There are a host of Business and Marketing 'experts' out there who will encourage you to have a blog. Sure there are a few examples of successful blogs, but most blogs used as a method of promotion are simply a waste of time with few readers and fewer sales.
Social media gives small businesses a great opportunity to do the sort of promotions that big business have been doing for years. Let's look at some of the techniques.
1. Blog if it works
If you are in a unique area of business where a Google search will return your blog on the first page, then blog. If you already have numerous followers, then blog. If you have something interesting to say and you can say it in an interesting manner, then blog.
Example: Many people with successful blogs are already famous. Think about how many celebrities have blogs or more likely twitter followings. If have any sort of fame, even local fame, then use it.
2. Media rich content
If you have amazing photos, exciting videos or other interesting content, then put that up online.
Example: There are so many great examples but I keep returning to GoPro cameras. Most people learnt about GoPro by watching movies made with GoPro cameras. They didn't want the GoPro as such, what they really wanted was to live the life seen in the GoPro videos.
A simpler example is a pool building business that found many followers simply by publishing photos of pools they were constructing. After all people who want a pool will go through a long period of consideration before ordering a pool.
3. Engage with people in the media
If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are wearing the clothes you designed, then your clothes will also become famous. Chances are you don't move in those A list Hollywood star circles or you don't have millions of dollars to throw at movie starts. Doesn't matter, if you are a z lister all you need to do is engage with a y lister to move up the chain.
Examples: We promoted software aimed at children by giving free copies to mommy bloggers. These people might only have 300 or 500 followers but their endorsement took out software up to the top 5 on iTunes app store for children's software. In the same way, if you are promoting new cooking appliances you might love to have Jamie Oliver promote it for you, but maybe you will have to just find some food and cooking bloggers to start with.
4. Syndicate & Guest Blog
Don't just plug away at your blog. Guest blogging is possible if you can engage with other people who have blogs. Syndication is going to be a big thing soon, so don't miss out on the Syndication wave before it get gets over done.
5. Use discussions to help people with real problems
Here is one of my favourites. There are plenty of places where people go and ask questions. If you are not able to help people with actual problems then you might not have a useful business idea.
Examples: I was selling Business Process software. An answer to a question on a LinkedIn group netted me Skype calls with engineers in Nokia and other international companies. Don't just focus on LinkedIn, take your solutions to whereever people have problems.
Sure there are situations where blogs can work however there are better and easier ways to get your message out there. Use the power of the new media by finding influencers and working with them.
If you are already an influencer then capitalise on that power to build new and exciting business relationships.
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