I admit it seems a little odd to be talking about the ineffectiveness of a blog in a blog. But it’s true - I blogged 5x a week for over a year and landed all of zero design clients. Now that’s not to say I wasn’t running a successful business, in fact I was fully booked out in less than 30-days. Blogging however was never the tool that gave me consistent clients. Don’t worry, before this blog is over you will know what was.
Not only will I tell you what booked me out in 30-days, but I will tell you exactly how I replaced my corporate income. And it wasn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact it involved zero social media and a few cups of coffee.
My writing became a passion. As much as I convinced myself it was to gain customers, ultimately it was a self-serving practice. I thought I was building a marketing mechanism for my business and in fact I was building an entirely new audience, one who had no interest in my services. And while it ultimately helped me do other things it was a massive distraction. One that kept me up at night (3am most nights), tired all day and constantly worried about what to write next.
Blogging has been long sought after as a marketing tool. A way to spread your message far and wide. But used inappropriately it won’t attract the people you need now to make money sooner.
Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).
Your Blog is Reaching the Wrong People
But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.
Think about it this way: when you go to hire anyone what do you do first? Is it frantically google, land on this awesome blog post, figure out how to contact the person and then hire them. OR is it - First ask someone you know who they would recommend? Trust me if you were to make a list of how you looked for someone to:
Put a roof on your house
Watch your kids
Trim your trees
Care for your dogs on vacation
Insert basically any service ever
You first asked a friend - whether that was a generic post on Facebook, texting your mom, or your neighbor.
But I Google Everything
Ok, I hear the pushback. You use Google everyday to find things, me too. But when you did, what ultimately helped you make your decision? Reviews. Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon customer feedback...that’s what you trust when you’re looking to buy or try something new. The trust is transferred from the other customers to you, making you feel comfortable in your purchase decision. You are more likely to trust other humans than a companies self serving blog post.
The lesson here: purchase decisions are made when TRUST is established. And the fastest way to get people to trust you? Getting OTHER people to talk about how awesome you are.
The Shortcut to Booking Fast
A blog while potentially valuable is unlikely to build trust immediately. There may be some interest there, someone may hop on an email list, someone may want to learn from you - but booking a service is off in the distant future.
The key to booking fast is those coveted recommendations. And no, I’m not suggesting you go out and spend all this time on a Yelp profile. For most of you reading this you are in the creative field, you offer a creative service like: photography, design or copywriting.
People aren’t looking on Yelp for those services. They honestly might not even be asking anyone for help finding someone. They might not be looking at all.
But with the right warm recommendation you could be the solution they didn’t even know they needed yet.
What You Gotta Do (And What You Don’t)
So we’ve established that blog posts can be valuable for you business eventually.
But I want you to get hot leads, faster than you can handle them.
Because here’s the deal, business isn’t slow because you lack talent. In fact I’d be willing to bet you could run laps around me with what you do… and I want to show you how to get your solution in front of more of the right people faster.
Here’s what you’re not going to have to do though:
magically become extroverted overnight
cold call people (my personal nightmare)
go to a bunch of crazy boring networking events, only to hand out your business card to people who are going to throw it away on the walk to their car.
put on pants. (I mean you CAN. But you don’t have to for the method I’m about to share with you)
Here’s what you ARE going to do:
You have to sit your people down (and by your people I mean those closest to you). And tell them what you want, your true ambitions, seriously, what do you want your business to do for you. Because honestly, hiding isn’t getting you anywhere.
You can totally do this. I’ll explain how.
The Mean Girls Method
You remember this cinematic masterpiece, I know you do. In the movie there was a hard core clique - referred to as the Plastics. They stuck together like glue, and bitchy demeanor aside they were basically family. Now their secret to popularity wasn’t their charming good looks, it was there tenacity to stick together. They were stronger together.
You have a group of people in your life that are there for you no matter what. They love you fiercely and want you to succeed. They are your inner circle. Even if you don’t all wear pink on Wednesdays.
Your inner circle is made up of no more than 10 people. It’s the people you are in communication with daily - calls, texting, telepathy. It’s the people in your life you can be your truest self with. It may be your mom, sister, BFF, biz besties. How you are connected is honestly not important. Your belief in how connected they are to your potential customer, also not important.
Step 1: Who is in your inner circle? Remember: if you have to think about it more than 5-seconds they aren’t on the list.
Step 2: In the next 24 hours you are going to contact your inner circle and let them know you are ready to see growth in your business. Share with them the desires you have for the kind of clients you want to work with. Ask them for connections.
Step 3: Use this script if you need it!
Not sure what to say? We got you:
Hey, NAME. I’m sure you’ve seen me post things about _________ and ________. I’m at the point now where I’m getting really focused on landing more clients for __________ and I need your help. Here’s what I know I can provide: ________, _______ and ______. Does anyone come to mind that you could introduce me to - either someone who’s a perfect client fit or someone who knows someone who might be? I’m ready to work with them, can you send 5 messages today and copy me on it?
Sounds simple right? Don’t let that fool you: it’s highly effective.
This is EXACTLY how I was able to replace my cushy corporate salary: One of these conversations led to one intro, which led to a consistent stream of clients. Hear more about how I took the conversation further in this podcast episode.
I repeated the system again with my next ring of contacts and landed relationships that got me deals designing for Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Dominos, Massage Envy and more.
So guys, to recap:
While blogging may help long term, I want you to find clients right away to get your business profitable. Try this strategy and then share your results in our secret FB community built just for you. It’s application only and free to anyone in the Photography, Design and Copywriting space. Apply here.