We just launched our blog for a new social bookmarking platform for Apps, SaaS and Tools. I’m trying to have a diversity of professionals, startups, businesses, service providers and bloggers write about cool Apps, SaaS and Tools. What would be the best approach to guest them at our blog?What are the biggest challenges and inefficiencies you see in enterprise sales? With a focus on business to business sales.
- Be specific. Give people super-specific guidance on what to write.
I was asked to write an article for an industry publication last month. The editor told me – “Just write about anything you want.” Nooooooo!!! Give me guidance. Tell me exactly what you want.
For the platform you described, here’s an example question to ask a guest blogger:
“Go through your day and write about five (5) SaaS apps that you use everyday and the specific reason(s) that you use them.”
And as a exercise, I’ll answer that question in rough form…
- Capture and organize all of my call notes before I transfer to our CRM
- Write drafts of Quora and blog posts, and make checklist of topics I’m learning about.
- Propose meeting times to candidates we’re recruiting and to set up customer phone calls.
- Make a copy of my personal daily journal entries so I have an electronic copy
- Scan signed agreements and contracts to return to customers
- Research people I’m meeting or speaking with that day
- Identify potential customer development people
- Communicate with individuals and teams at work
Add a little more shape, and voila! – blog post created because I have specific direction… I put together this list in under ten minutes because the request is specific.
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2a. Do a phone interview with your guest blogger, limiting yourself t0 3-5 questions you would like to have answered. Then summarize and send to the person for editing and approval. (Pro Tip: provide the questions ahead of time. Helps with mental preparation.)
2b. Do a phone interview and then write the post yourself with the guest’s perspectives quoted.
- Add value. Everyone is struggling to manage their own time for their own business and lives. Asking someone to guest blog without a very clear exchange in value is the same as asking someone to do a favor for you. And people generally only do favors for friends and people they know. Give the author the opportunity to self-promote, whether it be to add links to their own previous posts or business, or some way to reciprocate the time.
- Be prepared for those you ask to say no or ignore you. Not everyone can or will be able to or will want to help you. There are lots and lots and lots of people I want to help and try to help, and I can’t get to everyone. The easier you make it, the more likely it is that I’ll come through for you.
- If you get no reply, ask again. I’ll often get a request, read it, think – “Oh that’s cool” – then not take action because I’ve read the request while I’m in line to board a plane or sitting on BART.
- Look for people that have guest blogged recently. They can repurpose their contact, or they might have a reason for wanting to guest blog – they have a book, company, or idea they’re promoting.
A couple of examples:
- The Second-Timers: Kris Duggan of Betterworks: “This Time, I Generated Leads Before We Even Launched” by Jason M. Lemkin on SaaStr
- 3 Crucial Sales Hiring Interview Questions | OpenView Labs
- Accept that it’s okay to ask for help. See Amanda Palmer’s TED talk – “The art of asking“
**This Q&A article was originally posted on Quora. Check out Scott’s Quora page here.