A big part of being a successful blogger is thought leadership. “Thought leadership” you say, “I can barely think up a topic to write about, let alone something thoughtful!” It’s really less of a stretch than you may think though. And it’s especially useful in getting yourself away from writing solely about your product/service – which no one other than your mum really wants to read.
How do I go from talking about my product/service to being a thought leader? Easy! Just ask yourself these three easy questions:
1) What do your customers ask you all the time?
Before people buy, they ask a lot of questions. What do people who buy ask you time and again? Are there emails that you send so often you basically just copy and paste the content into Outlook and just change the ‘Dear So and So’ line? Those are great blog topic starters and are usually more about the problem your service/product solves rather than the product itself.
2) Who is your perfect customer?
It’s really important to have a picture of your customer in your head. What is their age? What do they enjoy doing? Are they male or female? What kind of job do they have? These questions help paint a picture of the person you are writing for. At HubSpot we have two main “customer profiles” that help us understand what our customers need. One is “Ollie” and the other, “Mary”. Ollie owns and runs a small business and is to time-crunched to fiddle with multiple online products. Mary is in charge of a marketing department (1 or more people) and is measured on the number of leads she brings in.
The customer profiles help us think about whom we are writing for and what matters to them. HubSpot sells software, but what matters to Ollie and Mary are web visitors, leads and sales. So we write about tips, tricks and subjects that will help them do those things. (And by gosh, our software will make those activities easier!)
3) Do my competitors give out info I could debunk/explain more succinctly?
Your competitors are a wealth of potential blogs. Read through their websites, see if there are any articles or industry information that you think you could describe better. Are their practices old school? Do they only show one side of the issue? These are all good starting points for educational blog posts that would appeal to customers and people in your industry.
Key Takeaway: Being a thought leader is not as hard as you might think. Remind yourself that what you know is new information to your customers. As long as you keep your customer in mind and think of their needs, you’ll be a blog writing, thought leading machine!
Picture courtesy of Enokson