As you may have read on our About page, RSL Media was, in a previous life, the media company known as The New York Enterprise Report, or NYER. Over the course of 12 years, we published a ton of content and developed a powerful community of business owners.
As time went on, we found that our most popular content were interviews with an extraordinarily successful business owners. To this day, people still tell me about when they first read our interviews with Kevin Ryan (DoubleClick, Gilt, others), AJ Khubani (Telebrands), or Norm Brodsky or Stew Leonard (you guessed it).
Business owners love this kind of aspirational story. We also learned that owners really like to know about their peers. So we created the “Company Next Door” column featuring up-and-coming businesses, which became another big hit with our readers.
The moral of this tale is that business owners want to read about other owners and entrepreneurs. The good news for you is that your company–like any company serving small and midsize businesses–has, in its customers, a natural and compelling source of content. Sure, you can produce case studies (more on that in another post). But here is the secret sauce to writing profiles about your customers: Let them be authentic. Write about what their business does very well, of course–a marketing best practice, perhaps, or the development of a killer employer brand that gives them an edge when hiring.
But be sure to let them talk about the bumps along the way. Business owners are remarkably generous about sharing their stories with other owners. That kind of honest, peer-to-peer tone engages readers and creates a strong online community.
By the way, not only will your readers and your customers appreciate these stories; they’ll tell their friends and share it on their social networks as well. And rest assured that many of their friends are business owners too.
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