Do you remember when blogs were naughty?
When you read a blog secretly at your desk, with a spreadsheet open that you could alt-tab to quickly, just in case you heard someone walking by?
When getting caught reading a blog at your desk was like getting caught reading about Kim and Kanye on TMZ at your desk?
It’s insights into the minds of Millennials, I swear.
Now it seems that blogs are so ubiquitous they might as well be MSM.
Seriously. I have about 30 blogs that I subscribe to.
It seems that most of them wind up telling me the same thing Chris Brogan or Jay Baer told me two weeks ago, using slightly different language and a different example that’s sector appropriate.
I already read their blog posts – I don’t need to read 28 different spins on what Chris Brogan or Brian Solis said.
For example, this morning I got three updates from blogs telling me how to craft a B2B blog post. (Yes, it is ironic using this example in my blog post telling you how to write your blog posts.)
Each one offered the suggestion to use an engaging title.
As if I’ve been trying to write boring blog post titles.
I miss the awesome days of blogging when I learned new things from them, such as which leading advertiser and CPG company headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, was going to be divesting itself of Sunny Delight.
Or that first blog post I read telling me that Facebook was more than just a bunch of college kids posting drunk party photos of themselves.
Many of today’s blogs sound the same to me.
They seem to be written in a tired style, by a tired, former PR person, with a little bit of AP style mashed up with some trade lingo and colloquialisms. (I’m a tired former PR person so I am speaking of myself and saying it with love.)
If you took the company name out of your blog, would it sound like one or three of your competitors?
Does it sound like how you think a blog should sound or how YOU really sound?
Blogs should be like your fingerprint.
Unique to YOU. In your voice. With your experience. That’s what made blogs so awesome.
I tried to start a hockey blog about my beloved Miami Redhawks.
Then I stopped after about two posts because I found the Redskin Warriors blog that did a much more amazing job than I ever could covering Miami hockey.
They got into all of the statistics and analysis of each game.
Then they asked me to write a blog post about two of our players who were prospects for my favorite NHL team, the Dallas Stars.
Instead of focusing on their statistics or what the scouts had to say about each player, I focused on what I saw in each player.
How in 20-year-old Reilly Smith I saw the same traits as a young Joe Nieuwendyk, an amazing wrist shot on a skinny college kid who had a knack for finding the back of the net, wherever he was on this ice.
I should’ve kept up with my hockey blog because I do have a different perspective, a different voice to be heard about Miami hockey.
So what the heck does this have to do with how your agency can get new business?
It speaks to your agency’s voice and messaging.
Does your agency sound like other agencies?
If you read some of your competitors’ blogs, would you find they use some of the same language about their process or their collaborative approach to yada yada yada… If you haven’t taken a look at your competitors’ blogs, you should check them out.
I talk to marketers every day who tell me they are overwhelmed with agencies who all sound the same.
Your agency new business blog (and if you are blogging, ideally it is aimed at getting new business) is one area where you can really showcase your agency’s voice because it’s not written for a client.
YOU are the client. You can be as irreverent, bizarre or engaging and collaborative as you want in your blog.
Give prospective clients some insights into what makes you tick.
Your agency is a unique team of individuals who bring different experiences and insights and opinions to the table.
Your agency shouldn’t sound like five other full-service ad agencies with a proprietary process.
Stop trying to sound like how you think an agency should sound and be who you are.
Tell me about the awesome short movie project you just completed for the local film festival.
Tell me why I should care about Vine and why I need more than Google Analytics.
Tell me why GMOs are going to really hurt many large CPG companies who aren’t addressing this growing concern. (No names Kraft)
And please stop telling me how to write an engaging headline. I really do think all of my headlines are engaging.