When I decided to start my customer success consulting business I read everything I could get my hands on about marketing. Everywhere I turned there was article after article about how blogging can help you establish your brand, build credibility and most importantly, get leads. I listened, and committed to writing a blog post every week for a quarter.
I hadn’t written much other than emails since graduate school, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. At the advice of a client’s content marketing guru, I decided to go into it with an open mind, came up with a list of topics to work from, and dove in. My two rules were it had to be between 500-1000 words and had to include “customer success” (see what I did there?)
My initial posts were clumsy and didn’t really produce much in the way of results. As the weeks went by, however, I found myself looking forward to blogging each week and I started to realize that there are benefits that weren’t highlighted in any of the articles I had read. So, in the last of my blog posts for the quarter I thought I’d share the three unexpected things I learned from this exercise.
Blogging helped me refine my methodology
I’ve been leading teams for a long time. After a while the things you do that make you an expert, in any capacity, become habit. You don’t have to think about why you do what you do anymore. However, when you become a consultant you can’t just be good at what you do. You have to be able to break it down, present it to a client in a way they can understand, and train them to be as good as you. Blogging forced me to take the things I believe and the ways I do things and break them down for consumption by others. Everything I’ve written is now something I can use in my practice, which will save time down the road.
Blogging allowed me to test out marketing messages
Some of my posts were long, some were short, some were opinions, and some were business models. Blogging gave me a low-risk place where I could try out different messages and styles of writing to see what resonated with potential customers. The first few weeks I felt that I had to be serious to establish credibility. When I started to loosen up and write what was on my mind, I started to get better results. My most popular posts ended up being opinion pieces that I was nervous about releasing into the wild, including my personal favorite – Why Customer Success is Sexy. All of this testing has given me a better understanding of the voice and tone I should take with my marketing collateral.
Blogging gave me confidence (and a break!)
I’ve recently read several articles about how stressful entrepreneurship is, especially at the beginning. There are more than 174,000 articles on LinkedIn that contain the words entrepreneur and stress. Starting my business involved countless hours of very tactical set-up plus countless sleepless nights spent hoping I didn’t make a huge mistake. Blogging gave me a fun, yet productive, task to do each week. I knew that it was helping me to build my business, so I didn’t have to worry about whether or not it was a waste of time. Writing about my area of expertise made me feel confident, even when there were parts of the business I wasn’t sure about. And I won’t lie - seeing the “likes” stack up is a boost as well!
If you're a new entrepreneur, I'd encourage you to put yourself on a schedule and blog. It will definitely help with the things you always read about like credibility and brand, but you’ll probably learn that it helps in other ways as well. In my business the benefits that were unexpected have turned out to be the most valuable.
The Success League is a consulting firm that works with executives who want to unlock the retention and revenue a top performing customer success team will bring to their business. Unlike traditional approaches to customer service, we transform support into success by building metrics, goals and processes that enable customer success teams to perform at their peak. www.TheSuccessLeague.io