Helping others is an important part of business and marketing. Learn to harness the power of being a nice approachable person, your SEO will positively explode and you will take the first step in becoming a social media guru.
- The direct marketing benefits of helping others.
- Reap the benefits of running your business your way
- The philosophy of helping others
- Put your soul in your work
I received an email yesterday night from somebody asking for help in marketing themselves as a voice actor. One thing he was struggling to understand was how content creation helps connect with clients rather than just people in the same business as you – which I thought was a valid thing to question. If you are advising other voice actors on how to perform better how is that going to help your business? I wanted to address that issue and a few others in this blog entry.
The Direct Benefits of Helping Others
Helping others is one of the best marketing methods, whether it is giving something physical away for free, or advice. First let me stress – helping others is always an end and never a means to something else. With that said – show you are a nice person. Even a social share is considered a nice thing to do, what goes around comes around.
When you help people by giving advice on your website and it becomes recognised as good content by others in the same industry as you it gives your business a layer of authenticity. I am a great believer in karma, but helping others gives so many advantages.
- Helping others leads to your content being shared on social media
- Helping others leads to positive reviews
- If you help somebody who then later creates a website they are more likely to link to you, if they need services you offer they are more likely to pay for you
- All of the above helps with SEO
- Helping those in need is the right thing to do
People often choose the keywords they will use in writing an article first and then write like a robot to rank for these keywords. Over time this has become less and less effective. I hope this practise will eventually become obsolete because at the end of the day it creates worse content which ranks above content written from the heart.
Addressing the second last bullet point – people see SEO as made up of two things, on and off page optimisation. There is so much more to SEO. Optimisation means be the best. Google works hard on their algorithm to make this true and over time you will see results from being the best in your niche, and helping others become the best in their niche.
Run YOUR Business YOUR Way
Running your own business gives you free reign to really make yourself stand out. Too many businesses have a boring mechanical sales patter. If you are a good person to work with, a breath of fresh air, that alone can generate you more business then even proven competence. Remember that you can’t win them all. There is a saying that all publicity is good publicity. I read this article today about taboo marketing. My sales sense was tingling so I replied with:
99.9% of the time this comment would have been completely inappropriate, but in this case where one of the taboo products used as example was herpes cream. That’s not to say that this comment risks alienating people – but if you don’t take risks you won’t get anywhere in business – specially in a taboo business.
This comment generated me a lead within 20 minutes of making it. It was a risk but chances are a one off joke which some people surely will find inappropriate is not going to do me any permanent damage. I would never make a comment like this on a clients behalf – but this is my business and I want to come across as a friendly approachable guy who won’t suck your business for all the money you have before giving a glimmer of advice.
A mistake that people often make is thinking that they need to be accessible by everybody so they toe the line between friendly and formal not really achieving either. Formal has high end connotations but if you don’t deliver the expected product being formal to the point of being cold will make closing future leads very hard.
It’s not just about niche marketing, you can have a product that is anything but niche, but if you have a vibrant personality you can effectively narrow the market to like-minded people. This will make marketing much easier because you will have a clear idea of the audience you are targeting, and if this audience likes your style word of mouth will do the rest.
The philosophy of helping others
The most important thing I think; which is the philosophy which runs both this blog, and my business is that people come looking for help. They think they can do the job themselves. Maybe nine times out of ten they can do the job themselves with your help. The tenth time when they can’t you are the person they will go to for paid help, because they know you are good – you have helped them in the past this leads to more customers, more social followers and better SEO.
When helping others always under promise and over deliver. People don’t expect much so when you over deliver your free help you will have created yourself a very loyal follower. You should invest in people through social media.
On social media if you find a piece of great content always share it. Whether it is related to your job or not – if you think your audience will love it share it. This helps engage your audience, often grows your audience while doing the same for the author.
As an author I can say it feels great and is really encouraging when your content is shared. So share and share alike – the more sharing you do the more people will share your work, trust me on this. Social signals are also considered a ranking factor – how much is disputed – but reward others for their hard work if you want to be rewarded yourself.
I often find myself explaining to clients – “you think you want to reach the top of Google. Really you want a steady traffic source”. Getting to the top of Google gives an added bonus of more steady traffic, but it should not always be part of your web marketing strategy.
You will spend time and usually money for a chance to rank, and if the keyword you want is ultra competitive and you fail all you have invested is lost. Google has to be the ends rather than the means. Content creation and distribution is the means to generate traffic – and rank on Google. Distribution means building an online reputation. Social signals and natural links will follow, getting you your ranking.
Put Your Soul Into Your Work
When writing I always address people in the first person, this way you can write an article for a thousand people while still speaking to everybody individually. Putting your personality into your work you can cover subjects which have been covered before but by putting your own unique spin on them you can engage your audience and strengthen your brand. If you just rehash the same old articles you will slowly damage your SEO and reputation. People like a company with soul and vibrant writing style.
With content distribution it’s always best to keep it personal, look for people on social media that you really think will find your content useful and send them a message.
Hi… you said… which made me think that [link] might help you. Please let me know what you think – I want it to be the best it can be.”
Always keep it personal – just because you are contacting a lot of people doesn’t mean you can’t speak directly with them. Use your content to start private conversations with people, by helping them directly it means you are going the extra mile to really understand and react to your audience. Never just copy and paste the same old template you get much higher rates of response from writing something personalised.
It is unbelievable the benefit you can gain from going beyond being approachable and approaching others. Know your readership and followers personally, understand the reasons they are following you. This is a two way thing, you can become your audiences go too guy for advice – if they have a problem they ask you. You keep them up to date with news and content. Become the guru, the trendsetter, the influencer. These people get there by being nice and being approachable.
I like to punctuate my posts with emotions, it is a great way of giving people the impression there is a real breathing person behind a computer speaking to them. In an industry with so much choice some people will like an ultra formal professional managing their services for them, and some will prefer somebody who is personable. It is important to choose one of these two writing styles based on your audience – older audiences may prefer ultra professionalism while younger audiences prefer to be addressed directly – but you can only write in one way.
A good technique for writing is to break down your subject into it’s smallest possible parts, and write about them in as much details as possible. Use this blog as an example, it ~1800 words and is a blog about blogging. To be brutally honest it isn’t about much – it covers one small part of a audience engagement philosophy, but it is very much my own and unique so is likely to be popular with the audience that likes my writing style. You can teach a lot writing about very little and it is the opinion blogs like these which can make or break a website’s popularity.
The extra bonus tip would be to find your style, use your style and don’t deviate from your style. It will become what your readers want and expect to follow. Read the case study linked below about readability – it highlights the importance of writing for your audience – how whether directly or indirectly writing for your audience will help your SEO.
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