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Social Styles 4-Learning About the Analytical

Social Styles 4-Learning About the Analytical

Why are Social styles important?

 

This is the 4th post in the series on Social Styles.  In my previous posts,  we discussed how essential understanding these styles is to building trust with prospects, customers, clients, employees, and partners.  Your success depends on these relationships.

Today I want to discuss the Analytical Social Style.

 

What is the Analytical Social Style?

 

The Analytical Social style is the most easily described and may be the most misunderstood of all the styles.  Think of a scientist, an engineer, or an accountant.

 

Analyticals are totally task focused and will ask a lot of questions.  They are fact gatherers and number crunchers.  They want to make sure they have all the information before they make a decision.  This tendency sometimes makes them seem indecisive because there is always more to know.

 

They are reserved. Their speech is proper, formal and deliberate.  They make few gestures.  They are good listeners.

 

They take the time to develop personal relationships.

 

They are excellent planners and organizers.

 

Analytical tend to move slowly and with precision. They tend to think the process of reaching a decision is as important as the decision itself.

 

Their goals are making the right decision in the right way. They want to enhance their reputation as a technical expert.

 

If you try to move them too quickly, it will make them very uncomfortable and may damage the relationship.

 

Analyticals have much in common with Drivers and Amiables. As you can see from the grid, they are diametrically opposed to Expressives.

 

What is dialogue with an  Analytical like?

 

Analyticals love slow, orderly, fact-filled presentations.  Here’s what you can expect:

  1. They expect you to be prepared
  2. Ask detailed fact-oriented questions
  3. Stay focused on the topic
  4. They want flexibility. Give them time to consider alternatives to what you present.
  5. Give them facts supported by data.
  6. Listen carefully and take notes. Give them time to finish and ask follow up questions.
  7. Offer confirmation of what you bring to the relationship.

 

How do you approach an Analytical?

 

Approaching an Analytical may seem difficult as they often appear remote.  But,  doing a little homework will smooth the way.

  1. Do some research before you go. Find out as much about their situation as you can.
  2. Don’t engage in a lot of small talk in the beginning.
  3. Adopt a predictable, slow, task oriented approach
  4. When you make a proposal, try to make sure it aligns with their current belief
  5. Support your proposals with a lot of facts and figures.  The more data the better.
  6. Try to state your opinions in the form of a question, “What are your thoughts about X?”

 

In Conclusion

 

As business owners, you will be dealing with all these Social Styles.  Understanding the ways to engage them will deliver amazing results in the form of profits on your bottom line.

 

Note:  The material in this blog was developed from information featured in “The Social Styles Handbook” To find out more, please click on the link below to order Larry Wilson’s great book

(Full disclosure, I am a Powell’s affiliate)

 

 

The Social Styles Handbook: Adapt Your Style to Win Trust
by Wilson Learning LibraryTrade Paperback
Powells.com
10 Reasons a Small Business Blog is Worth it

10 Reasons a Small Business Blog is Worth it

As small business owners we wonder whether blogging is worth the time and effort.  After all, our days are filled with enough activity as it is.  Here’s a great post by Jeff Charles giving you 10 great reasons why you need to do this.

10 Important Reasons to Work Seriously On Your Small Business Blog

Jul 19, 2016 by Jeff Charles In Marketing Tips 2

 


10 Important Reasons to Work Seriously On Your Small Business Blog

 

How the heck do they do it?

You know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about those successful small business entrepreneurs who get tons of business and engagement online.

Sure, they hustle just as much as you do. They attend the same networking events. But there’s a difference.

They seem to have much more business than you do. They’re closing more deals. They’re generating more leads through their website.

So what’s the difference between you and them?

They’re probably blogging. They’re probably using their small business blog to build an online audience that is engaged with their brand.

If you’re a small business entrepreneur or solopreneur, you have probably heard of content marketing, right? No doubt you’ve heard of the importance of creating valuable content for your website. But maybe you haven’t taken that first step yet.

A small business blog is one of the most-used and effective content marketing tools at your disposal. Simply put, if you’re not blogging, you’re leaving money on the table.

Here’s some stats for you:

  • Marketers that use blogs get 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
  • 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
  • Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links.
  • 61 percent of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
  • 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to consider how you’re connecting with your audience. Since you might not have the huge marketing budget of a mega-corporation, you will have to use other means to build and connect with your audience.

One of the best ways to do this is by blogging. It’s been shown to be highly effective at generating quality leads for your business.

Many business owners overlook the potential rewards that blogging can provide. But you’re a savvy entrepreneur, so you’re not going to make this mistake, are you?

This post is going to give you ten benefits that a small business blog can provide for your business. When you read through this post, you will learn various ways you can use your blog to generate more business, earn more credibility and make it easier for prospects to find you online.

Why You Should Have a Small Business Blog

1. Market Research

Having a blog with many articles allows you to more effectively understand what your audience really wants. From the back end of your site, you can spy on what pages people are viewing the most, and this gives you an idea of where their interest lies. When you know what types of content perform the best, you know what types of content to continue to create.

Also, you can use your blog to request feedback from your audience. If you have an engaged following, it’s very likely that they will be happy to answer the questions you have.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As you probably know, there’s not much of a point to having a killer website if nobody can find it. One of the biggest keys to getting more traffic is making sure that people will find your site when they use search engines. As a  matter of fact, search engines are the no. 1 driver of traffic to content websites! SEO is something that you can’t ignore if you want to have a viable online presence.

The more relevant content you have on your website, the more likely it will be that you will rank for certain keywords. This is where a small business blog comes in. Consistently publishing high-quality content on your blog will do wonders for your search engine optimization efforts.

When you produce useful content, Google’s algorithms will rank your site higher. Over time, your site will make its way to the front page of search results. Not only that, but when people read high-quality content, they’re more likely to link back to it. Earning quality backlinks from other high-authority blogs will do wonders for your SEO efforts.

3. Customer Engagement

Engagement is immensely important for any online business. It’s not enough to just create great content. You also need to interact with your audience as much as you can. You can’t have any success by just talking at your audience. You need to have ongoing conversations with them. It will help you know your audience better. It will help your audience know you better.

That’s what you want.

If you enable comments on your small business blog, you can discuss topics and get feedback directly. This can tell you a lot about your customer base. Not only that. It shows your audience that you are interested in interacting with them. This will increase loyalty and help you form a deeper connection with your audience.

4. Communicating Your Mission

One of the most important components of effective branding is purpose. Connecting with your audience means embracing a unique brand perspective that can give your audience something they can connect with on an emotional level.

This is where blogging comes in.

Your blog is a place where you can communicate your brand purpose. This is important because establishing a strong brand is an important part of encouraging customer loyalty. When you communicate a brand purpose that goes beyond what you sell, it helps you stand out from your competition.

For example, if you are a business that sells vegan meat substitutes, you can express your brand’s purpose by posting animal welfare material on your site. This shows your audience that your company is focused on something more than just making money.

5. Communicating With Customers

If there’s something going on with your service — for example, there will be a planned outage or lack of availability — you don’t have to keep your clients in the dark. Having a centralized place to post announcements is extremely important because people don’t always read their email.

6. You Can Offer Promotional Material

A small business blog is also a great place to offer occasional promotions. If you already have an engaged audience that consumes your content, they will be able to see what discounts or promotions you are offering. It’s a great way to keep your customer base informed.

Sure, you can spread your coupons around Facebook, but it’s better to get into the habit of compelling your audience to visit you at your own site, especially if it’s an ecommerce site. Keep them coming back for more by posting your promotions on your blog.

Here’s a caveat: you don’t want to overdo this. While blogs can be great for offering promotions, it shouldn’t be used solely for this purpose. Most of your content should focus on offering informational value to your readers. If you only post promotional content, your audience will not continue to visit your blog.

7. Showing Your Human Side

People want to know that there are actual human beings behind the business that they buy from. Post some personal stories and talk to your customers through your blog.

This is an opportunity for you to let your personality shine through. When you’re writing blog posts, don’t smack your reader in the head with a bunch of “corporatespeak.” Nobody wants to read that. No really, they don’t!

It’s much better to write in an informal style that people can relate to. When it comes to blogging, it’s not just about what you say, it’s about how you say it.

8. You Can Become a Source of Value

The key to effective blogging is providing value. Nobody is going to read your content unless they get something out of it, right?

If you want to build influence, you have to be valuable. You can do this by providing helpful information to your readers through your blog.

Arjun Reddy, the founder of Super Baby, builds credibility with his website’s “resources” section by giving actionable tips to his visitors.

“Our visitors are parents who are looking for fun ways to help their children become smarter. The advice we give in our resources section is designed to provide helpful parenting tips for our readers.”

The reason Reddy is enjoying success is because he’s providing value up front. When you do this, you show your potential clients that you are valuable to them. That’s why content marketing works. When you’re creating content, you should be asking yourself what your reader is going to get out of that particular piece of content. Each piece of content should be designed to inform, educate, or entertain. If possible, you should do all three!

9. Networking!

When you have built an audience and gained some notoriety, it can attract other entrepreneurs to you. For an entrepreneur, networking is important, isn’t it?

If you’re able to grow your readership effectively, you will gain more credibility. This will attract other influencers in your niche. You never know who might be paying attention right?

This could lead to other opportunities for your business. You might be able to take advantage of the key relationships that you form through your small business blog.

10. Building Credibility

Having a small business blog gives you a presence in your niche. A blog is a record of quality value and experience that you are bringing to your audience. This will give you instant “street cred” when someone finds your content.

Lissette Palencia, CEO of Sleeping Angels has built a steady stream of clientele by using her blog to provide valuable information to her website’s visitors.

“As you can guess, when you run a nanny agency, your clients are parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. They want to do the research first. When they visit our website, they find tons of valuable information that helps them make the right decision for their family. Not only does it inform them, it makes them more comfortable with doing business us.”

This is essential for your business. Your blog is a tool that you can use to establish credibility in the minds of your potential clients. Prospects will read your content and gain value from it. Then, they will become far more willing to buy from you because you have already given them a significant benefit through your blog.

Conclusion

Here’s the thing. If you’re looking to expand your online presence, you need to be creating high-quality content on a consistent basis. A blog is one of the best ways to do this.

These are just a few reasons to keep a blog if you’re an entrepreneur, but there are much more. Just remember that anything that can bring value to your audience is something that you should consider adding to your business.

If you’d like to see more on this and other topics for small business owners, just sign up for my emails by filling in the form in the right hand column.

How to Create Engaging Content

How to Create Engaging Content

If you are using your blog to promote your business, what is your biggest challenge?  Writing content people want to read.  

It’s not easy.  Here is a post giving some great tips on engaging content creation.  

HOW TO WRITE ENGAGING CONTENT THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO READ
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December 24, 2013

Categories: Publications

With the state of search in the content basket, we have to provide well-written, engaging content for people in our niche. Think about The Huffington Post or Wired, or even Seth Godin’s blog. What is it about them that makes people go there, day after day, to read the content?

Does the thought scare you? It shouldn’t. You don’t have to be Seth or Arianna to have a willing audience. You just have to write more than pap. You need to teach people, entertain them, or give them something important to think about. There’s news, events, and even other blog posts to help you figure out something to write.

Writing or deciding what I’m going to write about has never been a problem for me because there is just so much information out there to pull from! You just have to know where to find it.

In this article, I’d like to give you some of my tactics and then, some resources where you can find ideas for creating content and making it sing!

Build Your Arsenal of Info

I use Outlook for email, but I’m sure you can set up folders in your mail program, no matter what you’re using to receive and read your email.  I have subscribed to a number of blogs and newsletters in the SEO niche, and every time one of those emails come in, it automatically goes into a folder I call “Grist.” Yes, for my mill. When I need to write an article and an idea doesn’t just pop into my head, I have a TON of information to fall back on.

I also start reading blogs, which I do anyway, to keep up with SEO changes. Reading alone has always given me something to write. Have you heard about AllTop.com? It’s a content aggregator, and with it, you can designate blogs you read regularly and have them all on one page at the same time, along with recent posts. If you click the link, you’ll come to my personal AllTop page, which has lots of tech, SEO and other stuff that will interest anyone who’s doing business online. Try it!

Make Your Content Worth Reading

content1We’ve already established that not all content is created equally, and I further discussed that in an article I wrote last month in “7 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid.”  You need to craft each article with care and enough engaging information to make readers read through to the end. If you don’t do that and just writing for search engines, you won’t succeed. If you’re not writing content that people want to share, don’t bother.

Seriously.

So, you need some stuff to pump it up. Here are some tactics that I use to make my articles more readable:

Statistics

Statistics are great! People love to see stats about things they’re interested in and (at least, I think so) that’s partly why infographics have become so popular. Think about the last one you saw, and I guarantee there’s at least one interesting statistic in it.

Where can you get stats?

Easy.

HubSpot gave us All the Marketing Statistics You Need. This compilation of stats from data sites around the Web is amazing. Did you know that worldwide, we conduct 131 billion searches per month on the Web? According to ComScore in 2010, we did. I’m betting it’s a much larger figure now that tablets and smartphones are so available. Be sure the statistic you want to use reflects the current situation.

But notice two things about the statistic. First, I told you where to find it, and second, I told you where it came from and when. These are important for your credibility. You could make up any old statistic, so until you prove where it came from and assure yourself and your readers that it’s a solid stat, why include it at all?

If you click through to the page above, you’ll notice that Hubspot gathered statistics, not just from ComScore, but from Marketing Sherpa, eMarketer, and other known and respected sites, as well. Just don’t forget to tell readers that though you got the stat from one site, that it was provided by another.  Don’t trust sources that aren’t solid, either.  Known and trusted sites are the only ones you should pull statistics from.

Quotations

Quotes from people who are respected in your niche are great. Just be really sure they said what you’re quoting. I wrote a biography of Gloria Steinem several years ago, and she’s still quoted as saying, “A woman needs a man a like fish needs a bicycle,” but she never said it. Don’t put words into other people’s mouths! Not everything you read online is true, either. Remember that.

So, how do you prove things that people say?

Get at least two reliable sources. And sometimes, if the quote is controversial for example, get three. You can be sued for liable, even if you think nobody is reading your stuff. Famous people have searches done on their brand all the time. Just be sure you’re giving credit where credit is due.

content2Where to find quotes?

I’d suggest finding quote in articles written by the person you want to quote, since there are so many online now.  Just about every famous person who has ever existed has something you can quote from. Seriously. You’d be amazed at how many primary source documents there are online these days. That means, diaries, government records, papal bulls, letters, and so much, much more. Find those things and you know you’re golden. If you’re using primary source documentation, you don’t need to look for another source. Just as you won’t, if you’re quoting an article on a very reliable website.

For example, if I quoted Richard Branson from an article he wrote (or had ghost written) on LinkedIn, I wouldn’t worry about finding corroboration. But if I’m reading a biography on a personal blog about Richard Branson, I’d have to find other information that matches what I found to assure its veracity.

And please, please, please, don’t trust Wikipedia. It’s a great place for general research, but for honest-to-goodness journalistic purpose, not so much.

You can pick up a bunch of early American history primary source documents at Constitution.org, for example. You never know when a quote from George Washington or Patrick Henry might suit your needs, even if you’re writing about doing business online.

Try Google books, too. I just found an old book with a bunch of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s letters in it. (You’ll see why I was looking for those in a minute.)

Anecdotes

content3Anecdotes are always engaging. I used one above to tell you about Gloria Steinem. But an anecdote can be about anyone, known or unknown. It can be you or someone other than you that you tell a short story about. People love stories and that’s why copywriting embraces storytelling. It’s engaging, and if you tell a great story, people will want to keep reading your work until the end.

There are stories abound online. You can find a good collection at Listverse.com, but just type “famous anecdotes” into a search query box and you’ll find tons of them. Or read TextsFromLastNight.com and quote someone anonymously. Like this, “You’re right. I woke up today with my ugly sweater still on and no pants. I’d say it was a successful night.”  This doesn’t need corroboration because it was entered by the person who wrote it. Not an academic anecdote, but pretty funny.

Another story I found while researching a book about famous composers years back related to Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest. Apparently, he tried to drown himself because of an unhappy marriage to a woman, when he was more drawn to men. He was also prone to “nerves,” as he called them. So, he waded into the Volga River, which he hoped would give him pneumonia and cause him to die. His plan didn’t work, though he did suffer a nervous breakdown. Poor dude. If only he knew how beloved his music would become. Not a funny story, but I’m guessing you didn’t know that about the man. Am I right?

So, there: a sentence, one paragraph, a little story… and people feel happy they read your stuff.

Don’t Hit Submit Right Away

Now, you have a killer article that teaches people something, right? It helps them solve a problem in their niche, and it’s engaging because you took the time to fill in some really solid details.

But wait! Don’t hit the submit button yet!

Allow your work to percolate for at least a few hours (a whole day is better). Then, go back and see if what you wrote makes sense, if you might have used some better word choices or your phrases could be more fluid, and try to look at it like a stranger. With the world moving so fast and with all there is to do, see if you’d spend the time. Then, read the article aloud and see how it will “sound” in someone else’s head.

When you do this, you will have a MUCH better article.

Throwing things out there willy-nilly with bad grammar and spelling, and that’s not very readable won’t help you. Spiders are watching.

Give them a great show. They’ll not only read what you’ve written… they’ll come back for more!

Author bio:

Pat Marcello is the President of MagnaSites.com, a full service digital marketing company. She also taught writing for five years for the Institute of Children’s Literature and has had 10 books published in four languages. Read her last article “How to Be an SEO in 2014” here.

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