Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainmaker # 7 - Mark Your Territory

Animals mark their territory to help keep competitors away. I think it also helps to remind the hunted (prospects) they may be dinner someday.

In business we also mark our territory – by letting folks know who we are and what we offer.


Tell them.
Show them.
Remind them.

Tell them on your website and blog about your capabilities and what you offer.
-No Website? No Blog? No Business!

Show them your results through recommendations and stories/articles from the client's point of view – how they benefited from your work.
    - How do you get recommendations? Ask!

Remind them by always leaving something of value with them whenever you 'touch' them – which includes your contact information.
    - Who you are, how to reach you, where to learn more (website/blog), and a bookmark for what you offer (tag line or catchphrase).

Mark your territory by being visible – even when out of sight - and findable, while familiarizing your prospects on your capabilities and results.

One final point: Never!!! go to a meeting naked – no business cards; no handout, no nametag. Marking territory is full time work.

Sales Lab’s Rainmaker series returns to the Capital Technology Management Hub, Tuesday, September 13th with 300 seconds of MarkYour Territory. The featured CTMH speaker will be Professor Steve Gladis, author of The Agile Leader. Come join us!

The previous Rainmakers:
Rainmaker # 5 – Start With An Offer
Rainmaker #4 – Time, Talent, and Treasure
Rainmaker #3 – Process to Purchase
Rainmaker #2 – The Nametag
Rainmaker #1 - Gifts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Dozen Golden Nuggets from the Blog Lab Event

The WebManager's Roundtable and Dick Davies put on a powerful practical workshop for active organizational bloggers – covering a broad range of attendee inspired topics, such as process – better/easier blogging; managing – avoiding blogger burnout or lighting the flame; volume – achieving greater distribution & getting more readers; comments – being a comment shill & reader contributions; and writing – finding the voice the readers want & building relationships.

From the wealth of material at the front of the room and tips and techniques shared by bloggers, here's some of the best - a dozen golden nuggets:

  • Always be thinking about your next blog and potential topics as you attend meetings, events, have conversations, read others – what can I add of value
  • The Rule of One – one thought per sentence; one subject per paragraph; one topic per blog post
  • On Editing: overworking a blog is like overworking a piece of metal – eventually it weakens & breaks
  • About comments: do you invite them; conduct reader surveys; use the recent or most commented widgets; comment on other blogs; give a timely reply to all comments received or acknowledge them; and reuse the comments (with attribution) in other places
  • Every post must have a purpose – as the test: Why would you want to read this post?
  • A post offers another view; advocates a position; shares thoughts & ideas; educates; illustrates; and gives desirable alternatives – be clear in your mind and consistent within the post what you are seeking achieve
  • Successful bloggers set a goal and run to meet that goal – e.g., 5 paragraphs, 10 lines, two posts per week
  • Web 1.0 was push oriented – put it out there; Web 2.0 was two-way oriented – asynchronous dialogue; Web 3.0 is just now coming in with computers using comments, reader feedback, news, and other data sources to create content on the internet
  • Timeliness is important when blogging; credibility is critically important as a blogger
  • Analytics are useful to a point – don't obsess on them
  • What a quick gauge of the influence of a post – Google the title to see who is reposting it and commenting on other sites
  • A snappy title can draw in readers – scan Buzz for current hot phrases for ideas for your headlines

And #13 for a baker's dozen: just as you may have different private and public personalities, as a blogger you have an electronic (on-line) persona – the you that appears to your readers through your blog and posts; establish and refine your voice as a blogger and work to strike a clear picture of who you are and remain consistent to that image – don't write like a professor one day and a comedian the next. This is who the readers are developing a relationship with and who they will follow in Google Reader.

Comments keep the learning going – please share your nuggets to help us all learn to blog better.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Top 10 Things Learned at Blah, Blah, Blog

Yesterday, at the Web Managers Roundtable, I was treated to a panel of experienced bloggers and got several pages of notes about better blogging. Here's the Top 10:

  • Dana Blankenhorn observes that blogging is an intimate relationship with your readers – let them be your guide
  • Carol Covin told of finding a void & filling it with a blog to tell rich stories for others – she noticed at book signings that people would share their stories but didn't write them down to share with a broader audience
  • Randy Rieland integrates multiple forms of media to present the blog – this evolved and grew by doing
  • Dick Davies is consistent about publishing twice per week and that for him an ideal blog is 5 paragraphs, 10 sentences
  • Do not waste people's time – cut to the chase and make your point – short can be better
  • Blogging is not a hobby – when thinking about writing a blog, make a business case for it: Who are your writing for; What topic/subject area are you writing about; Why are you writing to these people and about these issue?
  • Write in your voice – be you in your writing – do not try to write in the voice of the organization
  • Looking for content and ideas for topics for the organization's blog? Talk with the person in the Big Chair – they like to talk about what they do – but don't forget to jot down interesting ideas, topics, issues when you come across them...every event has potential for a great blog
  • Blogging requires discipline – take your passion and vision and put it on a plan – declare how often you will post and do it, the readers will come to expect your posts on a cycle – they will not stay around for erratic publishing
  • Share your stories, ask questions, set scenes, but do not try to solve problems when writing – regardless what you think you are writing about, the reader interprets the post in terms of what is on their mind.

And number 11 is – don't just talk about blogging – do it and make each one better than the one before.

Check out BlogLab, coming August 16 for a roll-up-the-sleeves view of blogging.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blogging – You Add The Value

You experience something of interest and write a blog post to share it with others. It may be from a conversation, an event, points made at a conference, or your experience in making something.

If you are merely reporting, the reader gets a pretty flat experience – the true value is absent from the post.

You are the one that creates value for the reader by sharing your thoughts, observations, and the best things learned by the experience. Why? Because your view is unique and insightful for the reader – much beyond the mere highlights of the topic. A case in point...

Recently I heard a talk by Steve Wozniak – the Woz behind the technical brilliance of Apple – with two other prolific bloggers. Same session, same speaker, heard the same things – but here's what each person took away from the presentation:

  • Design around the features of the technology, but keep the user in mind when creating process
  • Each time Woz showed him the latest project, Steve Jobs said “I can sell that”;

Best thing learned for each – what a broad range of take-aways from his talk. Imagine how different the three posts are about this meeting.

Same is true for other bloggers with large followings – readers read Dana Blankenhorn for his insight about the on-line world, not the reporting about what's new or changing; same is true about marketing and Seth Godin – it is the distilled wisdom of his posts that drives the traffic to his blog.

Bloggers create value by offering their thinking on a subject and what they've discovered. Readers frequent places where they receive value – this certainly applies to blogs as well.

Do you agree?

Check out Blah, Blah Blog at the Web Managers Roundtable, on August 9, and BlogLab, coming August 16.