Ask for advice and customers will find your blog

You may have tried writing and given up because you can’t get customers to read it. Here is a an approach I teach in my Helpful Marketing Workshops (next one Omaha, April 19!) for getting an audience for your startup’s blog.


Ask for ADVICE to get readers

Once you’ve identified your Target Persona and written helpful content you’ll want to get customers to read it. If you follow the usual advice and “just keep writing regularly” it will take forever.

A faster approach is to ask people for advice. They will give you feedback and tell others about it.


Make a list of your Target Personas – and those who know them

I follow a similar process to accelerating my Customer Development interviews. I make a list of everyone represented by my Target Persona and anyone who might know a Target.

I go through email, LinkedIn contacts, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I especially look for people who may know a lot of Targets. I also look for places online or offline where Targets organize.


Ask – genuinely – for advice about it

I then write each persona a an email and ask:

  • Do you think I’m addressing a real problem?
  • Do you know people who have the problem?
  • Do you think they’ll be able to use the solution?

I also drop messages in LinkedIn groups and places they organize. I personalize these, telling my story of why I care about the problem and the people involved since people often don’t know me.

Warning … don’t use a template for more than a few sentences – write a personal note. And … I-can’t-believe-people-still-actually-do-this … DO NOT spam your email address book. You’ll look like a lazy amateur.


Example – me asking Ray Wu of JFDI

Here’s an example I use in my workshops . Suppose I just finished writing Home: the best place to start your startup and need readers. Ray Wu helps run JFDI’s accelerator program – he meets a lot of entrepreneurs who struggle with the decision of building their company at home or moving to San Francisco.

Hey Ray,

How are things! I just wrote a blog post and was wondering if you know anyone who could give me advice on it. I’m trying to help entrepreneurs figure out whether they should do their startup in their home town or move to San Francisco. I imagine many startups in Singapore have this question too – for example Connectifly talk to us …

Could I trouble you to give this a quick read and give me some advice?


Keys to success: write helpful content & hustle

Hopefully now you see what it is critical for your content to genuinely help your Target Persona solve problems – if it is a veiled sales pitch people like Ray won’t help you much.

There is no magic to this – it is hard work & hustle, pure and simple. Contacting everyone, following-up, asking for intros, and posting messages takes days of work.


Don’t worry – it gets easier

The good news is that you won’t need to do this more than a few times – if you write weekly just repeat this process once a month 3–4 times & your audience will start growing organically.


Photo by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

One Comment

  1. Mike Harrington June 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    Never even thought of this!

    I notice that the more I genuinely connect with people, about what problem I am trying to solve, and listening to their challenges, those relationships have a strong ripple effect.

    They tell their friends, clients and co-workers. More people hear about me and visit my site. The personal touch approach really is the way forward. Especially since I’d rather have a few hundred TRUE fans, than thousands of people who just clicked “like,” but will never really bother to read or absorb what I am creating.

    Thanks Kevin!


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