Today, more than 23% of total internet usage time is devoted to social networks or blogs, so don't think of a blog as something you just update with your weekly experiences as an independent professional because it's much more than that; they serve as an opportunity to engage each of those millions of users.
Having an individual tab for blogs on the Google search engine should prove to you that people are constantly looking for informative blogs that educate them on their industry, as well as helps them get to know a potential business partner. Give your current and potential clients a reason for them to be loyal to your work, and not only does it give you a chance to build connections and relationships, but it helps with your search engine rankings as well.
If there is one thing a successful blog does; it absolutely engages the reader. There is something about a blog that is more believable then reading a company fact sheet; it's more personal and it shows that you do know what you're talking about as a professional in the independent consulting world. While there are blogs out there that are more of an opinion column and therefore result in less trust form the readers, becoming a blogger that digs deeper than your own opinion by backing it up with research and proven facts will help form that relationship.
There is an endless amount of potential clients out there looking for a knowledgeable independent professional to hire to complete a project for them. They want to be able to fully trust the professional's expertise before they move forward. Engage the reader with not only with information about your services and how you can be the solution to their problems, but also helpful advice and updates regarding industry news and trends. Make it obvious to them that you're not an independent professional who only cares about your business, but instead also cares about the clients.
As the digital world becomes more and more of a contributor to a business' success, having a blog will help build brand awareness. Not only will the readers get familiar with your brand as an independent professional, but it will also give you the extra information for your website in order to help with search engine optimization. In short, SEO is what helps get your website to rank high on search engines. It involves numerous techniques, including the use of keywords and links, and a blog is the perfect thing to help contribute to it.
By writing with keywords in mind that target your niche in the independent consulting sector, and placing backlinks within the content to another page of your website, you will gradually help with the popularity of your site. Consistently posting and sharing your blogs will help connect you with new clients that you wouldn't have been able to reach if you weren't blogging. Creating a note-worthy blog will get you shares among the internet and therefore expand your target audience and improve your rankings.
Without making it look like you're only writing the blog about what your business has to offer, use it to show them that if they choose to work with you, they'll be in the hands of an industry expert that is on top of trends and news. You want to inform them of anything and everything you can in order to be the professional that comes to mind when they're in need of expertise for a project.
Your goal should be to talk about and provide a proven opinion with research to back it up before any other consultant does, especially when a new trend or breaking news comes about within the industry. Doing so will help your blog travel throughout; hopefully making it to the big guns of the industry in order to help you get to the level you want to be in independent consulting.
Engage, make them aware, and inform 77%+ internet users looking for a great blog that focuses on their needs, and in the end you'll have a way of marketing your business while building your brand and an audience.
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News and notes for independent contractors and their clients. This is the January 16, 2017 edition of The Weekly Independent from MBO Partners.