Recently my wife and I joined Netflix and have been able to stream movies and TV shows through our Wii console (which is an activity next to heavenly for me). One of the shows I’ve been re-watching from the beginning is 30 Rock. It’s quickly rocketed into one of my favorite shows. It reminds me of what a great actor Alec Baldwin is, which in turn reminds me of Glengarry Glen Ross.
Selling Starts When They Say “No”
Sales jargon is great, and by “great” I really mean “makes me want to puke” and that movie is FULL of it. One of the ones I’ve heard most since that movie is “ABC: Always Be Closing”.
Our world has changed since the times of Zig Ziggler and now, sales jargon is a little out of place in the relationship market in which we work and write, so I’ve taken it upon myself to give some new definitions to “ABC”. Here are some ways that the ABCs can help you in the world of blogging.
ABC: Always Be Conversing – When you are focused on “closing the sale” it’s easy to forget that you are forging relationships and building communities. Especially if you are in the business of building a personal brand, conversing with your audience is much more important that closing. When it comes to blogging, make sure you aren’t simply writing sales pitches and instead are starting conversations with your community.
ABC: Always Be Community-Building – Some of you smart-alecks will say that the acronym for this one should be ABCB, but you’re wrong. Everything you do on your blog or in your business and everything you do for your audience should be in the interest of building a stronger community around yourself. As humans, we naturally congregate with each other and form communities around similar interests. This is an easy task if you bring down your walls and simply act naturally online. Once you build a community and know what their needs are, then you can actually move on to the next ABC.
ABC: Always Be Creating – Blogging is just useless talking without content. Whether it’s information or an actual product, you have to have something that will enhance the lives of your community somehow. The best way to find something that truly calls your audience is to never stop creating. It doesn’t have to be a long blog post every day (look at Seth Godin’s posts) and you don’t have to send out 15 DVDs a month, but make sure your eyes are open and you are always looking to create that thing that will add value to someone’s life.
ABC: Always Bring Cleverness – What’s that you say? If I follow you on Twitter, you’ll follow me? You’ll offer me 10% off if I become your fan on Facebook and Tweet your offer 10 times to my list? Holy Snookie Spray Tan, Batman, I’ll bet you’re fighting off people with a stick. The human nose is an amazing thing and among it’s many great qualities, it has the ability to smell sales BS from a mile away (5274 feet away to be exact, but it’s close enough). This point isn’t saying that you need to think of more clever ways to bring sales crap into your blogging strategy. Instead, I want you to wise up and realize that being honest, open and human can sometimes be the smartest thing you can do.
ABC: Always Be Commenting – Do you know what it is that drives both community and content building? Conversation. Without talking to your peers and audience, you miss out on what’s actually going on in your world. Try to comment on at least 3 blogs every day that inspire you in some way, whether that be emotionally, educationally or personally. Keep up with what’s going on in your industry and let others know that you exist by bringing intelligent comments to their thoughts and ideas. My friend Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial) has a great post on leaving beneficial comments. Read it.
ABC: Answer Beneficial Comments – On the flip side of the last point, respond to those who take the time to comment on your posts. I added the word “beneficial” in here for two reasons: 1) To round out my ABC theme, and 2) To specify which comments are worth your time. Trolls are out and about and aren’t worth worrying about. There will also be spammers. Ignore them. Take time though to respond and comment on those people that push forward your conversation. They are your community members and will help you get your content out to people. Cherish them.
There you have it, the real ABCs of Blogging. And now we come to the end.
The act of community building and content marketing isn’t really ever done. Even following the ABCs to the letter won’t guarantee you never-ending success. There are probably a lot more out there that I’ve forgotten.
I need you to fill in the rest. What other acronyms for ABC can you think of? What sales jargon quotes really drive you up the wall? We can compile a book of “Don’t Quote These To Me” quotes.
P.S. One ABC I left off was “Always Be Clicking” referring to the Facebook “Like” button on this post. Every time you click it, a Mongoose gets its wings, and that’s awesome. Have you ever seen a flying Mongoose?