THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. What your calls to action on your blog should and shouldn’t be
2. What your customer feels like when you try to close too early
3. What it feels like to dance with a man in a leotard
The big temptation when you’ve finally got into the groove of your business blog is to push product. To make every post about the stuff you want to sell. But I met a singer in a skin-tight leopard print leotard who that trying to close too soon can lose you a client.
I was at a fundraiser and party for a good cause. Everyone in the room was enjoying themselves. The drinks were flowing. Wallets were opening.
In the second half of the evening, the band came on. They were great. Inspired by the B52s, out front were three cool female percussionists/backup singers. The lead singer combined rock 'n roll swagger and an over-the-top personality. Just the look of them promised they'd be fun.
And they were. They did a combination of their own original songs and covers by the likes of Bryan Ferry. All in all, it was great party music. Then the last song started and it all started to go horribly wrong.
As he sang, the lead singer started stripping off. It soon became clear that he was wearing a leopard print leotard under his clothes. A very tight leotard. With a long tail.
As he sang, he strode out into the crowd. Other members of the audience started to get up and dance with him. I looked over to my wife to silently communicate that this was all looking fun, and when I turned back, he was right there. Gyrating. At eye-level.
He grabbed the hat I was wearing and put it on his head. And then he grabbed my hand and tried to drag me up to dance as well.
Look, I'm not always the first on the dance floor, I admit that. But this particular night, when I had been having a good time, I was this close to getting up and dancing. Just not yet.
Maybe if I'd had one more drink. Maybe if I'd been sitting a few rows further back, and had more warning. Whatever the case, I just wasn't there yet. My mind said, yes, dancing with the strange man in the leopard print leotard makes sense... But my body said no.
So when he grabbed my hand and started trying to drag me to my feet, I became a dead weight. So he pulled harder. So I locked my feet around the chair. He nearly toppled into the audience. I briefly thought about getting up just so I could passive-aggressively fall on top of him.
He was finally saved by my wife. She stopped laughing at us both long enough to get up and dance with him while I skulked off to a darker corner.
I first thought this story would make a great metaphor for the sales process, and the dangers of trying to close a sale too early. But as I was typing, I realised it wasn't a metaphor. This was the sales process. This singer, good as he was, tried too hard to close me on the idea of dancing with him, and as a result, lost me.
One of the greatest temptations for someone using a blog for business is to try to close the sale as quickly as possible. To put up a post with a call to action at the end that scream "come and buy my stuff now".
But if your customer isn't ready to buy, you'll drive them away. And if your blog is your primary point of contact with that customer, it's going to be difficult to get them back.
That's why it's worth taking the time to draw up a strategy for your content. Then think about the way people might use it to find out about you and your services. Then, when you write your initial posts, add a call to action to other content on your site.
Don't ask people to buy something. Ask them to read more. Keep them on your site with content.
If you’re unsure of what to write about, check out this article we published earlier. It runs through a great way you can use Google to come up with keywords and story ideas for your articles. It addresses dentists, but the ideas behind it can be applied to anyone with something to say.
Trying to keep people on your site, and building trust through content, will be more effective and create more loyal customers than trying to drag them to a sale. It's like the difference between being a great, memorable, fun night out... and being the weird guy in the leopard print leotard.