Blogging, Influence and the Purpose of It All: A Dave Ramsey Interview with Seth Godin

Sometimes I wonder what the purpose of blogging is.  Today, there is content everywhere you look.   Anyone with an internet connection can share their views and I’m not convinced that is such a good thing.  For me, my natural instinct is to share, facilitate and problem solve, but with so many other people doing the very same thing on their own platforms I often say to myself “What’s the point?  The world will be just fine without my two cents.”

But will it?

Well, maybe the world will be just fine, but maybe my experience is actually something of value and could influence one, two or ten people for the better. And maybe this blog is the only place where we could make that connection.  I guess that is the point.   That’s what I learned from this Seth Godin Interview on Dave Ramsey’s blog.  If you’ve got something to say, share it somewhere more meaningful than snarky twitter updates.  <—–  Um whoa… does Seth follow me on Twitter? How did he know?

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I never set out to lead a tribe or build a following, but as an entrepreneur and everyday business owner with a voice that can’t be squandered…it has come naturally for me with the territory.  And it’s like that for many other leaders too.  Because we’ve done it… gone out and created a way of life out of thin air… others hoping to do the very same thing will look to us to show the way.

So, I’ll be right here, doing just that.

Here are my favorite quotes from the blog…

“You’re not doing it for the revenue, like most of us don’t do it for the revenue. You’re doing it because the output of a synchronized tribe is so powerful.”

“If you’re really going to run a small business for the future, it’s not going to be because you’re the only store in town that sells something. That’s never going to be true again because of the internet. You’re going to succeed because you are the ringleader, the drum major, the person who keeps your tribe, whatever tribe it may be, in sync because that’s what they want.”

Read the entire interview here.

Print is Not Dead People. Period.

This post is a no-brainer. It’s deadline week for me and I’m swamped. So, I’ll just pass on this absolutely fabulous video I found online about truths regarding magazines.

Watch and Learn…..

Results, Relationships and Investing in your Business.

The other day I had a conversation with a local business owner who shall remain nameless. He was interested in finding out about advertising and as always I asked “what are you currently doing to promote your business?”

His first response “Word of Mouth.” Of course! Everyone says all of their business comes from word of mouth. Moving on….

His second response was an online ad he was running on a competing site of mine but he said something interesting. “I’ve been advertising with {soandso.com} for three months and I haven’t gotten one single booking. They have a leads system, but they’re budgets are too low so I don’t bother calling them.” I asked “How much do you pay for that site?” He says “$55 a month.”

CUT! Doing the math if he paid $55 a month for 12 months he would have invested $660 year to promote his business. Knowing what I know from the wedding photographers I work with, most of them charge anywhere from $2000 and up for a wedding. Chances are this wedding photographer charges more than $660 for any given event. Having put in more time, he may very well have booked a bride, covered his costs and then some. But yet, he couldn’t see the value in spending $55 a month to potentially book said $2000 bride.

Before I go on, I’ve just got to say there comes a level of commitment and value you’ve got to place into you business before you can ever expect anyone else to invest in it. If you can’t invest $660, how can you expect your client to pay you double or even triple that?

This photographer was ready to jump ship for the next best thing without ever giving the current advertising medium a chance. I bet if he called his account executive from {soandso.com} and explained his concerns they would have gladly given him some advice to boost his return or attraction to his ad.

But it goes even farther than that. Advertising is like dating.. you’ve got to give it time. If you’re boyfriend didn’t propose in the first few weeks of dating would you dump him?

When it comes to most medias, advertising is part results and part relationship. Don’t go into an advertising agreement just thinking about the ad, think about the “added value” that comes along with it. The intangibles. Connections in an industry you may need, marketing advice you’ve always been looking for, networking opportunities, event sponsorships, a shoulder to cry on (you never know, it HAS happened to me) and so much more.

My plain and simple advice is this…Invest in your business far beyond what you expect your clients to and your returns will be plentiful. Utilize the relationships that come with those investments. Combine those together and you’ll have a recipe for success.

Knowing is Half the Battle

In my opinion, advertising and its purpose, are widely misunderstood. In the vast gray area between calls to action and brand awareness the average business person gets lost in the purpose, point and profound importance advertising brings to the growth of businesses.

The purpose of advertising is to expose your business to potential clients. Period. Be the town crier, bridge the gap, be your voice. Go without it, and you have a mute message.

Here’s where the major misconception comes into play….. Companies that sell advertising don’t sell customers – directly that is. Frankly, it would be impossible and probably illegal in some states. 😉 It’s unfortunate, and because I sell advertising too, I would LOVE to be able to guarantee my clients and advertisers an exact amount of new customers they will bring in from their advertisements. It’s just not the case. What advertising account executives bring to the table is exposure. Media avenues guarantee exposure to people that will either see, hear or touch your ads. Impressions, viewers, readers, traffic, visitors, and pageviews are a measurable guarantee. That is what you buy.

Your message and product that relates to the client’s need is what turns those impressions into inquiries. Once the calls start coming in, it’s now up the sales staff, customer service reps and you to qualify the client and close the sale. Not the ad. That ad’s responsibility was exposure. And it delivered.

My suggestion? Quantify the advertising medium you choose. Doing so will increase your chances of turning those impressions into inquiries and then clients. You are buying exposure, not customers, so make sure the exposure is the right exposure for you.

If you choose the best medium for your business but still aren’t getting the result, don’t be quick to blame the vehicle. Take a look a your message. Revamp it. Change the image, wording, call to action, offer, etc. I’m sure your advertising executive would be happy to help make suggestions and adjustments. You never know, you may just get a completly different response.

Closing common sense comparison: Imagine if you only used YOUR word of mouth to deliver the message about your business to friends, neighbors and family, but not one came to buy or hire you. Would you stop speaking and blame yourself for not working? Probably not….

A New Advertising Era

Today marks the beginning of several blogs I will post regarding social networking and marketing your business online.

Let’s face it people.. this economy ain’t pretty. But, tomorrow is another day and it’s business as usual. You have two choices… either close up shop or choose to advertise your business a more cost effective way. That’s where I come in.

There are a handful of ways you can advertise your business online and many are free. The most popular are Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Squidoo just to name a few. I will spend the next couple weeks explaining how you can use each.

Stay tuned for lots of useful info coming your way.