This is post 9 in a 10 part series about boosting your blogging income. Marketing your services via your blog is a great way to monetize it. If you're a web designer, SEO expert, content writer, or other service provider, your blog is an essential tool for boosting traffic, getting clients and live product R&D - you get to see what your audience really wants. However, you can also use your blog to attract coaching (like I do here, this series has helped me scoop up 3 great clients) clients and mentoring / tutoring clients.
Let's Start with Your Ideal Client
Before you start writing, take a minute to consider your target audience. Picture your ideal client and write strong, actionable content that they can use. Define this person as specifically as possible. What are their interests and problems? Use your blog to speak to them and discuss topics in which they're interested.
You don't have to explicitly sell your services on your blog. It's a bad idea to make every blog post about why people need to hire a web designer, SEO expert, writer, coach, etc. Don't focus on selling, but provide information your reader can use. What you're doing is demonstrating your expertise in your field. When they need your services, you'll be the one they ask since they've already seen what you can offer.
If you're a blogger with a high-traffic blog and an engaged audience, you can sell your services as a blogging consultant. What a blogging consultant does is to help businesses that are struggling with their blogs. If you've done well with yours, this shows that you're an expert. But you should not be a one trick pony. Go set up another site and replicate your success there so you know what you are teaching is tried and tested. Do not try to be the blogging consultant with one success under your belt. You will fall flat on your face. Success once is luck. Success twice is skill.
You can target other small businesses in your niche or a similar niche; for example, if you're a Food blogger, you can focus on helping restaurants with their blogging.
For the record, I have a portfolio of my own successful blogs as well as a stable of successful clients. When you come to me for blog mentoring and consulting you do not get wishy-washy, light and fluffy "oh you must try this". You get action packed advice and worksheets and resources, and yes, you are expected to work. Just to scare you some more, I charge a fortune (reassuringly expensive I believe is the phrase) and I get incredible results. If you are a tyre kicker, or want someone to do the heavy lifting for you, go elsewhere. If you are prepared to work, and want to get results then I'm your gal.
Offline Business SEO
Search engine optimization for offline businesses is a lucrative field. Offline businesses today realize they need a strong online presence, but a fair number of them are completely lost about how to go about it. On your blog, you can write about SEO, social media, traffic strategies, and everything else you've done to put your blog on the map. Your content will give them the help they need to get started an, when they need further help, they'll hire you.
Not from me...if you can't be found for what you want to be found for... then why would the offline business hire you? Yeah, this post is crammed with some tough love today. Keep reading if you dare
For some bloggers their one and only goal is to attract coaching clients through their writing.
A coaching consultancy is fairly simple to set up - you offer coaching sessions that are conducted through Skype, email or phone for individuals or groups, and record the sessions using Pamela, then send the client the recording and additional feedback with assignments. Coaching doesn't have to be face to face.
With coaching, you share your expertise in a specific area with people who are new to it and less experienced. Coaches are able to charge high hourly rates for sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. It's important to find the right one with the right skills to propel you forward.
See my comments above about reassuringly expensive. I'll say this. If you have a client on a call and you cannot answer their questions and you fudge with them, whilst you frantically Google the answer... give up. Give up now. You don't have to know everything, but you do have to know more than your clients, if you don't then you are pitching at the wrong market.
See point one about the ideal reader and go back to the first post in this series and download the free marketing worksheet. Better still book me and I'll help you get your act together.
Seminars and Webinars
Another way to share your expertise is to offer seminars and webinars. Announce your webinar on your blog and explain the benefits to your readers. Then promote it in other arenas, like social media, your email list and so on. Your first webinar may be small, but webinars have a tendency to gather momentum, snowballing into more participants each time you hold them. Plus you can re-purpose the content
Traffic and Engagement
- In order to use your blog to successfully sell your services or expertise, you need to have a great deal of traffic, reader engagement and really strong, useful content.
- Post content regularly and interact as much as possible with readers when they comment, ask questions, or email you.
- Post in forums where your ideal clients hang out and share content on other sites to get exposure.
Your visibility online is what will drive your success in getting clients for your services.
Once you've decided your service you now have to be relentless in marketing them - you have to let people know you are available to do the work. This week I've taken on 5 new clients after not taking any new ones since July. How did I do it? This series of posts attracted in people who wanted my skills, saw that I know what I'm talking about and rang up and booked me.
You can't say better than that, can you?