It’s no secret that blogging is becoming something many businesses are using to help drive traffic and engage consumers. Thankfully some rules have changed in blogging to help make things easier, but for small businesses this can still be a daunting task. The issue I’m referring to of course is actually writing the blog posts. With all the challenges small business owners are already facing how is it possible to find time to write quality posts? There is an answer. Guest Blogging. But for small businesses paying someone to write guest posts can get expensive. That’s why I think small business can use customer testimonials as guest posts.
Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not talking about posting anything like, “Renee’s bakery is the best ever!”. That’s a quote, not a post. And you may not want a customer to write a blog post for you, especially if they had a bad experience at your store. Instead, make it easy for them. Use a form that is nothing more than answering leading questions. Once the form is filled out simply restructure the content to make a comprehensive post. It doesn’t even have to be very long, anywhere between 150-200 words can make an acceptable post to use. I got this idea after looking at a feedback form a former employer was using. I read a few of the forms and I immediately thought, “These could be blog posts!”. Don’t think it’s possible? Below is an example of a feedback template a the previous employer of mine was using:
- How did you hear about us?:
- Why did you seek our services?
- Why did you choose us?
- What did you think about the place when you first walked in?
- What was your experience like?
- Will you come back to
- If you were to recommend our services to someone else what would you say?
While it would be easy to see how replies to these questions could be pretty short, it’s important to know that not every testimony would be used. The clients that take time to fill out the form rather than just scribbling down, “Yeah” “A friend” “It was cool” would be the ones to skip. But be sure the customers know what they are filling out and what it is for. If the customer isn’t okay with his/her opinions being published then don’t publish them. Hey, you got some nice feedback why complain? But, if they are perfect. At this point you are creating some incentive for other customers to fill out the form in such a manner that their testimony could become a ‘guest post’.
At BlueGlass LA one of the speakers, David Snyder said, “If you love you customers, they will love you back and tell others.” What better way of showing customers you love them, other than providing great products and awesome customer service, than letting him/her be listed as a guest author on your blog. While it isn’t anything more than a testimony, your customers are getting a little attention, Which everyone like to get every now and then. Even if they don’t allow you to use what they write out, it will provide some more detailed feedback. Which, let’s admit, will be better than a ‘Rate our service 1-10’ note card.
It’s important to know that if you choose to use client testimonies in this manner, don’t make every post one about a testimonial. Just because you’ve get thirty of them doesn’t mean you have thirty straight days of blog posts. Use them sparingly or set up a certain day of the week that you’ll share a client success story.
In closing, the main point of getting clients to guest blog for you is for the activity you want to generate. Sure, you’re getting content to add to your blog and a post you don’t have to write. But when people see their own words posted somewhere, they’ll read it over and over. Even though they wrote it. Not only that, but they will send it on to their friends and family to read what they had written. This has the potential to create something all small business owners want, a buzz of their own.