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SMART IDEA #21: Blogging for sales

Weekly inspiration for the staffing industry

ISSUE #21  |  March 2, 2024

New this Week:

• The REAL value of blogging

• Got feedback?


SMART IDEA #21: The REAL value of blogging

David Searns | Co-CEO

I don't want to tell you this story.

I need to. But I don't want to.

Why not?

Because I take a lot of pride in doing things right, and this is a story of failure. I don't like to fail. And I really, REALLY don't like to admit when I am the cause.

But here goes…

In 2023, we had a lot of blogging clients quit. Now, I actually expected this. With the rise of ChatGPT and the increasing number of staffing companies with in-house marketing talent, I expected to see higher-than-normal attrition in blogging services.

When we asked people why they were quitting, their responses confirmed our expectations. "We're taking it in-house" was the most common answer. "We're using more AI" was right behind.

And then there was the response that really bothered me: "We're not seeing value from our blogging services."

Now, that last response was the minority of the people that quit. However, we then checked out the websites of the companies that were taking blogging in-house, and we discovered…THEY QUIT TOO!

So why did all these companies stop blogging?

Wait for it. Here comes my failure…

We did not show people HOW to get measurable value from blog writing.

Shame on us. Shame on me!

Now, it's time to right a wrong. Because blogging can be an incredibly valuable tool for staffing companies. It can drive sales…improve recruiting…strengthen brands…even make salespeople more productive.

Yes, blogs can do all that — if you use them the right way!

Using Blogs to Drive Sales

Right now, selling staffing services is hard. Most companies are struggling to get appointments. Struggling to get prospects to change vendors. And struggling to get that first job order from a new client.

They are also struggling to upsell and cross-sell existing clients.

Blogging can help with all of this!

Allow me to explain…

When written the right way, blog posts become magnets for employers (and job seekers)—pulling people into your website…and getting them to take action.

Blogs can also be used by your sales team to open doors with prospects, nurture relationships, and facilitate more meaningful sales conversations.

When you integrate blog content into initial sales prospecting, follow-up, and social selling, your salespeople will find it far easier to capture attention, generate interest in your services, and get more appointments.

But there is a challenge. (You knew there'd be a BUT!)

Blogging only works when you take a strategic approach.

Blogging isn't just writing posts. It's a marketing tactic that needs to be carefully crafted. Aligned with your messaging. Integrated with your sales process. And carefully coordinated with your CRO (conversion rate optimization) and SEO programs.

A four-step process to make blogs work for your staffing company.

Step 1: Create a strategic content plan.

Here's a good rule of thumb. 80% of your blog content should NOT be about you or your services. It should be about your target audience, their challenges, and their interests.

The most effective blogs address the questions your clients (and prospects) are asking. And not just about staffing, but about the things that are most relevant to their jobs and their goals.

The more you write about the topics that are keeping your clients up at night, the more readers you will have. If you want a fantastic book about how to do this, read They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan.

Step 2: Get your content found.

A blog has no value if people don't see your content. So, how do you attract readers?

  • SEO. Ensure your posts are properly optimized for search engines.
  • Social media. Share your blogs on LinkedIn (yes, LinkedIn in using blogs for selling).

    But don't just share on your company page; get all your salespeople and recruiters to share. And when they share, ask them to introduce each post with a little personal commentary.

    Next, ask your teammates to like, comment on, and re-share your posts. By creating instant engagement with your content, you'll get far wider distribution.
  • Content syndication. Find other sites that will take your blog content.

    You want sites, like professional associations, that cater to your target clients. You can provide your blogs for use on their website or in their email newsletters.

    Also, talk to other companies that sell to your target audience. Offer to trade blog content so they promote your content (and your ideas) to their audience.
  • Email. Use your blog content to develop a branded monthly publication (not just a newsletter, but a publication just like a magazine, that provides real value for your audience).
  • One-to-one sharing by your sales team. More on this in a minute…

Step 3: Make your content convert.

The #1 reason blogs fail to drive sales is there is no call to action (CTA).

Every blog should include at least one CTA. What do you want people to do after reading your post?

  • Make a list of all your possible CTAs.
  • Ensure every CTA has a landing page or contact form where people can take that action.
  • Create both graphical and text CTAs that you can integrate into your posts.

Blogs with graphical CTAs drive 19% more responses than those with just text.

Step 4: Integrate blogs with your sales process.

One of the biggest challenges for sales professionals in our industry is differentiating their outreach. One staffing agency's cold call sounds a lot like the next.

Instead of just calling, integrate blog content into your sales process:

  • In your cold outreach emails, include a link to your most popular and/or relevant blog posts. Use the blog topic to capture attention.
  • Print your blogs and use them in a direct mail campaign or as drop-offs.
  • Integrate the blog content into your automation campaigns.
  • Hold training sessions with your sales team where you discuss the blog topics and why they matter to your clients (this will help them have better conversations with prospects).
  • Use the hot topics in your blog as conversation starters during sales meetings…then follow up by sharing a link to relevant blog content.
  • Offer your blog-based publication to every client and every prospect (we once had a salesperson build a list of 3,000 prospects in 10 months by doing this!).
  • Document the questions prospects ask and the concerns they discuss, and then use those topics as the foundation of your next blogging content plan.

When you integrate blogs into selling, it will differentiate your sales process, create natural conversation starters, lead to more meaningful sales conversations, help illustrate the value of staffing services as a solution to client problems, strengthen your positioning as a trusted advisor, and keep you top-of-mind.

Selling staffing is hard. Blogging can make your life easier!

No, blogging is not a silver bullet that makes every prospect buy. But when you take a strategic approach to content creation and integrate blogs into your selling, you give your company a distinct advantage over your competition.

Blogging is a relatively small investment (in time if you DIY or in money if you outsource) that can make a big impact on your company's performance.

And for all those people I failed to tell about the true value of blogging, I apologize. I hope this article helps, and if you need assistance putting these ideas into action…call me!


What do you think of this issue of SMART IDEAS Weekly? Love it? Hate it? Either way, we’d love to hear. Just click reply and tell us your thoughts.

Have a topic (or challenge) you want us to address? Tell us that too! We’d be happy to provide specific tips for you in future issues of our SMART IDEAS Weekly.



Have you seen TalentScribe, our AI blog writing tool?

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Haley Marketing | PO Box 410 | Williamsville, NY 14231-0410 | 716-631-8981

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