Pay attention to the right discussions
The other night my wife and I went to dinner with several folks I work with. It wasn't a company meal. It was friends going out to celebrate a birthday. But it didn't matter that everyone at the table worked for the same company other than my wife.
We'd all been warned to put our phones away. And for the most part, we did.
But I started noticing that my own wife – a person who hates it when I pull out my phone at dinner – was grabbing for her phone. Several times over dinner.
So finally I had to call attention to it.
Her response was classic – “It's the way I highlight I'm not interested in all your company talk.”
Time and again we fell into the trap of talking “insider baseball,” internal company discussions that were neither appropriate for our event, or for my wife. And in her subtle way (and I'm sure she was hoping I'd say something so she could reply), she was highlighting to us that we'd already fallen back into our ways.
It doesn't matter if you're a service business or a product business, the trap is the same. We get focused on the wrong discussions.
Our job has to be to focus on the right discussions instead.
Company blogs gone wrong
I'm sure you've visited a product site, or a company site, and clicked on the “blog” link at the top of the page, in a main and prominent location of the site's navigation.
What do you expect to find there?
I'm always hoping for learning resources, case studies, quotes, and industry education.
What I find is often something completely different.
- I find notices of a recent software release, with release notes.
- I find notices of an upcoming event and which employees will be attending.
- I find press releases.
Few of these resources ever do anything for me. Sure, they're telling a story, but it's as uninteresting a story as the internal company talk at dinner the other night for my wife.
Mostly this is because they're all “insider” related content. They're talking about things they may know well, but I may not.
For example, a software release may be great news, but if I'm not yet a customer, it's likely that it may fall on deaf ears.
Sometimes I read posts about where a CEO may be for a conference, and the conference isn't even linked. So even if I wanted to see someone there, I have to go looking for that conference on my own.
Keep your insider details for your insiders
I'm glad you're speaking at a conference, or will have a booth there soon. I'm glad you're releasing another version of your flagship product.
But I want you to think less about your insiders (use an email newsletter for that) and think more about me, your prospect.
- That means you educate me.
- That means you showcase things to me.
- That means you share other great articles with me.
It means you treat me as someone who may know your industry but not your product.
Help me connect the dots.
The more you do that, the happier I am and the more effective your company blog is.
Getting it right
Here are some sites getting it right:
- Recently WebDevStudios revamped their blog and you can see how much awesome material is posted.
- My friend Daniel started a site to solve the same problem for eCommerce plugin companies – where I will write some posts.
- Bourn Creative has always done this right.
Don't let your site's blog suck. Life's too short.