Mar 30, 2010

Starting Your Business Blog

Those of you who are dipping your toe into the world of blogging might find an article by Denise Wakeman very helpful. She provides ten steps to starting your business blog. The key, and I heartily concur, is to really think through why you are even "going there." Yes, yes, they all say, "It's no big deal; you can pound something out in an hour." However, to write well and deliver a compelling message takes time.



When blogging first entered the scene, I wrote in my book, “Bloggers were naval gazers.” Boy was I wrong! Done well it is a way to connect with fans, consumers, prospects—just about anybody who is interested in your topic. Brian Clark, publisher of Copyblogger.com has ideas on how to create your core message. This is another key ingredient. You need to answer the question: What do you want your readers to learn by reading your blog?


My blog’s goal is to provide you with resources that can improve your written communications and to comment on where I see the art of writing going and evolving. I do hope you will follow along.

Mar 26, 2010

Resources for you!

Those of you who own a business live with a myriad of challenges—from daily tedium to the big issue of connecting with your customers. And guess what? Much of that connection occurs through writing! Consider reviewing your current marketing messages. Think about your e-blasts, your business cards, your capability statements, your conference leave-behinds, your web site, etc.

Make certain all your content is reader-focused with benefits showcased, not your features. I offer you several resources. Nancy Wagner is presenting a webinar on email marketing http://bit.ly/b93zFL
that might assist you.

If you do sales presentations or training, Susan Stoen is the PowerPoint guru http://bit.ly/b93zFL

Any way that you can get your message to your customer so the customer makes the decision you wish is a good thing.

Mar 16, 2010

Digital Obsessions

I speak to thousands of people each year on email communication or the lack thereof. And the question that always comes up is how do we stop the madness?! How do we stop the tsunami of missives flooding our inboxes, our Blackberries, our lives?!

Answers? Several software companies have developed productivity metrics to try to measure what’s going on. Some companies have called for email-free hours or days. Some folks are dropping out of Facebook and Twitter. Others say that any email older than two weeks is just deleted. We really are at our wit’s end.

Check out this interesting article in Pacific Northwest magazine, “Missed Connections," http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/ written by Tyron Beason. He tells a tale we are all waking up to—people are disconnecting with all this technology. We are isolating ourselves on this techno-island and reaching out only through the computer—not live; not real time.

I believe the lack of civility invading our society can be partially linked back to this phenomenon. Poor or non-existent manners, slovenly dress (Casual Fridays, flip-flops—Please!) (http://o.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2011049819_harrop12.html) , an informality that borders on rudeness—normal behavioral conventions seem to have been stripped away.

What say you?

Mar 9, 2010

Feedback is the breakfast of champions!

I reminded once again of the importance of feedback as I rewrite my book, Business Writing That Counts! for the fifth time! It is literally impossible to see your own writing with fresh eyes and ears .
Having a writing buddy who can review your important docs is so essential. You need brutal honesty--not suger coating. And, it’s not just about the punctuation and grammar errors but also the content. Ask him or her: Does it logically flow? Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you know what to do with this message? How is my tone? Is it so boring you are drooling on the monitor?



Are there other questions that you think are important? What does the feedback loop look like in your company?

Mar 1, 2010

Email: A frontier where no one wants to go!

My clients are besides themselves—not just with the writing errors that can land their companies in big trouble, but with the massive amounts of emails in their Inboxes. The volume is increasing by 60 percent each year, so says Joe Robinson in his recent Entrepreneur.com article. People are throwing up their hands in surrender. They just won’t “go there” any more.

I know you hate to hear my harangue one more time, but if protocols are established (see webinar) within a business, some of this craziness goes away. Note: Inbox overflow and interruptions lead to productivity losses of 2.1 hours a day. Check out my protocol survey. Maybe it can get you started.