Sometime last year I went to a Nashville business event that had a few local speakers talking about their success. Two of the speakers were Liza Graves and Elizabeth Fox from StyleBlueprint.com.
They created the Nashville based blog back in 2009 to cover home design, fashion, and recipes, in addition to features on local shops and restaurants and a feature each week showcasing a woman in the community.
Their talk was very cool to listen to and made me want to investigate further since I am a full-time blogger myself. Although I am sure guys can benefit from the gals content, it is mostly for women as you might of guessed. I still subscribed to their newsletter to glean cool business insights.
I do have to share something with Nashpreneurs that has been game changing for my personal life that I got to give StyleBlueprint props for.
The gals wrote a post about if you can afford a personal chef or not several months ago. I went and implemented that idea and for the past six months, we have had a lady come cook four dinners per week for us. Before you think we are rich, we are not. We pay $15 an hour and it has been awesome for us and the lady we hired.
I had to share that because everyone I tell is blown away by it.
For this post though, I am going to share business lessons that we can learn from the success of Styleblueprint.com. Just because they talk about fashion and you talk about insurance, don’t think these lessons don’t apply to you.
Here we go in no certain order.
1. They chose a good blog theme
When you visit StyleBlueprint, you will see nicely laid out sections and menus at the top. By doing this, the reader can quickly go to the section that they desire most.
Your Takeaway: Decide on where you want your readers eyes to be drawn to and choose a blog theme that best suits that direction. You are in charge. Make it easy for your readers to find what they are looking for.
2. They make good use of pictures
Obviously fashion is visual so of course they don’t skimp on pictures. We all know a picture is worth 1,000 words so when they post a picture of food or some other item from a Nashville business, it makes you want to grab one yourself.
Your takeaway: Make sure to use pictures to bring home your point. Don’t just choose any pictures either. Do some searching around and find some that make sense and helps make the content more emotional. This is how people respond and pictures can help you do that.
3. They talk about their personal life
I haven’t read every blog post although I should since I do need more style (ha), but I know they do share pieces of their personal life such as when May was really busy and they hired a chef.
Your Takeaway: Before people buy anything else from you, they buy you. The more they know and like you, the more they trust you. Don’t be afraid to share parts of your personal life with your audience.
If you are a big pet lover, let it show. If faith is a big part of your life, share it. Your prospects will find you more interesting and intriguing. Don’t be fooled, that is why they buy into you and your brand as well (doubt me? read the book Predictably Irrational)
4. They took a proven model and made it better
One of the ways StyleBlueprint monetizes their blog is through the daily deals. Think Groupon but local and with a better return on the investment for the business owner. I know Liza and I talked about this that they saw a problem in the marketplace and wanted to make it better.
Your Takeaway: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time. Find a proven model to follow and think about ways that you can make it better or improve upon it. I do the exact same thing in my business. There is nothing new under the sun. Look around you and even inside your own business for your next big win.
5. They feature readers of their blog
There is a section that comes out every Monday called FACES of Nashville. They actually send a photographer to take pictures of the person of the week. That goes back to the lesson on making good use of pictures.
Your Takeaway: People love to be recognized and they will brag to their friends as well about it. Think of ways that you can feature your customers in your marketing or business in general. I do something similar called Nashpreneur Spotlights where I feature Nashville entrepreneurs.
6. They expanded on a good idea
Liza and Elizabeth have expanded into other cities because of the success they have had in Nashville. Very smart.
Your Takeaway: Whether it be a marketing strategy that works for you or a complete business model, expand the idea as far as you possibly can. Get help if you need it.
7. They are building a list of fans
When you visit their site, you will notice they have an email signup at the top. Smart, smart gals Liza and Elizabeth are! This way they can communicate with their audience and share info about their daily deals.
Your Takeaway: This is another business lesson that sounds obvious but it is not. Most businesses aren’t building a list of prospects and customers. Besides losing business by NOT building a database, If you were to go and sell your business, you could lose value because the potential buyer will want to know if you have a database to market to if they were to buy the business from you.
Start building yourself a marketing system that includes grabbing the contact info from your community. You can thank me later.
8. They know what their customers want
When I met Liza at the business event last year, we talked briefly about their success and one thing she told me was they know their customers.
Your Takeaway: It may sound like common sense but common sense isn’t that common in business always. The more you know about your customers and clients, the better you can communicate to them and the better experience they will have with you.
Listen to what they say to you. Read between the lines when they comment on your blog or on social media. You will learn a lot about them that you can use to build a successful business.
In closing, Tony Robbins said the quickest way to success is find someone doing what you want to do and model them. The above are proven business lessons that you can use right away.