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Small Business Misses New Media Opportunities February 6, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Blogging for Business, Buzz Marketing: Lowest Cost/Highest Payoff.
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dirksphoto.jpgStaples (www.investor.staples.com), the office supply people, conduct their annual Staples National Small-Business Survey. Of the many interesting results, one stuck out like a sore thumb to me. In their research, they found that “more than 84 percent said they have not yet incorporated ‘new media’ (blogs, podcasts, virtual meeting software or services) into their business activities.”

What? You mean they’re not taking advantage of creating marketing buzz with a business blog? They haven’t figured out just how valuable a podcast series that is down loaded from their website (if they have one) is to gaining a new customer? What?

I was a bit stunned but I shouldn’t have. Less than two years ago, no one knew what a blog or, even better, a podcast was. Even now, with all the buzz on blogs and podcasts, many people I talk to are in the dark. No lights on at all.

Let’s go small business! The Big Dogz have figured this thing called ‘new media’ out already and are running with it. You need to do the same. Don’t know where to begin? For starters, Google something like “creating a business blog” and “creating a business podcast”. You can do this. New media means that you get a chance to interact and/or give valuable, usable information to your current and future clients.

You need to get it in gear and find out what this ‘new media’ can do for you. There’s more there than you think. Like I said, the Big Dogz are already there.

Blogging for your Small Business June 26, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Blogging for Business.
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dirksphoto.jpgBlogging is more than a passing fad. For a small business looking for a competitive edge, a well-engineered and promoted blog can make a world of difference. Whether you are service, retail, or manufacturer, a blog can help build customer depth and width for your business.

This posting is not about ‘Blogging 101’. There are great resources available, most are free, that can help you learn about blogging essentials. A blog is simply an online journal that you can make available for all to see or just those you want (like your customers and potential customers).

We use WordPress (WordPress.com) because of its ease of use, it’s excellent support, and…because it’s free! There are other excellent places to create your blog online and for free. Google has its blogger.com, etc. We tried Blogger and discovered that WordPress was better.

What can a blog do for your business?

1. It can help you create a way to communicate with your customers and others that you come in contact with in your business.
2. It gives your customers and other interested parties a chance to communicate with you. Interactive blogs allow people to comment on your postings.
3. It allows you to talk frankly about subjects related to your business that others would be interested in understanding and commenting on as well.
4. Done well, it can help to expand your credibility as an expert in your area of business.

What you need to do to make a blog work:

1. Create a simple and interactive blog. Look how this one was set up. It took me less than an hour to get this one set up. It has the look and feel of a functional website…because it is.
2. Don’t use it as an advertising tool. It’s not. It’s designed to let you give value added information to your customers and others. When someone comes to your blog, they should leave and want to return because they got something out of it.
3. “Posting” is when you make an entry and publish it on your blog. Rule No. 1: Post and post often. At least once a week…more is better. Give your readers something to come back to…otherwise they won’t. Rule No. 2: Go back to rule number one.
4. Actively promote your blog. Make sure every customer knows about it. Make sure your potential customers know about it. We could spend a book on it but promotion is key. Make sure the local and regional media know about this.

Rick and I are relatively new to blogging but we realized in short order that it was an excellent way to help people tap into what we have to offer them. We’re not charging anyone for the free insights we give. We don’t advertise any consulting services. We know how tough it is to start and grow a business, so we want to help and in the process, learn more ourselves. That’s the great thing about a blog. As this blog begins to grow, we fully expect people to interact with us…tell us what they think…give us some fresh insights and perspectives on what we post.

What Rick and I both know is that if we give our readers real value when they visit this blog, the business will come. And if it doesn’t come tomorrow, we don’t care. We want to provide an excellent blog that helps small business owners grow their enterprises. If we do that, people will want more from us than we can give in a blog. That’s the business side of blogging.

We have yet made a major push to promote this blog as of this posting…but we surely will.

Blogs. Simple, effective, and another way to stay ahead of the competition and Run with the Big Dogz!

For More Information:

Books:

Buzz Marketing with Blogs for Dummies
Publish & Prosper: Blogging for your Business (New Riders Publishing)