The Strongest Blog Marketing Tool: Help

The Strongest Blog Marketing Tool: Help This is a guest post by Kiesha Easley from WeBlogBetter

Have you ever wondered why people like Oprah are so powerful?  All she has to do is give her word of approval – blink an eye and a book will become a best-seller… blink an eye and a whole farm will no longer go mad over cows… blink an eye and a rap artist will never swipe another naughty credit card again!

How did she become so powerful?  Why do people listen to her every word and passionately adhere to every syllable?

It’s because she uses one of the most overlooked magical marketing tools around:  she helps – and not just any help, but life-changing, empowering help.

Ellen DeGeneres is another example. She gives away cars and other gifts on her show, too.  These gifts improve the quality of life of the less fortunate.  So even if you can’t stand to watch her dance down the aisles (my favorite!) you can’t resist hanging around to see who she’ll help next. I’m sure Ellen is genuinely a kind and giving person, but make no mistake, that’s highly effective marketing.

Why is helping so magical?

Once you’ve helped someone change his or her life for the better, that’s it – that follower, potential client or customer will be under your magical spell for life.  Okay, no, they’re not really under a spell, but depending on what you’ve done for them, they will grow to trust you.  They’ll look to you as a credible source. They will drool over and crave everything you do. These are the people that will become your biggest promoters – your raving fans.

The other magical part of helping, is that when you do, sometimes you end up in places and among people you’d wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It opens the door to infinite opportunities that you wouldn’t have been exposed to any other way.

Why Is Helping So Magical? The most important thing that I’ve learned since the day that I started blogging is this:  if you can figure out how to help people, it will build trust and strengthen your credibility faster than a speeding bullet.

I helped one woman create engaging content for her site at a discounted rate, but I still went out of my way to provid top notch service. I provided value without regard to how little I was charging. And do you want to know what happened?

A few weeks later, she referred several other small business owners who were eager to get my help and weren’t concerned about the cost. I couldn’t have found those new clients any other way, but the act of helping created those opportunities instantly out of thin air.

So why isn’t everyone out there on a helping spree?

There are lots of reasons, but I think it’s mostly because helping others is counter-intuitive. Helping and/or giving away your time and resources just seems to produce the exact opposite of the outcome you’re aiming for. You’re giving, when instead you’d rather be getting – sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Almost everything you read about marketing and promotion will tell to create a product or service that people want, advertise until ears bleed, and they will flock to you quicker than pigeons to a tossed hot dog. In some ways that still applies, but there’s been a shift, companies are beginning realize that people have not only become immune to advertisements, but most people despise ads and will gnaw off their own foot if they have to just to get away.

It’s not until marketing becomes helpful or meaningful that it really gets people’s attention.  As Bob Gilbreath puts it, “When marketing is meaningful, it ads value to people’s lives whether or not they immediately buy what you’re selling.” (The Next Evolution of Marketing, 2010.)

You’ve got to give people a chance to chose what they want. And what most people want is help. Some are willing to pay for it and some aren’t.

If you can offer a service or a product that helps people solve their problems; that will teach them something valuable, or that will help them reach their full potential, you’ll attract a loyal following that will do just about anything to express their gratitude. If you ever need help, just yell and they’ll rush to your aid in droves.

But to begin reaping the benefits of helping, you have to get out and start planting some “help” seeds. You’ve got to jumpstart the process by going out of your way to help others first.

Helping doesn’t always have to be about giving out something for free, but if helping is really the focus, you will learn that sometimes you have to be willing to bend and understand that sometimes a delayed reward has just as valuable, if not more, in the long run.

So how can you apply this to your blogging efforts?

When I first started blogging, I thought I would be in constant battle with people who were only concerned about selling, but I ended up meeting some of the most helpful people around. People like Evelyn Parham would visit my blog and leave helpful comments and share my posts on Twitter.  People like Ileane went out of their way to sponsor fund raisers and contests. To this day, I can’t thank Brandon Cox enough for the opportunity he gave me when he was looking for someone to take over WeBlogBetter.

At first glance, it might not seem like commenting, sharing content, sponsoring, or giving a new blogger an opportunity is all that important, but these are simple helpful tasks that when applied can have a huge impact.

How can you help?  It’s really simple.

Do something for others without thinking about what you’ll get in return. Go out of your way and do something that you’ve always wished someone would do for you. That is how you build beneficially helpful and meaningful relationships; that is how you get the biggest return on your marketing efforts. Helping and giving is the key to getting more out of social media and life in general. Think of it as an investment that has endless returns and possibilities for growth.

If your blog isn’t growing, it could be because you aren’t helping enough. What can you do to change that? What do you think about all of this?

Kiesha Easley from WeBlogBetter This is a guest post by Kiesha Easley – Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, a blog devoted to offering blogging tips. She’s a writer, editor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve built an entire site on this idea by interviewing people. I help the people I interview by giving them exposure and I help the listeners by giving them tips for their businesses and blogs. It’s really amazing how just doing some free work for somebody because you want to help can really open up a world unexpected opportunities. Great stuff.

  • What an awesome post Kiesha. I love the point about helping others without even thinking.

    These days i’m helping many people with wordpress services for a very little money and even helped some people for no fee.

    I think this is great idea to build relationship with author of a blog.

    Thanks for sharing this great post Kiesha. keep up the good work.

  • Indeed the most overlooked marketing tool around. And this goes for just about anything in life. Help without asking anything in return, and keep doing it, will most likely take someone to places higher than they expect. Great! Kudos

  • Brilliant! I hope more and more people are getting this. In truth, you can’t give help away. The more you give, the more you get. It really works! Great post!!

  • Hi Devesh!
    You definitely do a lot to help people and it shows. It does build relationships that have long lasting positive effects. I’m glad you enjoyed this post – thanks!

  • Hi Jenise!
    I’m glad you agree – it really is the truth – the more you help others, the more they help. Sometimes in surprising and wonderful ways beyond your expectations. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Hi DiTesco,
    Yes, helping others has definitely opened some doors for me that wouldn’t have otherwise been opened. It’s also shown me that there are so many wonderful and kind people in the world – everyone is not greedy and out for self. It’s very uplifting and refreshing thought. Thanks!

  • Hi Srinirao,
    That’s really awesome of you to do. Yes, you’d be amazed by all of the unexpected opportunities that can fall into your lap, simply from being a helper. I’m glad you get it, now if everyone could just grasp this concept … oh what a wonderful world it would be 😀

  • Srini,
    The part I love about what you have done with BlogCastFM is that it really shows that intention of helping. You do a great job promoting these bloggers while providing so much value for your audience.

    I appreciate your work dude, I’m part of your audience.

  • I’m with you 110% Kiesha!!!! I can’t use the exclamation mark enough!!!

    I’ve always been very fortunate that I’ve managed to get repeat business from clients over and over. And I attribute this to one thing: my willingness to go above and beyond what is expected of me to help them with their challenges.

    I know that often it ultimately results in me undercharging them …. but hey, I believe in karma. 😉 But seriously, I think what you put out into the world comes back ten-fold. But it has to come from a place of sincerity. I don’t help others because I expect the same back or unbridled loyalty for life. I do it because I truly care that they are taken care of.

    It’s why companies such as Zappos and Apple always stand out from the crowd. They get it… and obviously you do too. 😉

    Fantastic post Kiesha!

  • Hi Michele,
    Thanks! Exclaim on!!!! 🙂 You’ve hit the nail right on the head (pardon the cliche!) but helping and expecting something in return defeats the purpose. People can sense insincerity, they know when people aren’t who they say they are. Helping has to come from the heart. Glad you agree 🙂

  • Very interesting but well thought blog post! You really got it figured out and the points raised are really close to reality. I personally think that helping other people is also a means of you helping yourself to be a better person. Also in a business point of view it creates a positive image to your company and build a concrete brand image for your company.

  • Hi Erica,
    Yes, definitely and a positive image is one that people come to respect and love. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  • Hi Kiesha,

    Well said!

    Like the good book says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It is an ancient saying, but oh, so true.

    Thanks for the mention!

    Take care,

    Evelyn Parham

  • I know I’ve said this before, but I really can’t express how proud I am of the way you (Kiesha) have taken blogging, and WeBlogBetter.com to the next level. And you’re so right. I actually started another blog and then killed it because I didn’t feel the posts were helpful enough. I started it over as a way of cleansing the branding of it and am attempting to publish only posts that are truly helpful to others.

  • Thanks, Brandon (again and again) – although, I’ve never read anything you wrote that wasn’t helpful, useful, valuable, and engaging. Maybe you were being too hard on yourself 🙂

  • Thanks, Evelyn!
    That’s exactly where all of this “helping” comes from. I just didn’t imagine how huge of an impact it could make. It is so true, indeed!

  • Awesome post and I cannot agree more. What I like about this is that you used examples from non-B2B entities like the Oprah and Ellen show. We can’t all give away cars, but we can certain help alleviate some pain points.

    This is so on point for me. You always do that. Make more work for me. lol

    Love this post and three cheers for you, Kiesha.

    Tia

  • As someone who has watched your star continue to rise over the past year and a half, I have to agree that you are an amazing giver, Kiesha. I have never known you to say no, or think any request beneath you. You help many people both by opening your site sharing the spotlight with them, and you take that spotlight along when you guest post on their blogs. Keep up the great work.

  • Amazing Kiesha…its the most effective marketing tool.after i read your blod i realosed it.and its true the more you help others the more they help you.the best lesson in this is to help others without thinking,as we all usually expect that if we are helping someone he also help me someday,this should not be our attitude.Help anyone without any expectation.

  • There are some magical words in this blog that are”When marketing is meaningful, it ads value to people’s lives whether or not they immediately buy what you’re selling.”It can chage your whole marketing strategy.I appreciate your thoughts Kiesha….Thanx for posting.

  • Helping doesn’t always have to be about giving out something for free, but if helping is really the focus, you will learn that sometimes you have to be willing to bend and understand that sometimes a delayed reward has just as valuable.

  • eco

    Great post…..really a great information.Help is really magical marketing tool.Help others without expecting anything.

  • I personally think that helping other people is also a means of you helping yourself to be a better person.

  • I personally think that helping other people is also a means of you helping yourself to be a better person. Also in a business point of view it creates a positive image to your company and build a concrete brand image for your company.

  • elp without asking anything in return, and keep doing it, will most likely take someone to places higher than they expect. Great!!!!!!!!

  • If helping is really the focus, you will learn that sometimes you have to be willing to bend and understand that sometimes a delayed reward has just as valuable……really great message conveyed by this post……..Thanks for posting.

  • Other than marketing reasons, helping gives you a satisfaction like nothing else can. As much as it can do wonders on your business it can also do wonders on how you feel about yourself.

  • cool personality with cool stuff really appreciable stuff here

  • nice sharing this type of stuff is provide a great help thanksa lot for this service

  • They will drool over and crave everything you do.

  • Blink an eye and a rap artist will never swipe another naughty credit card again!

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  • Melindas

    Me too, but just how more valuable it can be. I mean if it comes out more and more interesting then it should redirect you to another road. No?
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  • chrismarklee

    You have a valid point about the celebrates that have a helping personality. The personalty build trust in people. This culture is much about the me factor. You will buy from someone that is helpful and trust worthy.

    Chris
    Owner CEL Financial Services
    http://www.taxprepfillmore.com/christopher-lee-owner-cel-financial-services

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