It’s been said that “good” is the enemy of “GREAT”. There are so many good business blogs to choose from but there are very rarely blogs that I HAVE to read that are great.
Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Jenny and in our conversation she said she wanted to see a ten percent growth in her business in 2016 through her blog.
I asked her how she planned to do that and her answer was; write more content.
Jenny has owned a successful business consulting practice for nearly eight years. She has nearly seen it all. One of her stories that really stuck with me is how many business owners she meets who think they have it all together and know it all; and yet their business is struggling just to make ends meet.
In a recent blog article, Jenny shared how one business owner was adamant that they were going to double their business in the new year but for three years had been shrinking.
Her article was really good.
She diagnosed the problems well.
But her article was just good, it wasn’t great!
I’ll get into that shortly.
For the moment, do you remember what Jenny’s goal is for 2016? It’s to increase her business by ten percent through her blog.
If you share the same goal with Jenny, which is a good one, there is going to be more required of you to do that than just creating more content.
It has to be GREAT content!
What separates good content from great content?
What separates a good business blog from a great business blog?
Let’s find out…
Good is the Enemy of Great
As I said in the introduction, good is the enemy of great. Why would I say that?
For one, good means we’ve settled. It means we aren’t taking the time to grow in our knowledge or through our experiences and learn what that means applicably to our audience.
If you’re good it means you’re content and contentment is always a killer of anything. Complacency is not your friend.
As a norm, a blog is a reflection of a company. It’s the public persona of what’s important to it and it is the standard message bearer of one’s brand.
I have learned over the years that “your message is your brand and your brand is your message.”
If your business has a blog then it’s a REALLY BIG deal!
A blog allows for expression of thought and at the same time it ought to demonstrate one’s competency.
So let’s think about it for a moment.
If your blog is “okay” or if it’s “good enough” what does that say about your company?
It probably says a lot of things that aren’t accurate.
But the one thing is does say indirectly is that you are not taking the time to learn about your business, audience and their problems/needs/wants from their point of view. It’s can directly or indirectly show you’re are not competent.
And therein is the difference between a good blog and a great blog.
It’s about how you learn to message what’s important to your visitors, prospects and customers while meeting their needs; over talking about your own. This can be subtle but it is profound.
I read dozens and dozens of blogs every week. Few of them are worth mentioning or even going back to again.
The work of blogging is not found in the writing, posting or even in the networking or driving traffic. The work happens way before that point. Unfortunately, many get the cart before the horse and focus on the wrong things.
Where Did Jenny Go Wrong?
First, while Jenny’s article was good about talking about problems; that was the problem. She spoke about too many problems for too many different people all in one article. It was broad and lacking of any substantive details.
It didn’t zone in on one person and what that one person was going through, thinking, feeling or really wanting help with.
Her article dealt with three problems and she was really broad about the three problems.
Second, because she was broad she didn’t offer any real solutions… other than “hire” me.
In the end, readers felt it was a crescendo that was all about her.
How Could She Turn Her Blog Article from Good to Great?
I have a simple formula that I work from:
Clarity + Focus = Execution
Again, making a blog article great is more about what happens BEFORE you write than when your write, post and promote.
Too many of us see blogging as a strategy that exists with an end in mind; and that end is always a new prospect and customer.
That’s not clarity and let’s be honest; does that really require any depth of thought?
The number one thing you need for your business is CLARITY.
What do I mean by you need “clarity”?
You may believe you’re crystal clear about your business. In fact, I’m willing to wager that nearly 90% of you believe you are clear. You know what you sell and you know who you sell it for.
Or is it?
You probably are clear from your point of view. But is your audience? Is your prospect? Is your customer?
Clarity is simply this:
The absence of self, vagueness or complexity
Talking about yourself and how great you are and “I’, “I”, “I”… “me”, “me”, “me”… and “we”, “we”, “we” comes across as narcissistic and not relevant in any capacity to the blog reader who is hopefully your prospect.
Then there is vagueness that is created by being broad. Your content seems simple to you but the truth be told, vagueness leads to complexity and complexity leads to confusion; and doubt leads to lack of competency.
By writing about more than one problem Jenny inadvertently created complexity and by not having a clear path to a solution she was too vague.
The question is what is she really saying and who is she saying it for?
What does her blog reader do with that?
I’ll tell you; NOTHING!
They leave without doing a thing.
In a world where it takes on average 10.4 pieces of content before someone makes an engagement (not buying) decision this is a serious issue (according to Google’s landmark Zero Moment of Truth research).
Because there is no specificity and being specific is the answer to Jenny’s problem. Her article was good but it wasn’t great!
And, no one is coming back to her content again which means fewer people, if any, are entering her sales funnel.
That begs the question; how will she grow her business in 2016 by just creating more the same type of content?
Clarity happens in your business when you know and understand your prospects and customers and can communicate to them on their level, based on their needs, wants or desires.
It has nothing to do with you!
And that’s the hard part. Because Jenny, and perhaps you, has not really gained that kind of clarity your business is stuck at being good; and good equal’s mediocrity.
When we are mediocre, we set ourselves up to earn all the wrong things:
- Few prospects
- Few in our sales funnel
- Slow sales processes
- Low price points
- Low close rates
The other day I was talking with a dear friend about the principle of clarity and specificity. He thought he was getting it but I knew he wasn’t.
Some of you are loyal readers of my blog and you’ve been reading my content for a year and you think you’re getting it as well; and like my good friend I know you don’t.
Here is why; clarity is about learning how to write one article that solves one problem/meets one need/ fulfills one desire and it does it for one person. It’s a lot easier said than done without a foundation and framework.
When I was in graduate school I had a speaking coach and I learned a really valuable lesson about speaking.
The lesson was: if you speak broadly they will all leave telling you how great of a job you did. But if you’re specific 80% will leave saying that and 20% will be at the front of the room asking “how did you know?”
That’s the difference between good and great!
When I hear some form of “how did you know” in a blog comment, email or phone call I know the message was conveyed, heard and acted upon and get this with virtually every single blog article.
When you stay broad and introduce too much in an article the end result is a business blog that is okay. Maybe you’re converting a few here and there and maybe you’re making a little profit or maybe you’re taking a loss.
The world is changing and it’s changing rapidly. The consumer is more educated than ever and they can sense the difference between manipulation and sincerity. By-the-way thanks to artificial intelligence being employed by search engines and social media sites so can they. They know when there is an absence of a message and why should they give you access to their audience when you don’t have a real message for them other than “buy me”?
As businesses and marketers we have set ourselves up over decades (or maybe centuries) to allow the consumer to be skeptical of us because our message is completely out of alignment with their needs, wants and desires. In some cases, the message we are actually conveying is out of line with the actual experiences of the consumer.
We sometimes consciously, but more times subconsciously, communicate that our need to have their money is more important than their need to have our product or service.
The end result is we may have a great message that is buried deep but the consumer cannot feel it or understand it from their point of view.
How do we pivot from good to great and change this reality?
How Can You Gain Clarity?
Going from good to great is a function of clarity.
How do you gain clarity?
It’s a process and if you’re going to grow your business by 5%, 10% or more in 2016 and gaining clarity is the difference maker by:
- Discover the problems you’re passionate about solving
- Discover the tangible values your customers experience and how they feel about that experience AFTER they have done business with you.
- Discover the “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value.
- Discover who you “specifically” solve each problem for
- Message how your product or service is a “specific” solution
Jenny doesn’t need to write or create more content. What she really needs before she does that is to get really clear about “what business she is ‘really’ in”.
Growing your business by any percentage can be done by two ways:
- Work harder by creating more and more content (both on your site or others) to gain a larger and broader audience and playing the numbers game (which as we know from cold calling and emailing is a low percentage, high production, expense wasting proposition).
- Work smarter by taking the time to gain clarity so that we know who our audience is and how to write for them based on “clarity” and then create the proper strategies to reach them where they are at with more efficiency and higher profits.
What clarity will do for Jenny’s business is open doors of amazing opportunity.
Jenny was already a great writer but her focus was in the wrong place.
I’ve seen clients like Adrienne Smith (who is a well known and respected blogger across the web) see her business grow and expand at rates she had not experienced before; all because she is clear.
“Don’s coaching has literally exploded my business and I’m honored to have worked with him and I owe a great deal of my success moving forward to him.” ~ Adrienne Smith
In fact, Adrienne recently wrote an article for my blog where she shared her experience working with me. Click here to check it out.
Clarity is the momentum game changer. When done well, clarity will be the foundation of your business that drives your marketing strategies, sales, processes and systems business wide.
It will inspire and instill competency and trust.
Do You Want to Grow Your Business by 10% in 2016?
What would a ten percent growth look like for you in 2016? It could be that it’s tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars more for you and your business.
In a recent article my friend and blogger extraordinaire Kevin Duncan at Be a Better Blogger he shared that he was removing guest posts already published because he was letting them down by letting guest contributors post average content.
He challenged them to be better at blogging by just 5%. I really applaud him for taking this stand even though some don’t agree with him.
In my opinion, you can improve what you’re doing today by 1% or 2% on your own by cleaning up grammar, spelling and formatting issues.
But the core of the problem is a messaging problem.
The real issue is this; is your content so relevant, interesting and compelling that someone has to take action?
Will someone read your article and say; “OMG, that’s me! How did he/she know?”
… and then take action to contact you?
Like so many of you, Jenny was writing good content but it wasn’t great.
If you are going to grow your business by 10% in 2016 then you must learn how to create a relevant, dynamic, compelling and consistent message.
Jenny wasn’t creating content that was relevant to one person who was experiencing one real problem and in need of serious help.
Her message was causing confusion and complexity when what they needed was simplicity and clarity.
She wasn’t really clear on how her audience was feeling or what they were experiencing and as a result all of her efforts were falling on blind eyes.
Are your blog articles falling on blind eyes?
Do you expect to grow your business in 2016 by just doing more of what you’ve been doing and getting the same old mediocre results?
Are you ready to get really clear and learn how to work smarter with increased results instead of just harder with the fewer results?
If so, I have two options for you that are FREE and will start you down the path of clarity:
#1 – Click here and learn more about my upcoming webinars that will show you how to earn real clarity and join me on the live webinar. I hope to see you there!
#2 – Click here or on the image below on the book cover to get a free copy of my eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing”. It’s been downloaded by thousands of people just like you. Get it now because I’m not going to offer it forever.
Do you have thoughts, ideas or questions? If so, please leave share with me below in the comments and let’s chat. I would love to engage with you!