Why Writing for IVOL Will Really Benefit Your Business!
1). Content is King! I know that is stating the obvious, but think about it for a minute, why do you ‘use’ the Internet? For most people, the first thing the they think about is email. We use email to communicate something to other people, that something is the ‘content’ of the email. Web sites too; either you are looking to buy something, in which case you are looking for the cheapest, best value, fastest, highest spec, most desirable, haute couture, object of desire. In order to find this object of desire, you view content. You may be seeking information, new learning, enlightenment or just help and advice — content again.
The IVOL Newsletter will offer your clients and prospective clients, regular, interesting, polemical, thoughtful, helpful, informative content which will drive visitor traffic to your web site, with all the attendant benefits and cross selling opportunities that will bring to your business.
2). It will help you to become an ‘SEO’ Ninja! Google loves links and regularly updated web sites. The more frequently your site is updated the higher it will appear in Google’s search rankings which in turn will drive traffic to your site. Google also loves cross links, this too pushes sites up the search listings. I am assuming we will all link our IVOL offering to each other’s sites. Certainly when we publish each others articles we will publish authors bio information and link through to their site. The more optimized our web sites are for search engines, the more hits we get, the greater the potential for acquiring and winning new clients.
3). The Power of Collaboration and why the Article Bank is so important. I have several colleagues whose businesses are of a similar size to mine and who decided to start blogging as a tool to develop their businesses some time ago. However, they had no particular idea or strategy in mind, other than the thought that having a Blog would be good for their businesses. In all cases mentioned above the blogs have failed in their primary purpose of helping them to develop their businesses and in at least one case their blog is, I believe, actually working against them. The reason is that they do not have enough relevant, appropriate, topical content. Those who have sites/blogs which are not actively harming their business are still missing out big time because they simply do not have enough content, some of them seem only to update their sites/blogs once or twice a year! That strategy is a recipe for alienating clients by sending out the message that this site/blog has nothing to say or offer except stale content. When I enquire as to why they allow their sites to become so neglected, the almost universal answer is to do with not having enough time and/or being far to busy to create interesting content.
O.K. So here is the pitch! The Article Bank is the cornerstone of IVOL. It means that we will always have fresh, new, interesting, thought provoking content for our web sites and blogs. There are eight of us in this collaboration, when we submit a minimum (no maximum) of three articles each, we will have, in advance, a full two years, in some cases more, of main/headline content for our local newsletters.
The Article Bank removes all pressure to keep coming up with new content for the next scheduled newsletter.
The Article Bank removes any pressure to create to a deadline. It prevents our sites and blogs looking stale, neglected and uncared for. It will drive visitors to our websites and blogs. And Google will love us too, see item 2). above on SEO.
My own web site, lovingly crafted over the years by me and others has become very bloated, tired and stale, so I have closed the old site down and am in the process of re-building my site with WordPress. I plan to have it fully up and running by the end of September beginning of October at the latest.
Feedback, comments, thoughts and reflections on the new site are actively sought and will be warmly welcomed. See also item 5) below.
4). Make IVOL the opening to your sales funnel by requiring your readers to sign up for a free subscription. This over time will build your mailing list and will enable you to engage in relationship marketing with your sign ups. You will also be leveraging your IVOL newsletters to make you a trusted source of advice to clients and prospective clients.
5). Why you should consider publishing your local version of the IVOL eNewsletter in Blog Format using WordPress or other CMS platform. WordPress in particular is highly optimized for and loved by Google and other search engines. For example every time you update a WordPress site, it automatically informs Google and other search engines for you! How good is that?
Using a Content Management System is so much easier than using Web Design Software. I do love Dreamweaver, but it is very challenging to use, especially to use well, and the fact of the matter is I don’t want to be a web designer, I want to run my business. CMS systems are much easier to learn to use, yes there is a learning curve and it will take a little time, but the major benefit is that you will be able to keep your site fresh and fully up to date, and yes Google will love you for that too; as will your clients. CMS software makes it easy for you to have an article/newsletter archive which will add value to everything you offer your clients.
6). Creating new prospects, leads and ultimately clients, is the on-going challenge of every business. I think we are particularly lucky in our sector in getting pretty high rates of repeat business. But if we were to depend solely on repeat business it would only be a matter of time before everything dried up. Getting our strategy right with the IVOL newsletter, offering it for free when people sign up for a subscription, will generate high quality leads which with care and attention in the fullness of time we should be able to convert into clients.
7). It naturally follows on from this that we also create ‘soft—no pressure’ cross selling opportunities through our sign-ups.
8). Consider using Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to manage your email ‘ticklers’ these systems provide amazing built in analytics so you can measure your email effectiveness and drive traffic to your web site, creating more cross selling opportunities, plus as the newsletter archive grows, you will have lots of sticky content to keep people coming back to your site again and again. I used Constant Contact to initiate your visit to my site.
9). Having an International perspective, in terms of look and feel, association, affiliate/network membership, adds a great deal of gravitas to our local offerings and offers the potential for attracting new, international assignments.
10). Why A Subscription Based eNewsletter is one of the least expensive and most inoffensive ways of generating leads to create new clients, penetrate new market areas and sell our products and services?
We are all bombarded with purchasing ‘opportunities’ practically all day every day. I think it was The Harvard Business Review who coined the term ‘The Data Deluge’ because that’s what it feels like. Sometimes I feel like I’m actually under siege with all the sales and marketing crap that comes my way. In the current UK economic climate, unsolicited selling, cold calling and marketing in general is simply not working. The business I am winning is from people who know and trust me, people with whom I have an established relationship. IVOL gives each of us the opportunity to softly and gently begin and continue a ‘permission’ based relationship with existing but most especially with prospective new clients, which in time will enable us to develop and grow into trusted advisor status with these people too. Requiring prospective readers of IVOL to subscribe, (and offering bullet proof and safe unsubscribe and privacy options) will build our mailing lists of people who want to receive our emails because they value the content we provide. This in turn builds trust. Prospects are far more likely to convert to clients when they trust the source of their advice.