Join the Campaign and Bring Back Blogging!

So yesterday, somebody (and no, I won’t name names) uttered four words that struck terror at the very heart of my soul.  He said (yes, okay it was a man, let’s call him Mitt*),  “Blogging has become unfashionable”!!!!!!  *Sharp intake of breath*  Alright he swiftly followed that up with “which is a shame given all the benefits a business can gain from blogging” but still!  Unfashionable?!  Which got me thinking.  What stops a business from blogging?  How can I help those businesses get those benefits?  So I thought I’d start by exposing a few myths.  Maybe that will help get the ball rolling. Myth One: I’ve got nothing to blog about If you didn’t have something interesting to say then you wouldn’t be in business.  Basically if people buy what you sell then you have something of interest to somebody.  If your product or service is really boring then blog about things your customer base will be interested in.  Even if that has very little to do with what you sell.  Because your customers aren’t really interested in your business anyway; they’re interested in themselves and how you help them.  No matter how much we try to believe the opposite, people are inherently self-centred.  Sorry if that bursts your bubble, but doesn’t it make it easier to decide what you should write about?  No need to feel exposed if you’re writing for your customers instead of yourself/your boss/other people in your industry. (Okay, I admit, that was a little nugget I got from Mitt!) Myth Two: It’ll take too long Define ‘too long’.  Yes, okay it’s not like you...

How To Make Your Marketing More Effective

In order to be effective, your marketing activities, whether online or in person, have to be relevant.  Relevant for  your ideal, prospective customers and, if you want to keep them, your existing customers.  So how do you know if what you’re doing is relevant?  Well, you could start by trying out this simple exercise. First of all, picture the customers you want to attract and keep.  Are they businesses or consumers?  If they’re consumers, ask yourself: what kind of age are they; what are their interests; how do they spend their spare time; what sort of work do they do?  If they’re businesses ask yourself: are they small or large businesses; what industry do they work in; what market do they operate in; who are their customers; what issues might they be trying to solve? Then use this information to work out where you might find them; online and in person. So for example, let’s assumer your customers are consumers in their 20s who spend their spare time with their friends and are either studying or at the beginning of their careers.  It’s probably fair to expect that most of them will use Facebook and many of them will be found at the cinema, in bars and young business networking events such as the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Alternatively, let’s assume your customers are small businesses who provide a business service to a national market and need customers as well as providers they can trust.  It’s more likely that you’ll find these customers online on LinkedIn and perhaps Twitter, as well as at networking events that have national meetings...

7 Ways to Blog Without Having A Blog

Blogging is a great way of getting your message out into the world; conversing with your existing customers and (hopefully!) future ones too; and attracting people to your website.  But what if you don’t have a blog, don’t want to commit to having one yet, or just don’t think it’s relevant for your customers?  Is there a way of getting at least some of the great benefits without an actual blog?  Well, I think the answer is ‘Yes’!  Check out my 7 alternatives: Facebook is a great alternative to having a blog if it’s where your customers hang-out.   You can make regular entries of varying lengths and share a wealth of relevant, interesting and useful material. Twitter is a great way to blog if  you’re a person of few words; and you can link to material on your website that might be of interest to your followers. Comment on other people’s blogs to raise awareness of your presence in the market and introduce potential customers to your approach Getting involved in LinkedIn Groups is a great way of reaching a broad cross-section of the people you want to work with and demonstrating how you work. Use You Tube to share helpful information or ‘how-to’ advice with a worldwide audience. Contribute to the forums or post articles on networking sites such as www.4networking.biz. Write a guest post for other people’s blogs and get the benefit of exposure to their clients while they get the benefit of your expertise. Like blogging, the key to using these alternative successfully is to make sure they’re relevant for  your customer, authentic to your business...