In this three-part series on blogging and new business, I’ve talked about why it’s a good investment for your ad agency to maintain a blog and how you can keep up a steady flow of topics without a lot of anguish. In this final post, I want to talk about how to use your blog to generate new business leads.

These days, you’ve got to give yourself as much of an edge over the competition as possible. This is especially true if you are a generalist – that is, a full-service ad agency that works across multiple business categories. The hard truth: there are simply too many of you and not enough clients.

As always, you need to start with a strong, clearly articulated positioning. If you’ve already got that, you know that your positioning is your doorway to generating original content for a whole range of purposes – speaking opportunities, writing for the trades, maybe even a best-selling book. Blogs are a great place to start – a kind of skunkworks, if you will – where you can test and evolve your ideas.

When you’re ready to publish a post, here’s how to unlock its full value:

  1. Tell your friends and fans. Send out an email blast to everyone in your contact database. There are so many good email programs out there (Mail ChimpConstant ContactEmma, etc.) that you have no good reason not to be using one. Set-up requires a small investment of time, but after that it’s pretty turn-key.
  2. Go wide, go social. Expand beyond your opted-in database and promote your blog post on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and anywhere else your company has a presence. Here too there are some really great apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck that make it easier to manage different messages and social platforms. Multiply this effect even more by encouraging your employees to resend the message to their personal networks too.
  3. Use it as a calling card. If your latest post addresses a topic that’s of interest to your prospects, email them a link with a short, two-sentence intro telling them why you think they’ll find the information useful. It’s so much more effective than the annoying (for them) and demoralizing (for you) “just checking in” call.
  4. Alert the press. Your journalist friends should already be receiving your email blasts, but if your latest post makes a big statement about the subject matter they cover, make a special effort to let them know about it. As I mentioned in my first post in this series, don’t just limit yourself to reporters in the ad biz.  When you write about – and ideally provide solutions for – big issues faced by marketers in a particular industry, use that as an opportunity to build relationships with trade journalists that cover that industry.

These days, you’ve got to give yourself as much of an edge over the competition as possible. This is especially true if you are a generalist – that is, a full-service ad agency that works across multiple business categories. The hard truth: there are simply too many of you and not enough clients.

Start telling the world why you are different – and better. And support your bold statements with evidence of your brilliance. Soon your prospects will have no reason not to hire you.