All of our newsletters provide space for you to write your own business articles, but sometimes it can be difficult to come up with an idea for your article. Here are five great options:
The popularity of this feature may initially come as a surprise, but when you take a moment to consider how socially wired we really are, focusing on one of your employees every so often is ingenious. After all, what an opportunity for sparking a connection between your clients/prospects and employees that goes beyond the normal itinerary of appointment setting, register transactions, and idle chit chat. The majority of people choose businesses they trust as their go-to; what better way to create an atmosphere of trust than to do intermittent employee spotlights that allow your readers to discover “behind-the-scenes” information about your team and establish common ground?
While there are quite a few different ways you can present your employee spotlight, our two most favorite formats are the easy-reading Q & A and the simple but widely loved story format that focuses in on one or two themes. We recommend starting with employees who are both comfortable in sharing tidbits about their lives and whom your clients either deal with directly (a receptionist, your assistant, etc.) or a behind-the-scenes person of interest (your social media manager, for example).
If you’ve never conducted a poll with your current clients that surveys their awareness of the services you offer, it can be a real eye opener. Unless you’ve done an extraordinary job of advertising these services, you’d be surprised how many of your clients have no clue. And of course, if you’ve toyed with the idea of a referral program, your printed newsletter is the ideal format for presenting the details! We suggest periodically including business articles about all of your services and asking for referrals.
This is such an overlooked storytelling opportunity that clients absolutely love but businesses of all industries tend to avoid or not focus on enough. Nothing “advertises” the benefits of your service than that of an actual client who is willing to share how your business has positively impacted his/her life. Why jump through hoops trying to sell your clients on a service when a person just like them can do it for you?
If you don’t already have a handful of people in mind after talking to your team (if you’re not sure where to begin, turn to your online reviews for inspiration), start looking for prospects in the clients you meet from this point forward. Keep more detailed notes about their progress. Tip: While you might bore your readers by choosing this type of business article for every newsletter, do consider a success story on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.
Clients love learning more about the face behind the name, but to share your own story, interests, and thoughts isn’t as simple as an employee spotlight; to do a Q & A about yourself might run the risk of looking too egocentric, particularly if you’re considered the face of your company and/or foremost expert. This is where an inspirational feature written from your point of view comes in handy. People are constantly on the search for someone they can admire and even emulate, and you have great potential to be that someone. Share a thoughtful musing from time to time that gets readers’ attention in a way that motivates them and leaves them in admiration, and you’ll quickly establish yourself not only as an expert, but a leader in the community.
So what can you write about?
Consider what’s important to you. It might be family, health, maintaining longtime friendships, honoring the planet, discovering new interests, or spending time on hobbies you love.
Start thinking about a lesson you recently learned or a realization you came to in one of these areas. Training for a marathon, for example, may have been exceptionally tedious and difficult and taught you the importance of patience and learning to recognize mistakes and start again. A recent health scare with a parent reaffirmed for you the importance of family time, treasuring your health, etc. The idea is to share a few details and moments from your own life in a way that inspires your readers. Here’s a little insight into what readers think as they read these stories:
She knits! He body surfs and runs marathons! (a.k.a. My new muse)
He has a daughter who’s my daughter’s age! (a.k.a. We have something in common)
She’s caring for a mother with terminal cancer while running a business (a.k.a that’s amazing…what a trooper. This is someone whose strength I admire).
He advocates recycling and repurposing (a.k.a. His goals and passions are in-tune with my own).
Even with service businesses, why not walk readers through a process they might be curious about but don’t understand or have access to? And of course most people adore a good trend piece that shows them the direction your business industry is heading or gives them an interesting study to ponder.
Now that you have a solid bank of business articles to go-to again and again, you’ll never be at a loss for ideas to share in your newsletter. If you’re looking to start a newsletter, check out this page.