Short Answer: YES! Read on for the long answer…
Last week we established the fact that every sustainability consultant needs to have a website. Let's take that thinking a step further and talk about adding a blog to that website. Here are three reasons why sustainability consultants should have a blog.
#1: Blogging keeps your content fresh.
We did a survey last year that collected information on more than 75 sustainability consultancies in the United States. All of these companies had websites (and so we're sure that there are dozens more that haven't gotten around to creating a website yet). As we delved deeper, trying to identify the "real players" in the industry, we discovered that many of the websites were static. It was hard to tell if these were actively practicing sustainability consultants—or if they had thrown in the towel (as many did in 2010 and 2011) and just had another year or two on the domain before the website expired. Blogging is one of the easiest and fastest ways to continuously add information to your website—making it clear to prospective clients, partners, and colleagues that you are still in the game.
#2: Blogging gives you a chance establish thought leadership.
It's pretty easy to throw up a sustainability consulting website—and a quick Google search will reveal that many of the sustainability consulting websites are using the same language and offering the same services (sustainability gap assessment, anyone?). It can be really hard to tell the differences between boutique consultancies—especially those that are relatively new and haven't put a lot of effort into developing their website. Blogging is a great way to quickly build out the breadth and depth of your sustainability services. It allows you to demonstrate that you are more than the bland service descriptions you provide. You have ideas! You have suggestions! You have great case studies! You have resources to share! All of this information can easily and effectively be disseminated via a blog—and it will keep people coming back for more.
#3: Blogging allows you to express personality.
Other areas of your website may be pretty standard and straightforward, but a blog allows you to talk directly to your readers in a natural voice. You can be controversial, you can be funny, and you can be inspirational — just be authentic. Prospective clients and partners reading your blog can get a sense of what it will be like to work with you — and that can be incredibly helpful in advancing your business development goals.
If this blog entry whetted your appetite for more information about how sustainability professionals can use blogging to grow their business, you may be interested in our 8-week, self-guided, online course called Social Media for Sustainability Professionals. It includes an entire section devoted to blogging (with additional sections focused on websites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and more!)—including how to use categories to properly tag and organize your blog entries, how to come up with blog content, and how to properly manage your time on the blog.