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Friday, February 20, 2009

How To Create A Blogger Blog And Start Creating Sales Leads

Times are getting tough and we’ve seen the unemployment numbers growing.

I’ve seen more and more people out there on the job market and at job fares looking for something, anything, to keep them moving forward.

Incidentally, I’ve also seen a number of questions from sales people in the Manta sales community asking the same questions about finding suitable leads for prospecting. Questions like, “Where can I find real estate leads?” or “How can I get viable leads for cars?” or “How do I sell my stuff when no one is buying anything?”

This tells me a couple of things.

  1. Sales managers are coming down hard on sales people to produce and increase revenue.
  2. Sales people are looking for ways to increase their production.
  3. Sales people are looking for ways to find viable leads.
  4. Sales people are using the same old tired and unproductive methods of generating those leads.

There are no quick fixes or shortcuts that sales people can take to get them to the top of the mountain. There are no magic words or phrases that a salesperson can utter and have their prospect eating out of their hands. But I do think that there are words and phrases that salespeople can utter that will cost them the sale. I do think that there are things that salespeople can do that will cause their prospects to run to the competition. It’s less about finding shortcuts and more about eliminating bad, inefficient behaviors or ineffective activities.

Here is something to do that will help establish your credibility and reduce some of those bad and inefficient behaviors.

Write a blog.

Yes, maintain a blog. I’ve recommended to several people that if they are looking to generate leads, increase their visibility and enhance their credibility, the best and fastest way to do that is by getting themselves published on the web. When your prospects go to Google looking to solve their problems, you want your name and your solution to pop up. You want their mindshare when they are on the web looking to solve their problems. And these ‘problems’ can be anything from “what should I look for when buying a used car?” to “Where can I find a prospective employee?”

Unfortunately, most sales people don’t write or maintain a blog because they associate blogs with technical wizardry. It takes to much time. It’s too complicated. There’s too much technical trouble involved.

Well, this just isn’t true.

The tools available today make web publishing so easy, even the proverbial caveman can do it.

So if you are just starting out in sales, a seasoned sales veteran, an entrepreneur running a small business or unemployed looking for your next gig, here is a quick and dirty start to blogging using the Google web-publishing tool, Blogger to promoting your ideas and get yourself known.

First, you will need to access your gmail account. Google centralizes all of it various services around specific accounts. So if you have a gmail account, you can access several other Google services and Blogger is one of them.

So sign in to your Google account as if you were signing into your gmail. Then when the Google page comes up, open the page www.blogger.com and sign in using your Gmail name and password. Here I am logging in as my favorite defunct login, epwadmin.

Use Blogger to build your Lead Generation Program

Logging into Blogger

When I get in, you can see that this is my first time. I have no blogs created. The first step is to begin to create your first blog so hit the “create your blog now” button to get started.

Use Blogger to build your Lead Generation Program

The First Step, Getting Started

The next step is naming your blog. Here, you can see that I’ve taken the job hunting route and called the blog “The Business of Job Searches” (hey, job hunting is a sales exercise as well. And very popular right about now).

For the Domain name, I’ve taken the name “Findmeajob”. Here’s where things get a little tricky. You want the Domain Name to reflect the type of business or the interest as closely as possible. It will have a big impact on how your blog pops up on searches when searchers type in their search query.

Use Blogger to build your Lead Generation Program

Creating The Name and Domain Name of your blog

The tricky part arrives when you have a popular search term and someone else has already grabbed that domain name

Use Blogger to build your Lead Generation Program

If your Name is taken, Blogger will tell you to create a new one

So a different Domain Name has to be selected.

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

Name and Domain Name creation

Domain Name selection can be a critical factor in determining your blog placement when your prospects perform their searches. If I were writing a blog on my expertise on selling cars, then having a domain name containing the words “car” and “sales” would be preferable to a name like “moondog.com”.

Once you have the Domain Name set, type in the word verification. This essentially tells the system that a human being is setting this up and not an automatic bot.

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

Word Verification

Once you all of the information set up, click the continue button to get to the next page.

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

Template Selection

Now you have an opportunity to pick a template. This supplies the general look and feel of your blog. Once this is selected, all you have to do in the future is type in your content and not set up each page separately. Don’t worry. You can always select a different template at a later date. For this example, we’ll just select the first template. Once you have the template selected, click continue:

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

Blog is ready. Time to get started.

And you are done. Now when you click the “start blogging” you are ready to start.

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

Blogger Content Form

At this point, you can start putting in your content supply a title for your posts in the “Title” box and your content in the bigger box below. And you are in business.

If you click the “view content” link, you will see what your blog looks like to the rest of the world:

Use Blogger to Enhance your Cold Calling Strategy

The way your Blogger blog appears to the online community

This will get you started building the skeleton of the blog. There will be other considerations such as titles (see the post on what needs to be in the title to make the search engines happy) and content. But it’s been my experience that sales people have more of a challenge just getting started. Why? Because they feel that starting a blog is a technical exercise and they use that to keep them from exploring this avenue for cultivating leads.

Another recommendation here. Under your account, you can set up multiple blogs. I would recommend one of the first domain names you set up be your name.

Next step is to begin writing on your expertise to attract those looking for solutions.

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