If you’re an entrepreneur or a CEO, you care about your career, and you want people who don’t yet know you to have the correct impression of you, then one of the most positive, incredibly powerful things you must do is blog.
I was a blog skeptic. For many years I believed that the internet was basically for people who were selling TV products or had businesses on eBay reselling chatskis. I thought that for serious businesses with high value products or high status customers, the internet is basically a place to hang your brochure. That way, when you did your real marketing and your real sales, customers who wanted to research you online would find that background available. That’s the role I always assumed the internet played.
…Until I had a transformational conversation with my wise friend, Michael Ellsberg.
The Conversation that Got Me Blogging
Michael asked me, “Why do you believe the internet doesn’t help you to get extremely high value customers or high priced products and services?” I said, “Basically, someone has to get to know me in order to really understand how powerful the difference is between my work and the work of other people they might select.
“That sense of knowing me will reveal how important and profound what we could do together is. If they don’t know me and I just talk about it being profound, it sounds like every other kind of Hallmark greeting card or meaningless platitude that someone might say about their work. It just doesn’t translate.”
Michael said, “That’s interesting. How does someone get to know you?” I said, “Through our dialogue. Basically we talk about different topics. They talk about their perspective. I share my perspective and then in hearing how my perspective might be different, they get to know the way I think. And they start to have faith in the fact that my way of thinking could be applied to their situation and could be a great benefit to them.”
He said, “If you had a way of letting people know basically how you think so that they could get to know you without you having to be there, then that might be a great benefit to you.” I said, “Yeah. That’d be amazing.” And he told me, “That’s what a blog can do.”
3 Undeniable Reasons to Blog
The purpose of a blog is to basically share your thoughts and feelings about topics that are most relevant to the kind of work you do. This can reflect the role you’re playing in the company or the kind of work your company does, and allow people to get to know you asynchronously. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur. Here are three reasons to blog that I’ve found make it an undeniably valuable practice:
The number one reason to blog is so that anyone who’s mildly curious about you can learn not just about your resume, or the details on your LinkedIn profile, but can also learn about who you really are. Let’s say someone heard about you from a friend or a post you did in social media and they’re intrigued. They want to find out more about you. If you have a blog, they can fulfill that curiosity and learn about how you think. For most serious business people, how you think will lead to the most positive opportunities and relationships.
Since that conversation I had with Michael, I’ve now been blogging for many years. I have had dozens and dozens of experiences with people I don’t know who’ve introduced themselves, already familiar with how I think. Many of them have decided that my kind of thinking can be applied to their situation for maximum benefit, without having ever met me in person.
So blogging is like developing a long time friendship with many people who grow to trust me. Only, we’ve never met.
The second reason to blog is that we are often blind to our own most brilliant insights and perspectives. In fact, what makes your perspective most valuable is often totally invisible to you because it’s just the way you see things. It’s natural for you.
The fact that it’s natural, easy, and effortless for you, while simultaneously unnatural and difficult for so many others, makes that one area a particular genius of yours.
So in your blogging, get into the practice of simply explaining how you’re responding to your environment. You can talk about different situations you’re in, how you respond, things that bother you, why they bother you, things that excite you, why they excite you. There need not be a particular strategy or some rule that you’re blogging about the most prevalent topics. Just simply mapping your own emotional content will inadvertently reveal the areas of your greatest genius.
Without blogging, you’d never discover them because you wouldn’t see the impact or ripple effect your posts have on readers.
The third reason you should blog is that blogging, as a practice, helps you refine and improve your thinking. This makes for a great lead-up to writing a book. Almost everybody I know has either written books or wants to write books. If this is also a goal of yours, then blogging becomes an essential step to getting comfortable with how you express yourself and what kinds of topics are the ones you want to put your name behind.
Blogging lowers the threshold for how significant the topic needs to be, which takes off some of the pressure. You might write 50 blog posts in a span of the same time that you might write one book. So if two or three of the blog posts are on strange, harebrained topics, it just means that you had a wild hare that day and that’s what you decided to write about–you’re not forever branded as the author of this very strange perspective on migrational sheep patterns.
Blogging allows you to practice writing about whatever comes to you without the significance of writing a book. Then, later, you can look back over your blog posts and pull out what seems to be a theme. The stuff that has organically emerged from your blog writing might end up serving as a rough draft for your book.
The One Reason You Definitely Should Not Blog
The one reason that you shouldn’t blog is that it’s a pain in the butt. If you’re not a writer, it can feel like the equivalent of sticking bamboo shoots up your fingernails.
I’ve had so many experiences where I sat down to write a 500 word blog post and ended up toiling over it for 8 to 15 hours. At the end of it I felt like I wasted a long period of time trying to get out what should have been a simple idea. But due to my notions of writing or my perfectionism or any number of inhibiting factors, it ended up being a huge time-consuming ordeal–taking me away from the kinds of activities that have a more immediate hard cash return, like having sales conversations and such.
Not all of us are writers. Forcing yourself to do something that’s unnatural for you can be a good exercise now and again. But over a long period of time, it can be a really poor and unoptimized use of your time.
Solving the Blog/Time Problem
So what if you really want a blog and know it will serve your business and your purpose, but you’re not a natural writer and you definitely don’t have the time?
There’s a solution.
Hire a copywriter. This solution can work really well if you find the right person for the job. This is why I’m so excited about the services offered by PlumeSocial. I get all the benefits of blogging without actually having to do the agonizing writing part.
In fact, this blog post, and most of the others that you may have read on my blog, was actually dictated in a phone conversation, which is easy for me to do. This one only took exactly 16 minutes and 25 seconds, rather than 8, 9 or 10 hours to try and handcraft a piece of writing. Using PlumeSocial, I managed to get the main crux of my ideas out and expose them to you so that we can now be in dialogue about them.
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