Category

Blogging

Blogging for Business?

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One might ask what a blog can do to enhance one’s business, why should I spend the time blogging when I could be doing something more productive. But blogging is a great tool to add to your business. In the generation of facebook, twitter and texting; we move at such a fast pace we barely make the the time to interact with others in person or even on the phone anymore. After a long day of work we don’t want to pick up the phone AGAIN to talk, we just want to relax. But I would say that deep down 75% of people are missing that connection with friends. How often do you see a post. We REALLY need to get together or Miss you… People love that personal connection. But where does that come into play with your business???

Blogging allows you to have a personal (semi) relationship with your customers/clients. It allows them to see how being part of your business helps you personally. Telling a story about you, your kids or pets leaves a invisible stamp in their mind of you… An example, cupcakeries (probably not a word) the newest trend in yummy food! There is one that has opened up in Lee’s Summit, it has been on television, does major events most people know it by name. But I started following another cupcakery in Blue Springs that was opened by a girl I went to high school with. We weren’t friends, to be honest I don’t even remember her personally just her name (sorry AMY!!) but I have enjoyed reading her stories and now her blogs. I read one this morning by her husband about their support in breast cancer. My mother is a survivor of 8 years now! This made more excited to support this company with my business. INVISIBLE STAMP…. Next time I need cupcakes guess who I’m calling! The Sweet Tooth in Blue Springs.

This is how blogging helps. It invites your customers into your lives, it makes you feel involved in the company, it starts relationships, and it is networking.

Is Blogging Like Laundry?

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My clients, who are not writers, tend to have a difficult time with blogging, at least initially. For someone who is not in the habit of writing every day or every week, this can be a daunting task, even a little intimidating. The thought of an audience judging your work and your thoughts can make anyone put-off what needs to be done. And in this day and age, blogging needs to be done.

Initially, it’s like laundry. You shouldn’t go without doing your laundry on a regular basis because eventually, you will run out of underwear and end up wearing a bikini bottom. When your business doesn’t blog (and your competition does) you also lose face. Your business will slowly inch its way to running out of clean underwear.

One of the most important reasons to blog is that it will build your sense of authority and trust with customers. As you post relevant information, readers will begin to see you as an expert and know that you are a valuable resource.  Just like other forms of social media, there are other benefits of blogging.

A blog can also help you achieve some business goals and give you:

  • Visibility – If you post quality content frequently, your blog will enhance your online presence.
  • Credibility – By posting content that is beneficial to the reader, you build a dedicated audience that looks to you for answers.  This audience will eventually become an advocate for your business.
  • Leads – Every time you publish a new post, your blog can act as a means to reach out to your leads and convert them to customers.
  • Free Press – Your blog can serve as a platform to promote new products or services.
  • Feedback – A blog is a great tool to engage in conversation with your audience. It gives your readers an opportunity to give you valuable insight and feedback.

There is some preparation that you have to do before you begin.  When doing your laundry, you have to sort.  When beginning a blog, you have to create your plan. You should think about the purpose of your blog, your audience and what you hope to achieve. This will help you stay focused when identifying topics.

Most of us were taught to write in a more formal format, and I think that can be the source of some intimidation.  Blogging can be less formal, more like you are talking to a friend.  Having that informality gives the reader a sense of personal connection to you and gives your blog it’s personality.

Blogging is a hard habit to get into, but once you start seeing results, believe me, it gets a lot easier.  I might even say that you get inspired. Once you get in the habit of looking for topics, writing and giving good information, you will find that it is actually rewarding. Eventually, you will find yourself blogging more often.

Although I can’t honestly say that having clean laundry is inspiring (so maybe that was a bad analogy), I can say that blogging is necessary and in the end, like laundry, you will be happy you did it.

Keeping Up With The Internet

By | Blog, Blogging, Local Business, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

I was just reading the 2011 Ranking Factors Guide that SEOMoz just published. Yes, that is how I spent my Friday night. I realize how that looks. Anyway, there wasn’t anything that really surprised me, I think it makes sense that Google and Bing are heading in the direction they are in.  At the end, I was reading comments and one caught my attention, “the tricksters continue to lose ground while honest marketing and engagement efforts gain ground…” I feel the same way.

The internet is more and more mimicking real-life. Just like we engage more with the people that we find the most interesting, search engines will rank sites higher based on what people find interesting by retweeting, sharing or linking. Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be?

Now I’ve really put the pressure on you, huh?  When I am introducing businesses to social media, there is always a fear of content. What do I post?

I have yet to meet a client who doesn’t have a lot to say about their business or their industry.  In fact, most business owners have similar characteristics in that their passion is magnetic. Some more than others, but if they have an opportunity to talk about their business, they can open up and capture everyone’s attention. It really is beautiful to see and it is one of my favorite things about my job.  I usually say, “If you can speak, you can blog.” But I guess I’ve only said that to people who are passionate about their business and industry. They have a lot to say and they know a great deal. That is why I believe they can learn to post well. You have to post passionately.

Relevant content isn’t just about social media, it’s website content too. And, it will be all internet engagement, including writing reviews, commenting on blogs, pictures and videos you post, everything. It all matters. When it comes to the internet, your opinion matters. And that is the best thing about online marketing.

I won’t be changing what I teach very much.  There may be a few details to consider, but the overall concept is still the same. Content rules!

Breaking The News | Social Media

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Around 10 years ago, I was in a girls locker room when I heard about 9/11. It was my senior year of high school. I had just finished weights class. I proceeded to my business class where our teacher let us watch TV and see the news unfold.

Flash forward 10 years later.

Social Media Sites are Sharing The News

Want to know about how I learned there was an earthquake in Haiti? Facebook.

How did I know the US killed Bin Ladin? Twitter. (Thanks @cnnbrk)

How did I spread the news that our daughter was officially adopted? My personal blog.

Yep, it’s a new ballgame these days.

The New Age of  Citizen Journalists

We live in a new age where news isn’t distributed only through the radio and TV anymore. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more useful for sharing info besides photos of your grandma’s 80th birthday party. Social media sites are very popular for breaking news … and for responsive comments and commentaries. The journalism industry has even adopted the term “citizen journalism” as a way to try and rally around this quickly growing area of news coverage. And by the looks of the use of Twitter during Bin Ladin’s death (Set an all-time high) or even the US Girls Soccer team games (the US soccer fans stormed Twitter), this isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Use Social Media to your Small Businesses’ Advantage

So what does this mean for you and your business? Basically, get in the game and build your social media presence. If you have a business page on Facebook, use it. People are turning to Facebook for news, so offer industry-related news in some of your posts. Build a smart social media campaign, call us if you need help. Build your Twitter followers and position yourself as a credible resource in your field. With consistency and patience, you’lll see your followers go up. Your interactions will increase. And ultimately, your leads will multiply.

Some people think Facebook and Twitter are still optional. And that may be the case in your personal life. But when it comes to your business and marketing, they’re a must. Get logged on today and start posting and tweeting. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to share that next piece of breaking news via social media.