If you’re like 98% of the world, your not in the media business. You might be an attorney, or a physician, or something else–for this article, we’ll say “widget maker.” But you’re primary function is serving people, not making content.
We know that media is important. We must realize that our blog is a way of getting new people engaged and doing more business. It is well beyond obvious at this point that the best blogs are jet engines for producing lots of opportunities, customers, consulting, clients and any number of amazing and wondrous–and almost random–connections.
But what can we say? We don’t want to make a cat blog that nobody cares about. We don’t want to make a blog that doesn’t matter, and few of us, even the ones that do this stuff can bottle and sell the charisma that’s needed to constantly opine on current events, and make things happen for us. And we have a million things to do for clients. Suddenly, before we realize it, we haven’t posted anything in for days.
And then a few more days, and then a few more…
Time passes, and our abandoned blog morphs into something resembling anti-marketing. We aren’t connected or updating anymore, people aren’t responding, and the phone calls aren’t coming in. Because it’s clear that we’ve abandoned the effort, and a half assed blog makes us look unsafe to do business with.
And when the current batch of client work is wrapped up we look up from our monitors and we see nothing new in the pipeline.
This is what we call the content monster, the content monster will take your blog under, forever, when you let it. It must be fed or it will eat your blog. However, you have a weapon against the content monster. It’s your craftsmanship.
Process Stories: The Way To Make Your Blog Uniquely Yours
Your business–if you’re like most of us–is a boutique. Your business, if you’re doing your job, is special–maybe even sacred. Conveying why you do things the way that you do things is your answer to this problem. The side benefit is that it might just put a fresh set of eyes on your business processes.
When you–personally–are thinking of engaging a service provider, what do you want to know? If you’re like most people, it’s what do I need to do next, and what will happen to me next. That’s the big question that your blog can answer: and it can provide most businesses with years of content.
An example: if you’re a DWI lawyer, you’d blog about what you do to gather evidence, what you do to interview the client, what options the client had, what penalties exist, how to get a more favorable dispensation with the government, how you’d pay for this, what the likely outcomes are. That’s a list of 10-12 blog posts, anyway, certain fodder for 3-4 months of blogging.
It’s also easy. Because you know what your processes are and you know how your business works. You know what you do, and how it stacks the deck in favor of your clients. You know all of this stuff–most likely with unconscious competence. But it’s new to them. And, it doesn’t hurt you to write everything down.
How To Use Process Stories
Process stories are made up of two things: procedures and anecdotes. Both are important to tell the whole story. Your procedures will appeal to people that want to know that you’ve thought of and mastered the details. The anecdotes are a little more tricky, but they help people connect emotionally and provide a form of social proof.
The first place to go is to describe, in great detail, the customer experience, and what they can expect. This is the procedure portion. When we do this we want the processes to be exclusive to you. Let’s say that your process begins with an initial consultation where you do a fairly standard needs assessment. Elevate–and own–your touchpoints. An example:
The first thing that happens when you call is that you’ll get our free ThoroughCare appointment. We ask 41 comprehensive questions to get the detailed information that we need to see if our service fits into your life.
Next, we do a thorough analysis of what you said before we make a recommendation. If you’re not a fit for our service, we’ll tell you that. If someone else is a better fit, we’ll tell you that. We’ve learned in our 22 years of delivering widgets that the only way to get lifelong customers is to do it with trust.
You’d then make sure you added every step of the process, including after the sale was complete. So, you’d want to cover:
- How you pick clients
- Initial consultations
- When the client gets deliverables.
- What the client can do if things aren’t perfect.
- What problems you solve
- What happens when someone works with you
- What you do during the process to ensure a successful transaction
Process stories bring clarity to your business and comfort to your customers. They also feed the search engines with things people search for. “What happens when,” and “what do I do next,” are what people are naturally tuned in to.
Anecdotes will be your next task. You’ll want to put a human face on this and talk–as much as your industry allows–about specific customers, or customer types. You’ll want to say things that contrast your delivery with other products. “Jim Hart needed some personal training, and we learned that he loved sports. Because of this, when he joined our program, we were able to keep him engaged by making a game out of every exercise. This time, he stayed with the program and lost 38 pounds in 20 weeks.”
When you use process stories, chances are you’ll never run out of content because you can convey your experience. When you spend some time on tweaking this for the search engines, you can gain traffic as you tell the world about what a good job you’re doing.
People want to know what’s going to happen to them next, and process stories are a good place to go to do that. Make your own.
Image attribution: epSos.de