If you search for “how to build a business blog” then the very first site listed on Google.com is www.buildabetterblog.com a blog hosted by Denise Wakeman. I’m not surprised because Denise has been practising what she preaches for a very long time. In fact, Denise has (at least) three blogs: Biz Tips Blog , Build a Better Blog and Denise Wakeman – The Blog Squad . Each has a different focus and each is crammed with useful content which can be easily assimilated and implemented by the newcomer and the experienced blogger alike.
I am in awe of how frequently and consistently Denise posts savvy and engaging ideas about building your online presence through blogging and how to build your blog through integration with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. When you read what she writes on any of these platforms, you soon get a sense of her energy, credibility and her personality.
I am sure these are qualities that every mediator and ADR professional would like to be known for, online and offline. Denise says that blogging is the one way you can present a public persona that is ‘congruent and authentic’ and then she tells you how to do that.
Dig a little deeper into Denise’s online presence and you will find a great ebook produced by the Personality Project called Women of Personality. A Compilation of 40 Extraordinary Women Sharing Their Stories of Success. It is now in its second edition and Denise is featured as one of the 40 extraordinary women. In the book, Denise talks about how she is naturally a ‘behind the scenes person’ and that until she started her own business, that was the way she liked it. I remembered how ‘behind the scenes’ I liked to be when I started out in my own business, and like Denise, I instinctively jumped on the internet when there were not so many people to talk to, very few had an email address and all we had was a shaky 56k modem. Like her, I just knew this internet thing was a place I wanted to be.
Looking back, I started blogging via telex in 1984, with a weekly newsletter and analysis about my industry and it allowed me to “get in front of” influential people in my organisation without the scary part. Looking back, it worked and probably because I thought it was only being read by a few people that I knew very well. I had no idea that people were distributing it much more widely and if I had I probably would have clammed up! Just occasionally, ignorance is bliss.
Today it’s different. The ‘noise’ out there is much greater and for some starting out or looking to take their business to the next level it can be overwhelming. So much so, some people just don’t know where to start. One of the challenges is personal marketing and branding.
In starting her own business Denise realised that
Being the sole person in my business put me in a new position. I had to be “out there”. And the internet helped me do that. I wasn’t shy online.
I think many of us feel shy about marketing ourselves. It is so much easier to do it for others! Marketing is the number one challenge I talk about with people who contact me wanting to know how I managed to build my practice. The good news is that the social media tools that we have today allow you to do both: market yourself and market others.
It is one thing to read what people write and to get a sense of their expertise and the effectiveness of their advice and experience. It is even better to hear them for yourself. That’s why Tammy Lenski and I have brought together our choice of the best and most relevant business management, marketing and social media voices from inside and outside the dispute resolution world. This is our selection of people who have impressed us with their energy, credibility and personality and who know how to communicate their expertise in a way which is relevant for building a successful conflict resolution practice.
The Mediation Business Summit is accessible via web and telephone from 16 – 18 September 2010.
If you haven’t signed up yet, then you are missing out on some great free gifts to get you started. There are two from Denise: an audio chapter from her renowned programme: How Drive Quality Traffic to Your Blog ($97 value) and a bonus chapter with 19 specific tactics for driving traffic to your blog. These will be available to you as soon as you have completed the sign up process. And you can grab your badge too.
See you at the summit!