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Blogging for Business Simplified

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You have all heard me talking about John Paul and Deb Micek tons of times, they are the epitome of great business people that engage and “get it”. (follow them on twitter:  @JPmicek and @coachDeb).  They are the authors of Secrets of Online Persuasion and have a blog called Tribal Seduction.    The reason I follow them is because I have learned so much from them and find them to be a wealth of knowledge that have helped my business.

Blog Content Creation Question

Just this week, JP announced a new blog series he is writing for Entrepreneur.com about Blogging for Business – go read Part I …..I’ll wait

2 things stuck with me from that article, JP’s quote from his mentor: (which needs no follow through explanation)

Always look at where the person giving advice is at in their life. If their lifestyle and achievements are what you’d like to aspire to, then take their advice in to consideration. If not, then ignore it.

And the never ending, controversial question about BLOG AUTHORS and CONTENT CREATION that we have discussed here many times.  Do you sign your name to something written by someone else?  Do certain types of business allow for others to write your blog-copy?  Would your business benefit from someone else blogging for you?

Don’t do it – It’s bad business – is it?

I know what the consensus here is:  It would not be honest, it could hurt your business, blogging is about engaging and putting your personality out there….etc, etc.   But then a light-bulb went off.  Of course we are going to think so here – we all like blogging, we are all doing it for business, we are getting results!!  We are preaching to the choir….but we may be a bit close minded (read what follows)

I decided to ask JP in the comment section about face-to-face businesses like Real Estate and what it would mean for someone else to write your blog for you.  Mr. Persuasion went out of his way to respond to me in another blog post (JP and Deb are just too cool) – Content Creation and your business blog:

Well, Ines is absolutely right! IF a person has the time, talent and desire to create content for their business blog — they should. Especially in a professional sales situation where direct face-to-face selling is going to take place (like you as a Realtor.)

In these cases it is essential for building rapport and closing more sales. But that still doesn’t mean you need to do it all yourself. More on that dichotomy in a minute. But first let’s clarify what makes content creation for your business blog easier if you are going to do it yourself.

Authentic Blog Copy

He goes on to talk about communication style, personal content creation as a “motivational killer” and how blogging services can make content “authentic” (I confess I’m still a skeptic, but it makes sense for certain types of businesses and different levels of business as well).

Bottom line is that there is not right way or wrong way.  You need to do what feels right for your own business and that fits your personal style.  The answer may be guest authors or supplementing your articles or even as simple as getting a virtual assistant to do your market reports and listing posts for you.  I would never sign my name to something written by someone else, but that’s MY choice and it doesn’t mean it’s the right way.  And then I found this to be genius:

We match the client’s Communication DNA with a member of our team who has as close a matching communication style as possible. And finally we choose a channel (written, audio or video) to match what would be expected from the actual person.

So as a skeptic, my curiosity has gotten the best of me and I will follow the rest of the series – I am sure I will learn something and will be able to apply it to my business. They never disappoint, that’s for sure!

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Mack

    September 19, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the links Ines. You failed to mention that reading the first article was going to be like a slightly condensed War and Peace. Even though it was long, it made a lot of sense and I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment. John Paul’s response via part 1b was on target as well. Perhaps we have some food for thought from these 2 articles. I totally agree that in no way should we put our name on someone else’s work, however a guest author on our blogs may very well suffice.

  2. Jim Gatos

    September 19, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I can’t look at MY blog with someone else’s content; although I sometimes have to “rack” my brains to write a post, I write ALL my own posts. It’s authentic to me and the personal experience of blogging can be just as rewarding as the end result of the blog itself…

  3. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 19, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Mack – what I found interesting is that it WOULD be Ok for certain business blogs to be written by others – depending on the product and industry….and even more importantly, the fact that we enjoy blogging and are hands on about it may even put us in a minute category that not necessarily spells out how it should be done.

    Hey Jim, as much as I agree with you and handle it the same way, I can also say now that I grasp the concept, that it would be OK for someone to do it totally differently and approach this marketing medium with another perspective.

  4. JP Micek

    September 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Great overview Ines. Thanks for expanding the conversation. As much of a dichotomy it may seem to be, with proper planning and production content created by others can safeguard authenticity. Of course successfully marketing with New media starts from the inside out — with you. And that’s what’s critical whether it’s the core concept or the content as a whole,

  5. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 19, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    JP – you accomplished your goal,I have been officially persuaded 😉 I can see where it can work if done correctly. The right tools are always important – you make excellent points.

  6. Bill Lublin

    September 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Ines;
    Well thought and great points – I think the content is important – and depending upon your purpose – so is the author – But AgentGenius proves that the owner of the site can control the content without providing all of it, and still be authentic –
    I guess it depends upon the voice you want you rBlog to have –

  7. ines

    September 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Bill, you are absolutely right – first things first, you need to be able to have a concept for your blog and know what you are trying to achieve and who your audience will be – then it’s easy to establish who’s voice is important for the success of the blog. (sounds simple when I write it but I know it’s an ever changing and developing concept for many)

  8. Missy Caulk

    September 21, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Well, since I am enjoying writing it would not be an option for me. But, I have learned to never say never. Especially with all my localism posts I am trying to keep up with on Activerain. Sure I can add the personal touch to restaurants and events, but it has been tempting.

    For now I’ll stick with me, but who knows………….. it would be interesting if some VA’s chimed in or people that have done it to hear of their successes.

  9. g. dewald

    September 22, 2008 at 9:06 am

    There is always the issue of “authenticity” in blog posts. But really, this is about business at the end of the day. If someone else can write better than you about stuff that your target audience wants to read, it would be foolish not to engage that someone else.

    Some of this would depend on whether your blogging strategy placed more importance on increasing backlinks, increasing new visitors or increasing engagement (ideally all three of course, but in which order).

    I think “authenticity” is just one of several tactics that can be applied to blogging. It gets the most airplay because those of us who blog love our advantage. But hiring out well-written blog posts to someone who can do it better is a completely valid way to run a business blog.

  10. ines

    September 22, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Missy – I think once you reach a level of success with your own blog and have been doing it for a while, you realize that you can get help with certain types of posts. I would also be interested for people to chime in to her of their successes (or lack thereof)

    G – You have a very valid point there. I can tell you that in our own business, we have reached a couple of obstacles when it comes to my own writing. I do not, by any means consider myself a good writer, I’ve just learned to put my personality in my blog posts and you will either love it or hate it. Now that we have buyer’s agents and our team is growing, the question of “authenticity” applies to those clients that contact me for me and don’t want to work with other team members.

    Personally, I think that a well rounded blog will have various voices and will attract different types of clients. It’s about getting to the next level and having different people write may be the answer at least for our business.

  11. Rentals In St George

    September 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I like the statement which I have heard a lot through my life. Only follow those who you wish to become like. You do not want to take financial advice from a poor person or from someone that is not as wealthy as you wish to become. I know when I started my St. George Rental business I followed other property management companies who were successful.

  12. ines

    September 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    George – and we can take that a step further in our Real Estate Reality to look at those that are able to come out of the struggle and how they are dealing with the slow market – thinking outside the box, marketing methods and being flexible to change.

  13. Gordon Baker

    September 22, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    My worry would be that someone who read a blog that I did not write starts to ask me about the information and I have no idea what they are talking about and it becomes evident very quickly. Ouch!

  14. ines

    September 23, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Gordon – you would always need to keep control of your blog and know what is being written about. It would be similar to having buyers agents writing on the blog and referring a particular question to the writer of the piece since they would be the “experts” on the subject.

    If someone calls Lani today and asks her about Miami Real Estate, do you think she’ll try to answer the question or have them contact me directly?

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Business Marketing

What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups

(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?

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A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).

So let’s break it down.

Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.

Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).

What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.

Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.

Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.

How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?

Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.

Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.

Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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