First, let’s clear up any confusion about what a blog actually is.
According to most dictionaries, a blog is simply a Weblog or online diary.
When I first heard about blogging many years ago, I remember thinking “Who wants to read stuff from something called a blog?” It all sounded a bit iffy to me at the time, but many years later I’ve embraced blogging as an important part of my business growth strategy, and so should you.
Currently, blogging may not be very high up on your list of must-do activities.
It’s most likely one of the many things you’ve thought about doing but weren’t quite sure about why you should bother, or what benefits it would bring if any.
In this article, I’m going to explain the ‘Why, How and When’ of blogging for your business that will have you jumping enthusiastically into the blogosphere (hopefully).
Why you should blog for your business.
As a business owner, I blog as part of the marketing activities for my business because it’s a great way to showcase my expertise inexpensively, and more importantly, begin to build trust and rapport with people whom I’ve never met (but would like to).
This in turn, often leads to enquiries about what I can offer, and if we find we’re a good match, business takes place.
Now you may be thinking, “Yes, but you’re business is different to mine”, and you’d be absolutely right about that.
But here’s the thing; blogging can work just as well for client attraction in your business as it does in mine. After all, we both need to build trust and rapport before we can gain a new client, and the stronger that trust and rapport becomes, the longer the client is likely to stay, and pay us for all the knowledge and skills we can provide.
Another important point to consider is that according to BIA Kelsey and Constat, 97% of consumers now use online media to shop locally. That means if your website is appearing on the first page after an online search, there’s an excellent chance that you have lots of prospective clients roaming about your website looking to see if your salon or spa is going to be a good fit to meet their needs.
Given this, including a blog page on your website that is full of great information is an excellent way to show that you and your team are experts within your field.
In other words, your reader knows she can feel confident in contacting your salon and taking the next step towards making an appointment.
But blogging can be even more than that.
When a prospective client visits your website, you also have the opportunity to capture their details, which is a real marketing plus. It allows you to keep building the relationship with them each time you post a new blog; even if they aren’t yet a client.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can also send your blog posts directly to your Social Media pages by simply copying and pasting the URL of the post (the bit of code at the top of your website blog post page) to where you want to share it.
That is truly clever marketing because it allows you to use the same information many times over.
So, a well written, informative and entertaining blog will:
- Attract prospective clients to your online presence (your ability to get found online)
- Showcase your knowledge and expertise in your area of skills (your amazing articles)
- Enable you to stay in touch with your readers (by capturing reader’s details with a sign-up form)
- Encourage them to get in touch with your salon and make an appointment (by displaying your contact details).
How to get started.
The first step is to create your blog page; somewhere to post your useful articles.
Most websites today have the capacity to include a blog page, but I see lots of salon and spa websites that have this facility and don’t use it.
If you don’t yet have your website up and running, but would like to get started on blogging, there are free blog sites that you can use for this purpose. Visit http://stylecaster.com/best-free-blog-sites/ for some ideas.
Some of these blog sites are easier to use than others, and some, such as Wix and WordPress, also allow you to build a full website around your blog.
Blogging is really very straightforward and nothing to be scared of.
Think about how you can turn all that great information you give to salon clients every day into short, information-packed articles that will benefit your readers.
You don’t need to write a version of War and Peace for each blog article. I’d recommend around 300-50 words to get started, but if you need to write more to produce something really worthwhile, then that’s fine too.
One thing you should avoid is writing about basic and boring information.
I cringe when I read salon owners write ‘remember to cleanse your skin before you go to bed to let your skin breathe overnight’ or ‘apply your sunscreen daily before going outside’. This kind of information doesn’t provide real value to your readers, and to be frank, it’s downright boring.
Spice up your writing with information about the latest trends in skin/hair/makeup or whatever it is your salon specialises in providing.
Draw in your readers with great information, and establish yourself as an industry expert.
Remember, the purpose of your blog is to showcase your expertise and get readers to become clients.
Related: Writing to Attract New Salon Clients
It’s always a great idea to use interesting images with your blogs.
As they say, ‘an image speaks 1000 words’ so choose your images wisely, as they will often lead to either the reader going on to read your article or clicking out.
Not all images online can be captured and used freely (you don’t want to infringe on copyright); however, one good resource for royalty free images is www.pixabay.com.
With a bit of research, you can find great images online that you can use for little or no outlay. You may also need to get permission from your suppliers if you use images supplied by them.
Editing is one of the most important parts of the blogging process and judging by some of the content I see, one that is often overlooked altogether.
The article you produce and publish says a great deal about not only your expertise but also your attention to detail.
A blog post filled to the brim with spelling and grammar mistakes is probably going to send an unflattering message about you and your salon, so always make the time to edit your written content several times before you hit the publish button.
Here’s the process I like to use:
Step 1: Once you’ve written your blog post, give it a quick review looking for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes and fix them up. I like to do this by printing out the post and reading it out loud (shut the office door if you feel a bit silly, but do it anyway).
Step 2: Looks for ways to shorten or improve your content:
~ Make sure you aren’t saying the same thing twice using different words.
~ Get rid of industry jargon so you’re writing in the same way your readers like to read. Remember, you’re not writing for other therapists.
~ Move information around so your content flows smoothly and makes sense.
Step 3: Let your post simmer for 24 hours. Just like a great spaghetti sauce, your blog post improves if you let it simmer and then review it. You’ll be amazed by how many little tweaks you will give it after it’s been left to sit for a while.
Step 4: Get a supportive friend or mentor to check it out for you before you publish.
When to post your blog.
How often you blog depends on a couple of things.
If you intend to use your blog to help improve the Search Engine Optimisation for your website, then twice a month should be your minimum goal.
However, if you find you love writing and sharing your incredible knowledge, you can write as many blog posts as you want; daily or even more often if you have the time and inclination!
Finally, remember the goal of blogging is to attract new prospects, convince them you’re the right salon or spa to meet their needs and get them to make an appointment.
If you ensure each blog post you publish meets these criteria, you’ll have added a new and worthwhile tool to your Client Attraction Kit.
Anyone ready to blog?
Related: Client Attraction Package
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