted today may be obsolete in just a short time. In fact, much shorter than ever before! If you are unwilling to change and learn about new technologies in real-time, you and your business will be left behind playing with your slide rule.

OR…

If you are a consultant for helping businesses work with a diverse generational workforce, you might find a way to use this story in a speech comparing the slide rule to the Texas Instruments calculator to an iPhone app. You get the picture.

The key is to be aware of things around you; note peculiar things that happen or that make you laugh; find irony in everyday happenings; and make note of all of them. The next step is to try to relate them as a metaphor to something in your business. Then start writing…

The reality is that your audience will better understand a difficult topic or be more engaged in your speech when you use everyday life occurrences that seemingly have no commonality. It’s a great way to never run out of stories. All you have to do is live!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

How Do You Develop a Writing Style?

A client of mine recently commented on a blog post I wrote, and asked where I learned to write the way I did.  His comments were appreciated and I thought I would also share with you…

  1. Don’t be afraid to offend. Really. If your writing doesn’t challenge, provoke, anger, or inspire a diverse range of your audience, you’re not doing your job. Apathy is the enemy. Your message needs to be direct and clear. You don’t have to be inflammatory, but you must be interesting.
  2. Read others who you respect. You don’t have to agree with everything (or anything) they say. But key in on writing styles and learn why they are successful.
  3. Practice. Practice. Practice.  The more you write, the better you will be. Writing can include blog posts, newsletters, books, articles and op-eds.
  4. Get help. Education is critical to any success. Use coaches, mentors, teachers in your development. Heck, take a class from your local community college to improve your skills. Just remember, writing in business differs from creative writing. They are both good, but have different messages.

Bottom line – a huge part of creating marketing gravity is publishing and writing. Make sure yours is read!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved