The Dumbest Excuse SMBs Use to Avoid Blogging
Small and Midsized Businesses, SMB for short, are notorious for having “good reasons” not for blogging and avoiding content marketing. These excuses range from no interest in writing, not enough time in the day, no internal writing talent, lack of technical skill to build or design a blog (CMS issues).
While there are some legitimate excuses in the above, in the end, the need to blog or create content far outweighs the excuses put forth. Thus I dub them dumb excuses.
Don’t be one of those companies. You must create content to support your business marketing efforts. It is vital to the top end of the marketing funnel, which will then, necessarily, feed the bottom of your funnel and result in leads and paying clients.
Why do you need a funnel?
Simply put because the excuses will cost you money or at least leave it on the table. It’s short-sighted at this point and lacks a nuanced understanding of Search Engine Optimization and it’s the deep relationship to content.
In this post, I’ll be shedding light on the “mother of non-blogging excuses”… not enough time.
The Mother of Non-Blogging Excuses
There is a lot that can be said regarding the lack of time. As an SMB owner, I am always short on time and therefore I must outsource particular tasks or multiple myself. Specifically, this should be done in an area of need that is NOT my expertise. Let others deal with the stuff you don’t love.
You are an accountant and you need good content regularly posted on your blog to move people to signup so that they can get into your nurture sequences so that you can book a Zoom chat or call with them so that you can close that sale.
By the way, you really need to build a sales funnel that can do the above. If you don’t have one or understand please make this a priority and book a free call with me and let me help you with your marketing funnel.
That being said you must make time for the activity of blogging and creating content.
In reading back over this during the editorial phase I realized… wow Jeff you sound insistent and belligerent about people blogging. I concluded that it’s only a necessity if you want to increase your leads and grow your business.
So let’s look more closely at the inner workings of the excuse “I don’t have enough time” and in doing so uncover underlying fallacies.
The SMB Owners Mind- Conditioning
Most old school SMB owners and managers I’ve run across, which is a large portion of you, have a background in direct marketing.
Including and often emphasizing knocking on doors, cold calls in bulk, conferences, and events, spending time sitting across from another business owner and “shaking hands”, eating together, etc. These organizations often spend large amounts of time on these activities due to there underlying belief system about those events.
“Today, that is known as swimming upstream, the stream being the Internet. Studies consistently demonstrate that the majority (70% or more) of the modern sales process takes place behind the scenes, meaning consumers and businesses alike are out there searching, surfing, browsing, and listening long before deciding on the products and services they want. (Think of a retail clothing or automobile customer who steadfastly avoids the sales reps until he or she has decided to try on an item or test-drive the car.)”Doug Rekenthaler, http://www.mpdailyfix.com/the-dumbest-excuse-smbs-use-to-avoid-blogging/ A now dead link that is the inspiration of this article.
What this means is clear. By the time the direct sales process actually happens the potential client is far enough down the proverbial marketing funnel that they have already made their choice as to the problem they are looking to solve and who is going to solve it.
So, you must have content online before a prospect gets to this point or you will not even be in the discussion. Namely, blogging and providing a newsletter or such via email allows your prospects to get to know you over time, which builds trust and develops a sense of relationship.
Who has the Time to do this work?
Everyone has the time. It’s about priorities. Let’s be honest if you are outsourcing this task it’s about money not time.
Plus if you aren’t creating content for the top of your marketing funnel you will need to figure out a way to reach out to prospects cold and take your chances with that method, by the way, your odds will be poor in that regard.
The question is who has time to do all this content work, build nurture sequences before you get on a sales call?
A Better Way to Get Leads and Clients
I call this the speak when spoken to method. P.s. it’s not really “my method”.
My experience is that SMB owners, executives, and entrepreneurs like yourself tend to be evangelists and outspoken about their brand. Owners and the like love sales pitches, cold calling, and giving sales presentations.
The extrovert in them is excited by the whole experience. The company’s content production aside from sales presentations, pitches, et al is limited to the proposals and closing contracts at the bottom of the funnel.
Nowadays prospects educate themselves online by reading articles and blog posts before these sales pitches and calls, even get close.
They want to read about your company and they want to see your expertise demonstrated. Further, they will compare your content to your competitors. Once potential clients go through this “getting to know you” or “reading you” then and only then will they allow you the privilege of being heard.
In other words, the old way of doing marketing and sales has been turned around and SMBs that are looking for leads and sales will only find them if they have content on the web via blog posts or articles that feed the top of the marketing funnel. This in turn will feed your sales cycle and create an environment of hot leads rather than cold.
If I’m being honest and blunt ignoring this advice will doom you and at the very least triple or more your cost to acquire each lead.
The Slow and Steady Marketing Path
I never like to speak in generalities, but the average SMB manager, owner, startup, entrepreneur I run into are addicted to instant gratification. They love the excitement of the lunch meet and greet with a handshake and commitment at the end.
The thrill of closing the deal themselves, having the “right” answers for each objection. Being able to close the deal is what makes most tick.
The problem with creating content is that it takes time to see results. You will not get instant gratification. Rather, it will take time to build the right audience, and when I say time I mean months. Think months of blogging.
This lack of instant gratification makes the aforementioned SMB owner feel it is a waste of time or not worth the energy.
As an analogy I’ve read in the past blogging is like farming while direct marketing is like hunting. These are two different modes of being. Blogging is like sowing seed that will be reaped in the future, read as months, on the other hand, the old way, direct marketing, is going in for the kill repeated daily.
The issue isn’t necessarily the method, content marketing (blogging), or direct marketing. The analogy of a sower and hunter may seem harsh, but the issue underlying all of this is that the same measuring stick is being used for both methods.
In doing so, using the same measuring stick, you are not comparing apples to apples. It’s more like apples to steak.
How do we measure the effectiveness of these two sales methods? That isn’t really the point of this discussion but rather to discuss the relationship of the method to time and getting leads.
Content Creation Puts Time on Your Side
You could discuss the pros and cons of the way things are now vs how they once were. However, digital marketing, or current marketing, isn’t like the old way of marketing. Most of the underlying principles are the same no doubt but the game has changed overall.
This is actually a good thing. As an SMB creating content, blogging, or writing articles, allows you to put yourself out there in front of potential clients.
If you just have a homepage, about page, services page, the standard business brochure website, then you will not get “seen” in the search rankings. Further, you will be competing against the big boys that rank for these terms too.
Blogging, articles, and content creation will give your organization the opportunity to expose potential clients to more of you and to be “seen” in their searches.
Regular content creation will create longtail keywords that you rank for around a topic and build relevancy and authority in your space (if you don’t know about longtail keywords ask me about it). Meaning you will get seen more often and in more searches.
Content creation will give you the control you would otherwise not have. By nurturing an audience that reads your stuff you will get to understand your clients. Further, your strengths and weaknesses as seen by them will become clear. Your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses will become clear through gaps in there content creation.
In the end, you will create a relationship with readers. Which will in turn provide the information future clients need to make you the only real solution for their problem.
Also, the sales cycle is shorter with content marketing because these potential clients have already journeyed down the funnel. They are now sure you are the right choice for them when they pick up the phone or directly book a Zoom. By the time the buyer gets there they are pre-qualified.
This process is now easier. You can call a pre-qualified lead and close faster.
In order to get there, you must create content that answers specific questions that your potential clients have to solve their problems.
Doing so in a steady and nuanced way, listening to what these prospects and clients say about the problem, informing them of solutions, and essentially guiding them to the answer … you.