What do you want out of the comment section on a Blog? Someone's marvellous insights or someone telling you how they sell a product or service around the topic of the Blog posting?
One of the main things that Marketers still fail to really grasp about the online social channels is that they are not a breeding grounds for desperate sales pitches or humanized press releases. That being said, the people who add value by being smart, creative, funny and even dissenting do get the fruits of traffic and attention by simply being smart, creative, funny or even dissenting. When someone responds intelligently in these channels - and it could be a comment on a Flickr photo, a response on Twitter or a well-thought out Blog comment or Podcast audio comment - they are rewarded in a much more powerful way...
Their ideas spread.
Anyone can sell anything. Most great business books on sales will tell you this. The real value is in the relationship. Jeffrey Gitomer (author of The Sales Bible and many other best-selling books on sales) says, "all things being equal people buy from people they like. All things being unequal, people still buy from people they like." That lesson is perfectly transferable to the digital channel. The more people like your ideas and how you connect your thoughts, the more inclined they will be to learn more about you and tell others about their experience. The more inclined they will be to click on the link that is associated to your name, to friend you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, subscribe to your Blog or maybe - just maybe - buy from you.
"Always Be Closing."
You might remember that classic scene from the movie, Glengarry Glenn Ross. In the high-pressure world of sales, there are professionals who understand what it means to be a real shark. It's not that online social channels are filled with minnows and the sharks seem very out of place, it's that you need to focus on what you're selling and in what channel. My argument would be that you are not selling your end product or service at this level (or, at least, you should not be). What you should be selling is your ideas.
It's not about closing. It's about opening. That's what makes this space so special and amazing.
Smart ideas get people's attention. Smart ideas get people clicking. Smart ideas get people buying. Smart ideas build trust and credibility.
Here are six ways to create a smart idea:
1. Add a perspective that has not been touched on, but you believe in wholeheartedly.
2. Add some colour to the commentary by linking to another piece of relevant content that was not mentioned.
3. Talk about how this affects your industry - not just your own business.
4. Give a perspective of where you think things will be in the near-future.
5. Take the time to really think out your perspective. Maybe write it in a Word document and let it simmer for a while before publishing it.
6. Offer to gather people together in a live meet-up or unconference to discuss the topic live.
So, here's the big question: when you are creating content (either for yourself or on someone else's space), are selling your products or services or are you selling big ideas?