Building Credibility and Authenticity: Why to start a Business Blog
I like people that talk about themselves in an open and honest way. People that don’t worry too much about perception.
It takes a strong personality to just say it like it is when things aren’t great. And it often leads to more genuine and interesting conversations.
What’s interesting about talking with people that are always “doing really great”? Come on … That’s boring and doesn’t add any ground for a valuable conversations.
And I think the same is true for how we perceive businesses: many businesses are not doing anything but shouting that they have a great product or service. They are trying to overdose us with ads and other expensive PR stuff. I think that’s the business equivalent of the boring and uninteresting “I’m doing really great” statement.
Luckily there are also businesses that try something else: they share their knowledge and lessons learned instead of some kind of unauthentic marketing message.
An example: I’m a big fan of the Basecamp guys. Why? Because on their blog, they share valuable information on how they run their business, how they serve their customers, how they make design decisions, how they work together, why and how they work remote, why they chose profit over growth … I’v been reading their stuff for years, it resonates with me, it’s authentic, I like it … and I buy their products.
We buy from people we trust. And we trust people that have the guts to be honest and authentic. People that also share the things they’ve done wrong.
Another blog that I’m reading for the same reason is the Founder’s Journey by Groove CEO Alex Turnbull, where he shares his lessons learned while growing his business. Sharing real, authentic information.
Or take the book ‘Delivering Happiness‘ by Tony Hsiesh, the CEO of Zappos – the online shoe shop. It details his life as an entrepreneur. Zappos is famous for sharing how they manage corporate culture and customer support. Many people read their books to learn more about how they work. And you guess it … many of those people start to trust them and buy their shoes at Zappos.
So I think this is the number one marketing activity that small business owners should do: share information about yourself, and what you do, how you work, what you’ve done wrong, what you’ve learned.
Don’t hire a PR firm, don’t think about spending time on your logo or going to networking events if you don’t like that: start writing blog articles.
As a small contractor or architect you could write about your projects: what is the project about, what was expected from you, how did you manage the project, which techniques and materials did you use, what did you learn? Add some pictures to make things visual.
People will like reading this kind of information because it’s authentic. And to you it won’t feel like marketing, since all you need to do is write about the things that you know best.
Google will notice that people like your content and will reward you with higher rankings. The people that read your content will learn from you, start to trust you and will consider buying from you.
Check out https://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/ for inspiration on how an architect consistently – and for almost 10 years now – writes articles related to his job and life as an architect.
Yes, your competitors might read it yes, but so what? Your competitors have other challenges and struggles than checking out your content and copying your tips and tricks into their processes. Think about that: would you (have time to) do that?
More importantly, potential customers will read and share your content and trust you and buy from you.
Conclusion: instead of investing time and money in traditional marketing channels, try educating others with the things you know and learn.