Business blogging can be tricky – your writing has to be professional, yet casual; informative, but not cut into the products/services you are selling, and (most importantly) open.
However, the work you put into it is extremely beneficial when it comes to your company’s branding, giving the world an insight into what’s behind the scenes. On top of that, writing a blog can grow your business as you position your company as a thought leader in its industry.
Business to business marketers are still falling short of connecting with their clients and prospects at every opportunity and it seems completely ridiculous that they still don't have links to LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs and Facebook, displayed on their business cards for everyone to see and connect with.
Fortunately, we are not alone. The world has gone "bonkers" over social media and just like the way taking a photograph on our mobile phone is now the norm, so too is checking in on social media and engaging with audiences for both business and pleasure.
1. The average users of social media each month is now a total of 850 million people. (Source: Jeff Bullas)
2. 23 percent of Facebook users check their account more than 5 times per day. (Source Socialnomics)
THIS IS NO PLACE TO DREAM SMALL.
IN NEW YORK STATE, A BUSINESS CAN GROW
AS BIG AS ANYONE CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.
THIS IS A PLACE WITH A WHOLE
NEW APPROACH TO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.
WITH THE FASTEST-GROWING TECH SECTOR IN THE U.S.,
ONE OF THE BEST EDUCATED WORKFORCES IN AMERICA,
AND OVER $1 BILLION IN INCENTIVES AND TAX BREAKS,
IT'S NOT SURPRISING THAT OUR ECONOMY LAUNCHED OVER
50,000 NEW BUSINESSES LAST YEAR ALONE.
NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE,
OR WHAT YOU DREAM OF BECOMING,
NO ONE EVER CAME HERE TO TAKE A BACK SEAT,
PLAY SECOND FIDDLE,
OR MAKE IT SMALL.
But, thankfully, life really isn't that boring and there are more than enough decisions to keep you awake at night or in the office until the wee hours, going over reports and analysis trying in vein to make the right decision for your business.
All while of course, people are saying to you that you need work, life balance and those long hours in the office, isn't really what you should be doing.
Often when I look at entrepreneurs that fail from one business to another, I see that many of them are fairly similar. They don't work hard or smart enough. They haven't investment in their product or service sufficiently and they run around like a 'chook with it's head cut off'. Or worse still, they spend all their time networking and telling people how great they are and no time actually doing the work that they need to do to survive.
There are other types of 'friends with benefits' than the one that is happy for a 2am text message and a mad dash to your apartment for a rendezvous.
There's the one that gives you great tickets to the best concerts because they work for the promoter, and the one with the ultimate holiday destination that fortunately has been passed down generation after generation. For the blokes out there, there are the one's that work for Belvedere Vodka or Peroni - or better still, the mate that picks up the second prettiest girl in the room every time because he has the gift of the gab, only to leave you alone with the prettiest to try your moves.
Some things to consider:
Traditional marketing still rocks - but we all know that online marketing and social networks now have more power to engage customers and prospects than any other marketing medium in history. Something no-one can ignore.
If you are still getting over your new year hangover and your head is a little muffled with too much going on and a new desire to lose weight, give up smoking, improve your health and spend more time with your family - there might be a competitor or two out there that has already started their BIG 2013 MARKETING CAMPAIGN and they are already punching above their weight online and offline. So, here's what you need to start thinking about:
1. Take a good long hard look at your website. Is it really a great representation of your brand? Does it tell your story? Does it give people reason to not only spend time on your site but to also come back time and time again?
2. Is your website looking good? Do people compliment you on how easy your website is to navigate around and find information pertinent to their needs? Is your website professional?
3. Do you update your website regularly?
4. Have you set up google analytics and are you using this information to improve content and site navigation?
5. Have you checked out your competitors and what keywords they are using online? Are you up-to-date with "most searched keywords" - easily attainable through adwords?
6. Is your website designed and created for tablets and mobile use?
7. At a glance, is it apparent that you have engaged in using the KISS principal when designing your website? Take a look at www.apple.com and see how easy it is to identify exactly what they sell and how you can buy their products or use their services.
8. Have you focused on content? Is your content easy to read? Is your content relevant to your target audience? Have you utilized keywords in your content repetitive?
9. Have you made your website personal? Every day, I receive emails from people saying how much they appreciate the fact that while my blogs talk about business, they also share my personal experiences and give them an insight into the business and culture they will be dealing with.
10. Is your company really on social media or do you just have an account set up that is not active and regularly updated? Are social media platforms linking back potential customers to your website?
What is your website really saying about your brand? Are you proud of your website? Do you regularly receive and seek feedback on your website? How are you capturing prospect data?
There are alot of questions that you need to ask yourself and now is the time - not tomorrow. Good luck!
Happy New Year to my dear friends both old and new,
2012 has come and gone, and with it came ups and downs and few side-way turns - but what is a year, without steering left or right from what could possibly be a boring straight road ahead?
I started 2012, in the worse possible fashion. I was in another country, at a celebration that was marred by a relationship that was not meant to be and ensured that there was no celebrating the new year coming in. For someone who is somewhat superstitious about bringing in a new year, that was a less than perfect situation. Nevertheless, it gave me an experience in life and a new appreciation for the fact that "everyone has their own shit to deal with" - and sometimes you just have to let people learn from their own mistakes and continue on their own journey without trying to advertly change them.
It's a great realisation to come to when you can look back at the year, and see how much you have grown as a person and how much more understanding, accomodating and less selfish you can become. I have watched others live their lives and occasionally fall down, and its refreshing to see it from a different perspective. Positivity has been key and has been an underlying theme to everything that has gone on throughout the year. Sure, there have been moments and sometimes days, where it was hard to be positive, but this theme kept creeping back and let me assure you, it worked wonders.
While the start was not the best, it was a year that I became a better employer and business person. Business, as you know, is important to me. Every year, if you spend time taking in feedback and re-educating yourself, you will always improve and become a better version of yourself. I am sure my employees and friends have seen the journey more closely and can see a positive change that will take our company to a whole new level. It's not often a business person shares such insights, because everyone is out there trying to spruik how great they are at business or how much success they have achieved. I just tell it how it is and hope that some aspects of my life, relates back to the people I share it with.
I always feel that by sharing my inner most thoughts on a business blog, people that can relate to the fact that you don't have to be "on" 24/7 nor do you have to pretend to be "fine" with everything. You can show that you have feelings, that sometimes you get hurt by someone else's actions or that you make mistakes and sometimes you just take things the wrong way. I never wanted this blog to not tell the truth or how it really is. On that note, this blog has been a remarkable achievement and something that I am proud of for so many reasons. The hundreds of emails I receive weekly regarding this blog is something that I treasure dearly.
In 2012, I travelled and met some of the most interesting people imaginable. I have taken risks, climbed mountains, and hopped on flights just because there was a good party or an opportunity too good to miss. I have challenged my own sanctum by not doing things that were expected - over and over again. I have been continually grateful for the people around me and for the experiences I have had and that I know I will continue to have.
I sat on a plane only months ago, next to a gentleman who after 3 hours, decided to start a conversation. I don't really talk to people on planes, but on this particular occasion, it seemed right. We have since become firm friends and met up a few times even though we live in opposite ends of the world. His commentary on life and business is completely mesmerizing and his notes with words of wisdom and unabated kindness, are something I will treasure long after we lose contact.
I love to write, and often write notes to people and have been continually pleasantly surprised by others doing the same. In the past week, I have received more than a dozen letters, emails, and text messages with heartfelt notes from people that have been in my life or that are in my life, giving me insight into what I actually mean to them or an appreciation for a moment in time. To those people, thank you. Those messages mean more to me than you can ever imagine.
Everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. We always hope for a lifetime, but just because they don't, doesn't mean that it doesn't have just as much meaning.
I feel privileged to live the life I do, to have what I have and to be able to share my thoughts and opinions with people like yourselves. I can't imagine my life any way other than how it is, but I wouldn't care if it all changed. We are all on a journey and life isn't about what possessions you have, or how many friends you have on facebook. It's about being free to live your own life and being able to experience things that make you happy, sometimes sad or indifferent.
My niece said to me today "everyone's perception of the meaning of life is different and no-one can tell you that one way is right or wrong". Wise words Ashleigh.
For me, this new year is different. It's about new beginnings and an openness to business and life. My theme for 2013 is "kindness and understanding" and with that, I wish you all a very happy new year. May this year, be the best one ever.
I digress - but who wouldn't when you have lived on 4 or 5 hours sleep for a week and there is still a 'to do list' sitting beside your computer that is pages long, with big fluro marks on every single entity reminding you that these things are very urgent.
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