We’ll Google it!
…Or take to our Social Media channels and ask the hive mind what they think.
The Purpose Of Business
Strip away everything, get right down to the fundamentals of business and there is ONE thing that a business MUST do in order to exist…
…It must solve a problem.
That’s why P is for ‘Problem’ in my A to Z of Blogging series.
“What shall I have for dinner tonight?”
- Order a takeaway
- Go to the local pub
- Pop into the supermarket
All businesses solve a problem in exchange for money.
Every Business Provides Solutions
Every business that has ever and will ever exist is there to provide a solution to a problem.
Businesses start either because someone has an idea then finds a problem it can solve, or they see a problem and develop a way to solve it.
Even if you have created an artistic work, it still needs to provide a solution for someone if they will value it enough to pay for it.
The ‘problem’ doesn’t have to be a massive one. It can even be an emotional one.
They buy your picture because they just like it, it makes them feel happy to surround themselves with things they like – that’s the ‘solution’ it offers them.
Asking For Help
When someone has a problem, and they take to either Google or Social Media to help them solve it, they will frame their problem as a question.
If you want to be the business they choose to solve that particular problem, you need to know what questions they will ask, then answer them so they come up in those Social and Google searches.
Their questions go beyond their decision to buy.*
What questions do they have on their way to making a buying decision?
Long before they get their wallet out. Sometimes, long before they can even articulate the specific problem they have or realise that you are their solution.
Part of your job is to educate your prospective clients on what you do, why you do it and how it can help.
It’s to educate them long before they even know it’s what they need.
Solving a Problem Creates Value
If you can be the answer to their questions, show them you know what you’re talking about – you’ll be the one they pay to fix their problem, or be the one they recommend to their friends looking for your solutions.
Using Your Blog To Solve Problems
Think of your blog as a resource for people.
Accept that some people will have their problem answered by reading a blog and may never pay you any money. If they are unwilling to spend money to work with your business, at that stage, they were never really your customer in the first place. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be in the future, however, and they can still be of value to you by advocating for your business, in other words, telling other people about you.
Here are six ways you can use your blog to show prospective customers and advocates how you solve their problem:
1) Answer a question they type into Google
Use the tools that Google provides for free to refine your understanding of people’s behaviour online
2) Be clear on who your customers REALLY are.
The more specifc and more empathetic you are of their needs, the more likey you’ll hit the right notes with your content.
3) Share your blogs
Share your blogs widely across your Social Media channels, and reshare them. Information goes out of date very quickly on Social Media, especially fast moving platforms like Twitter. Re-share your content long after you’ve written it. Answer different questions with it on your updates. Use different #’s to attract different audiences. When you are ‘passively present’ in people’s Social Media feeds you become more memorable.
4) Be clear on the problems you solve
Once you are clear on the solutions you provide, you can then present that information in different ways and be creative in how you get your messages out there.
Think of the problem from the perspective of your client. Your perception of their ‘problem’ could be different.
5) Use their language
Avoid industry jargon at all costs! Your clients don’t necessarily speak the ‘same language’ you do in your office!
Part of knowing them is knowing how they communicate and what messages will resonate with them.
Get help if you’re struggling with this.
6) Educate your audience
They may not even realise they need what you do. They may not understand how it can benefit them.
NEVER assume any prior knowledge. The benefits may seem obvious to you because you work with them all the time, but to an outsider, they may not be as obvious. Keep it really clear and simple for them and explain all of it as if they know nothing about it – not in every blog, but give them the means to search for answers to questions that may seem obvious to you. Some readers will have some knowledge, others will need a lot more handholding, so allow them to read up on all of it if they need to.
That doesn’t mean you have to write all of that content, link to other content to help people to understand it – i.e. link to Wikipedia article, dictionary definitions, the ‘official society’ for whatever it is you do. etc.
How does your blog reflect the problems your customers have?
*Need help to pin down the questions people type into Google?
Read this breakdown of Google’s free tools: