Hardly do insurance professionals hear comments like, “Wow, you make my life easier!” or “Dang, what a fun and helpful process that was!”
Even with my blog, where I attempt to be generously helpful and useful, I wonder how the niche I aim to serve experiences what I’ve put out there. (You can check it out here if you’d like and let me know if it’s helpful or a head-scratcher).
Don’t Just Have a Useful Product, Have Useful Marketing
I’ve not yet read Jay’s book Youtility, but I’ve heard him interviewed a few times. One of the points I always come away with is the importance of having marketing that is profoundly useful at the moment where someone actually needs what you have to offer.
The strange distinction here is not that your product is useful at the moment someone needs your information (although it should be useful), but that your marketing has to be useful.
For instance, if a nonprofit leader (my niche happens to be insurance for nonprofits) needs answers to a question about how volunteers are covered by insurance, then I hope, when she finds my blog, that she will find a clear, concise answer.
My blog is my marketing. But it has to be every bit as useful as a wrench might be when it’s time to do some plumbing.
Today’s Action Item: Review my blog for usefulness and include some survey-like questions in my next email newsletter.
I spent some time asking myself these questions:
- When someone goes to my blog, what is his experience?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is the most helpful and useful information the easiest to find?
- Is there a call to action?
- Is it clear that I do, actually, sell insurance products should someone actually have a need?
- What would make a better experience for nonprofit leaders and others who happen upon my day job blog?
Those are extremely difficult questions to answer when you’re the one who put the thing together. Consequently, my next email newsletter will include a little digging.
The only way for me to know if I’m being useful is to ask the folks who might have experienced my marketing. Baer suggests, also, that it’s a good idea to spend a lot of time talking to clients, asking them what we do well and what we don’t do so well.
I started putting together a ‘start here’ page a la Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income (click here for his ‘Start Here’ page).
The fact is that an insurance blog isn’t like People or Sports Illustrated. It’s more like a handyman reference book up on the dusty part of the bookshelves. You don’t read it often, but when you grab for it, it better have some answers.
That’s how I hope people find my day job blog: a key reference that answers questions clearly and builds trust over the long haul.
The question, then is, how in the world can I make sure my site is doing just that?
How are you useful as a salesperson or marketer? Do you depend on your product to be useful or are you planting seeds of utility and trust even before a sales relationship is established? (I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments)
This blog is a response to Dan Miller’s unintentional challenge from his podcast on August 15, 2014: If you read or listen to 30 minutes of quality content a day, you’ll double your income.
From September 1, 2014 through March 1, 2015, I will be doing the following:
- Listening or reading to 30 minutes of success, growth, business, spiritual, or other mindset-shifting, skill-sharpening content.
- Selecting one action item from that content (with some leeway to select an action from a previous day’s content).
- Doing that one action.
- Writing about the action or some other idea from the reading and listening of the day.