Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Mike Lally Brand - BRANDING YOU!

About a decade or so ago I have a series of conversations with a guy named Mike Lally about building your "personal brand." Now I don't know if Mr. Lally remembers much about these conversations, but being impressionable, I took what he had to say to heart. Essentially, the moral of the story was that an individual may change jobs every couple years--move from city to city... change industries and may follow a dozen different passions... but you will always have YOU. And if you want to be successful getting a job, keeping a job, running a business, and being an expert in whatever you do--you need to focus your life's work on building your personal brand.

Blogging is an excellent way to build your brand. It is an investment in you - one well worth making.

Mike Lally has talked a lot about personal brand as of late -- in fact, he has become a bit of an expert on it as well. The Mike Lally Brand is a strong one - and getting stronger every day. You too could learn a lot about branding from Mike Lally...

Great job Mike.

-Meghan Wier - building & branding



Blogging for Business is written by Meghan Wier and Associates -- Writing for the Web. If you have any comments, please feel free to click the link below. If you are a member of the media, or interested in Blogging for Business, email meg@meghanwier.com

Frequently Asked Blogging for Business Questions

I am writing a presentation this weekend about blogging for business for my BNI group in Ballantyne. It has been a labor of love--since I enjoy sharing with people the benefits of blogging for your business.
I think that the most frequently asked questions about blogging are the simplest: How do I get started and what will it do for me.
Primarily, I suggest to new bloggers that they start with Blogger. It is free and easy. Free is probably the biggest factor--if you aren't going to continue to blog after you get it started, then you have only lost time. If this is something that you or your company feels committed to, then you may want to consider TypePad--because it is relatively inexpensive, and you can get a person to talk to if you want or need help. There are some other great blogging software, but none that I am as familiar with. (Does anyone want to add any blogging software reviews here?)
The next most common question really is "what will it do for me?" And that is understandable. Blogging is a huge time investment, even if it is pretty cheap. But the rewards are pretty amazing. Done right, you will get a "readership" of people who check back often to read about what you are doing, your company's progress, or services. Your clients will learn more about you, and you will be given a wealth of testimonials, product suggestions and feedback. Not to mention that it will help you drive traffic to your corporate site, gain customers, etc. And my favorite: You may become a celebrity blogger! Newspapers, Radio and TV news are always looking for a wide range of experts and opinions for stories. If you blog well, articulately and expertly on your topic or industry, there is a good chance that you will be sought after to do an interview -- and the benefits to your business are HUGE -- Free local or national exposure!
I will be finishing up my BNI presentation this weekend and I will be happy to share with you the rest of the FAQ. But if you have any blogging for business questions that you would like answered, feel free to comment below and I will post an answer ASAP.
Thanks and have a great weekend.
- Meg
Blogging for Business is written by Meghan Wier and Associates -- Writing for the Web. If you have any comments, please feel free to click the link below. If you are a member of the media, or interested in Blogging for Business, email meg@meghanwier.com

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ask Meg... Writing for the Web

Blogging for business has come a long way in just a few years, as blogs and bloggers have become more sophisticated, as have the people who read them. There is so much information out there, that it is often hard for your business stand out.

If you are blogging for your business, you are probably struggling for content. Eventually, we all just run out of things to say about our business that we find meaningful. That is why I have developed an easy way to come up with good quality, unique content, that the blog visitor will want to read--I call it "Ask the Expert."

Of course, I did not invent this term, but it refers to a style that I will often use with my blogs, which include letters from the blog visitors, emails, and even face-to-face questions, re-purposed for a blog.

As a business owner, you are probably asked questions all the time--people who want your expert advice on whatever you area of expertise... And often, these questions are the same questions that a lot of people ask. The are important. These are the questions we all want answers to... and the answers are the ones that contain great information about what you do, why you are different--and why people should work with your company over the competitions.

So from now on, when you are asked these questions, or even if an idea strikes you for a good blog entry, write a little note to yourself. Save those emails - the question AND your reply. Then when you have a few minutes (blog entries should take 15-30 min each) - either cut and paste the emails in, or write up the question and answer on the blog.

Be sure to generalize, so even if this is a real email, strip the personal information - and remove the name (or at least the last name). If there is any identifying information that you need to use from the original, be sure to clear it with the person who wrote it. Add in your keywords if possible and where appropriate, and link from those keywords (at least 1 in within the text) in each entry.

Some of my corporate blogging clients have this down to a great system - spending as little as 15 minutes a day generating great content, in a form that people will want to read -- and best of all, this kind of blog will begin to generate its own new content as people comment or email, asking their own (keyword rich and quality targeted) questions.

For a good example of an "Ask the Expert" blog -- check out: "Ask Dr. Ellie."


Blogging for Business is written by Meghan Wier and Associates -- Writing for the Web. If you have any comments, please feel free to click the link below. If you are a member of the media, or interested in Blogging for Business, email meg@meghanwier.com