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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

I often get asked by sales people, when we teach them to blog “what can we write about” so here are 10 suggestions.

  1. Customer meetings – When you write up a customer meeting to post to the CRM you can also modify this to create a blog. “Obviously” not mentioning the actual people or company you visited, if, for example, you met a CFO and he or she talked about the top three things that impacted on their business. Then modify your noted and publish. Or modify, and leave in edit for a few weeks. Often things are said in meetings that can be translated into blogs. We had a discussion in a recent meeting about blog length and somebody said “it’s not word count that matters, it’s ideas count”. That was noted down and it was turned into a blog.
  2. Deal Wins – Why not write up why clients win deals, again you don’t need to mention the company or their people but why companies are going for solutions such as yours. Just a reminder, don’t be over salesey.
  3. Deal Losses – Often you find that deals are lost for all sorts of reasons, we recently had a loss, where the person said they were “too scared to tell the Directors the truth” so I wrote about that. No names or companies mentioned.
  4. Colleagues – Similar to customer meetings, what colleagues say can be a an inspiration. We were in a meeting when we were talking about the fact that so many Sales gurus regurgitate old material and present it as thought leadership, when Phil Stubbs one of the Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) team said “Same bus, different number”. Which was a great way to describe these recycled ideas, it had us all reaching for our note books.
  5. Carry a Note Book – You may already carry a “day book” of have your iPad or iPhone, get into the habit of writing the ideas down as soon as you heard them. When Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones or Paul McCarney of the Beatles had an idea, they jotted it down and then pounced on it!
  6. Use apps like Flipboard, I use this free app everyday. You can set it up so it will go away and find all the “Supply Chain” or “Big Data” articles; or whatever your specialised subject. This is a great place to find and share articles. You two can look like the person with all the knowledge in your subject area. Use other people’s articles for inspiration. Quote the article and the person and then write your opinion, which is similar to 7.
  7. Take articles, reports or infographics and break them up and then post them piece by piece. I’m always doing this with reports. A recent Salesforce report took me three months to post. Taking each graphic in the report and posting one every week or two weeks. Asking a question when you post, should get engagement from your network, better still from outside your network. Back this up with a blog. If you look at most Forbes articles they are basically a quote from some research then then a view. We all have a view and an opinion. You don’t have to write War and Peace, just enough to engage somebody with.
  8. Watch what you competition do and write about it. Obviously you don’t need to mention your competition or the article they write. But if they have an industry piece, write your own. For example, if you are a Professional services firm and your competition write an article about Brexit, write your own. You should double up and ride on the back of their search engine optimisation (SEO).
  9. Create a content plan. I recently sat down with somebody who wanted to be “famous” for Finance Transformation. So we brainstormed all the subjects that could impact Finance Transformation, from the use of robots to best practice in Chart of Accounts (CoA) design. They shouted it out, I captured it all on flip chats. We now have 30 blogs titles for them to start working through.
  10. Flick through social media, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter can all be used as places for inspiration, your network may throw up ideas.This blog was created from such a method. I spotted one day that somebody had written a comment on a post that sales people couldn’t and didn’t get inspiration for blogs so should write them.

I could carry on, but this blog is long enough and you will only remember one thing, so I’ll finish here.Which is a page. Plenty for anybody to read in one go. Remember we have to take responsibility for our own success and blog writing is part of that. Finding time, inspiration is part of that building back for success. We are all good at finding excuses to not do things. So it’s time for you to create an affirmation and start being inspirational for your prospects and clients! Let me know how you get on.

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