I don’t need a blog or social media to earn my living as a financial writer. Heck, I don’t even need a website. I have friends who earn nice incomes through one-on-one networking and other traditional marketing. I see how I could have achieved something similar. Yet, here I am, spending hours on unpaid content marketing that won’t lead directly to work. This includes a blog, social media outposts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ profile and Google+ page), mini e-books, and my book, Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.
Sometimes I wonder why I subject myself to the endless “to do” list that this marketing imposes. There are several reasons.
1. Self-expression that influences people
Writing helps me to process information. I can figure out what I think through the process of writing. This is particularly true of pieces like “Q&A format for articles: Good or bad?” which I wrote to figure out why I dislike Q&As.
However, I wouldn’t write as much as I do if I lacked an audience. I’m pleased that my readers enjoy my writing and say that I help them to improve their writing and marketing. True confession: this boosts my ego. However, I also like to think that I’m contributing to raising the quality of financial communications. I was especially pleased when one person said, “I hope this goes viral,” after reading my guest post, “Seven Ways to Talk Your Financial Execs Out of Jargon and Bad Writing,” which appeared on the MarketingProfs blog.
2. “Water cooler”
As a solopreneur, I don’t have many conversations during a typical business day. Comments on my blog posts and other social media exchanges fill a gap. As an introverted writer, I’m more comfortable mulling over my responses and typing them out instead of talking.
It’s surprising how much of a connection I can feel as a result of online exchanges. There are folks whom I think of as friends whom I have never met in person.
3. Business development
Blogging and social media haven’t delivered tons of business to me. I’ve picked up a few clients here and there.
However, the role of social media is increasing. One new client found me after I retweeted his company’s Twitter feed. He then started following my blog. Although I met another new client at a conference, I discovered that he already knew me through my newsletter and social media activity. Both individuals quickly became clients after we started discussing specific projects. I believe they were pre-sold on me, thanks to my content that they’d discovered online.
Even if clients find me through traditional networking, my blog and social media activity help me. I believe that most prospects will do an online search for my name before hiring me. They’ll find plenty of content as a result of that search.
In addition, I believe that my blog and social media play a greater role in selling Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients, when compared with their role in reeling in corporate clients for white papers and articles.
What does this mean for you?
I see two lessons for you:
- You don’t need to pick up clients directly from blogging or social media for those activities to be worthwhile.
- You shouldn’t discount the role of social media in sealing a sale, even if prospects find you using other means.
What do you think? Do you agree with my conclusions? I’m interested in your thoughts.